The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Column: Fireworks Season

 


I'm most likely way in the minority on this one, but probably my least favorite two weeks of the year are what I like to call "fireworks season".

It's the time of the year where stands come out on seemingly every street corner, and I'm jolted out of a slumber multiple times a night by fireworks. It's also a time of year my two cats start to hide and act really weird from all the ridiculous noise.

I'm all about the United States of America and certainly about people making money-selling fireworks, but I really just wish everyone would save it for the 4th of July. For one day I wouldn't care if there were 24 straight hours of fireworks, but I wish that would be it for the year.

I think my dislike for the "fireworks season" started when I lived in Washington and they were sold throughout the summer on a local Reservation. It seemed like there were three straights months of waking up pissed off every morning because it sounded like Beirut while I was trying to sleep. I tried just about everything to block out the noise but it didn't work. Another huge reason is that my pets are my family. I've said it multiple times, but I like Peaches and Jerusha more than most humans and to see them scared to the point they are hiding isn't my cup of tea. That isn't being a fireworks Scrooge, it just means I don't like to see my cats freaked out. And dogs are worse, they get really freaked out and I don't think it is healthy for them at all. I've head about multiple pets running away over the years, and that's not cool at all.

I also get really scared about fireworks because they often are lit in places they should never be. I don't think anyone intends to start a fire, but if you get a bunch of drunk people shooting off fireworks in the boonies, something is going to catch fire and that is not only bad for the land, it is dangerous for firefighters and people who may live in the area. In my hometown, people will seriously just watch White Mountain on the evening of the 4th -- because at some point it will catch fire. I'll never forget a night when living in Washington and a group had gathered near a fireworks stand that just so happened to be near a gas station. The large group was lighting off fireworks without a care in the world. I thought at any point either the stand or the gas pumps were going to explode.

I really doubt that many people agree with me on this issue, but I wish people would follow a few simple guidelines.

1. There are noise ordinances for the middle of the night; a firework doesn't change that, not one bit.

JACK H. SMITH

2. If you see a lot of trees, do not light fireworks. Smokey the Bear can't be everywhere, so use better judgment.

3. If you see a fireworks stand, you know the drill.

4. Gas pumps --- second verse same as first.

5. If a kid still rides in a car seat, don't let them shoot off your largest fireworks. I literally saw a toddler lighting off what appeared to be a $50 firework the other night and nobody cared. If you don't realize what a firecracker can do, Google "Jason Pierre Paul hand".

6. If you've consumed enough beer to kill a small horse, let somebody make all fireworks related decisions. This never ends well.

I'm probably setting myself up with this column for an extra loud 2019 "fireworks season", but was well worth venting.

 

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