What is DH? designated hitter, dog hater, dead/dear husband??? anyone?
Since it is the Fourth of July I thought I would share my best boating/fireworks story with you. enjoy.
Setting up camp - It was New Years Eve 2000. A bunch of my boating
buddies were camping out on Shell Island for the night and I could not think of a better place to spend Y2K. We figured we would have one hell of a party and if all the computers
exploded and the world came to an end; at least we would have a good view, from offshore
, while it happened. We each arrived at different parts
of the day and set up camp as we got there. We had about seventeen people in twelve tents in a big circle. The plan for the evening was to eat dinner at sunset, hang out around the campfire for a few hours, light "the bonfire" at midnight and then light our own fireworks until the wee hours of the morning.
Dinner and the sunset - Dinner and the sunset were great and then we settled in around the campfire to tell stories. We added "play a few games of volleyball" to our list of things to do when another group of people set up camp next to us on the island. They were really doing it up right. They had a generator(yes, they were considerate and turned it off later so everyone could sleep), a huge tent with a big screen
tv, and a night time volleyball court. It was a pretty cool idea. The net and ball were painted with fluorescent paint
and at each corner of the court there was a four foot long black light on a post, powered by the generator
. Viola', nightime volleyball. We played "us against them" volleyball until just about midnight when it was time to light "the bonfire."
The Bonfire - It was the holiday season so all of us in attendence were told to save our trees for the "Christmas Tree Bonfire." This is something that only a true pyromaniac could come up with(Dan). We had about six or seven trees stacked in a pyramid. When the 30 second countdown to midnight started Dan lit a roman candle and pointed it at the stack of trees. It only took one spark from the candle to ignite "the bonfire." I am not sure but I was told it could be seen from Tampa because dry evergreen trees, aparently, are the equivalent of logs
soaked in gasoline. The flames shot at least thirty feet into the night sky, seeming to singe the bottom of the clouds. The hair of my eyebrows has not been the same since.
The Y2Rocco Fiasco - I don't know why we picked the drunkest and most incompetent person to light all the fireworks for us. I guess we knew that if anyone but Rocco lit the fireworks we wouldn't have any stories to tell about out Y2K. My buddy Joe had purchased about $350 - $400 worth of the good stuff, mortars, rockets, cakes, candles, etc. It was all in a handy leather duffel bag with a couple cans of grill
gas(of course you put the highly flammable cans of gas in with all the fireworks). Rocco was doing a great job with the fireworks for the first thirty minutes or so. It was a good show. Then...it happened. The moment we all knew would happen. It was that train wreck about to happen that you just can't look away from. It even happened in slow motion just like how people describe their near death experiences. Rocco picks a mortar out of the bag. Pulls the cigarette out of his mouth and lights the fuse. He steps toward the mortar tube to drop it in but stumbles just a little. Plop, plunk. The, now lit, mortar falls into the leather bag full of fireworks. It seemed like a long time but it could have only been a second or two before the bag was glowing. The next thing I remember is feeling like I was in the sceen from Apocalypse Now when the river boat was under an ambush attack and all you see is tracer rounds flying in every direction. Those who could get away scattered as fast as they could. Those of us that were much closer were not so lucky. Our dinner table was close by and it was my only hope to escape unharmed. In one fluid move I kicked it over and jumpped behind it to use as a shield. I was quickly joined by two others looking to escape the onslaught. The rest of the fireworks lasted about ten minutes and just as things started to settle down somewhere in the distance you hear Joe "oh ****! the gas bottles." As if on cue the safety
valves blow on the two gas bottles. BA-BOOM. Thankfully the safety
valves worked as they should. Instead of the bottles exploding outward spraying us with white hot shrapnel there was a four foot flame that shot out of the top of the bottles for about eight to ten minutes. When the gas bottles were finally done and things cooled down a few brave souls came out of hiding to check out the scene. There was nothing left of the leather duffel bag but two blackened handles. There were a few holes in a few tents and the dinner leftovers were now seagull food
. But, no one was hurt at all. Not even Rocco(how, I don't know). Now the Y2Rocco Fiasco is just a funny
story to tell every Fourth of July and New Years Eve and I would not want it any other way.
*Side note...this is why we always light our fireworks on the barrier islands rather than at our homes.