Monday, July 6, 2009

Benbow, Fourth of July Celebration.

Benbow had it's annual Fourth of July celebration this year. Last year it was canceled because the whole north coast was on fire. This year was fabulous! The fireworks are so great in Benbow because we have crystal clear skys, and just enough of a breeze to carry the smoke away. We had almost a full moon coming over the mountain. many families had set up temporary camp-sites on the golf course. The state park had full park-facilities, and tickets with wrist bands were sold. The Rotary club sold hambergers and fun was had by all.

Most of the local fire departments were there. C.H.P. and the Humboldt Sheriff's departments were there in case of problems. There were some illegal fireworks fired off from the Benbow R.V. park. Which will normally stop the show. We saw where the fireworks came from, and it was reported, but thankfully the show went on. I can't began to grasp why someone would come to a fireworks show and shoot their own into the sky, but it seems to be quite common. Most of the fireworks injuries at a show are caused by illegal fireworks being fired, so that is why they stop the show if any are fired.

I was with the Redway Fire Department, stationed at the foot of Blue Rock Road. We had a few minor parking / access problems this year which I assume will be figured out before this show can get any bigger. The crowd was pleasant and happy. Children had a great time and the whole event had a great festival air about it.

Some of my photographer friends got some great shots of the event. I posted them below for your enjoyment. I understand that there is a real trick to photographing fireworks but Kim Sallaway and Pernel S.Thisledew seem to have mastered it.


Top, Thisledew
Bottom two, Sallaway


Anonymous said...

Holy cow! Very good photos Ernie.
I took a little trip up to the new homestead at White Swan Friday and Saturday evening my son and I went to one of his friends places. The whole valley was lit up in every direction. Most of the fireworks were just the commond stuff you can buy on the rez and looked a lot like the photos at this blog but with more noise.
On my trip up to Washington I heard on the radio that in Calif. you can't have fireworks that fly, explode and not sure but thought I heard also no fireworks that burn. Benbow was very lucky to have a display as pictured, however it most have been against the law.


Anonymous said...


suzy blah blah said...

Yuck!! What do massive exploding loud pyromaniac displays have to do with anything? Seems like a tranquil celebration of (freedom?) would be more fitting. After massive struggle, war, we blow things up to celebrate? Where is the logic?

Happy birthday America!

Anonymous said...

suzy, I didn't say I liked it. Just comparing is all. jeese


suzy blah blah said...

hey dude, I didn't mean you... sorry that u misunderstood Suzy, please dont take it personal, i just meant America in general --like all of us. We're one big dysfunkshonal family. Or like Ernie says --we're some sick puppies.

but hey its good to hear yr seemingly settled in OK and stuff with yr son and checking out his friends place and stuff.... i hope its working out for you up there in Washington, Oregon.


Ernie Branscomb said...

I've always been against "Safe and Sane" fireworks. I just don't like the idea that we are teaching kids to play with fire. But, I have a friend who made the most eloquent observation that fireworks provide grown-ups and children an excellent opportunity to have some quality time together, and learn to use fire in a responsible fashion. I said Larry, you are SO totally full of bullshit!

On a lighter note: I've always had a fondness for causing large explosions, as long as it is me doing it, because I know that I can do it safely. I think that it was “Oregon” and Mike Berg and I that spent half a day whittling match heads off of kitchen matches and stuffed then into a co2 cartridge to make a bottle rocket. Somehow we were wise enough to use a fuse and hide behind a sand berm. We lit the fuse and hid behind the berm and watched the sky to see our fabulous rocket take flight. What we witnessed was not flight, but a very loud explosion that echoed through the canyon. Of course we took off running so we didn't have to answer any questions.

Then there was the time that we made a copper tube and gunpowder pipe bomb. Of course we used a fuse then, we expected an explosion. It took off like a rocket. We didn't see were it landed, but I hope that it didn't start a fire.

These are all good reasons that I say: “It's not a good Idea to teach a kid to play with fire”.

Don't try these things at home kids. Unless your folks have good fire insurance.

Suzy, I'm sorry that you don't get the thrill of large explosions, It's a guy thing, I apologize.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Just so you can get the scale of the fireworks, in the top photo, the little white box just under the smoke is a large Ryder truck.

Bunny said...

