When I was a child we had fireworks stands every few blocks along Long Beach Blvd. in the city of Lynwood. They would be open for about two weeks before the 4th and you could buy fireworks anytime they were open. We would save our money and start collecting bottles early in the year to trade in for a few pennies, so we could buy fire crackers. For five cents you could get what they called Lady Fingers which was made up with many small firecrackers woven together. However, we would take them apart so that we could fire them one at a time, much more fun and lasted for a long time. Usually when you bought fireworks they would give you a punk and sometimes you could get several. We would light one end and it would smolder giving you source of flame. We would wait until dark before we started our fun and since it was summer we were allowed to stay out after dark.
Another thing we did during the summer was also great fun, my friend Dodo and I would collect tumbleweeds during the day and drag them home, then when it turned dark we would build a fire in the vacant lot and roast whatever we had, potatoes, carrots, onions, apples or anything we could get our hands on. Our main purpose was to have a fire and sit and talk and when our mothers started calling us to come in, we would burn a tumbleweed. The flames were spectacular and really quite frightening for they would shoot up into the sky and bits of burning embers would drift towards the earth. Fortunately, we never created a fire we couldn’t put out and we did keep a hose close by in case we needed it.