Hannibal Fireworks, 2010

This evening I wandered down the block to Broadway to watch the fireworks.  I got there a bit early so I talked with some sidewalk folks in front of the Broadway Bar.  The fireworks finally began at 9:30, and in between starbursts and weeping-willow displays I talked with several of Hannibal’s part-time hookers.  These women tend to be good-looking and middle-aged; I get the impression that they are making hay while the sun of relative youth still shines — they know they are getting older and that the time will come when such part-time money will be harder to come by.  The men they are with tend to be drunk and can be easily dismissed as conversational fodder, while the women either know how to hold their liquor or aren’t drinking at all.

Other folks had brought folding chairs and there were small kids running to and fro.  People talked about last year’s display, when a cloud hugged the top of Lover’s Leap (where the fireworks are set off) and the fireworks were but dimly visible through the drizzly haze.

Happy fourth, everyone!

Larry

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Hannibal Fireworks, 2010

  1. Joan

    Well, I’m not going to ask how you know these women are hookers, Larry. Lulubelles is no longer operating that kind of establishment. (grin)
    That saddens me. You’d think with the all American fireworks display with family and kids, they would either stay home or take a vacation from their duties for one night. Perhaps they cannot afford it. Hannibal has either changed beyond recognition or I just didn’t know what to recognize when I lived there. Probably a bit of both.

    I did manage to get a photo for an e-card off, and write a ‘sort of’ Fourth poem which you’ll see when you get to your e-mail, so the day was not a complete bust.

  2. Nothing more American than apple pie and part-time hookers!

  3. Darrell

    July 4? Americana? Hookers? Why not. A wise British Army major once told me he’d rather be around Greek hookers and Americans better than anyone else on the planet. Guess 1776 was forgiven. As for “Never on Sunday”, I forgot to ask.

  4. Perhaps “hookers” is too strong a word, Joan. “Barflies”, perhaps. Anytime I see a woman who seems to be with a different guy every time I run into her I can’t help but make assumptions.

    They should stay home on holidays, when the business is as good as it gets? Surely you jest!

  5. Joan

    Well, evidently I didn’t read the post very well. I was thinking ‘riverfront’ and kids and flags and lawn chairs etc. and not Main Street.

    Now Main Street has a long, colorful history. During the Civil war, Union soldiers were stationed on or near Lover’s Leap. Reportedly a portion of our home town working girls worked the Union Soldiers on south Main Street . Rumor has it that more North mainstream (aka respectable) home town women started baking pies and selling them to the ‘enemy’ for a dollar a piece, which was a huge sum in that era. This reportedly had a deleterious effect on the business on the other end of Main.

    Since the hookers were not into recording their thoughts in diaries and the only side of the story came from descendants of the housewives, I have my doubts about that. I kind of think the soldiers saved up their money for both. (grin) At any rate, this Fourth we can remember the Main. (Yeah…I know ..puns…booooo)

  6. Darrell

    Hookers, et al.: There is a legend that the terms comes from Genl. “Fighting Joe” Hooker who, during his abbreviated tenure as commanding officer of the Army of the Potomac, set up the camp as “a brothel” (to quote an unsympathetic Blue Nose). Hooker was one of the string of generals Lincoln had to go through after he fired McClellan, and before he found Grant. Apparently Fighting Joe unabashedly believed that this was good for troop morale.

    Hannibal “occupied”: I’ve heard another tale that US troops were encamped in Central Park, and that horses were housed in Trinity Episcopal Church? Hannibal longed to NOT be a part of America, remember.

  7. According to a local source cannonballs have been found at the base of Lover’s Leap. Supposedly an encampment of Union troops used the bluff as a target for cannon practice, probably much to the chagrin of Confederate-sympathizing Hannibalians.

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