July 05, 2002

O'er the Ramparts They

O'er the Ramparts They Watched

We waited expectantly for the show to begin. We knew it would be coming from the east, entering stage-left, so to speak. Our view was unobstructed, save for the maple trees just off the front porch, and we were comfortably settled in for the fireworks display that was coming soon.

Our first evidence that the entertainment was near was a sound of mingled voices, leaves lifting from below by the swirling vacuum that preceded the storm, sweeping the distant ridges from bottom to top. Soon we could hear it, a sizzle like someone frying bacon in the next room or the one beyond that. The first drops hit the walkway with heavy fluid splats; first just a few, then more, then nothing at all while the bacon sizzled closer and closer.

The percussion section leading the parade banged far-off rumblings, then more crowd voices rose as the winds neared and intensified. Soon the drum section was playing in earnest, taking turns between those associated with the towering airmass to our east and the broader, more subdued cymbol band to our west. It was apparent that they would be meeting on main street, just overhead, and then the real show would begin.

The first really big ooooohhhh! aaahhhhhh! explosion was right here right now! Jagged white from cloud to ground flash-KKKKBOOOOMMMMMMMM back and forth between this valley then the next then the next in infinite receding echoes,. No! That was not the big one: it came and we felt it viscerally long before the thought reached consciousness. Not merely a concussion but having a tonal quality, low frequency but a true note, a VARRROOOOM that sounded like a huge cast-iron pipe being struck by Thor's sledghammer, this being followed by divers variations on the theme. Magnificent!

Soon the entertainment passed southeast of us, now preparing to thrill viewers in Carroll County, Grayson, and down into North Carolina. What a glorious program of fireworks, and right from our front porch. No crowds. No traffic. Very impressive.

So. What's next, children? Oh yes, go get another bowl of popcorn. The firefly display starts in 10 minutes.

Posted by fred1st at July 5, 2002 10:09 AM
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