They were Fantastic and worth every donated penny. Fireworks are just as American as war. I love Fireworks, I hate war. It's a girl thing.

suzy blah blah said...

Ernie, in isho it's an immature guy thing, but that's one of the qualities i like about you sometimes, youre like a little kid in many ways, charming and innocent --in the good sense. The story about the rocket and scraping the matchsticks is totally a good one ;-)

Bunny, a girl thing? Loving fireworks is a girlthing? Maybe i missed the joke... i'm not all that savy about 'girlthings' i guess.

But anyway, sometimes perspective is 'everything'. How about picturing a serene mountain, with meadows of wildflowers, and semi dried grasses, populated by happily grazing deer. Also a field with a family of beloved real live bunnyrabbits, sleeping the evening away. Two dogs snoozing under a grape arbor, and 4 cats everywhere going about their cat stuff.
My objection is to the interuption and intrusion of serenity but that is only part of it. The deer panic and bolt up the mountain, the rabbits are running around franticly, the dogs almost take the door off the hinges to get inside and hide, and the cats, well they just scatter. Pyrotechnics may be fun for some, but they shatter a lot of living things nerves.

Of course it's 'American', right, typical of the way a people lacking any spirituality or faith or real sense of ritual behaves on holiday. To my way of seeing it's an insane spectacle that celebrates violence, not all that different than nightly tv or Hollywood, but a lot louder. And just like the violence that people are addicted to on tv and in the movies --the fireworks thing is another DRUGthing! Another drug of UNREALITY, the kind without which America, which mistakes materialism for realism, could not get by.

my donated 2 cents worth,

The Boy Most Likely to ... said...

My God Suzy, then you will love the Tools who brought their dogs to the Boardwalk in Eureka for the Fireworks show.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I see that Suzy is in her "Serious Writing" mode again.

Suzy's right. The fireworks are terrifying to some critters. Our dog is so terrified that my wife stays home with her instead of going to the fireworks. She covers the windows, plays music, and hides in the closet with the dog until they are over.

The poor dog acts just like she is in extreme pain. She shakes and acts like there is nowhere to run to to get away. Then, she is goosey for hours afterwards.

Sadly, we have neighbors that have access to high-powered fireworks and they used to shoot them into the sky almost every weekend. The dog never gets used to them. She now relates ALL loud noises, and even the lights in the house flickering to fireworks and goes into terror mode.

From my standpoint,it would be okay with me if they never made them anymore. But, I'm happy for the people that like them. They are pretty and they make neat noises, but I sure agree with Suzy on critter part. I wish all of us could look beyond ourselves and see what we are doing to those people, critters, and things around us. Sadly, it ain't gonna happen so we just go with it, and make the best of it.

Anonymous said...

Possibly loving fireworks is a learned thing (Stockholm syndrome?). The fireworks on the Fourth sing of family and home to me.

We always buy a few from the non-profit fundraising stands in town and, after dinner, set them off at my folks' house accompanied by goofy rhymes like
'Shiny Lights and too much noise
Set off by happy Fireworks Boys.' There are Oooohs and Ahhhs and generations snuggled together watching and for 10 to 20 minutes we enjoy some shiny lights together (I can't say I'm wild about the noise either). I suppose it is silly but the kid in me loves the show and the mom in me enjoys the family closeness.


ERNIE,i remember MIKE BERG shooting those co2 cartridges off at the grammer school.he had a V- type ramp that he would launch them off of.seems like they would travel about a hundred yards??? but like you said,a lotta work cutting off all those match heads!!!i was lucky,i had my dads gunpowder to work with!!!!

Bunny said...

I gotta admit suzi that I didn't think about the animals. Kym's right, for me it's all about growing up in the 50's and the memories and things I was used to. I feel badly now for the animals, wild and domestic. Luckily it doesn't last too long. To the young human animals it's magic.

The part that's a girl-thing is hating war.

Fred said...

Ross wrote, ",i remember MIKE BERG shooting those co2 cartridges off at the grammer school..

Seems to me fifteen or twenty years ago some kid in Mckinleyville ended up killing himself try to fire off a CO2 cartridge rocket.

Not criticizing. I made a few of those rockets, myself, when I was kid.

Anonymous said...

