Tennessee man behind top 10 July 4h shows, including Nashville's
JUNE 27, 2014 - By BRAD SCHMITT, - The Nashville Ledger
Lansden E. Hill Jr. grew in the 1950s in East Tennessee tobacco country. After the tobacco was cut and sold in November, and the men had a little pocket money, Hill’s neighbor would order Roman candles and firecrackers through the mail.
So Christmas and New Year’s was fireworks season in LaFollette.
“I’d watch my dad and a couple of men shoot ’em,” Hill says. “My cousin and I would collect all the firecrackers that hadn’t shot.
“We’d pull the fuses and, well, when you’re working with such short fuses, they tend to go off more in your hand than in the grass. I still have all my fingers, but some of them still sting.”
Hill developed a lifelong obsession with fireworks, one that has developed into the world-renowned Pyro Shows, based in what is still his hometown of LaFollette, about 30 minutes north of Knoxville.