Susanna J. Sturgis   Martha's Vineyard writer and editor
writer editor born-again horse girl

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Boom Boom Boom

August 19, 2005

I knew what was coming when I passed through Oak Bluffs this afternoon: the closer I got to the Campground and Ocean Park, the more stenciled signs I saw that warned NO PARKING AUG. 19, 6-10 PM.

Fireworks night. These days there are fireworks on the Fourth of July (didn't used to be), and on New Year's Eve, but the big fireworks night of the year is in late August. In late afternoon people start spreading their blankets in Ocean Park, the Vineyard Haven Band plays the sun down at the Gazebo, and after dark -- Boom Boom Boom!

Rhodry hates fireworks. Rhodry hates gunshots. Rhodry scratched at the door to come in, and less than 30 seconds later the first firework went off. He couldn't read the signs this afternoon, but he knew. Boom Boom Boom! Maybe the fireworks are louder this year, or maybe sounds travel more vividly on this evening's air. I think of Baghdad and the rest of Iraq -- where are we bombing tonight? I remember the glorious blue skies the afternoon of 9/11: not a plane in sight, and I, unlike the people of Afghanistan, could relish the silence, know for nearly absolute sure that no bombs would fall, no armies invade.

Where are the bombs falling, this fireworks night?


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