Over the years of selling Fireworks T-shirts, hats and other memorabilia, numerous supporters suggested that we should publish a keepsake book bringing together the many T-shirt designs into one volume. This would be a remarkable way to commemorate the annual event that brings the community together in celebration of our country and the freedoms we all enjoy – including the Falmouth Fireworks.
that fostered a direction ~
2020 was planned to be a year of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Falmouth Fireworks and the 400th Commemoration of the Mayflower Voyage and its landing on the shores of Cape Cod. The opportunity to recognize these two dates – while heeding the suggestions of our Fireworks Fans – steered the Fireworks Committee toward this project. Our goal was to produce a book that would reflect the patriotic spirit of the Fourth of July and combine 30 years of T-shirt designs with an historical retrospective on the Fireworks. It would also include a tribute to veterans and a selection of patriotic verses and poems. Our mission was to publish a limited-edition book that would be the centerpiece of the Falmouth Fireworks fundraising campaign for 2020 – “A Patriotic Tribute – Falmouth Fireworks Celebrating 40 Years.”
and led to a project plan ~
Every project needs a leader and the Committee asked Karen Rinaldo to direct this work. Karen is most intimately familiar with the Fireworks T-shirt designs, as she is the artist who has designed them for 30 years. Beginning in Fall 2019 and continuing through September 2020, most of Karen’s time was devoted to the book project. The Committee received monthly updates from her and in return the Committee shared their ideas and input. The project vision grew from a collection of T-shirt designs to an anthology of patriotic quotes, historical information, inspirational verse, and tributes from town officials and founding member of the Falmouth Fireworks Committee, Arthur R. Ratsy.
Production begins ~
The book was a local endeavor, from community inspiration to local artist, local input, and local production. New Wave Printing & Design of Falmouth was selected to print the book because of their experience with other similar book projects and fundraising efforts. Collaborative work in the Fall through early Spring involved gathering images and refining content. Editing was planned for late Spring into June with an original publication date of late June – just in time for the July 4th fundraising season.
Bumps in the Road ~
COVID-19, and its widespread effect on collaboration, public events, and business practices, hit as the book was three-quarters finished. The virus changed the way in which the work could proceed and thus delayed the completion of the book. However, the virus did not deter the Committee from its original goal – to mark these years in Falmouth’s history and to celebrate and commemorate the town’s patriotic spirit.
The Final Product is Published and Released ~
A Patriotic Tributeis unique in many regards. It was inspired, designed, and produced solely by the Falmouth community. The project was completed within two months of its target, despite the COVID-19 disruption. And, it is one-of-a-kind; the only patriotic tribute book produced by any town on Cape Cod.
In August 2020, when the Committee signed off on the final book edits – they felt a collective sense of relief and accomplishment. They had surpassed their own expectations and created something that would resonate with visitors to our town, its residents, and anyone who has enjoyed the Falmouth Fireworks. Book sales began in mid-September and books are available now at several local businesses, as listed below.
In Karen’s own words ~
The book, as it was being assembled, was presenting itself as an educational experience. I was learning things about the town and became eager to share with others. … It was an emotional experience for this artist as I would review the content with an eye on the peripheral ~ aware of the challenges the country was now facing. An invisible enemy had infiltrated the world ~ something unimaginable and unprecedented. As I turned the edited pages with circled red lines of corrections and additions, I thought of the generations before us who confronted wars as frontline soldiers, sighting enemy targets, getting the job done and praying to get home. Now, frontline soldiers were our doctors and nurses, policeman and firemen, and the everyday person we would pass on the street. The heroes among us wore no armor, had no weapons and had few answers. The spirit of patriotism is what keeps a nation strong and vigilant and this small contribution of our town in words and pictures would salute that spirit we so love and remain inspired by. (October 2020)
In the words of Troy Clarkson ~
Falmouth Enterprise (November 2020)
… the book is a feast for the senses, with paintings, poetry, narratives, and a loving look back at the history of one of our most-enduring summer traditions, the 4th of July fireworks on Vineyard Sound. … Now families who have celebrated nearly a half-century of Falmouth Fireworks memories can thumb through local history in a few moments.