Posted on | July 5, 2012 | 30 Comments
Supplies for the McCain family fireworks show, July 4, 2012 (click photo to enlarge)
FROM AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION
For the past two years, I had missed the annual family tradition of shooting off a crapload of fireworks on Fourth of July. This year, however, we secured a shoot site and a sufficent stash to do it right.
Rather than just shoot a bunch of random stuff, my sons and I actually put together a show, using timed fuses to sequence the fireworks, with finale boards full of multi-shot aerial repeaters and racks full of 1.75-inch mortar shells.
This year’s show opened with a board of 12 fountains, followed by a board with six repeaters (106 shots total), then my sons fired two matching boards simultaneously (806 shots total), and then the one-minute finale: Three boards with a total of 811 shots, plus 96 mortar shells.
We used fast fuse (about 5 seconds per foot) on the finale and it all went up so quick that I didn’t even realize the mortar racks had fired until the finale was over. When fireworks are going off at the rate of about 15 shots per second, it’s kind of disorienting. In a good way.
It was an all-day job putting together the show — building boards, filling the racks, connecting fuses, etc. — and because it all had to be done outdoors, I sweated until my shirt was soaked clear through. I’m exhausted today. My legs and backs are sore from the constant stooping and bending, and even my fingers are sore because of splinters from the wood and so forth. But it was worth it for the look of joy on my sons’ faces as we exchanged high-fives afterwards. It’s kind of a male-bonding thing, a father-son tradition.
Unfortunately, in all the excitement, Dad forgot to get video of the show. So you’ll have to take my word that it was totally awesome.
– Robert Stacy McCain, Whereabouts Unknown