For those of you outside of Utah, we don’t celebrate the 4th of July on the 4th of July when it falls on a Sunday. Coming from Lexington, Massachusetts (the “birthplace of American Liberty”) I found this anomaly both confusing and annoying. After all, I was used to a week long celebration with the big finale on the 4th, no matter what day it was. But due to this anomaly, we end up with big fireworks displays on both the Friday and the Saturday before the 4th, different entities choosing a different day to celebrate.
This year South Salt Lake had it’s huge fireworks display on Friday, on the football field of the high school I used to teach at. Now, this was kind of cool, because since the school was closed and my old principal is still overseeing the facility we got “Fireworks Access Only” passes. That meant we got to sit on the sidelines of the football field, with the fireworks set up in the middle of the field, during the show. Most awesome fireworks experience ever! We could see them from when they left the ground until they exploded in the sky right above us. We could feel their boom as they were launched, and then when they exploded. We had to dodge the burning embers as they floated to the ground around us. Actually, for the most part that wasn’t a problem, until the wind shifted near the end of the show and started blowing them
right over to us. Fortunately there were less than 50 people in the area, so we had a lot of room to move under the trees where we could avoid the embers. Nobody got burned. The video attached isn’t of the best quality (taken from my cell phone), but it gives you and idea of how close we were. We even got a pre-fireworks show when a couple of guys being chased by the police jumped over the fence.
I saw the come over the fence, then notice the cop who was with our group running towards them and heard him say “they just came over the south fence” into his walkie. Then next thing I noticed there were about 7 cops jumping over the fence from 7 different places converging on the two guys. The guys must have fought back because at one point it looked like one of the cops had pulled his gun on them (someone later said it was a tazer, they noticed the rid light on it). Despite being over 50 years away from the action, it still got the blood pumping. Overall the night was quite the experience, one I’m glad I was there for.
Then this morning was the South Salt Lake 4th of July Parade, which I got to drive my convertible LTD in. I’ll do a separate post on this when the pictures come in, but suffice it to say that after getting home from the fireworks around midnight, and not getting to sleep until after 3 am, I had to be at the parade sign-in by 7 am.
The parade was over by 10:30, I came home and got 3 hours of sleep, just to get up and head out to the Chevron. For the 4th of July fireworks at Sugarhouse Park. Since the Chevron is right across the street, this is the busiest night of the year. There are so many people coming in to the store that we have to block off the parking lot, shut off gas sales, just to prevent total chaos. Except for the two people who run the morning shift, the entire staff is there, including the manager. That means that instead of 2 people running the store, there are 7 or 8. Anyway, of my 5 hour shift, I spent three non-stop ringing up customers.
Now, just a couple of things I need to vent regarding the general public and tonight. First of all, if you see a huge green Ford station wagon blocking 3/4th of the entrance, a car pulling out with an employee standing right there ready to move a trash can into the remaining 1/4 of the driveway, anyone with half a brain should figure out not to pull into the lot. Nope, not this moron. And he gets all belligerent when I tell him that we are closing the lot because of the danger with all the people in it. “I ain’t f---ing backing up.” So I let him pull to in to turn around, and as he passes me the a-hole says “after I go in and get my ice.” I end up having to stand there an extra ten minutes waiting to let him out. The guy after him was reasonable enough to just pull in, turn around and go out. Yeah, it still bugs me when people get rewarded for being total jerks. And his girlfriend gave me this smarmy smile as they pulled out. I mumbled a few choice things under my breath, but remained (outwardly) professional. Second (and final) vent – people who get all bent out of shape because we close out bathrooms for the night, despite renting a really nice triple-stall outdoor bathroom trailer with actual running water toilets. Not your run of the mill porta-potties, this thing is hooked up to the hose faucet and runs just like a regular bathroom. We have to close the indoor ones because of shoplifting, but we still have people pointing at the big “Indoor bathrooms closed. Bathrooms are outdoors.” sign and rudely asking “what do you mean you don’t have bathrooms?” Duh! Ok, venting over. thanks for listening, I feel much better now.
Well, that was my weekend so far. I’m quite beat, it’s been long with little sleep, but a pretty exciting weekend overall.