I can't remember all who were involved but one day we decided to build a Sputnik Killer. After one more trip to the Crumptown Store, we used a razor blade to disassemble 100 Black Cat firecrackers and wrapped the black powder in a piece of a brown paper bag, like we used for smoking corn silk, but we put a fuse in one end and taped it to a dollar bottle rocket with daddy's black electrical tape. We made a small hole in the nosecone of the rocket and inserted the fuse figuring once the rocket reached it's maximum altitude of over 200 feet the powder in the nosecone would ignite the "bomb" and there would be a big cool explosion that we would be famous for for years to come.
The launch was scheduled for just before supper figuring the moms would all be cooking supper and the dads would be inside reading the paper or doing whatever dads do after work. The "rocket-bomb" was top heavy so instead of a coke bottle we used a piece of pipe stuck in the ground for a launchpad. Having drawn the short straw, I quivered with excitement as I lit a punk and cautiously approached the launch pad. Glancing back over my shoulder I watched the last of my comrades disappear behind the smokehouse.
I touched the glowing punk to the fuse. It seemed to take forever for the fuse to ignite but when it did it ignite, it ignited with great intensity. I dropped the punk and turned to run for my life but tripped and fell flat on my face. Before I could get up again, there was a loud hissing noise accompanied by a huge cloud of white smoke. As I struggled to breath, through the smoke and fire I could see the Sputnik Killer slowly rising into the heavens. 20 feet....25 feet......30 feet .... 25 feet......20 feet........BOOOOOOOOOM!!! Windows Shook...dogs barked....chickens squawked. People came running out of houses....every house. By the time the smoke had cleared I had managed to scramble, crawl and run to join my brave comrades behind the smokehouse. We didn't come out for a long time.
I don't remember what our punishment was or whether law enforcement was involved. I just remember it was one of the greatest summers I can remember growing up in a small town in America.