July 4, 1966
Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. It’s the 4th of July! That means time for parades and fireworks and picnics and sparklers. Sparklers is all the fireworks I actually get to play with. Those booming things aren’t legal in Kentucky and even if they were, Dad would never think we could afford them. It must be nice to have loads of money. Dad says preachers never have loads of money because if they did they would just give it away to somebody who needed it. That is, if they did what the Bible says. Daddy always tries to do what the Bible says, but he says the Lord has always delivered him from the temptation of being too rich and becoming a hoarder of money. I guess he means we’ve never had any to hoard.
But just a few fireworks would be fun. I know this girl whose father drives all the way to Tennessee where he can buy bottle rockets. That’s the kind of fireworks you prop in a soda bottle and light. Then you scramble back out of the way in case something goes wrong. Sandy says once something did go wrong and the bottle fell over. That let the rocket shoot out right toward where they were all watching. They had to run for their lives. When I told Dad that, he said, “See. That’s what can happen.” He won’t even let me play with firecrackers. He says the way I always go at everything too fast, I’d probably blow off a finger or something. I don’t want to do that. I need all my fingers for typing if I’m going to write a bestseller someday.
Back to the fireworks. Our little town of Hollyhill is going to have a fireworks show tonight. Can you believe that? Dad says they passed the hat around to all the downtown businesses to give money to buy the fireworks. I can’t imagine they got very much money that way, but Dad says they got enough. That means we won’t have to go to Grundy to the drive-in to see fireworks. Of course, it means we won’t get to see a movie either.
I love going to the drive-in. Dad rolls down the window and hooks the speaker on the window edge. He lets me go to the little white stone refreshment stand smack in the middle of all the parking places with those speakers on poles where I get popcorn in a big round box with red stripes. Aunt Love says we could make the popcorn at home and save some money but it’s not the same. Aunt Love doesn’t know that because she doesn’t go to the drive-in with us. Says she can watch any show she wants right on our television in her easy chair. But that’s not on this huge screen.
Now that Leigh comes with us when we go to the drive-in, I take a folding chair and sit out beside the car next to the driver’s side where I can hear the speaker. It’s sort of funny hearing the speakers from the other cars that are close. Stereo, I guess. You only get the movies that have already played in the inside theaters at the drive-in. But that’s okay. We never go to the inside movie houses. That costs way more than a drive-in. Especially if you go on dollar night.
I heard some kids talk about hiding in the trunk of a car and then climbing out once they are past the drive-in gate where you pay. We’d never do that. Not only is it dishonest, I’d feel like I was suffocating in the trunk of a car. Sometimes, if it’s a science fiction movie, Wes will come on his motorcycle and park next to us. Then I’ll sit out beside him and watch the movie. He always buys a grape sno-cone because he says it reminds him of Jupiter. He claims all the ice on Jupiter is purple.
So anyway, we’ll miss the movies at the drive-in tonight, but we’ll see our first Hollyhill fireworks show. Dad says we’ll have to take pictures for the paper of the people there and maybe of the fireworks if we can get the cameras to focus on the sky. But there will still be time to ooh and aah over the fireworks. Wes is coming too and he says he’ll find a great spot for us to watch. He says Jupiter doesn’t have a 4th of July. That fireworks on the 4th is an American only kind of thing. I’m glad we celebrate our country with fireworks. I’ll try to remember to tell you all about how the Hollyhill fireworks were next time I report here.
Extra note: You know that book about me and Hollyhill and everything? Scent of Lilacs. Somebody says you can grab it free right now. I don’t know what they mean by download, but the little bird from the future that told me about it said you would know what that meant.