Clay Butler contacted me several years ago to ask if he might speak to the Samish Neighborhood Board about fireworks - banning them. I said to myself, "good luck." Although his proposal was not especially well received by most of the board, Clay perservered in speaking to other neighborhood groups throughout Bellingham. Over the next few years, many of us became the Sancho Panzas to this Don Quixote on his quest, however, quixotic, to rid the city of consumer fireworks and the attendant pollution, noise, and danger. He succeeded. Consumer fireworks are now banned. This speaks volumes to the power of one person with an idea.
What many were not aware of was that Clay was an accomplished dulcimer player and a founding member of the Mountain Dulcimer Club in Bellingham. How fitting that Clay, who loved the dulcimer and its sweet music (the name of the instrument derives from the Latin word "dulcis", sweet), would be the one to lead the city to sweet quiet on Independence Day. Thank you, Clay.
Don Quixotes's love interest, Dulcinea, is smiling.