‘The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain,’ said Neva J. as she walked through her and Billy B.s’ house on West Street in Eldorado. She was quoting the lyric from My Fair Lady and she always said ‘falls’ rather than ‘stay.’ Neva J. was a bit of a renaissance woman. It was the 4th of July morning and there were big plans for the holiday. She and Billy B. and Chet had traveled to Missouri to purchase some illegal firecrackers…illegal in Illinois that is. Billy B. was accustomed to the little black buttons…that when you lit them they expanded into a long and charred cylinder…called snakes. Chet was bringing sparklers, which were legal in Illinois, and Lanny W. and Dennis W. committed to bringing Cherry Bombs…which were illegal most everywhere.
The Starlight Drive-In always had a magnificent Fireworks Show…but Billy B. and Neva J. seldom attended due to their not wanting to drive in the relatively heavy traffic that parked alongside Route 45 as an overflow from the Drive-In Parking Lot. Grandma Askew and Aunt Guelda had a ‘birds-eye’ view of the Fireworks Show from their Front Porch on Richardson Street. The years that Billy B. and Neva J. and Chet had gone to Granma A.s were some of the most impressive light shows that they had seen on the nation’s birthday. Billy B. wanted especially this year to celebrate the 4th on West Street…ever since he had seen the lights in the northern sky around Christmas. Guelda had said, ‘Why those lights must have been the Christmas Star.’ ‘Yes…I thought of that possibility…but there were at least ten lights,’ answered Billy B. Chet had suggested that when the 4th came up…they would set off their fireworks in hopes of attracting the Aliens… Now Aliens was not something you spoke of in polite company..and at least not without a large smile on your face and a hearty laugh to indicate that you were ‘having a laugh’ as the British say… UFOs were relegated to the authors; Issac Asimov and Ray Bradbury…and other Science Fiction writers. Billy B. and Chet loved Science Fiction movies and had seen most of them at one time or another. They had watched the Mole People and It Came From Outerspace and This Island Earth. They had read the Martian Chronicles. The story of Barney and Betty Hill’s abduction by Aliens on September 19 and 20 in 1961…intrigued both the young space explorers.
Lost In Space was the Science Fiction show of choice for Chet and Billy B. Chet brought his Lost In Space Robot Costume to the 4th of July Event and wore it…although it was a little hot. The fireworks were spent and even some Roman Candles were fired off and the night sky was as bright as noontime…as far as Neva J. and Billy B. and Chet were concerned. Billy B. brought his binoculars and looked and peered and searched for the Unexplained Lights in the northern sky…but saw none. As he and Chet cleaned up the last of the explosive debris…when a small friendly voice said, ‘Don’t forget your binoculars…Billy B….you are going to need them in the future…’
The four-foot-tall man with the big head and spindly arms and who was distinct grey color…winked a massive black pupil eye at him…