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The Aftermath

Well I'm sore and tired and late for work and satisfied today. But I'll tell you what. Though we all love doing fireworks shows, we will not look forward to doing 4 shows in a row over three days again. It's just too much. No real injuries, though we all got burned a little and Rob isn't hearing so well right now. But the combination of high heat, humidity and lack of sleep really took it's toll on all of us this time. By the time the 4th show rolled around on Saturday afternoon, tempers were really frayed and people were snapping at each other. The shows went really well and that made things a little better but it's good we don't all work or live together. Deb and I had a yelling match yesterday afternoon that was about nothing more than both of us being on edge from the last few days. Add to that the weather elements, the fact hat we lost 4 team members over the course of three days and things got even harder. All the shows went very well which I can only attribute to our degree of training and professionalism because all other circumstances were surely trying.

On Wednesday, Gwen's temperature went up to 104 and she had to be taken to the hospital. It was found out later she had a massive E. Coli outbreak in her kidneys so she was out of commission for the forseeable future. And of course Rob then had to make all sorts of extravagant arrangements to have Baby Belle taken care of while he tried to take up the slack for Gwen being gone.

Devin, our lead Pyro and team leader found out Friday afternoon before we were to set up the Cornerstone show, that his premie infant daughter born back in June was having complications at the hospital and would not be released Saturday when they had expected her home. So he and his wife Laura who is also a team member had to jet back up to Peoria to be there for Baby Rachel. Then an hour before we were suposed to leave, another team member called in some lame ass excuse and cancelled out on us as well. So 6 of us ended up setting up and firing a show it takes a minimum of 10 people to do. We got done and home at 3 am and then had to be up and going by 8 am Saturday to do the Mt. Sterling Heritage Days show. And each day the temps were in the high 90's with humidity at around 95% so instead of just perspiring, we were all literally running with sweat all day.

The show went well and the sponsor was very pleased. The setup was complicated though. It was on a levee so we had to take all the equipment in by boat and that was a bit hairy. Then when we went to drill holes for the mortars we went through 3 steel bits on the auger in packed clay and gravel. The humidity was so high that the shells were all exploding with greater force and sound because sound travels very well through water. So all of us, in spite of ear protection, had ringing ears afterward. And firing on the levee with water to one side of us and a 50 foot drop on the other put us in such tight quarters we were standing right next to the mortars several times as the shells were going off. In fact, I was handing Rob a new fusee when a six inch mortar went off not a foot in front of us, knocking us both off our feet and almost into the lake. After three days, the effects of dehydration and over exertion were becoming evident. People were getting sick, tempers were flaring. It's a good thing we didn't have another show to do Sunday. Instead we had to deal with Debs family at a reunion all afternoon. And then a late night drive home where I barely kept my eyes open all the way home.

Hopefully, today will be easy and tonight we won't have anything to do except veg. We really need a vacation from our holiday.

Peace,

Wander

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
ryl
Jul. 8th, 2002 09:25 am (UTC)
Ah, so this weekend did suck for everyone else. So glad I'm not alone. And yes, I'm bitter.
wander
Jul. 8th, 2002 10:09 am (UTC)
Re:
Didn't exactly suck. I was still high from the fireworks, it could just have been a lot easier. Sorry your so bitter. Need a massage?

Wander

ryl
Jul. 8th, 2002 03:43 pm (UTC)
That would help, but what I really need is for the connections in my mom's brain to stop breaking so that she can remember things like where the bathroom is in a house she's lived in nine years.
carocrow
Jul. 8th, 2002 10:03 am (UTC)
That wasn't a holiday, that was work! ;-P

But thank you guys for doing that sort of thing, I had what was close to an OOBE at the fireworks Saturday night in Pepperell. It was transcendental.
wander
Jul. 8th, 2002 10:15 am (UTC)
Re:
It can be very much that way for us. A natural high of sorts. A big transferance of energy that does not fade for hours, even days afterward. I'll post some photos later on of what it's like on the front line.

Wander

i
carocrow
Jul. 8th, 2002 10:18 am (UTC)
Re:
That would be a lot of fun.
wander
Jul. 8th, 2002 10:20 am (UTC)
Re:
If yopu ever come visit in the summer, you would be welcome to come out with us to a show. People react in one of two ways, either they get hooked and want to join the team or they get scared and don't want to come back. I've never seen any other reactions.

Wander

carocrow
Jul. 8th, 2002 11:21 am (UTC)
Re:
That's very tempting. Only do them in the summer?

When we first moved here they did fireworks every Friday on the beach, but budget cuts have just about eliminated that.

We both love to watch them, and will run outside to peer at them even if they're only slightly visible up the coastline in Hampton.
wander
Jul. 8th, 2002 12:08 pm (UTC)
Re:
We do our first show in April in NC. Then a pre-4th of July party or two in June. Then several the week of the 4th. Then a couple festivals in August and 2 over Labor Day weekend. Then when the St. Louis Rams get ready to leave their summer training camp near us, we do a farewell party. Then usually one around Xmas/N ew Years and that's it. Of course we are always lighting them out at the farm whenever we want. But around here, everything gets pretty dry in the late Fall and you risk starting crop fires so we avoid it until we at least get some snow moisture.

Wander

carocrow
Jul. 8th, 2002 12:57 pm (UTC)
Re:
I can understand the need for moisture, especially this year.

It must really be sensory overload (similar to *really* being on the front line) to do fireworks on a levee. Brave folks!
wander
Jul. 8th, 2002 01:00 pm (UTC)
Re:
Or stupid depending on your point of view since we don't really get paid for it. The levee we were on the other night though, I'm not sure I'd have wanted to fall into the water even if I was on fire. Looked awful snakey to me.

Wander

thotkonstrukt
Jul. 8th, 2002 10:27 am (UTC)
Wow, so you set up fireworks shows? That's damned cool. Have you written about what goes into a setup on your journal at all? It would be fascinating.
wander
Jul. 8th, 2002 10:35 am (UTC)
Re:
Here and ther but not altogether, I certainly could. I think I'll do a website though. I'll let you know when It's complete. It's definitely a rush.

Wander

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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Wander aka StoneBear
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