Monday, July 5, 2010

I Remember

As a nod to recently re-reading Joe Brainard's book I Remember:

I remember sparklers, and how we wouldn't be able to wait until dark to light them.

I remember how much better it was to have sparklers in the full dark, the dazzle of twirling them in circles.

I remember not liking firecrackers.  (I still don't)

I remember stories of boys who would put a firecracker in a toad's mouth, so it hung out like the taod was smoking a cigar, and then they'd light it.

I remember how this horrified me, I liked toads so much, their absurd little hands.

I remember that I never actually saw any boys do that to toads.

I remember hearing about people that put firecrackers in a cat's butt, or a string of them tied to a cat's tail.

I remember fireworks.

I remember fireworks at Metro Beach, viewed from the bed of a pickup truck.

I remember fireworks at Shadyside Park.

I remember Fireworks at the riverside, and how the boom would echo against the skyscrapers downtown and I'd feel the explosion like a thud in my stomach.

I remember that the skyscapers downtown seemed very very tall.

I remember they were 12 whole stories.

I remember camping on the fourth, and Uncle Martin crept off into the woods and lit off an M-80 firecracker when everything was quiet, that time when everyone is half-dozing and staring into the campfire, and how we jumped.

I remember the cousin who had been in Vietnam leapt off his chair and landed on his stomach in the dirt.
I remember he was sobbing, or gasping. I remember that he told Uncle Martin he was going to shove an M-8o up Uncle Martin's ass and light it, and how would he like that?

I remember an aunt saying "Vietnam" quietly to Uncle Martin, she was trying to calm him down.

I remember lighting sparklers from a campfire.  I remember poking a stick in the fire to make the end glow, and then twirling it like a sparkler after all the sparklers were gone.

I remember potato salad with big chunks of hard-boiled egg.  I remember baked beans, how they came from a can but my mom would "doctor" them and bake them in a covered dish.

I remember campfires. And the pop of an ember, like a firecracker but much more sedate.


  1. I still love that book myself.

  2. I had to smile at what you wrote about the County Building. Every time I go home, and go into Mt. Clemens, I marvel at the fact that I used to think that was a tall building!