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The city of Bend goes crazy on the 4th of July and thousands of people come here from around the world to participate. There is a big parade with marching bands, and it has lots of cute kids doing cute things, and then a special Bend treat at the pet parade. Usually, there is a small dog hanging from a big balloon, but I got involved in other things and don’t know if he made it this time.

At precisely 10 PM precisely a kilometer from where I live, a fireworks display far larger than this small city would seem to warrant goes into a full fire mode. It is spectacular and there are lots of people crowding onto my street to watch. Of course all the kids have little flaming things and have a great time setting them off. Thankfully, my near neighbor’s kid set off his devices in the middle of the street and immediately hosed down the area with a garden hose. That was so responsible and mature that I was very impressed.

However, there were three different adults within a block of my house firing exploding rockets up through the remaining ponderosa trees. I say remaining because within a couple of blocks about eight of them blew down two months ago, destroying two houses and injuring several more, including mine. One would think that adults would notice that dangerous actions have potential consequences and that Mother Nature isn’t always forgiving of stupidity. But no.

Fortunately, the local fire bugs failed to ignite any of the trees up high where their garden hoses couldn’t reach. I did talk to a person in the park today that said her neighbor did start a big fire, but the fire department was on the scene quickly and put out the tree before it burned their house down. And the neighbors, and the city.

The rocket fireworks are illegal here but readily available at the local Indian reservation firework stores. I guess they are trying to get a modicum of payback from those people who are celebrating stealing their land.

I suppose it is the privilege of an old fart to complain about these things.

So, let me give my limp wrist shake in their general direction.

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