Image above: Bulldog and his wife, Brenda, posing at their fireworks location. Bulldog has been selling fireworks since he was 23 years old.
I have a lot of positive memories associated with the Fourth of July; family friends that I hadn’t seen in ages would come over to celebrate and we would discuss our past months while eating grilled hamburgers and watching the city fireworks. Another important memory always included the trip to Bulldog’s Fireworks to stock up on pyrotechnics leading up to the explosive day.
Thankfully community members still have the opportunity to do such, as Bulldog’s Fireworks is celebrating 31 years of existence and still going strong.
Charles Garnett, more so recognized as ‘Bulldog,’ is the face behind the fireworks shop. He calls his wife Brenda the fundamental backbone to the business, and you will always see her by his side – especially during this holiday season.
His shop has been at a variety of locations throughout the years, but his current storefront is a large metal-sided building across from IGA, the town’s grocery store. He built it five years ago and it co-exists as his barbeque hangout when not selling fireworks. Arguably, his barbeque abilities are equally synonymous with Bulldog as his fireworks business.
When asked why he started selling fireworks, he spoke about growing up poor in rural Missouri.
“We were never able to afford the fireworks that everyone else had,” said Bulldog.
Since then, he has made it his goal to make sure everyone can have a good Fourth of July experience with reasonably priced fireworks. With over 300 products and his great customer service, he makes sure his customers walk away happy – no matter their budget.
During the interview, he reminisced a moment of firework-selling that he will never forget. One of his greatest experiences was giving away a couple dollars-worth of fireworks to a boy who only had a soft-shelled turtle to his name.
While the rest of the boy’s friends were buying fireworks, Bulldog came up to him and said, “Didn’t you know it’s Turtle Day? That means you get $2.00 of free fireworks today, but there is one condition: you have to put it back where you got it because its mommy is probably looking for it.”
The young boy left happily, taking his fireworks home and the little turtle back to the creek.
Bulldog’s love for giving back to the community goes much farther than selling fireworks. A large part of his profits fund accommodations for the mission trips that both him and his wife attend every year. This year they will be traveling to Helena, Montana to build a church.
But for the most part, he just loves seeing everyone from year to year, celebrating our great country.
“I love seeing the kids all grown-up and bringing their kids. It just really means a lot,” said Bulldog.
For those that are celebrating festivities after the holidays, no worries. Bulldog typically sells fireworks from June 20 to July 10. They accept debit/credit cards.