Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Minnesota tradition: The recreational fire

Back in October of 2008, my response below was published in the Star Tribune. The response published was a retort to the discussion to ban recreational fire pits.


Don't like fire pits? Close your windows

Nearly every Friday night, we stoke a fire for family, friends and neighbors to enjoy. It is a period of time just after dusk that brings to end a week of work, school, kid events and other general bustle while ushering in the weekend.

We use the fire pit to discuss serious and not so serious topics. Yet a few people are going to cling to health issues, which can be mitigated by closing a few windows, as reason to remove this weekly event of community, family and transition to the weekend. Minnesota is already headed down the path of a socialist state; banning the recreational fire pit will be one more step.

And last night the tradition continued. Preparations started at 4 pm as my eldest son and I crumpled up paper, foraged for small sticks, and built a log cabin in the fire pit. After eating homemade pizza the procession began to the backyard for the first recreational fire of the year. Beverage in hand and cigar lit the ceremonial match was struck. Match ablaze the systematic lighting of the crumpled paper inside the log cabin commenced. Within a minute the log cabin was engulfed in fire and the first recreational fire of the year was officially on.

Slowly neighbors came out from their winter slumber and joined in the festivities. Conversation shifted from economics, pirates, President Obama, kids, hunting, golf, and even aliens. As the night continued along the younger members of the crowd were put to bed. Around 11:30 pm the group decided to call it a night. The hose was rolled out and the fire was put out. All and all the first recreational fire of the year was deemed a success.