A friend of his father has a cannon that was retreived from the ship his grandfather served on when it was decommissioned. (That's a confusing sentence!) It's a 4th of July tradition to "FIRE THE CANNON".
I admit, when I first saw the cannon, I was a little dubious. I was expecting the sort of cannon that kids climb on in the public parks. In fact, I'd scoped the yard for it when I first got there, thinking it had to be a permanent fixture. It *did* take 4 strong guys to carry the cannon from the shed, place it on the hill, so it would recoil into the hill and not travel as far...
First shot....the cork at the end of the cannon was stuck. 2 capfuls of black powder into the fuse hole. Most of the men attending the party congregated around the cannon, grinning the way men do when explosives are around. FIRE IN THE HOLE! BOOM!
The cork ended up in the pond down the hill. Whoops. The wife of the cannon owner complained "That wasn't very loud!".
Second shot....after much explaining that the first boom was simply to clear the cork, the cannon was reloaded with paper wad, and a green apple. Much more black powder was put into the fuse hole. Warnings were given to plug ears (grandma removed her hearing aide!) BOOM! Much noise, much explosion, paper everywhere, the apple instantly became applesauce.
Many requests for "Just one more!" so a third shot, with even more black powder was prepared. John's dad marked the original spot of the cannon, after the BOOM the cannon had recoiled 4 feet uphill! It was cool.
I'm a convert. I 'm sorry that I dissed the size of the cannon.
It's not the size of the barrel, it's the explosion it can create!