Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

From fireworks to face masks… July 9, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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An over-sized American flag flies along Interstate 90 near Madison, Wisconsin, on the Fourth of July.

 

MADISON, WISCONSIN on the Fourth of July is, if anything, noisy. Loud with fireworks. We sat on the balcony of our son’s apartment in the Atwood neighborhood the evening of July 4 and watched and listened as fireworks spread across the night sky. Left. Right. And in between. No fireworks from an organized official public show, but from neighborhoods.

 

A pop-up fireworks tent in Mauston, where we stopped for a picnic lunch.

 

Randy and I arrived in the capital city in the early afternoon, passing numerous fireworks businesses en route. A temporary tent in Mauston. A permanent fireworks building in some other location along Interstate 90 that I can’t recall.

 

A large-scale fireworks business just off I-90 near Madison.

 

Wisconsinites like to do it up big with their fireworks, brats, beer and cheese.

 

Lots of campers on I-90.

 

Traffic volumes were heavy along I-90 and the city of Madison thrumming with people and traffic. You could forget for a moment or ten that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic except for the people wearing masks and the electronic road signs advising travelers to “buckle up and mask up.”

 

A public service announcement flashes over I-90. I saw this message numerous times along I-90. Thank you, Wisconsin, for the reminder.

 

I appreciate the message. And I appreciate, too, the many people I saw in Madison wearing face masks, showing their care and concern for others. We could learn a thing or two from the good folks of Madison about the importance of wearing masks. (At least here in many parts of greater southern Minnesota. Thank you, Rochester, Mankato and Winona, Minnesota, for mandating mask wearing. St. Paul and Minneapolis, too.)

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling