I’d heard of Guy Fawkes Day, also known as bonfire night, which is celebrated in England and in many of its former colonies, while traveling in Europe a decade earlier. I likened it to our 4th of July, mostly because there were fireworks.
I didn’t know the particulars, however, until I was in active labor with my one and only child and my obstetrician finally made an appearance about 2 a.m. on November 5, 1985. After the usual pleasantries between doctor and woman in advanced stages of labor, he said, “You’re having a Guy Fawkes baby!”
Born and raised in England, he was an expert on the subject of the “Gunpowder Plot.” And I was in no position! to question his facts anyway. And so for the next 45 minutes or so, possibly to distract me between contractions, until my son found his way into the world, Dr W. intermittently and merrily regaled me with all the gory details…1605… persecution…conspiracy…gunpowder plot… King James…Parliament…caught red-handed…Guy Fawkes…treason…burned in effigy…bonfires… fireworks…November 5!