Fire­works on the square round out the Fourth

The Covington News - - Opinion - PAULA TRAVIS Paula Travis is a re­tired teacher from the New­ton County School Sys­tem. She can be reached at ptravis@cov­news.com.

Edi­tor’s note: Due to weather forecasts, Cov­ing­ton’s Fourth of July cel­e­bra­tion will take place on Satur­day, July 6, this year.

My Ma­con grand­daugh­ters are with me this week. We have been out to eat at their fa­vorite Mex­i­can restau­rant. We have been to the gro­cery store and bought gal­lons of choco­late milk and or­ange drink. We have bought cook­ies and var­i­ous ce­re­als I didn’t know ex­isted.

We have bought our own Mex­i­can cheese dip and corn chips and dripped that cheese all over my kitchen ta­ble. We even bought fried chicken from Kroger, and the nice lady, see­ing me with four hun­gry grand­daugh­ters, an­swered our pleas and gave us a bag of chicken that was 90 per­cent legs.

Bless you, from the bot­tom of my heart. You do not know how grate­ful I am.

To­mor­row we will go to the cabin and my hus­band will cook, and my Ma­con daugh­ter and her hus­band will join us, as will my other daugh­ter and her fam­ily. We will have ham­burg­ers and hot dogs.

I con­fess I love hot dogs; a lit­tle charred, please, with mus­tard and sweet rel­ish. Chopped onions can be added, but noth­ing else.

The grand­chil­dren will madly ride the golf cart up and down the long dirt drive­way and dream that they are all grown up.

The chil­dren will light sparklers, with their par­ents’ su­per­vi­sion. If my At­lanta nephew joins us, we may even have more fire­works. But de­spite all the ex­cite­ment — well, maybe ex­cite­ment is too strong a word — we will be sure to be back at my home be­fore dusk.

I am so, so happy that the Fourth of July fire­works are back on the square. I think the first city fire­works were shot off on the rail­road tracks, or near them, be­hind New­ton Plaza. Traf­fic was a mess as ev­ery­one tried to get in a good po­si­tion to see the spec­tac­u­lar.

Peo­ple brought fold­ing chairs and sat on the lawn at New­ton Fed­eral Bank. But we would leave the car at home and walk to the top of the hill next to the city wa­ter works on Wil­liams Street, just down from Fic­quett. We had a per­fect view of the fire­works. Ac­tu­ally, we could see them from my drive­way, but a few trees were in the way. When they were over, we could walk home quickly and beat all the traf­fic.

I am a lit­tle hazy on my mem­o­ries, but I think the Cov­ing­ton City Fire Depart­ment de­cided that shoot­ing them from that place was too danger­ous. Or maybe it was just the traf­fic. I don’t re­mem­ber.

The fire­works were moved to The Church at Cov­ing­ton on Ga. High­way 142 in Ox­ford. The church was gen­er­ous and of­fered a lot of park­ing. Dur­ing the years the fire­works were at the church, it of­fered food, en­ter­tain­ment and chil­dren’s games, all with a pa­tri­otic theme. I never felt the need to see the fire­works while they were at the church.

The square also had ac­tiv­i­ties, al­though there were no fire­works. There was al­ways a con­cert by the Cov­ing­ton Com­mu­nity Band and usu­ally other groups as well. But as fes­tive as the pow­ers-that-be tried to make the square, it wasn’t the same with­out fire­works.

Then there was a least one year when the city of Cov­ing­ton had no fire­works at all. It was just re­cently, in the midst of the eco­nomic down­turn, and the city de­cided fire­works were too ex­pen­sive. And ex­pen­sive I am sure they are.

But, again, it was not July 4 with­out those booms and the Ahhs of the spec­ta­tors.

Won­der of all won­ders, the fire­works dis­play is again down­town and has been for the last sev­eral years. Now the events on the square can co­or­di­nate with the fire­works dis­play.

And my grand­chil­dren and the rest of my fam­ily have now re­sumed the tra­di­tion we had to aban­don so many years ago. Now we walk to Fic­quett to get a clear view of the fire­works.

In fact, some of us walk, and some of us, in­clud­ing wimpy grand­mamma, ride the golf cart. We load the cart up with bot­tles of wa­ter, blan­kets for sit­ting on, and, of course, the in­evitable iThings so my grand­daugh­ters can text each other while stand­ing right next to each other.

Thanks, city of Cov­ing­ton. You have made my fam­ily happy.

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