I held a Chemistry in the Kitchen class at the elementary/middle school for kids needing a safe place to go after school a few years ago. One of the experiments was "bottle rockets" except when it exploded only the cork went a-fly. The kids loved it - scared the heck out of them, and the people in the district office jumped out of their skins because I'd neglected to forwarn them of the day's activity :(~

Sparklers and fireworks was a FUN part of my childhood on the 4th of July, in celebration of "freedom". Sisters, brothers, and cousins all standing in the wet sand at the oceans edge in our little sunsuits, bodies encrusted with sand and the day's alotment of salt and fish scales from playing in the waves all day. These are days that I cherish and wish I could relive. My dad's family was huge on get-to-gethers, and the 4th of July brought many gatherings. Juan Creek was then a huge camping beach with plentiful supply of dried surf fish hanging on lines over a fire that was sold in little brown bags to the campers; campfire smoke billowing everywhere. There was nothing like the sun setting on the ocean, Uncle Pat's truck stuck in the sand and sparklers!! being waved by each of us. On occassion we'd see fireworks. We enjoyed the colorful blasts in the sky. It was magical and seemingly harmless over the water. We were never taught that it represented war or blowing things up.

Loud noises and thunder sets our dog off. It takes a few hours for him to get over it - panting, drooling, hiding, shaking. I believe that he relates more to what he feels in the earth than the noise. He's neurotic over gunshots, too. I think it's all inerconnected. Not all animals react this way, however, and I'm sorry for the ones who have to put up with it once or twice a year.
All things in moderation, huh.

Anonymous said...

Kymk 9:37
Well spoken. Life isn't worth a damn without family closeness.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Great comment Cuz, it brought back a lot of memories for me. I especially liked those little brown bags of smoked surf-fish.

That, and "The Know-it-all" Uncle stuck in the sand. That happened a lot didn't it?

Indie said...

I love public fireworks displays, especially over bodies of water so there is the reflection too. I love the gathering of people, the brief excitement, the prettiness, the sounds and the smell. I have great teen memories of gatherings like that.

Personal fireworks make me nervous, as the mom of boys who were always trying to out-daredevil their friends.

When I had a dog, it was awful to see his fear. We had to give him sedatives the last couple of years.

I've seen some real yahoos with fireworks, but I still like the big public displays.

This year I had the flu on the 4th and didn't see fireworks OR eat any barbecue! :(

spyrock said...

they moved the fireworks where i live from one high school to the other high school because the one near me has new artificial turf that might burn up now. i used to have a perfect view. now nada, i sat in my back yard and watched the neighbors shoot off mortars probably that my nephew sold them because he brought a whole bunch of fireworks from texas probably mexico. so i missed that time with family this year and will probably go somewhere else next year. the best memory i have is the fireworks show at stinson beach back in the 50s, in the grand finale they shot off an american flag into the ocean. and all these swimmers would try to find it out in the ocean. then they would come back and shiver and drink coffee in the town coummunity hall that was at that time on the beach. those guys used to really impress me when i was a kid.

Anonymous said...

Ern. YEP! he was a "No-It-All" and by golly he got stuck many times. He and his brothers were well known at the Juan Creek Bar for fighting. Didn't take long, "Pat and Cecil or Clendin are at it again." So our dads had to go drag them back to camp? All the while we kids snuggled down in the back of our parents trucks with tarps draped 3-abreast to keep us warm and dry; hot rocks at the foot of our beds. Then, you brought matresses in the backs of trucks to sleep on. Tents were for the adults . Sure makes me miss the old times. Life was so simple then, we've so complicated it. Times were tough but it was a great life and we all felt safe.

Oregon. You are right, it was advertised in Mendocino County that all fireworks were illegal this year due to fire danger.


Anonymous said...

I was listening to 50's music all day at work. That took me back to the good old days. It was a combination of things.... being young, being much freer and safer than now, things were so much more exciting and the fifties was a pretty calm decade where things were going pretty well for most people and if you wanted a job you got one. And we girls still believed that we wouldn't be working when we grew up and a knight on a white horse was going to fall in love with us and we would live happily ever after. AND THEN came the sixties. They were great in another way.

Bunny said...

That anonymous was not, it was me.

Anonymous said...

July 6, 4:11 PM
The logic with the massive exploding loud pyromanic displays is for one reason, to see where the wimpy dogs are.