The Battle of Bishop Heights

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The Battle of Bishop Heights Park,
It was July 3rd, 1966. We were all about 14 years old. We
had some money from our paper routes and lawn mowing
jobs. So we all decided to spend it on fireworks. Why not?
My good friends Patrick & Mark were with me at the
fireworks stand buying the combustibles when we ran into
some guys from St. Theresa. We went to Holy Family.
Challenges were soon made and we were all to meet after
dinner in the darkness (for better fireworks’ effects) at the
Bishop Heights Park.
It was three on three. We all wore our winter clothing,
including goggles, to protect ourselves from firework
We faced off across the grassy field yelling epithets at each
other about how St. Theresa was better than any
supposedly Holy Family any day or how St. Theresa was
really a concubine for the Pope. (We were well educated and
knew the three syllable words.)
Well, Catholic teen-aged boys know no bounds of civility
about these things.
Patrick was our leader and he told Mark and I, “I’ll go down
the middle with my Roman Candles. Mark you go up the
left flank with your gross of bottle rockets. And Tim, you
take your gross of black cat firecrackers on the right flank.
Cover me.”
And that’s what we did. The three boys from St. Theresa
were fumbling about with punks to light their various
fireworks at us as we attacked in unison.
We had our punks ready and our fireworks lit in easiness
by comparison as we only had one firework apiece to use.
Patrick marched up the center with his Roman Candles
blazing! The St. Theresa boys were a bit shocked, but then
concentrated their fire on Patrick.
Mark on the left soon let loose a fusillade of bottle rockets
at the enemy. I harassed them with one long string of black
cat firecrackers after another.
In the end, we just had more firepower ( money ) than the
They surrendered when they ran out of ammo.
No one was hurt, but it sure was quite a show. We were all
happy to take off our warm winter clothes on a hot summer
night in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Tim McGraw

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Blac Cat Firecrackers.png

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