Fireworks spectacular fizzles to disappointed crowd

Posted On 11 Jul 2013
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Roving by Bob Allen

It was disappointing to say the least, noting the lack of American flags displayed at homes on July 4. Where are our patriots? Is being an American just taken for granted now? Many of the militia gave their lives, suffered serious injuries or have lasting ill effects from warfare to save our country. The least we can do now is show our pride by displaying an American flag.

I counted only one flag July 4 when driving along Mockingbird Lane in Cardinal Hills and none on Elm Avenue until I saw one at Bright Funeral Home.

Sadly, this was an example all the way down South Main Street until arriving at The Lodge just past Calvin Jones Highway. There was a big one on a pole out front. And there were only one or two flags along South Main before arriving at Ligon Mill Road.

The flag should never be flown in inclement weather except when using an all-weather flag, but it wasn’t raining. It had rained every day and we had the wettest season ever in North Carolina. Maybe this was the reason why so many homes were without an American flag displayed. At least, I would like to think so.

Another big disappointment last week was the July 3 Wake Forest fireworks display, lasting only nine minutes at Trentini Stadium. What the anxious fans, many of whom had waited for hours, saw during this time was beautiful, but there just weren’t enough fireworks and the filled stadium of fans were expecting more for their admission fee of $5, after braving the heavy earlier rains.

And as a member of the Wake Forest July Fourth Committee, I can assure you first-timers, I never missed any of the 40 years of fireworks and this showing was not anywhere near the usual fireworks display lasting 20 minutes.

However, fans were entertained by the Band of Oz, The Doppler Effect quartet, The Friendship Chapel choir, and a brief welcome addresses by Mayor Vivian Jones and former members of the July Fourth Committee, John Rich, Gerry Stenzel, Laura (Omohundro) Damich and Biven Andersen. Elsie Shuler, Wake Forest United Methodist Church music director, gave an excellent performance of our National Anthem.

About an hour after the gates opened there was a downpour, and all of us wondered if the show would be canceled. Only one other time was there a terrific rainstorm with hail and the show was canceled.

But we all stood our ground (maybe water is a better word, as it washed all around us) and we huddled under a few tents and umbrellas waiting for it to pass over. We were a gloomy-looking group and the concession stand staff stood peering out, hoping for customers who weren’t around.

Carolyn Furr, Greg (Uncle Sam) Harrington, Bill (UUncle Sam) Brown and I huddled into the middle of our rather small tent, covering the new, boxed commemorative T-shirts, while dodging a few leaks and heavy rain just inches away.

I didn’t have my camera and missed a great opportunity to make an image of two people at the top of the stadium (one in a wheelchair) holding umbrellas and determined to brave it out.

It was so typical of the dedicated faithfulness of so many fans who now deserve some answers. My guess is the short showing was caused by half of the fireworks getting wet during this time.

Quote of the week

“There can be no 50/50 Americanism in this country. There is room here for only 100 percent Americanism, only for those who are Americans and nothing else.” Theodore Roosevelt, in a speech at the State Republican Party Convention, Saratoga, N.Y., July 19, 1918.

—Bob Allen, publisher emeritus of The Wake Weekly, welcomes  and encourages your comments or suggestions at  919-556-3059 or

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