Martinez has it's July 4th celebration at Waterfront Park which is across the railroad tracks from my apartment.
The music started promptly at 11 am with some band covering Santana. The night previous, recordings of Chinese opera had been competing with recordings of Jimmy Buffett. You haven't lived, people.
And what odd thoughts went though my mind while that competition was blaring. Margaritas in Tiananmen Square. Tanks on island paradises. Oh, but that happened in Granada, didn't it? When we were exercising our particularly American brand of freedom?
In any event, here were the head bangers and the rappers, respectively, on stage this afternoon:
I took a break from the sun at Starbucks on Main Street. A 20-something skateboarder tried to roll off the sidewalk and into the road without looking. He tripped and almost stumbled into the grill of a Toyota. A biker wearing a leather vest and spurs on his boots laughed at the sight as he jingled along. I wondered if the biker was just kinky or had lost a horse somewhere.
I saw another skateboarder in his 50s or 60s, with shaved head and white goatee. As he got closer I realized that his skateboard was battery powered and driven with a hand held controller. "I get 20 miles to the charge. About 80 cents." the inventor called out, when asked. He was too quick for me to get a picture. Segway my ass.
Flags were flying from every mast and yardarm in the marina. People were setting up deck chairs on the dock, preparing for the fireworks that would be launching from the shore at dusk:
The police presence was tremendous. For such a small town, Martinez puts out a lot of money for law enforcement. There were a number of unmarked cars, four or five patrol cars and trucks, cops on motorcycles, cops on dirt bikes, cops on bicycles. I expected a couple on unicycles at any moment.
The fireworks makers were working feverishly in truck and tent. The frames had been built along the shoreline, pointing out over the Carquinez Strait where, according to Squeaky, the fireworks of Benecia, Marine World, and Vallejo will also be visible. Like many Americans, these days, my taking photos made the pyrotechnicians nervous. One of them glared at me, arms akimbo. I don't even look like a terrorist. I look like John Lithgow after a sound beating. Whatever:
Tonight I'm going to try and get photos of the fireworks without a tripod. Don't wait up for those.