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Monday, July 6, 2009

Hamlet, NC Fireworks Display, July 4th, 2009

I'm taking a portion of this entry from an email I sent to my cousin in Seattle yesterday evening.
He was being sweet and shared some fireworks shots he'd taken on the Fourth
that were simply beautiful. He knows how much I admire his photography and enjoy venues from the place I've called my second home many times. The Emerald City. Occasionally, he shares some of his photography with me and coaches me a tad. He shoots for perfection in his photography and is quite gifted. And I do aspire to be as good as he is one day. Yet, on the other hand, I don't aim at perfection. I'm still very much the novice. I just shoot what strikes my fancy and as I've mentioned several times in this blog, I'm into showing off how there is beauty to be found within "life's" imperfections. It also continues to be a method I use to help rewire things "up there"... and to keep my creativity flowing.

Much of it comes into play in my photography because I choose to do minimal or no edits. I also use subject matter others may not find appealing, such as my lavender glass photo which appears in the right hand side panel of this blog. Or, i.e. iron rails and bolts.

It could be anything, and yes, I most assuredly do shoot to capture beauty, as my eyes see it. The venues are many, even if I don't leave my yard... the opportunities are endless. Just look up! The sky canvas changes constantly. Try it, you'll see...

Anyway... back to the fireworks! The reason I'm posting this entry...

The pyrotechnic displays in and of themselves that my cousin shot are much more complex than the City of of Hamlet can afford as compared to a larger city, of course.
Yet, the *small town* Americana type show was quaint and wonderful. People were everywhere. In cars and pick up trucks, sitting in lawn chairs, and on blankets. Babies, dogs, even crickets came out for the show. Many humans and even a few canines wore red white and blue. There was enough smoke in the air to keep the mosquitoes at bay temporarily. Quite a feat here since a person can't walk outside without often becoming a feast for the insects.

Our particular venue was directly east of the Hamlet Historical Depot & the Hamlet Crossroads rail road tracks at the Bridge Street crossing. The entire area was packed out for the Fourth of July celebration and street festival. It was wonderful and heart warming to see smiles on everyone's faces. Hear giggles from adults and children. It appeared to me as if the entire town showed up to join in the Independence Day celebration.

Earlier in the day my husband and I had taken some visiting family members from out of town down to the Depot Museum so I could show it off to them.
As we strolled from the depot to the ice cream parlor on Main street we could see preparations were underway for the late afternoon into the evening event. Children were already having a great time as the games were being set up.

There was a lady walking around in a dress made of Capri Sun drink pouches. That was kind of interesting, however, I'm beyond open for unique ways of marketing, so I really didn't bat an eye. When we'd finished our treats at the parlor, it was time to head back to our home.

My husband and I decided we wanted to return to the area to watch the fireworks later in the evening and try our hands at snapping photos of the pyrotechnic displays.

When we arrived at about 8:30 p.m., the town of Hamlet was alive with people. The depot and surrounding areas were packed out with everyone enjoying themselves and the festivities. There was a nice band. I recognized all of the songs they played and they were in tune... yay! And even bigger yay, they played rock! :)

It took us a few minutes to figure out where to park, and I suggested to my husband to pull into an area on the north side of the east/west track, and perhaps if we did, others would follow suit. They did. In less than 10 minutes we had oodles of company.

There was one black gentleman near us singing what sounded much like an old spiritual song about freedom and America. Not at all loudly, nor invasive. His voice was very smooth and rich as velvet is to the senses. Pleasant to my ears. His simple verse could be heard in between the booming fireworks bursts. I kind of doubt most people heard him since everyone appeared to be caught up in watching the sky. Personally, hearing him sing his humble song magnified the experience for me. It was even more poignant since I didn't get to see him... I could only hear him. He caused me to think about our nation's beginnings and recall some Civil War history ingrained in me. A war fought on soil back where I grew up and here, as well. The gentleman's voice and song also brought to mind my grandmother Holland's childhood and teen years living on a small plantation in Smithfield, NC. Some of the stories she told.

We're all so blessed in our nation to have been born in the USA. It's something I'm forever thankful for and truly think about almost everyday. It helps me keep things in perspective. We don't get to choose our parents, our families, our heritage, our roots...

Think about it.

This was the first time my hubby has ever taken any photos of fireworks. You have to be quick on the draw and anticipate the launch and the burst. He says he's ready to give it another whirl next time we have a night sky filled with sea urchins from the deep ocean... Yep! That's the image fireworks always conjure up in my brain. ;)

I've more photos to post in the next few days, plus an update about my latest trip to Wake Forest Baptist for the second in a series of three sleep deprived EEGs. I so don't want to get into it, yet it's a must do.

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