DON'T THREATEN OUR DOWNTOWN FIREWORKS
It isn't every day you rolled a wagon on the DSR bus. But this was a special occasion.
We were kids going to our first fireworks downtown and we thought about the red, blue and purple explosions all day. Well we assumed the fireworks formerly known as the J.L Hudson fire works were in technicolor.
I'd never actually see fire works before. I was five years old and the only fireworks I saw were in the newspaper and on television. But our set was black and white and so were the newspapers.
Me and my cousins Billy, David, Reggie and buddy Big Mac climbed aboard the Grand River bus along with our Aunt Gerry. The bus was packed and we could not wait to see the explosions. We talked the whole ride downtown about fireworks as if we were experts. But truth be known none of us had actually seen any live.
We found a spot on Woodward and the show was one of biggest thrills of my life. The color and noise and people made it an exciting evening.
We thought the fire works would be with us forever. But then you grow into adulthood and start reading the newspapers and all of a sudden reality hits. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in a battle with City Council threatened to cancel the 2005 fire works on the Detroit River because he said there would not be enough police protection for the thousands who show up every year.
It is doubtful the Mayor can cancel the fireworks. There is too much at stake and too much money to be lost.
It is ridiculous that cancellation of the fire works was even discussed. They are part of Detroit tradition that must never go away.
Millions have enjoyed this evening of festivities, music and fire works.
I've seen them from the Riverfront printing plant, in Hart Plaza, near Comerica Park and on Belle Isle.
I don't go every year. But it is comforting to know they are a part of our community.
We've lost too much over the years. Does anyone remember the Vernors bottling plant? Or the train station? Or Kerns, Crowley's and Kern's department stores?
They are all institutions we've lost over the years. And every time a part of our past disappears we are a little less of a city. These institutions are our identity.
Each evening my daughter Celine asks me to tell her a little about my childhood. I bring up buildings that no longer exists and she looks at me in amazement. I hope she does not have to tell her children about fire works that no longer exist.
I am certain the fire works will continue. But just the mention of them possibly not being with us sent another shiver down my spine.