The Blog Topic Committee met this week early on Tuesday evening at the table under the grape arbor. Members present were Linnie W, Max, Tillie and a special guest member, my dad’s ghost.
“It has been suggested,” I began, “that we should write about the cannon.”
“Good idea,” my dad’s ghost said. (He’s been dead for about 25 years but showed up in support of the cannon.)
Max dropped his blue ball on the table. He seemed to think that, just because we found his blue ball after it being lost all summer (it was under the couch) that maybe his blue ball should be the post topic…
“Write about Johnny Depp!” Tillie said. (She’s a big Johnny Depp fan.)
“Is that a motion?” I said. (I was taking notes for the meeting minutes.)
“Just do it,” Tillie said.
“All in favor,” I said, quite democratically under the circumstances, but thankfully the motion failed.
“The cannon,” my dad’s ghost said, and then he disappeared.
“I guess that was another motion,” I said.
Max and I voted yes (Max always votes with me) and Tillie stomped out, which frankly was a relief.
So here is the story about the cannon.
It’s a signal cannon, designed to fire noisy blanks on the decks of military ships in some kind of ceremonial fashion. Or so I was told. We use it for celebrations.
It is small but very heavy, and it lives on the fireplace mantel shelf in the parlor. Right by a picture of my dad since it was his cannon. But of course we take it outside to fire it.
It uses blank shells that look like shotgun shells, and it makes what can only be described as a helluva noise. It shakes the earth and echoes off the hills. And it blows black smoke like a muzzle-loading rifle. It is nothing short of awesome and it wraps up a celebration in a first-rate fashion.
On one occasion, for a summer outdoor wedding rehearsal dinner, it had a big purple bow around its barrel, also very pretty.
Once we celebrated July 4th in a residential area in the middle of a city. We fired the cannon in the back yard, just once so that maybe we wouldn’t get arrested. It was festive.
You put the shell in the chamber and someone pulls the end of the very long, maybe 12 foot, string. (It’s all in the wrist…) The noise and smoke are gripping. (Max stays in the house in his crate for these noisy events but really he loves them and runs around barking afterwards.)
We’ve commemorated graduations, a wedding, New Year’s 2000, and many July 4th’s over the years. An odd tradition, but we live far from neighbors so it’s not too much of a nuisance.
In other garden news, the white Cup & Saucer vine (Cobaea scandens) has a couple of blooms. I like them a lot.