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July 4th

The Forth of July is celebrated all over this great country of the United States, with families and friends getting together for Bar B Q and fellowship.

My Dad loved to have a lot of people out to the dairy for the Forth. It went from a mostly family get together to a great big party that ran up to about two hundred people. There was all the food and drink anyone wanted. Hamburgers from a recently butchered cow and corn on the cob from Decker’s road side stand and Mom’s potato salad by the bucket were a plenty. The cars would be lined up out front for a quarter mile.

Uncle Bob worked for one of the major fireworks companies and for a few years he would bring out some really cool stuff. The kind you would see at a stadium. The aerial stuff was the best. It could be seen from town and the fire department let it slide because dad knew the Chief. There were always a lot of kids there so care was taken to make sure it was safe.

All the food and chairs were near the houses on the lawn and the fireworks display was set up on the driveway between the grass and the milking barn. We had those big three foot wheels set up on posts and the big roman candles were placed to go up over the barn. We always used the big power hoses from the milk barn to wet down the back side of the barn where there were only dried weeds.


It was time for the big show one year and all was going well. The fire works were going off just great when suddenly one of the big rockets went astray. It landed in one of the big trees near the back end of the milk barn and exploded with all its glory at the top of the branches where it got lodged. With that burst of sparks the tree ignited like a dried up Christmas tree. If you haven’t seen that believe me it burns fast with huge flames. Dad quickly ran to the barn and grabbed the big power hose and saved the rest of the trees, saved the day too.

By the time the fire was extinguished the fire department showed up. They could see the fire from a few miles away. After some discussions they left and the party went on with the best show ever for a back yard.

The following year the party was reduced to the stuff you could buy at the church fireworks stand. I think dad was told that he could no longer have that kind of high power stuff anymore. Too bad, those were the best Forth of July parties ever.

Then one Fourth when we lived in New Mexico we had gone to a 4tgh of July gathering in Anthony New Mexico.  I was managing an 8000 head dairy operation where there were 35 employee homes and those folks there were having a 4th of July party also.  Me and my family were coming back to that dairy when a bottle rocket  appeared out of nowhere and landed in a hay stack with about 1100 tons of big bales of hay.  We quickly tried to use a garden hose to stop it with water.  To short… Then the volunteer fire department shows up.  They pulled out there hoses, turned on the water and there was no water.  What. 

Off to get water went the fire truck and then one of the feeders came to the burning stack of hay with a Coke.  He shook it then used the pressurized contents to extinguish the fire.   No use.

Finally another feeder came to the flaming stack of hay with a squeeze used for hay movement.  He quickly moved the burning hay bales to the garden hose where we put out the fire and saved a lot of cattle feed.  Then after the show was over the volunteers and there fire truck show up.  All we could do then was offer them a Coke.

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