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Michael Rustad Memories

July 4th Celebrations


As a child, we would go each year to the fireworks displayin Pembina. I believe

that the display was shot off near the baseball field but I am not positive.

Prior to the Fourth of July, my brother and I would haveour own collection

of fireworks and fire crackers. I believe it was theAmerican Legion that

organized the display and we paid by the carload. Theday of the 4th was

generally spent at ball games in Pembina or organizingour own fireworks.

During my late adolescence the Fourth of July became asomber moment. My

beloved Grandmother Rustad died on July 4, 1964.

It was possible then to purchase quarter sticks of dynamite, cherry bombs,

and fireworks that had the potential to do serious bodily harm. My second

cousins from Zahl (near Williston) visited our farm and shot off so many

fireworks that my Grandparents called them the "Firecracker kids."

Gerald and Joni Rustad had an unbelievable assortmentof fireworks. In

later life, the firecracker kids became a prominent judgeand CPA

respectiively. I cannot ever recall an injury from ourimpromtu fireworks

displays. I do not remember any fireworks accidents beyonda minor burn

from a sparkler.

To paraphrase the philosophers Beavis and Butthead, we used fireworks toblow

up things. One of our favorite activities was to plant our toy soldiersand build

little structures to be blown up with firecrackers. My cousins from Iowa

persuaded us to attempt to blow up one of Dad's junk cars one year. Wedid not

succeed, but we did give everyone a scare. We were not that careful withstoring

fireworks. When my sister Janine was a baby, she somehow got a hold of

matches and fireworks. My vigilant Mother avoided a possible disaster and

ordered us to disarm. I do not remember ever having heavy-duty fireworks

after that near miss. As a postscript, I have never let my own childrenhave

access to fireworks or even sparklers!


access to fireworks or even sparklers!