Mystery display

Well before the Zilker pyrotechnics were scheduled to begin, from the front porch we could hear the deep report of shells exploding, followed by that unmistakeable combination of a “whiz” sound and a “whee” sound. A look in the right direction revealed chrysanthemums in the heavens. This show was not as long as the annual one that receives so much publicity. Because it seemed to be originating east of the Congress bridge, though, even low-altitude aspects could be seen, not just what soared above the trees. Maybe these came from the Four Seasons, where sometimes fireworks are part of a business meeting or wedding reception. Our ten long-playing vinyl recordings (20 sides) containing the complete marches of John Philip Sousa lasted long after the last sparkle fell to earth. The smoke of backyard labors at the pit hung in the air until the rain brought it to earth. The Glorious Fourth was just another workday for many of those from el otro lado employed at teardown sites within walking distance. Earlier in the day we observed paleteros enjoying sales success at various launderettes on Riverside and noted a contingent of firefighters stocking up on victuals at the Congress and Oltorf H-E-B. I think they were from the downtown station near Brushy Square. There seemed to be many fewer private fireworks pops and bangs than usual all weekend, perhaps because of intermittent rains and perhaps because the newer neighbors are more law-abiding than the old ones, or less tradition-bound. What the fireworks didn’t illuminate, the lightning did. People on their way to Zilker stopped to view the preliminary show. The local daily says nothng about these fireworks. Anybody know?

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