Georgia is in another drought.

"I’m doing fireworks anyway!" Art says.

"Are we doing them in the street?" the sensible Teresa asks.

"Nahhh, off the back yard (which is a steep slope down to what they call ‘wetlands’ here)," the maverick Art says. "It’s been raining 5 out of the last 7 days… it’ll be fine."

Three quarters through the fireworks a friend attending the party says, "Is that a firework down there on the hill?"

Art looks, "Nope.  That … is a fire."

FoxNews reports flash through his mind. Local news reports. Oh, who cares about local news reports. Bill O’Reilly interviewing him, asking how he could be so stupid as to light off fireworks on a hillside during a drought.  Recent news stories regarding Lake Tahoe homes lost.  Families homeless.  Devastation.

Art bounds down the briar-laden slope, pulling with him a hose which he had turned on full blast before he started down. A dribble comes out. "There’s a kink!" Art yells up to the others. "Unkink it!"

"It’s caught on saljsldms.d,mds" they yell down to the half-deaf Art.

The hose pulls out of Art’s hands back up towards the house as they try to give him more hose, and unkink it.

The fire hits a new patch of grass and jumps a little higher, and Art curses.

Art jumps the rest of the way down the hill to the fire, removes his ever-present hat and starts beating the fire. In short order it is reduced to a few embers. "It’s out!" He yells up the hillside. "Send down the hose, I need to soak it down more."

The hose arrives, it gets soaked, no embers remain. Art uses the hose like a rappel to climb the slope.

His poker hat is ruined. Good thing he got two of them for his birthday.

The fireworks continued, because they were awesome.  They were from Alabama, after all.


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