Jason will be leaving for Iraq in two days so we all convened at his house on Saturday night for an informal going away party to wish him well. It was a kind of celebration, although bittersweet considering the occasion, of friendship and old times and good times. While we offered him prayers and good will and crossed fingers in his new incarnation as soldier, he offered us fireworks.
Turns out that Jason is a fireworks buff. His fireworks spectacular was as outstanding as those offered by any of the communities in Wabash County - brilliant bursts of color covering the night sky, punctuated by booms and whistles. Brilliant streaks of blinding white corkscrewing into the air to turn into waterfalls of gold. Colors cascading into one another - red turning to green turning to purple turning to blue, one after another.
And, of course, with Jason we got fireworks lessons along with the show. He knew the name of each firework and its producer. Usually, Jason himself is the lighter of the fuses but because this was his party and he would be indulging in a little Gray Goose, Tammy insisted that someone else, alcohol-free, do the honors this year. But Jason had set them up on the trailer earlier in the day. He knew precisely the order he wanted them to explode. He gave us the names as they went off, most of which I don't remember - Willows and Quadbusters and Get Big or Go Home. He informed us that in grading fireworks, you look for height and skirt (which is the volume of sky covered by the color of the firework). This year, he had included one new firework, the 202, which all of us declared the best one of all, as it shot off in rapid-fire rainbow hues from left to right and back again.
It went on for over an hour, these multi-color explosions over the skies of Lagro. When it was over, we all agreed that the 202 should be the show-stopper next year. Next year, when our friend is home safe - a real cause for a celebration.