My wife and I are in Cloverdale, California, a town about 90 minutes north of San Francisco, for the Fourth of July. We’re on our way to pick up our kids from summer camp, and it’s much more pleasant to break up the drive; fortunately, since that means stopping somewhere in Sonoma or Napa, it’s not a hardship.

Since it happens to be the Fourth of July, we chose a town where there would be fireworks, and the Cloverdale fireworks (sponsored by the local Lions Club) did not disppoint. After a larger than rational dinner at an excellent burger and BBQ place just on the edge of town, we went to the local high school football field, with just about everybody else in town, it seems.

The fireworks themselves were excellent, but they were just the most grown-up of the many displays.

It turns out the Cloverdale is one of the few places left in the state that still allows fireworks to be set off by just about anyone (and indeed, as I write any number of them are going off in people’s backyards and driveways).

I haven’t been in a place with this much smoke since the Ted Nugent concert I went to in high school.