A Personal Note – A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the 4th…

Categories: In the News.


On July 4th, I decided to go over to a friend’s house to watch their CRAZY fireworks display. It was enjoyable until, during one of the barrages of artillery shells, one of the shells decided to change direction – straight into my forehead. I didn’t see it coming, and it nearly knocked me out (see my picture below). A lot of people have teased me for having a smile on my face, as if I was enjoying it. I was, but quite honestly, I think that is my concussion face. I put some ice on it, and enjoyed the rest of the night. Now, I just have a small mark on my forehead.

But here’s the thing, most people were not wearing safety glasses. My 17 year old son was wearing simple sunglasses at the beginning of the night (before my accident), but I told him that they weren’t good enough so I went and bought him the real things. If that would have hit me in the eye, and if I wasn’t wearing safety glasses, my eye would be gone – no ifs, ands or buts. Sun glasses are not good enough!

So let’s hear your funny comments about my picture…wear safety glasses when watching fireworks





  2. Melorie Stickles

    WOW, OMGOSH, you were very lucky it didn’t hit your throat,too! Glad you’re still alive and posting proof that accidents make us more aware of safety concerns.

  3. Gerard Ziegler

    Sorry about this but I don’t see anything funny about it. You were injured but you could have been seriously injured and you could have lost an eye! At this point in history our technology has not been able to come up with a new replacement for your eye that you lost. Anyway I’m glad you weren’t seriously injured and I’m glad you taught your son a valuable lesson and safety. I don’t know you personally but you appear to be a good father because the very first thing you did was go out and buy safety glasses for your boy.
    The wound does look interesting though. I’m glad you recorded it by taking a picture of it to share with all of us. Hopefully there will be a number of us who will learn a lesson from this.

    • Thanks Gerard! I agree that it could have been really bad. I’m trying to see the good side of it. Actually, I wonder if the safety glasses would have stopped it. I don’t know what kind of impact they can take.

  4. Sorry, Glen– nothing funny about this. You were pretty lucky that it didn’t hit you in the eye. That could have been fatal.
    I’m very glad it wasn’t any worse than it was. Take care– we need you to keep spreading the word about water safety.

  5. Julie

    No one’s commented yet, because everyone’s either at work, or too hung over. Since I don’t drink or work (I’m on Disability) I’ll be first. But tease you about it? Not even if you were the one who pointed it at your head and lit it.

    All I have to say is, OUCH!!!!! I suggest you stand further back next time…and wear a HARD HAT among with those safety glasses. If it’d hit a few inches higher, you might be missing part of your BRAIN. (NOT cool.)

    • Thanks Julie! Looking at it now, I guess it doesn’t seem to be funny. When I was standing around with my high school friends, yes, they were laughing and teasing. And I was laughing with them. To be honest, it looks more painful than it was, but it was a very dangerous situation. If it hit me anywhere else it could have been bad.

  6. Such a good example! Glad you had the glasses Glenn! And outfitted you son!
    Looks like a fleshy crater! If I was there, I would have whipped out my special St. John’s Wort “chapstick” I make from the flowers and doctored it for no pain, swelling or bruising! Everyone around are my guinea pigs for testing the potency and results! A “mom” thing!

  7. Cheryl Hopton

    That looks very scary and a concussion would be a sensible thought – did you have someone monitor you overnight? I agree with the other folks who have commented, but think you may have been blessed rather than lucky. You are clearly needed here for a while yet.
    We used to go to all the fireworks displays and one of my fondest memories is sitting in the middle of the Indian River in Florida, on a pontoon boat, watching about 7 fireworks displays from around the area. We even got to play with the dolphins before the sky show. Now that we live in AZ, I don’t go to the professional shows and really stay away from “civilian” fireworks. We all shoot and have no problems with firearms, but fireworks are just too unpredictable – as are some of the people who play with them. ‘We have so many fires in the state right now that I see no reason to tempt fate. One of the local venues that was going to do a fireworks show cancelled it because of the current weather conditions. It’s been over 110 every day for two weeks and the end is no where in sight. In fact, this week we will see overnight temperatures that won’t even dip to 90. However, for those of you who love fireworks and can play with them safely, more power to you!
    Good luck, Glen. I hope that heals well and leaves no marks. Congratulations again on being the kind of father who continues to teach safety and useful skills. Thanks for sharing your object lesson with us. You’re a trooper!

    • Thanks Cheryl. I agree. I was blessed, not lucky. It hit me hard enough to give me a good lesson (that I can pass on to others) but not hurt me. This fireworks display was a lesson to me that many people go too far with this type of thing. Even without the injury, the display I saw was not enjoyable. It was way too much.

  8. Cindy

    That booboo looks ok in comparision to what it could have looked like. Yes, you are blessed to have your consciousness and eyesight. It could have been much worse. I like your idea of safety… I never would have thought to have worn safety classes. Good job Glenn!

  9. Chuck

    Don’t know if that was your lucky day or unlucky day. Lucky that it bounced off your apparently extremely hard head and didn’t give you a concussion or fractured skull. Lucky that it wasn’t an inch lower. Lucky that you didn’t turn your head and expose your temple to it where the injury would have been far more severe. Lucky it didn’t hit your nose, mouth, throat. Unlucky that it misdirected and hit you. While it is easy to joke about it afterwards when there is nothing more serious than a knot and a small puncture mark (I hope you washed it with phisohex, betadene, or some other antibacterial agent) it really could have had life threatening consequences. Hope your Fourth of July celebrations were otherwise routine and un-noteworthy.

