[gardeners] Idiots and fireworks

Allen and Judy Merten (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Sat, 01 Jan 2000 21:28:07 -0600

Hi George,
    Your neighbors cousins must live in Bastrop Co. We have been in
drought conditions since July 4th. The County Commissioners have passed
an outside burning ban since August 1st. However they have allowed all
manner of fireworks to be sold, but have banned the use of all except
firecrackers. They actually expect someone to buy aerial rockets,
missiles etc. and not use them. Bright boys on the Commission.
    Last night and tonight my neighbors have been shooting the cannon
type of aerial displays like you describe, drifting them over our 4
acres of trees and meadow. We have a Native Texas Wildscape registered
with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. We have remnant native tall
grass prairie grasses here that are 3-4 foot high. The meadow would make
great tinder for a stray firecracker/rocket. We live 13 miles from any
town. Our two defenses in case of fire is us with water hoses until the
volunteer fire department can get here. Fighting fire in the dark,
having to cross fences, through thickets and woods is not going to be
very effective or very quick. On top of the dry conditions the wind has
been blowing at 20 mph with higher gusts.
    An illustration of how dry it is in this county, hundreds of
Loblolly Pines are dying from the lack of water. We have lost 5 this
year that are 50 ft. tall and 2-1/2 to 3 feet in diameter.
    There is a fireworks factory in Bastrop County that has small
billboards on the factory fence that says we support Comm. So and So,
and Judge Whosit for re-election. They have bumper stickers on their
fireworks stands that indicate who they support in the elections, all
the incumbents on the Commission. GEE! Could this all be a coincidence,
that they can sell fireworks in a county that has hosted fire fighting
teams this summer from all over the country. The US Forestry Service has
rotated teams through Bastrop all summer long. The teams are still here.

    The people that are shooting the fireworks are not property owners.
They rent. I suppose that if you don't own anything it doesn't matter if
it gets destroyed. I know that this doesn't apply to all renters. I
rented for years. The last time a little over 3 years ago. A little
kicker; when they give their kids these fireworks, the parents send them
down the road away from their house, to the road behind my 2 acre woods.

    The Sheriffs dept. did respond to my call last night. They have not
yet responded tonight, although it has been over an hour since I called.
Fireworks are not a high priority call. Shoot. I thought an ounce of
prevention would be better than several hundred acres of burning woods
and houses, evacuees and injuries. Just goes to show you. You always
should listen to those wiser heads that are elected to protect us.
    We can only pray that we will be as lucky tonight as we were last
night. There was enough spent rockets laying on the ground in the woods
this morning to fill a paper lunch bag.
    We did have a nice New Years Dinner with our daughter and youngest
grandson, Ryan. Our son-in-law has the flu and was considerate enough to
stay at home. We sent him some ham, black-eyed peas, rice, cabbage. Tony
might be able to eat it. He is getting over the flu instead of just
    We were also up till 3 AM when the barrage stopped. I guess they ran
out of ammo. I am going to go to the next Commissioners Court meeting
and complain. Fat chance that it will do any good. They aren't going to
shoot the fat goose that lays the golden egg of campaign contributions.
Judy might need to have bail money available, in case I get riled.
    Thanks for letting me have a forum to spit and sputter on. I'm so
durn mad my ears are burning.
    Bastrop Co., NOT the home of the 3 Wise Men.