A family business of selling fireworks took a year off in the late 1980s before a pair of brothers took over the business.
They were 15 at the time and operated the fireworks tent with a little help from their parents.
Shannon and Shawn Martin continued the fireworks business just before the New Year selling for five days prior to Jan 1. Their grandparents, especially Imogen Lowry, founded the business in the late 1950s or early 1960s, according to Shannon.
“Grandma sold the fireworks from a trailer after closing Lowry’s Country Store. When she stopped in the late 1980s, nobody picked up the baton for the first year.
“We (Shannon and Shawn Martin) asked if anyone was going to sell fireworks at that point,” Shannon said. “We were 15 when we started the business.”
The duo – both working in a school setting with Shannon working as a counselor and Shawn as a teacher – have been selling fireworks twice a year out of a tent near Buck Street and Hillsboro Boulevard.
“What else is there to do as educators?” Shannon said with a smile on his face.
But it is not easy work as they have to stay open 24 hours a day for the time allotted. Martin said they have a five-day selling season in the winter. The duo started on Thursday and will continue through New Year’s Day.
“You stay in your vehicle and turn on the heat for most of the night,” Shannon said. “It’s just a family tradition.”