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Michigamme Fireworks Crew

I was snapping pictures of the fireworks in Michigamme, Michigan earlier this month, when I decided to zoom in on the crew setting them off.

Holy crap. I have a whole new respect for the folks who don protective gear, light their flares, and make sure everything goes off safely and according to plan.

Click for larger images.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2016 11:04 pm (UTC)
These are beautiful. In my early twenties, I spent a summer working as one of the folks who ran out into whatever roped off area the folks we worked for were setting off their fireworks show over to pick up the expended ordinance before the next one went off. I never know whether to categorize that experience under a) dangerous things I did for too little pay, or b) unique ways I was paid to exercise while inhaling toxins and wearing earplugs. Either way, the view of fireworks from backstage is amazing. Thank for sharing.
Jul. 18th, 2016 01:36 am (UTC)
Beautiful photos.

Many years ago, I was attending the local fireworks display in my hometown, as I'd done for pretty much every 4th of July for my entire life. And a backspark caught the wrong breeze, and everything still under tarps went up, all at once.

Between the trained professionals (firefighters and explosive experts), and some very clear-headed people in the crowd who got all the kids calmly rounded up and headed home without panic, all that happened was that we got a hell of a grand finale 10 minutes earlier than planned, and a lot closer to the ground than expected. But it could so easily have become deadly.

So yeah, huge kudos to the folk who do this stuff, and why I will never consider amateur fireworks a thing to be condoned (especially when handled by teenagers or drunk 20-somethings, as seems to happen every year)

Edited at 2016-07-18 01:37 am (UTC)
Jul. 18th, 2016 04:21 pm (UTC)
My dad used to do this, when he was in the military.

He told a story several years back:
A woman who was part of the team, had hair down to her bum. Every year (by this time, they'd been doing this for 5 years), she would braid her hair, don the protective gear, get hosed down with water and go out to light the fireworks. This year, one of the fireworks sparked before she could step back and her hair caught on fire.
The team threw a blanket over her and she also rolled in the sand pit that was set up specifically for this reason. But her hair still burned enough, that her hair was shortened to her shoulders. Every year since then, she would tuck her hair into a hat (when it was short enough to do so), then once it grew out, she would tuck the braid into her shirt, get soaked in water, then throw on her protective gear and still get doused with water.

Because of this story, and others that my dad has told over the years or ones I actually witnessed, I won't set off fireworks in my back yard.

Edited at 2016-07-18 04:22 pm (UTC)
Jul. 18th, 2016 08:59 pm (UTC)
One of the ApolloCon folks has been a professional pyrotechnician for 30 years. And still, a few years ago, something glitched and he ended up in the hospital with facial burns. (He's fine now, not even any major scars.) So yeah, a dangerous job even for people who know what the hell they're doing. Me, I'm happy to watch the pros handle it.
Jul. 18th, 2016 10:11 pm (UTC)
SO cool. Great pictures and very brave folks.
Jul. 20th, 2016 11:03 am (UTC)
What beautiful photos! :-) Thanks very much for sharing, Jim.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines


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