Fireworks stand keeping family together
by RACHEL DAVIS
Jul 04, 2012 | 2187 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Roger Williamson stocks fireworks at his stand near Sipsey. He says the happiness of local children when they come in to buy fireworks has kept him working despite health challenges. - Photo by: Rachel Davis.
Roger Williamson stocks fireworks at his stand near Sipsey. He says the happiness of local children when they come in to buy fireworks has kept him working despite health challenges. - Photo by: Rachel Davis.
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Eight years ago, Roger Williamson and his brothers decided to start a business to help keep the family together after the death of their mother.

“You know how some families just seem to drift apart?” Williamson said. “We didn’t want that to happen.”

Williamson had worked for another fireworks distributor for a while and thought the business would be fun for them and provide a little extra income, without being too taxing because of its seasonal nature.

Williamson Fireworks now has two locations, one behind the Frosty on Sipsey Road and one in Empire near Little Vine Church.

Although health issues kept them from opening much of last year, Williamson and his wife, Deborah, said their regulars keep them going, and they hope many of them will return this year.

“We charge a little bit to make a little money and be able to restock each year,” Williamson said. “Mostly we have a lot of friends that we see a few times a year.”

Williamson said that this has been the worst year since they began the business, something he blames on the economy and the fact that the holiday falls mid-week.

Despite the bad sales, Williamson will open today at 8 a.m. and will stay until the last customer is satisfied, because he says it isn’t about the money to him anyway.

“Our main goal is to have fun and meet people we only get to see a few times a year,” Williamson said. “We just love to see kids get excited about the fireworks.”

Williamson says his usual favorite, and top sellers, are the package deals that include several types of fireworks. This year, he has a new favorite — the small poppers that can be thrown down and make no spark or pretty colors, just a loud noise.

“My granddaughter loves them, she throws them on the steps and laughs and laughs,” Williamson with a twinkle in his eyes. “I have a few cases set back for her already, just to annoy her parents.”