Playing It Safe on The Fourth
The Fourth Of July will be here before you know it. I’m Scoop the Cub Reporter with The Shady Pines Gazette news. My editor, Zulah Talmadge, has me covering this American holiday from all angels – including safety.
I can tell you one thing’s for sure. Planning for this special day has been going on for weeks. Most of the schedule is being put together by folks who work for our mayor, Beauregard P. Fibbs. As a result, there’s all kinds of commotion swirling around Town Hall in downtown Shady Pines Story Town.
The Show Will Go On
Instead of working from home like they had to last year, employees who are vaccinated are back in their offices. They’re dashing in and out of offices, having last minute metings and are always talking and texting on their cell phones. These employees have to let their neighbors know what they can and can’t do on the Fourth.
At the top of the list of safety is – no fireworks in your backyard. That includes sparklers or any other kind of fireworks. Too many children got hurt last year. So our public officials are telling everyone that they will pay a fine if they get caught using them.
But, the good news is the public fireworks display will go on just like before the pandemic. Everyone was sad that it had to be cancelled last year.
You can see them from a lot of areas, but you’re being encouraged to find a place to sit down by the lake if you can. That’s the best place to be ’cause you can see the reflection of the fireworks in the water. The light show in the sky will start when it gets dark enough, probably around 8:30 pm or so.
I have more good news to share. There will be a parade down Main Street. You know that’s going to be a hoot with kids on bicycles, fun floats, the Fire Department engine, clowns, pets, and all the rest. We’ve heard that the marching band form nearby River City High School will be marching and playing as they go.
Around 5pm we’ll have the big ‘ole barbeque in Stonewall Park. A lot of businesses in town like Fred’s Corner Grocer, Maggie’s Diner and Cup ‘O Joes coffee shop are donating some of the food and drinks. But you’re encouraged to bring some dishes to share with others.That’s a kind thing to do, right?
Also, the Community Center is having an ice cream get together for the little kids and some of the teenagers, like me, are going to have a sailboat race in the early afternoon.
The Mayor is Busy
Meanwhile, the way I hear it, Mayor Beauregard P. Fibbs is getting a bit hot under the collar. He sits at his big wooden desk in his office at City Hall and answers one phone call after another. He gets more frustrated by the minute. Finally, he calls for his assistant.
“Beth,” he shouts, “Will you come in here please!”
A moment later, a tall young woman appears in the mayor’s doorway. Beth Dowd has been the mayor’s assistant since graduating from college three years ago. “How can I help you?”
Mayor Fibbs gets up and starts to pace back and forth. “Beth, there’s not much time. We need to get our arms around this Independence Day safety situation.”
Beth can see that the mayor is really upset. “I completely agree. The planning committee is meeting downstairs right now. They’ll get the word out on events and do’s and don’ts this year.”
Pets and Veterans
As he paces with his hands clasped together behind his back, the mayor is nodding. “That’s good. I can’t tell you how many calls I’ve taken from animal rights groups. Don’t folks realize how much our pets get upset by the sound of fireworks? The poor animals don’t feel safe in their own homes for cryin’ out loud!”
Beth understands. “My dog, Scruffy, runs into the closet and hides at the sound of the first fireworks he hears. He just shakes. It’s really bad.”
Mayor Fibbs is getting worked up. “And another thing. What about our veterans? I just got a call from one of our retired generals. He reminded me these men and women have been to war. The sound of fireworks takes them right back to the battlefield. You talk about upsetting.”
Beth frowns. “Oh, my gosh. That makes sense. I’d never thought about that before.”
Get The Word Out
Mayor Fibbs has an idea. “Beth, call over to The Shady Pines Gazette office, will you? Ask Zulah and Scoop if they can come over here.”
Beth claps here hands. “That’s perfect. They can do a story and spread the word. I’m on it.”
As Beth leaves, the mayor returns to his desk. He jots down some thoughts about what he wants included in the interview he is about to give. Besides safety for pets and veterans on the Fourth of July, he wants safety for children included in the story as well.
“We all need to watch out for one another and be sure the most vulnerable among us are protected,” he says out loud. “Compassion should never take a holiday.”
Well, that’s our cue. Ms. Talmadge and I are on our way to see the mayor. All of us in Shady Pines hope you and your friends and family have a happy and safe Fouth of July.
– Scoop out!
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