Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fireworks Daughter

Short post today because I'd like to get my Fight Club post up tomorrow. 

My father, Dan, The Fireworks Man, began shooting fireworks before I was born. He was a member of the prestigious Garden State Fireworks company throughout the 70s and early 80s. He stopped when his friend died, which seems to happen to my dad a lot. 

He has a show today with the company he joined about ten years ago, International Fireworks. I wanted so badly to go to the show tonight, I even gave up hanging out with Blanc for it, because the I.F. warehouse wants to get rid of their stock of 16 inch shells and tonight's venue is one of the few places that's possible.

The larger a shell is, the larger a firework is, the more space you need around it, legally and logistically, space without people or trees or structures. The National Fire Protection Association's code number 1123, the regulations for fireworks displays, requires a minimum viewing distance of 70 feet for every one inch of shell size. So for the 16 inch shells they need 1120 feet of space. 

That's a radius of 1120 feet. You need almost a half of a mile for these things to be launched safely. The largest shell my father's ever seen lit was a 12 inch-er in a show he did. He said that it left a 4 foot circle on the ground, that it pulled all the grass surrounding it towards itself for four feet. The shells they want to launch tonight are four inches larger. 

Average shows consist of mainly three to six inch shells. The biggest shells in average shows are 8 inch-ers, and there's usually only a dozen of those, if that. 

I hope they don't do it. I hope it's not tonight. For one thing, it's a gigantic fucking bomb they want to light, three times the size of the bombs they usually handle. And because I rrrrreeeaaaallllllllllyyyyy wanted to see it, but I'm not well enough to go. 

Good show, boys. Come home with all of your fingers and toes. 

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