Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pyro on the prairie

What a spectacular evening and a perfect venue for a fireworks display. To say it was a pleasant evening to be outside setting up and shooting a small town prairie fireworks show would be to fall woefully short of the mark.

It was a long drive from home and took us about four hours to drive out to this little park that lies between Minto and Elgin Manitoba. It's a little prairie jewel of a place. Tucked away where it can't be seen from the highway, it typified, for me, the elegance of prairie life. It is a humble place where, at it's best, values can be more universal that maybe happens in more urban areas.

Many years ago someone had the forethought to dam a small creek and in doing so, create a small lake, maybe three to five hectares in area. There were goats in a low fenced pasture for kids to talk to. There was a small boat launch for people to get human powered water craft into the pond. The lake was stocked with fish. There was a small beach and a dock to jump into the drink.

A small band played many hours from a repertoire of standards my Mum would have appreciated. I appreciated them too. There were a few short holes of golf available that the kids seemed to play endlessly. There were camping places filled. The air was speckled with the clatter of a vibrant community filled with joy and ease. I doubt whether the participants would have seen it as anything out of the ordinary. Relaxed, laid back and easy summed up the tone.

Ray was the supervisor on the show and he's not very excitable under normal circumstances so there was plenty of time to set up and there were no surprises which is ideal when dealing with explosives yes? We began the set up at 16:30 and finished up at 21:30. It took us 18 minutes to shoot the show and forty to break it down and load it all back in the truck. The show seemed to have the same easy pace that the grounds seemed to encourage. I didn't see much of the show at all. I usually see more, but this time I was keenly focused on the pace of the hand lighting to maintain the rhythm Ray set. I watched as Ray lit the finale electrically.

The crowd was very appreciative and their enthusiastic response to the display was kind of moving. I'm not sure why I'm all soft about this little show, but it was a deep pleasure to be among like minded folk. Kids doing more running and playing than I've seen in ages. Teen couples heading off to secluded corners to "fish." Parents not tense with corrections as well as appearing to be so very confident in their children's ability to function well with those around them.

Here's to "have not" provinces everywhere and simple country pleasures. Thanks too to Ray for cajoling me into this ancient game of pyrotechnics.


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