What NOT to Do in a Fast Food Joint with Roman Candles

Summer of 1968. The summer between my sophomore and junior year Jamie, Jim, Lance, Lamont and I decided to have roman candle duels in Lamont’s backyard. And why wouldn’t we do such a thing? Shooting them up in the air was so very boring.

Like the pistol duelers of old we put some space between us, lit them, and shot at each other. We made sure that we were far enough away that if we did hit someone it would not hurt. I suppose if someone got hit in the face an eye could have been put out, but we didn’t think about details like that. Although several of us squared off, none of us so much as scored a hit.

Having worked up an appetite, we drove to the Burger Town at the NW corner of 90th and Maple to grab something to eat. On the drive there someone’s honor was assaulted and Lamont and I had to settle the score. Having several roman candles left in the trunk of the car we decided to have it out right there in the parking lot of Burger Town, which was empty except for us. We grabbed the lighter’s and candles and walked a suitable distance and faced each other. Fuses were not well made back then and mine lit and Lamont’s did not. Having little honor and even less class I started to shoot at him anyway. He ran into Burger Town to escape the shooting balls of fire. Caught up in the moment and without thinking I followed him into Burger Town with my roman candle lit and shooting! Yes, my friends you read that right. A lit roman candle in the restaurant. The place was empty and he ran out the side door with me in pursuit, but I was unable to vanquish my foe.

Twenty years or so later I was telling this story to my wife’s sister Linda and her husband Steve. To my surprise, Steve had been working at Burger Town and remembered the incident well! I think his words were something to the effect of “so you were the idiot that did that”. Yes. Yes, I was.

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