As I sit here in my living room and the time to welcome in New Years 2012 approaches, I listen to the fireworks exploding and remember a Unionville New Years Eve that will forever be etched in my family's memory. The following is the story of that night:
NEW YEAR’S IN UNIONVILLE
New Year’s Eve was usually a quiet celebration in the small community of Unionville, Louisiana in the 1950’s. But there is one New Year’s Eve celebration that will be long remembered by the Colvin, Jones and Roberson families.
For several years there was an impromptu fireworks display put on by our Jones family and the Roberson family from Shreveport. That celebration brought excitement to the local community and passersby on the main highway through Unionville. Uncle M R Roberson had some connections and was able to get a huge supply of all types of fireworks. When Uncle M R, Aunt Theo and their two sons Ernie and Mickey would come for a visit during the New Year holidays, they would bring enough of these fireworks for us to put on a first class fireworks display.
When Uncle M R would open the trunk of the car, all of us would gawk at the unbelievable supply of firecrackers, cherry bombs, sky rockets, roman candles, aerial bombs and sparklers. Each of us would select the fireworks that we wanted and place them in cardboard boxes ready for the night of the fireworks display. On the day set for the big fireworks show, each of us would choose our position for the display. The location for the display was the high bank on the side of the “tee” intersection of Highway 167 and 822. This high bank was across the highway from the Colvin and Jones Grocery Store and the parking area gave plenty of room for passing traffic on the roads to pull off and watch the show.
Once darkness had fallen, we would all take our positions and get ready to start the show. Now, this was not really a real organized type of show so everyone just did their own little show. But, once the show got to rolling it was very impressive and many people driving along the highway would pull over and stop to watch.
On one New Year’s Eve when I was a young teenager we had an unexpected, spectacular and unexpected closing to the show. The show had been going on for about an hour and everyone had used about half of their fireworks. It has gotten black dark and as I searched around in my box for the fireworks that I wanted to use I could not see very well. Being a young man who acted first and then later thought about what repercussion his actions would have, I decided that more light was needed for me to find the fireworks I wanted. The first thing that came to my mind was a sparkler, so I grabbed a sparkler, lit it and stuck it down into my box for light. What happened next was a total shock to everyone including myself. As I stuck the sparkler into the box it set off some of my fireworks in the box and I jumped back and dropped the sparkler into the box of fireworks. What followed was the most spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks display ever in Unionville as all of the fireworks started exploding and going in different directions.