On what I think was a sunny Victoria Day, 1968, ( I was 9.)
my dad and I bought a big paper bag of fireworks and proceeded to Broadview
Park. Here's a pretty good shot of it from the top with some guy I don't
know in the foreground:
The top, bottom, and intermediate slope of the park was sprinkled with
revelers and their fireworks. We chose a flat area about 100 feet above the
bottom of the slope (the top of an old landfill) and about 60 feet below the
top, near the pool and ice rink at the north end, and put down our stuff. We
set up our first Roman Candle for ignition. We lit the thing, and then
backed away quickly as it started to shoot red flaming-hot coals high into a
calm, blue summer sky.
As the first coal came straight down, we realized that we had left the
entire bag of fireworks on the ground right next to the Roman Candle. The
first coal narrowly missed the bag, and another was on its way. One soon
landed directly on the bag, which promptly burst into flame. A few seconds
later, all the fireworks in the bag, lying parallel to the ground halfway up
the hill started to go off, firing all kinds of stuff onto the heads of the
unsuspecting celebrants below. Realizing that there was nothing we could do
about it, we skulked off as if we didn't notice the mayhem behind us, just
seconds after having arrived at the park.
My last memory was the array of skin-colored dots in the valley below as
they turned to look up, the parallel arms pointing up the hill, and then
their scattering like grains sand in a gust of wind, only in slow motion. To
the best of my recollection, my dad and I never spoke of the incident. Ever.
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