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Issue Date: July 2006 Issue


Kim Dregalla

Manager of Class C fireworks, American fireworks Co. in Hudson

Francis Scott Key throws out that whole “bombs bursting in air” line, and the next thing you know, we’re all sitting in our back yards with a crate full of bottle rockets. “You do know it’s legal to buy fireworks in Ohio, but not legal to use them, right?” says Kim Dregalla, manager of Class C fireworks at the American Fireworks Co. in Hudson. “Because I know everyone who shops here strictly follows the rule of the law.”

I’m buying these Molotov Cocktail aerial repeaters for, um, my sister in Buffalo.
We have a lot of people who come here to buy for out-of-state relatives. Weird.

After July Fourth, what’s next?
New Year’s is big, actually. Aerial fireworks are beautiful in the snow.

Do other countries have big fireworks holidays?
Oh, sure. There’s the Chinese New Year, the Deepavali Festival of Lights in India and the Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night in England.

What’s actually in a firework?
In its simplest form, there’s gunpowder or black powder, and chemical compounds to create different reactions: chlorates, nitrates, sulfur, things like that. It’s pretty complicated science you probably wouldn’t understand.

Hey, we just met and you already know me.
I’m good with people.

The strangest fireworks request.
I swear this is true. I had someone ask me for some silent roman candles because he and his brother liked to put them in their butts and fire them at each other.

I’m guessing they haven’t been back.
No, I haven’t heard from him.

Talk to me about safety.
Two things: Buy from a reputable dealer and not off the street. Also, adult supervision is important.

Preferably, an adult without beer.
Actually, I think some people are better off if they’re a bit tranquilized.

Your worst fireworks injury.
Years ago, my skirt was lit on fire.

Was it scary?
If I wasn’t full of wine, it might’ve been.

Are sparklers underrated?
Honestly, other than illegal fireworks, sparklers are one of the most dangerous items out there. People underestimate the temperature they burn.

How do people decide what they want?
I actually get a lot of customers asking me to put a fireworks package together for them.

So you’re like a florist — with nitrate-filled exploding bouquets.
Can’t we just say my flowers bloom in the sky?

Your favorite fireworks sound.
A crackle.

A word of advice for the Fourth of July.
Read the directions on the package. And be careful.

Well, I’m, uh, off to take this stuff to Buffalo.
Uh-huh. I hope you have a nice time with your sister.


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