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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Magic Fire and Angry Souls


4th July 2013

Dear Cassi,

          Today is the Fourth of July and there was a time when this day brought to me so much joy and mirth. Now, honestly, it’s a day I go to work. Is there some reason we should save something for the holidays or should we just live every day? Well, that is a question for another time.
          As a boy there was a magic in fire and so fireworks were a great thing to me. The family would go about and buy some reasonable supply of combustibles, as would our neighbors, and the block would have a show of fire and smoke. Pickles was one to dance about with fire in hand and make the folks laugh.
          There was one soul that had dismal feeling for our mirth and that person was my stepmother. I think she hated to see me happy. Or perhaps she hated to see anything go to children that were not her own. Who knows? All I can say for sure is that my love of fireworks infuriated her.
          I recall one year I had taken the family fireworks out of the bag and put them on the coffee table. Fireworks were so nice to look at with their cartoon designs and colorful paper. I think at some point I moved the combustibles to a hire location hoping to keep them from the dog.
          My stepmother was furious. She came over that weekend before the forth and said, “I think what you want to do is eat those things. You arrange them over here then you arrange them over there.”
          Why this was her affair at all escapes me. Then why, even if it was, would a child loving fireworks be so offensive? Some folks live life looking for a reason to be angry. I paid her no mind at the time and regret ever having taken her seriously in the duration of my knowing her.


Let every day have its magic

Richard Leland Neal

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