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Monday, June 01, 2020
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A Firecracker of a Story

by David Wainscott
     Here is a firecracker story for the Fourth of July.
     We went to visit our cousins in western Kentucky. A swing through Tennessee brought a bounty of firecrackers which the cousins made quick work of.
     My cousin who will remain nameless to protect the guilty suggested we drop a lit one in the 55 gallon barrel that my uncle used to fill the tractor with gasoline. I recommended that he not do that. He seemed to think that it was empty. I had heard that that was most dangerous. He agreed that he had heard that also. Convinced that my reasoning had made an impression on him I turned to walk away but he had decided to test this theory, and the next thing that I knew a fireball hit me up side the head and I was tumbling in the air along with my brother and my other cousin. I rolled over on my stomach in time to see the perpetrator falling back with a moan. The barrel was gone and tree limbs were raining down into the fires on the ground.
     Meanwhile our folks were talking about the "good ol' days" in the front of the house when they heard a loud crash. My uncle thought that there was a wreck on the county road. They were looking up and down when a whooshing noise caused them to look up and scatter just as the barrel hit and bounced about 20 feet in the air. When it finally came to rest my uncle said that that it looked like his gas barrel.
     Our mothers said,"The kids!" and headed for the back yard. They grabbed us and inspected the damage. I was intact but missing all the hair on one side of my head. The main suspect was missing eye brows and eyelashes as well as the hair on the front of his head and he had a ring of singed stumps like a tiara bisecting his scalp. He also had a small scratch on top of his foot.
     The worst damage was to the the egg production in the chicken house which had hundreds of chickens and the hundreds of eggs that dumped over in the cellar. My uncle didn't make the mortgage payment that month and didn't speak to me again until I was 35 years old when we had a good laugh about it.
     Did I mention that the place was called Providence? And by the way My cousin was grounded until he could vote.

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