Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy new year

B'port brought in the new year with its usual cacaphony of scattered backyard firecrackers and bottle rockets, along with distant shouts of "HAP-pee New Year." Outdoor discharges of firearms are not typically indulged in here for fear that the inevitable downward trajectory of projectiles could spark a catacylsmic conflagration in the area's vast petrochemical complexes. This makes us nostalgic for our long-ago years spent in Galveston, when a neighbor a few streets away by the name of Joel Kirkpatrick, a veteran reporter of the Galveston Daily News, would take his black powder musket out in the street a let loose with a skyward blast. Other Galvestonians did the same with their own shotguns, Saturday Night specials, .45s, snub nose .38s, deer rifles, etc. Some years, you literally could hear the shotgun pellets peppering the street, so it was best to always listen to the stroke-of-midnight New Year's racket on the covered porch, leading me to long for the disposable income to build a garage, or even a carport, for my vehicle. Still, six years on the island and not one bullet hole.

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