Don't have nice things

Jess Oaks
Posted 7/10/24

Growing up in the mountains of Montana, we never could celebrate our Independence Day which much more than a sparkler, so when I first moved to Wyoming, I was fascinated by the fireworks show my …

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Don't have nice things


Growing up in the mountains of Montana, we never could celebrate our Independence Day which much more than a sparkler, so when I first moved to Wyoming, I was fascinated by the fireworks show my family would attend every year. The event was held in the small town of La Grange and boy did they ever put on a show. Over the years, I watched the little ice cream social, and fireworks display grow and grow as more people from the community travel to the small town for festivities. 

It has been a few years since I was able to attend the celebration as sometimes life takes us by surprise and this year, I was excited to have a free moment to celebrate with my family in La Grange.

The weather was typical of Wyoming. You know the type which always seems to take place whenever we have an outside event planned. It was a chilly and windy evening, with lightening flashing all around but the men and women of the department did it again…they put on a wonderful show. They offered wonderful treats, ice cream, cookies, cakes, and so much more. 

The offered this event to the public. Free. They asked for a donation. But if you didn’t donate, I know they let you in anyway. It was free. 

As darkness began to fall, families hustled closer together and the fire department took their places in the field. 

Once the firework show began, I was shocked to see the amount of disrespect the community showed the department.

I watched as multiple vehicles left before the show was even over, shining their bright headlights into the crowd of darkness, ruining the show for many spectators. Why? 

Sure, driving home from the fireworks show on US 85 is down-right scary. I am one of the few who sit back and wait for the majority of the cars to leave before I even move from my parking space. But leaving in the middle of a “show” a “performance” if you will? How is that okay? 

How would you feel if parents only came to school function to watch their child and as soon as their child had a moment to shine, the parents left? Sure, I know that does occasionally happen with our lives as busy as they have become, but I am sure we all try to prevent it from happening. 

I can remember, over the years, many spectators brought their own little fireworks, and the children would enjoy bottle rockets and sparklers while the fire department prepared for the main event. As soon as the department would light the first fuse, the audience would settle into their places and watch the professionals light up the sky. 

Not this year. 

Nope, right in the middle of the fireworks display, the free fireworks display, people were shooting off their own fireworks. Why?

Again, picture that little grade school music concert, maybe the one with the recorders…now your son Tommy is tooting away in his solo part and all of the sudden little Suzy gets up and starts drowning out Tommy’s performance with her own rendition of Mary Had a Little Lamb. Not cool. 

It saddened me to see these types of things while the show was happening, but it was an even sadder sight when the cars left for the evening and trash was scattered everywhere in the parking areas. Some of it only a few feet from a trash can. 

Please do better next year. Better yet, start doing better now. This event was free to the public. It didn’t cost. 

When we stop caring about the good things we have, when we stop appreciating the things, the people and departments, the public areas, and spaces, what will happen? 

Less and less in our communities. 

This is one of the many reasons we don’t have nice things. 

Thank you to the town of La Grange for the hospitality you show our community. Thank you to the men and women and even children of the La Grange Volunteer Fire Department for all of the effort you put into the festivities and more importantly, for the dedication for all of our community.