Web Photo: Rick Hannegan, of Prairie Home, Mo., stocks up on fireworks at Eagle Flight Fireworks on Monday morning. Hannegan says he has bought his fireworks from Ronnie Basinger for the past 15 years. Two local fireworks stands have been longtime family operations.

For two Southern Boone families, the seasonal business of fireworks runs in the family.

Kevin and Keith Brunstrom operate the same stand their father did – going on now more than 50-years – and are looking for nephews to take over the business.

Ronnie and Sharon Basinger credit their children Brittany and Justin for doing a lot of work each year, and now have grandchildren helping out where they can.

“I can remember us always trying to pester dad to shoot off fireworks,” Keith Brunstrom remembers. His father, Jack, opened his fireworks stand more than 50 years ago on old highway 63 about two miles south of the Elementary School in a family barn and it is still in the same spot today.

Brunstrom says family-run stands have withstood the growth of corporate retailers by getting to know their customers.

“We enjoy doing it and know our customers,” Brunstrom said, “we see the same folks each year and it may be the only time we see them that year. It’s like old home week.”

Brunstrom says his stand has access to all of the fireworks big stands offer, but provides his customers quality merchandise.

“Why put stuff on your shelf that we don’t recommend?” says Brunstrom. “We want to provide quality fireworks for our customers.”

Brunstrom says the next generation of family is already working at the stand – his sister, Julie’s children – Dawson, Kasidy and Tolden Cunningham.

At Basinger’s Eagle Flight Fireworks, the oldest grandson has already worked to develop marketing ideas for commercials for the fireworks stand under the red, white and blue striped tent.

“We have always had a lot of family involved,” Ronnie Basinger says, “that’s what makes it more fun.”

~ Read the rest of this story in the June 28th Journal ~

By Bruce Wallace