I know I sound like an old man telling you to stay off of my yard but man in the last 10 years 4th of July has gotten ridiculous.
When I lived in West Pullman 10 years ago, we used to say it sounded like Iraq (and that was before people called it Chi-raq), because around the 4th of July it was just M-80 explosives, quarter sticks of dynamite going off along with the usual gunfire.
I remember one year not sleeping that night and then having to get up early the next morning to go to work. The next morning there’s dynamite paper all in the front yard, sticks from bottle rockets and you’d think Indiana invaded us.
Now I live in Will County and its no better, last year my family huddled in our master bedroom because the rear of the house literally felt like it was being hit with scud missiles.
I mean I get it, it’s the summer holiday and light off a few fireworks and celebrate.
But c’mon enough with dropping bombs like its Hiroshima.
Many years ago when I was little living in West Pullman my late father was one of those firework guys, going to Indiana buying a ton of stuff and lighting it off at home.
Well one firework went straight up and landed on our neighbor’s roof and started a couple of shingles on fire, my father and his friends had to use a garden hose to put it out.
As of last year that same house still had the burn marks on the roof.
And now I see fireworks even more as a detriment because I have a small child, I don’t want him getting hurt, hit or having ear damage because of any of that.
When my dad had retired and lived rural southern Illinois it was a different story, people shot and lit stuff off but it was in the distance away from people, I can live with that.
But those of us in urban areas or suburban houses (where we are on top of each other), it’s difficult to keep a tranquil house when it feels like you have relocated to Afghanistan.
Some of us like to sleep at night, we want to have a peaceful atmosphere for our children and not live on a battlefield.
And it’s already started with people blowing stuff off weeks in advance (and goes for a few weeks afterwards too), sure the firework displays can be nice but like the fire department says “leave the shows to the pros”.
Our local minor league baseball team (Joliet Slammers), has fireworks every weekend they are at home.
Every park district and local municipality has a fun Fourth of July celebration that is safe, has fireworks and ends early.
Remember this weekend is about independence and freedom (which is not free), and does not mean you can just do whatever the hell you want.
It’s best to keep others (as well as your own safety), in mind that way we can all enjoy this weekend.
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