New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Thursday, June 04, 2020
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Fireworks

We used to call the unexploded fire crackers shoo shoos. You'd crack the unpopped firecrackers in half, set em on a lit match, slam ya foot down on da thing an hear da POP.
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Us too. A bad firecracker was a shooshoo. Remember those little biddy firecrackers called lady fingers? If you were really brave, you could let them go off in your fingers. I was always too chicken, but my friends did it.
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The really crazy people used to hold lit Roman Candles in their hand--waving them around while the little balls of fire shot out. And we probably all had at least one inebriated uncle who would light bottle rockets then fling them up in the air while all the kids stood around watching. This was a LOT of fun until my cousin wound up with a bottle rocket in her eye as well as an extended stay at the hospital.

Which reminds me of an old neighbor who has passed on. Her daughter was in town for New Years Eve and the whole neighborhood went outside at midnight to toast and watch the fireworks. The daughter told me how much she was enjoying the show and how she'd never seen anything like it in a neighborhood because "Fireworks are not allowed in Houston". I didn't let on that they're not "allowed" in Metairie or New Orleans either.
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Once I stood too close as my brother was setting off a Silver King (I think I was squatting down to see if it was a shooshoo) and ended up with a gun powder burn on my cheek. I had to lay low for a few days so my mother wouldn't see my face(which wasn't hard to do in a family of 5 kids...she was always losing track of one of us) and hearing her say, "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! Ah toldja not ta play wit doze fiahcrackas."
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An' afta' ya' hear da POP you look aroun' faw tha' Chinese newspapah' that was inside tha fya-crackahs!
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One New Year's day when I was about 8, I had a paper bag full of black cats that I lighting with a punk in my aunt's back yard. When my aunt called me in for dinner, I stuck the punk in the ground and thinking that it was out, stuck it in my bag. I dropped the bag on my aunt's enclosed back porch that was used as a den and went in to eat. Halfway through dinner, the fireworks started going off and exploded all over the porch. Fortunately for me, my aunt had a great sense of humor and realized that I hadn't done it on purpose, so I didn't get in trouble. My aunt is gone, but the pine captain's chairs that were on that porch live on, complete with burn marks.
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