LA Fireflies: Mythical or magical?

From Kevin, in Los Angeles:

Some 50 years ago in my childhood home (Mt. Prospect IL) some sort of research group offered a penny for every two fireflies us kids could collect. I’m sure we didn’t make a dent in the dense lightning bug population, but we tried. A candy bar was a nickel back then. It was the most lucrative romp imaginable.  Illustration by P.D. Eastman

Then 25 years later in Los Angeles, a good friend and native LAvian was reading a children’s book about fireflies to my kids. Afterward he said: “It’s a shame they are only a myth. It would be so magical!” It took some days and a visit to the library to convince him they were real after all. He was astonished.