600 S 6th Street PO Box 878 Sunnyside, WA 98944
|Cutting to the Core|
|A bang-up Fourth of July|
|By Corey Russell|
I sure had a good Fourth of July this year. The family and I really didn't even do much but what we did do, we liked it. Or, at least I did, my wife is still pondering.
Our day started as it usually has the past week. We woke up hot and sweaty with the fan blowing hot air on us. We don't have air-conditioning and it's been brutal on us. Our landlord has been a little slow to provide one although he told us he would. "Let's get the lead out Ruben!!"
So the family and I are up and moving around yesterday and Tanya, my wife, says she wants to go to the Toppenish rodeo. I really didn't want to spend the day out in the heat but it was probably just as hot in the house, if not hotter. Instead of going to the rodeo, we decided to go to the park in Sunnyside.
We spent about 90 minutes at the park and then decided to get something to eat. We had planned to watch the fireworks in Granger but we wanted something a little more than hamburgers and hotdogs. We decided to try the buffet at Legends Casino in Toppenish.
As we drove through Granger on our way to Toppenish the fireworks were already being let off and it was only 8 p.m., still light out. I've haven't been around an area where it's legal to set off fireworks since I was a kid. It was pretty cool to see and hear all the fireworks even if it was still light out.
Once out of Granger and on our way to Toppenish we passed several fireworks stands. At these places people were letting fireworks off. Once we got into Toppenish fireworks were going off everywhere but it was still light out so they weren't easily visible.
We went into the restaurant at the casino and that's where the day definitely took a turn for the better. Oh, the ecstasy of air-conditioning. My God, it felt good. The wife agreed and even little Piper had a look of content on her face we haven't seen for about a week. We were all feeling pretty good and on top of that, the food wasn't too bad either.
I wouldn't stand up and shout that the Legend's buffet is the greatest thing on earth but it filled our stomachs and the food was pretty easy to get down. Honestly, the best part was the air-conditioning. After dinner I felt like I could catch up on all the sleep I've been missing at my house. I just can't sleep in the heat.
While I was contemplating a nap at the casino, we heard a loud boom on the roof. The fireworks show had begun. We hurried outside to check it out. The show was OK but the fire that started on the south side of the casino was more interesting. What amazed me was even after the fire was a roaring wall of flames and the fire trucks were there, the casino continued to set off its fireworks. They probably figured they couldn't do any more damage.
Oh, before I forget, one thing I didn't appreciate in Toppenish was the gas prices. I needed gas and I saw a sign that read $2.93 for gas. I pulled over and when I stuck the nozzle in my tank I noticed the pump read $2.99. I looked back at the large sign and noticed the $2.93 price was for tribal persons and my price was for non-tribal persons.
This irked the Hades out of me. Would it be fair to charge Indians more money than white people in Sunnyside? I don't think it would and I bet the Indians would pitch a fit. So why do they think they can rip off non-Indians? I hate two-tiered pricing. I had to deal with it in Thailand and I shouldn't have to deal with it here. As a matter of fact, I won't. I will not be spending any money at Toppenish gas stations any more. Not unless I'm on fumes and I have no other choice.
So besides that racially motivated price gouging I experienced in Toppenish at the Exxon gas station down the road from the casino, I had a good time and when we were leaving Toppenish, that's when I enjoyed the city the most.
It wasn't the act of leaving Toppenish that was enjoyable, it was leaving Toppenish surrounded by fireworks going off. It was awesome. I've never experienced anything like that. It might not have been the safest experience but it was fun. Driving down 97 and then hitting 22, there was fireworks being let off on both sides of us. The night was lit up and I'm sure back in my younger, deadhead days the scene would have had me transfixed for hours.
I thought of the road to the airport in Baghdad. The one they call RPG Alley or something like that. I wonder if the light show compares? I was pretty impressed by all those fireworks all over the city of Toppenish. I think next year I'm going to invest in some fireworks and join in the fun. I'll just get gas in some other town than Toppenish.
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