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The best detail all year long

By Andrew Pollack on 07/22/2007 at 12:52 AM EDT

Each year, Engine 1 gets assigned to help out neighboring Yarmouth on the Saturday evening of the annual "Clam Festival" for the fireworks. We stand by in case things get out of hand or the fallout lands on something dry. Not much chance of that tonight with all the rain we've had unless they're using napalm. Chief Fairbanks over there always takes good care of us and this year was no exception. He tends to give us a spot right up close but just slightly upwind.

This year, the weather was perfect. We went over just after six and had a bite to eat -- or three -- then sat by the truck being sociable to people we knew, letting kids climb around on the truck some and watching a teenager try over and over to jump over a bicycle with his skateboard. After that we went over to our assigned spot. We brought out folding chairs along with the water can and a flashlight and sat about 200 yards away from the launch site on the same stretch of field by the river. As usual, slightly upwind where the likelihood of anything happening was vanishingly small. We were well inside the area where the public is allowed to be, so as the sky grew dark we had what was can only be described as a private fireworks show from about the only spot in town where you could see the launch as clearly as the finish. Once the show was over, we did a quick walk up the banks of the river but of course there were no problems. We headed over for ice cream at Pat's Pizza and then back to Cumberland.

Good weather, good company, good food, and the closest thing to a private fireworks show anyone but the crazy rich ever gets. Nice night.

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