Re: [gardeners] Idiots and fireworks

George Shirley (
Sun, 02 Jan 2000 08:42:42 -0600

Allen and Judy Merten wrote:
> 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
> starting.
>     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.
>     Allen
>     Bastrop Co., NOT the home of the 3 Wise Men.

Tell Judy to contact me and I'll chip in on the bail money. I am already
on the agenda for the next city council meeting. My council person lives
one block over and I contacted her yesterday afternoon when I was
walking by her house. She agreed with me about the fireworks as they,
too, had to stay up watching their roof and property.