Hi all, sorry for the delay on posting this. It is all due to brain failure.
The water tank of Alto Vista was the goal starting early in the morning and remained as the target for midnight. Junior and I never wavered on this. After the mid-day havoc of PAGARAS throughout the down town area, we headed home and Jr. hit the cartoons on channel 33 while lying in bed in an air conditioned room and I was busy turning the pink carcass of a “Butter-Ball” turkey into a lovely brown – stuffed meal accompanied by veggies and other food goodies. (For a single guy, I am good in the kitchen). Family came over, we ate and everyone sat in couches burping and moaning about how good it was and the some old – “OHHHH I ate too much”. We dozed off and awoke to the alarm at 10:00pm – then headed to the car that had been previously packed with enough fireworks needed to start a small war and plenty of stuff to drink and headed to our destination.
Alto vista was already packed and the “Perfect Spot” we had figured on was taken a while ago. We parked and just walked over to the people that had the perfect spot and made friends. Since we were not the only ones to do this, there ended up being a small little party (of sorts) there. It was nice and it was fun. It drizzled and the wind blew the small pellets of water sideways. When looking out from the mountain, is seemed as if there was a slanted sheet of film in front of us. I started shivering and looked at Junior to see what his status was. He was not even aware of the drizzle and had been lighting bottle rockets by the dozens – I covered him with a towel and felt less guilty.
It was then that I noticed the sky-line. The farthest lights were all in a row and bubbling up into the nightline. This was caused by the continuous fireworks being set off by the multitudes of persons or entities that made up the sky-line. This communication between sky-line and sky continued and was mesmerizing to me as well as to anyone watching. At about 5 minutes to New Year, the entire crowd on the mountain top started to gather in a series of groups. At one minute to midnight, the bubbling lights became higher and denser and it now undulated with so many colors and sounds. It was totally incredible.
At midnight the night time sky-line fell apart and what remained was a line of lights that was stabbing at the sky with fingers of light, flames and color. It was overwhelming. The splendor of it caught juniors eye and he stood and looked at it, then walked over to me and hugged me and said “Bon Anya Papi”. I held him close and thought about the previous 7 years when I had been able to carry him on my shoulder. No more – no more.
Finally the lights on the horizon reached up so high that it seemed as if there were sporadic colored fingers reaching up into something unknown. A cloud of gunpowder smoke covered Aruba and moved slowly across the island. It continued to drizzle, the fireworks were un-relentless and during this - something very special was happening that was caused by us as islanders, yet we were all awkward in our appreciation of it.
Midnight passed and 10 minutes into the year 2011, the sky declared victory over the earthly rockets and smiled in bright darkness and the bubbling rocket lights became nothing more than the occasional rumbling of a small PAGARA.
It continued to drizzle and the smell of gunpowder smoke brought varied memories.
The water tank of Alto Vista had been our goal starting early in the morning and junior and I never wavered on this. The turkey was pretty good and that poor bird was eaten by us in 2010 and will be eaten by us again in 2011. On the way home, Junior fell asleep leaning against me and he never realized that he had walked from the car to his room - put on his PJ’s and fell into bed to remain in a fixed position until morning.
It was a good day and a better night.