Tis the Season -- Part 1b: Where I Left Off

Sorry about that diversion from the topic at hand, those who were wondering why I've offended the Pyro God. Got a little distracted back there, I apologize. Look for Part 2 of my venting about J. coming soon! Yay for you! But first, back to pyro.

Taylorsville Dayzz is always the weekend before the 4th of July, and this year it fell right on top of my 10 year high school reunion (Go Bruins!). So reminiscing with people from my teenage years was bailed in favor of our largest fireworks show of the year...sorry Class of '98....

According to NFPA federal law, after the product (fireworks) is on site, there must always be a license-holder babysitting them, even overnight. Some companies hire security, we do it ourselves. As I do every year, I took most of these two weeks off from my real job, packed up my camping stuff, threw Wyatt in the car and camped in Taylorsville for 4 days. What happened next led me to suspect that something was cursed.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT -- Midnight. Pitch black dark (the street lights in the parking lot don't work so well). Wyatt is tied to a tree, I'm in the tent, no one else is around. A car pulls up about 20 feet away from my tent, no lights on. The car turns off and just sits there. Well, I'm not sleeping with some strange car a stone's throw from my tent! I climb out and sit on the grass behind Wyatt (who you cannot see, by the way, he vanishes into the night). About 5 minutes later, a guy gets out of the car (mid-20s, Hispanic, facial hair, didn't speak English very well).

Him: "Hello."

Me: "Can I help you?"

Him: "How are you?"

Me: "I'm great. Can I help you?"

Him: "Can I park here?"

Me: "No, the park is closed and this is a closed site. You need to move your car out of the park."

Him: "Can I park here?" -- creeping closer to us (Seriously creeping!)

Me: "No, you can't. You need to leave." (sitting behind Wyatt, gripping my knife but sans phone...it was in the tent)

Him: "Why can't I park here?" -- creeping even closer

Me: "See all these racks? These are loaded with large explosives. No one can be near them. You need to leave."

(At this point he is about 10 feet away from us)

Wyatt: "Grrrrrrrrrrrr" -- very low scary growl

Him: jumps back, "Is that a dog?" (I said you can't see him in the dark)

Me: "Yep."

Him: "Is he nice?"

Me: "Nope."

Him: "So I can't park here?" -- backing up

Me: "Nope."

Wyatt: "BARK BARK BARK!! GRRRRR! BARK BARK!!" -- goes full on guard dog

Creepy guy gets in his car (4 door dark colored Lexus), drives around the parking lot twice, very slowly, then drives out and away from the park.

After having my potential episode of Dateline flash through my head ("Tonight on Dateline..what happened to the girl pyro and her dog? Why were her remains found in the canal? Who would kill over fireworks? Tune in tonight at 9.").....Wyatt and I spent the rest of the night in the car with the doors locked. Creepy guy never came back. (Yes, I told the cops the next day when they came back through.)

THURSDAY NIGHT -- 4:30 AM. All the racks are loaded and ready to be moved onto the field. Wyatt is asleep on the lawn, I'm in the tent. The sprinklers come on. Right into my tent and all over the racks. Poor Wyatt was laying right on top of one. Within half a second, everything in my tent is soaked. I'm running around in bare feet, without my glasses, trying to cover up the loaded racks with plastic. After I get them covered, I find my glasses and my phone at the bottom of about 6 inches of water in my tent. Phone is dead. (Boss bought a new one later.) Wyatt is drenched and pissed. I look like a drowned rat. Some of the paper finale mortars got wet before I was able to get them out of the water but everything else turned out to be ok (after a few hours of drying in the sun).

FRIDAY NIGHT -- A slight mishap whilst setting up the small show that shot at the end of the band Imagine yielded one freaked out boss and three very pissed off pyros. Ow. My head hurt for the rest of the night. But I did get to watch that show from a distance, which I haven't done since high school. Chuck shot an amazing show beautifully choreographed to "Hey Jude". It reminded me of watching Stadium of Fire with my high school boyfriend. It was lonely and quite sad, but still a beautiful show.

SATURDAY NIGHT -- Our largest show of the year. Murphy's Law states that the longer you spend timing the show beforehand, the more your timing will go to hell during the show. The first part was shot to the Neil Diamond impersonator performing "America". Everyone and their dog has shot to America, we shoot to it at least once a show (sometimes twice!) Now I was raised on Neil Diamond, his was the only music that both of my parents could agree on. The first concert I went to was Neil Diamond, when I was 12. I know that song very very well, so it was really cool to shoot while it was performed live. Kinda made me a little giddy.

The rest of the show was um...fine....I swear... Us four shooters had some timing issues...but we made up for it and ended the show on time. Something during the finale burst practically on the ground and flew right at the table, I got hit with several gold crossetting stars before I managed to duck (hard hats are happy things). While we were cleaning up, we found that one of those paper finale mortars that had gotten wet in the sprinklers muzzle-burst (the shell burst right before it came out of the mortar, blowing the top part of the mortar to smithereens). That is why sprinklers are BAD.

Top fireworks picture from KSL.com Picture Gallery, Sugarhouse 2008 by Paul Spaullino; lower fireworks picture of Taylorsville Dayzz 2006 by Jamie Peterson

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