This Independence day, 2004, Kevin started a new Koons family tradition. He said that we should read the Declaration of Independence on every 4th of July because, after all, that’s what the holiday is all about. It’s a very patriotic thing to do.
Last year at this time we were in England and the holiday celebration was nonexistent. (Although we did sing the Star Spangled Banner in our hotel room.) So, this year, we made up for it and celebrated all weekend long. We watched fireworks on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The most impressive were at CalExpo. Wow. We parked our car at the mall a few hours early and played cards at the food court until it got dark. When we finally walked back to our car, half the population of Sacramento was gathered at their tailgates to await the show. Many of them had brought personal fireworks, purchased at the stands. It was funny to watch certain people set off illegal fireworks (the kind that actually leave the ground) and then run away before the security guards could catch them. It was quite a wild group of people. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a raucous 4th in all my life! (Well, dancing in the rain with Rachelle and Dana in D.C. comes pretty close!) After the show began, it was mesmerizing. It was like one grand-finale after another. They had some fireworks I’d never seen before - fireworks shaped like smiley faces, hearts, Saturn, etc. Tons of different varieties. During the show I noticed several helicopters circling the sky watching the show from above. I think that, sometime in my life, I would like to do that. I have actually seen fireworks shot off beneath me - when I went to the Empire State building several years ago. It’s a totally different perspective. And I have been on a helicopter before - in Mt. Rushmore. But I think it would be cool to combine the two.
Yesterday we went to some friends’ house for a barbecue and swimming. They had some leftover fireworks from the day before that they hadn’t had a chance to shoot off yet. Someone had the bright idea of placing the fireworks on top of a ladder before shooting them off. It made the fireworks seem so much larger and frightening. Several times, those of us in the front row jumped back in terror. But it was a good kind of terror. If terror can be good.