The weather in Rockaway for the Fourth of July was downright blustery. My friend C. had a party, with hamburgers and hot dogs for appetizers, and all kinds of other foodstuffs (steak, ribs, chicken) as well as a cooler full of beer and hard cider. "The boys" had helped her set up a tent, which I knew was going to blow away, and sure enough: I got to say "There it goes!" and watch the tent, a big square gazebo type with zippered mosquito netting for walls, lift off and topple over the fence into the next yard. All the men ran to hold it down and beat it into submission. I was wearing foul-weather gear (somebody said I looked like I was in the cast of "The Deadliest Catch"), and when the weather got really good and foul I walked down to the beach. The ocean was lively, with waves way far out. When I got back to the party, everyone had moved inside.
Left to myself, I probably would have gone down to the bay and tried to see the fireworks ten miles away, in the East River. But I was with locals, who know better. You wouldn't have been able to see anything from the bay: it was just too overcast. So we gathered around the TV and turned up the sound and oohed and aahed. Nothing will ever equal the first time I saw Fourth of July fireworks, riding on my father's shoulders at Edgewater Park, in Cleveland. I swear there was one burst that turned into all little fishes.