Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
"THE YEAR OF MY MOTHER" IS A YEAR-LONG SERIES OF BLOGS DEDICATED TO MY DEAR, SWEET MOM WHO DIED IN EARLY JANUARY OF THIS YEAR. I PLAN TO DEVOTE SPECIAL BLOGS THROUGHOUT 2010 TO MY MOM WITH SPECIAL REFLECTIONS AND MEMORIES THAT I HOPE WILL INSPIRE READERS AND CAPTURE THE TRUE SPIRIT AND CHARACTER THAT WAS THE GREATEST WOMAN I HAVE EVER KNOWN.
It was an annual Independence Day ritual. All the neighborhood kids ranging in age from 7-10 would gather that night on our street corner where we could easily see the
One particular July 4 evening, while waiting for the pyrotechnic extravaganza, we were playing with---GASP ---lit sparklers.
Yeh, yeh, I know. Those suckers can get to a temperature of 100-thousand degrees and you can lose an arm and a leg and never have kids. Funny thing. No one I know back then ever got hurt the least bit.
We’d wave those babies in our hands around and around, and when they’d go out, somehow we’d mange to light another one without having to call for an ambulance. I think we had one of those long sticks that we used to call mosquito chasers stuck into the ground and we used it to light our sparklers.
My mother was in the vicinity and being the cool mom, she was letting us enjoy ourselves.
And then it happened. I’m not exactly sure who but I think it was dumb Susie from next door, tossed a sparkler high into the night air. When it landed, the sparkler was in the road, just as a squad car was turning the corner.
The vehicle stopped, and an officer got out.
Now in those days, young-ins respected the police, out of fear.
For a split second, I expected the obligatory lecture about being crazy and foolish, that sparklers were dangerous and could get up to 100-thousand degrees, and we could poke somebody’s eye out.
Instead, the officer focused his gaze on Mrs. Fischer.
That was along time ago so I don’t specifically recall the officer’s less than warm greeting. But it was threatening. The man with the badge told my mother that she could be in trouble because of that flying firework and that he could be just the person to make trouble for her.
My mother apologized; Mr. Grumpy Cop got back into his squad and tore off.
With the speed of sound, word got to my father who was sitting on the front porch that a policeman had talked tough and had threatened to haul mom away.
We, of course knew that throwing a lit sparkler in the air in those days was no big deal, unlike the Class H felony it is today. Mom wasn’t going anywhere. But the account had Dad in stitches.
“That’s alright,” Dad chuckled. “Let her sit.”
“You’d let the police put her in jail?” asked one adult neighbor.
“You bet I would” Dad joked.
Mom’s reply? “That’s my husband.”
The story became a standard July 4 anecdote for decades with some embellishing along the way, though I have done my best to recall what transpired as accurately as possible.
Thanks, Mom, for being there when the big, bad, no fun police officer showed up. Thanks for letting kids be kids.
Tonight, I may just go out in the middle of my street, light up a sparkler, and toss it as high as I can muster in your honor.
1) God Bless You, Mom
2) Culinary no-no: The Audrey Fischer Edition
3) The Year of My Mother
4) The Year of My Mother - Jimmy Dean
5) The Year of My Mother - "The scarier the better."
6) The Year of My Mother: Erin Go Bragh
7) Goodnight everyone, and have a memorable weekend!
8) The Year of My Mother - Mother's Day
9) The Year of My Mother: The charming July 4th police officer