The Frenzy Over Fireworks

Having lived here now for 12 years ( 30% of my life ), I like to feel I have achieved “Pittsburgher” status – that I am a permanent part of the region and community. Still, there is part of me which doesn’t get some of the traditions, customs and mannerisms unique to the area.

For instance, I have never understood why traffic always slows down at the tunnel .. or the incessant need to pine away about the “good old days” .. this fear some people have of crossing bridges even though we have more bridges than anyplace in the world – except Venice.

Then, there are the fireworks. July 4th is usually when fireworks find their ways into local skies. But Pittsburghers don’t stop there. From county fairs to carnivals to Friday nights after Pirate games, there always seems to be a fireworks celebration somewhere in western Pennsylvania on any given day. The joke is that you can’t go to the bathroom in this town without firing off some fireworks.

I know we are home to the world’s foremost fireworks experts — the Zambellis — as known as the first family of fireworks. Still, what is this town’s fascination with the fireworks? Please feel free to respond and let me know. As for me, I will likely watch the July 4th show on TV – at home – since I have to work Thursday morning.

Before I log off, two things … first, since I’m guessing many of you will be sleeping in tomorrow after a hard night of partying, I will not be blogging on Wednesday. It’s a holiday and it’s my way of taking time off but I will be back on Thursday.

Second – and I know this will shock you – I have changed my opinion of Paris Hilton somewhat. No, she is still the most vapid of personalities on this planet, but at least she did her time in jail. Same can’t be said of Lewis “Scooter” Libby. The aide to the vice-president was on his way to prison when President Bush commuted his sentence to probation and a fine. Now, I don’t know all the politics of the case. I’m just saying that Paris proved to be a tougher customer – and she did her time – while this 50-something political insider did not. She’s jail-test and prison tough .. and that’s seems more impressive in light of the President’s recent choice.

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