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Crowd honors nation's birth, tradition at Port O'Connor fireworks show

By JJ VELASQUEZ
July 3, 2010 at 2:03 a.m.

Wesley Wyatt, left, 18, with girlfriend Dani Emery, both of Bastrop, watch the Fourth of July fireworks show at Port O'Connor. "Fireworks on the beach, you can't beat that," Emery said.

PORT O'CONNOR - Doyle Adams sat solitary on a lawn chair looking to the heavens as fireworks burst and illuminated the sky.

Adams, 82, retired here in 1988 and has come to the fireworks display on the beach ever since.

Although his wife died last year and his children live in other cities, he came to the annual show on Kingfisher Beach Park because it's tradition. And what better way to raise one's spirits than to celebrate the nation's birth, he said.

"Our country needs something to celebrate," Adams said, pointing to the struggles of the U.S. economy and the two wars that continue to be fought in the Middle East. "It's about time we have something we can be proud of, and this is one of them."

Despite recent rains, hundreds turned out Saturday for the annual fireworks display, either to honor tradition or to feel the refreshing sea breeze.

Roy Ekstrum, a Victoria native, has come to Port O'Connor for the Fourth of July for most of the last 56 years, he said.

"I celebrate the holiday to remember our troops fighting overseas," Leidner said. "I come from a military family, and I have a lot of respect for the job they're doing."

Sean Garcia, also of Victoria, braved the possible showers to bring his son out to the beach and watch the fireworks.

"I figured we were going to get wet anyway," he said. "So if it rained, oh well."

The beach did not receive so much as a drizzle.

Some, such as Port Lavaca resident Joseph Ruddick, came to Port O'Connor on Saturday because the annual display in Point Comfort was canceled due to inclement weather.

Teresa Nelson clasped her hands admiring the kaleidoscope of color and thunderous roars the fireworks provided.

"They always put on a good show - rain, snow, whatever," Nelson said, her sight focused on the sky.

The Dallas resident has come to Port O'Connor for its fireworks display on the Fourth since 1999. She has seen the fireworks show at the State Fair of Texas, but nothing compares to Port O'Connor's show, she said.

Her head still tilted back, she said, "I wouldn't miss this for the world."

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