Working on the Fourth wasn’t all badPublished 2:07pm Friday, July 6, 2012
For those of us in the newspaper business, there is a fact of life that can never be changed.
That is, despite rain, sleet, snow or any other extenuating circumstance, the paper must go out.
In that respect, we are similar to the U.S. Postal Service. But unlike the USPS, the newspaper doesn’t halt its delivery for holidays.
So in order to make sure the Thursday Outlook and the weekly Record came out Thursday morning, I was in bright and early Wednesday. After the paper was done, I left to go celebrate the Fourth of July night behind the lens, with a notepad in my back pocket.
I am not going to lie – I was a little bit grumpy about working on one of my favorite holidays. My family has always had large Fourth of July celebrations, complete with ribs, relatives and firework displays that rival the intensity of the Griswolds’s Christmas light display from the iconic National Lampoon movie.
But despite missing out on my family’s annual tradition, I got to be a part of local tradition – spending the fourth of July with Russell Lands.
I was told the fireworks would be top-notch, but being a firework-junkie myself, I took this fact with a grain of salt.
Stories from last year’s firework show can often have the truth massaged like an old fisherman’s tale. Like the time dad and I “almost killed the audience” (one firework toppled and shot along the ground at our spectators), or the time dad and I “almost blew up Uncle Tim’s house” (a still-lit firework caused a small – emphasis on small – fire next to the propane grill.)
Naturally, I was a little skeptical.
But the firework show that ensued once the stage lights dimmed at the AMP Wednesday was literally one of the best displays I have ever seen.
My first sign of the amazing show that was to follow should have been the crowd. Trucks and cars lined the shoulders of AL Highway 63 starting at Children’s Harbor and extending past the main entrance to the AMP. Once I drove into the parking lot, there were cars parked on any flat surface that could be reached by the main road.
And as the first few bursts lit up the sky, I began to realize why people had come out in droves.
You could feel the fireworks in your chest with each explosion – and the booms just kept coming. By time the final flash of light faded into the darkness, you could sense by the crowd’s cheers that the spectators had all gotten their money’s worth.
After two-hours of music, fun and fireworks, I realized that for a day of work, it hadn’t been all bad.
Nelson is news editor for The Outlook.