    I’m not a safety engineer, but I do believe there is a level of safety glass that would have protected your eyeball from damage had you been wearing them and been hit directly on the eye. Some of them are designed to take the impact of a piece of shot fired from a fairly close distance. I believe that is one test. Or a ball bearing of a specified weight dropped from a specified height. Of course, safety glasses would not have protected your forehead. You would have to be wearing a hardhat with a full face shield for that. Not a bad idea for the individual lighting the fireworks. Most of them are made in China, some in Mexico. ‘Nuff said. You can tell about quality control by the number of fireworks plant explosions.

    • Thanks Chuck. Yes, thank God for my thick skull. I’m convinced that I was very lucky. It could have been so much worse, and my son was sitting a few feet away, so it could have hit him too. Thanks for the info on the safety glasses. I think they would have protected me, but I’m glad I didn’t have to test it.

  10. Barb Holli

    Ditto all the other comments! I bet you’ll end up with a colorful black eye !? As the saying goes
    “This too shall pass.” Keep up your “essential” messages. Love my distiller. Take care of you.

    • Thanks Barb. I’m amazed that so far there is no bruising. Maybe it will happen, but so far I have a abrasion sore, and still some swelling, but no discoloration yet. We’ll see. Thanks again.

  11. Loa

    Your photo makes my knees go weak….just thinking of what COULD have happened. You were blessed…and it is a good lesson to all! I’ve avoided commercial firework displays for several years now. People around Carr Inlet (in Puget Sound) set off home-style fireworks so I go to the boat launch and watch from there….far enough away to be safe! I’m so glad you’re okay! Thanks for all the work you do in our behalf!

  12. Biba McDowell

    No teasing, laughing or ridicule allowed. Things like this could happen to any of us, at any time, without warning, rather than it having happened to you. If it happened to us, we would not think it was funny. I agree with you, Cheryl, and perhaps others, that you were not lucky, but you were blessed, and I would add that you were, also, protected, from it not hitting you somewhere else, that could have been more serious. I am grateful for that! Lesson learned for all of us. Thank you for making us aware of dangers, we may not think of. May you have a speedy recovery, with no complications or lingering effects, other than the love, care, and concern received from all of us.

  13. Sheryl

    Glad it wasn’t worse. I know what it is like to be hit with fire cracker/work but mine was on my upper arm. Just take precautions next year and enjoy the fireworks. Hope you are doing better today.

  14. Elisabeth

    Great cover story,… but now you need to come clean,… It was a Unicorn horn-ectomy. LOL!!
    Heal quickly, my friend.

  15. Glen
    Lucky! Lucky! ?
    My company taught us, “You can walk with a wooden leg and you can hear with a hearing aid, but you can’t see with a glass eye.” Eyes are so special and such a huge gift!
    That looks like a head injury, hmmm, should you be following a concussion protocol for a few days?
    Looking for a new nickname?
    How about Knothead?
    You’ve taught me so much about water, survival and I’m loving my sun ovens. I want you around, happy and healthy! I have so much more to learn. ?
    Take care of that noggin and those eyeballs! You don’t get anymore!
    The “eyes” have it!

  16. Biba McDowell

    Also, although I’m not a doctor, you might want to have your head injury checked out by one, if you haven’t already, to make sure you don’t have a concussion, a fracture, a hematoma, or any other internal bleeding or damage that you may not be aware of, since those things can be very dangerous, if not attended to and taken care of properly. Hopefully, nothing more than what you see is going on, and that looks painful enough! May you heal quickly, without a scar.

  17. Joyce

    There was a lady here in Utah that DID lose an eye in a firecracker accident. I can’t remember how many surgeries she had to go through, but she now has a prosthetic eye. Very lucky!

  18. Nelson McKinnon RCMP ret'd

    1971 scratched 4 of the five layers of cornea on left eye. Was in the bush and 150 miles from the military hospital. The Doctor arrived via helicopter and after a harrowing experience went home with both eyes patched. 32 days blind was an experience!!! NOW my trifocal glasses are high impact acrylic lenses.. Please tell people to spend the money to buy the best sunglasses the can find.

  19. Neal Heupel

    Looks lie you were lucky, and glad you had your safety glasses on, could have been much worse just a bit lower. Glad you’re alright

  20. Arla Genstler

    I’m an eye surgeon and I HATE FIREWORKS. They are devastating and your eye will lose every time. I don’t go near amateur fireworks and if I were there, would have the best safety glasses on that I could buy. Fireworks are nothing to be played with.

  21. Betty Montgomery

    Volunteer Fire Department member here. I don’t think it’s funny at ALL! I think it’s scary as HELL! I’m all for the safety glasses idea of course and in fact would prefer everyone around fireworks to be wearing full bunker gear and have at least a brush fire truck on scene. But then I’m also one of those weirdo’s who DON”T like fireworks and consider them generally to be a wast of money. I’d rather buy an interesting book with my cash. But hey, it’s a free country . . . I think.

  22. Veronica Montgomery

    Wow Glenn, you were blessed! But, your neighbor may not be at fault here. There was an article online a few days ago that warned people of defective fireworks. Your neighbor may have purchased some of those without knowing it.


  23. Scott

    My job is lab safety in a college science lab and drawing the line between overtly (OCD) safe, i.e., don’t get out of bed, versus reasonable, prudent, appropriate is a challenge.
    It’s tough. Simple safety glasses versus splash goggles — how many people know the difference?
    Reminds me of a book: Follow My Leader; by James Garfield, written in the 1950s. A boy is blinded by a firecracker and develops a trusting relationship with his guide dog.
    Get it for your kids.

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