How can I ever thank Buckeye Lake Marina owner Dave Levacy for helping “friends of BLASST” cover my back and for doing much more? You’re a peach, my friend and a community giver. I can’t put into words what that meant to me. Thank you and yes, it’s working.
So far we have received $14,000 in checks to spend on fireworks, but that doesn’t include Dad’s annual trust check which should be about $10,000. Then we will have about $24,000, which is about half what we spent last year. I don’t want anyone surprised about the possibility of a smaller show this year. If you are planning to donate, please do it soon so the fireworks company can build the show bigger.
Some “Friends of BLASST” will be standing on the corner at the light this Saturday in Millersport, collecting donations in our famous Sharon Casto hand-made BLASST hats from 8 a.m. to noon. I will probably be there with them sooner or later as well. Please make it a point to drive by with your paper or coin to help BLASST. If you are having a party on July 1 you might want to check out a hat from The Beacon and see if your guests would like to contribute. We’re getting mighty close to the first and every dollar counts.
Through the years I’ve had some fun working on BLASST. Leanne and I use to laugh like hell in my basement writing letters about the two round women on the golf cart and our great adventures. It’s been a ball getting to know Kenny and Lyn Sprague from Hamburg Fireworks along with my buddy, Mike Jolly, our shooter. Tom Swank is always a joy to work with at WNKO 101.7 FM. You all have become my friends, pals almost family. You make my jobs look easy. Thank you!
I wish I had written down the names and taken pictures of all our volunteers over the years. I remember most of your faces. I would like you put on our updated website where you all belong. But I’m brain dead now and we can only change the future by making sure it happens from now on. Hopefully, we can fill in the blanks of the past too. I’ve met so many wonderful people over the years though BLASST, sadly and most embarrassingly I can only remember about a third of your names.. I apologize for my memory failures.
One of the best summers I had was when we were trying to come up with a name for our fireworks. I would stand in the pool and open envelope after envelope, reading your suggested names to my friend, Patty. They just made me smile. Then along came a letter with several names. But THEE ONE caught my eye. I kept opening others, but I put this one to the side. In the end, Steve Bush’s suggestion hit the nail on the head. It was exactly what I was looking for and what our event is all about. It is short, timeless, modern, patriotic and perfect. BLASST – Buckeye Lake Area Star Spangled Tradition! As far as I’m concerned you sold me the name cheap. I’m so proud of it, Thank you Steve.
People ask about the music I pick for the simulcast. Some are obvious – the National Anthem, the service hymns and Taps for our fallen service people. The Redneck women are always saluted and Happy Trails wraps it up to calm everyone down for the ride home. You will also hear James Brown’s Living in America as long as I’m alive. It’s for my brother who passed away in 2001. I used to go there after the fireworks show to watch the circus in his yard and get my hug and a “You did good sweetie”. Bobby liked the palm trees, but Dad’s favorite was the big boom noise and lighting the flare flag at the end of the front dock. Memories are so bitter sweet sometimes.
The last person on my list this year to dedicate my BLASST efforts to is Tim Waln. For those of you who don’t know him, he is the Buckeye Lake Area Regional Park Manager which covers much more than Buckeye Lake. Tim is doing jobs of seven men every day. He is spread so thin you can’t even smell the butter as he walks by. I believe I met Tim about 10 years ago when he first came to Buckeye Lake. That first year our show was not the same night as RED WHITE & BOOM. I knew I had made a mistake and warned Tim, but he didn’t know what I was telling him YET. We laugh about it now, but it wasn’t funny then. That’s when Tim started gathering his crew of great people. Tim and I work very well together. We have the highest respect for each other and I think we’ve built a fine friendship through it all. He’s as fair a man you can find and a straight shooter. He really cares about the people of Buckeye Lake. There is a fine line working for ODNR while working with Buckeye Lake residents. ODNR could never replace a talent like Tim. What you don’t know about Tim might fit in a thick book; he is another one of a kind.
Tim has a family. Their names are Meredith, Logan, Kendra, Victoria, Trent, Garrett and his wife, Jeanna. Last year I was pretty depressed and burned out after the show until I got an envelope. Inside were seven hand printed notes on white notebook paper from each of Tim’s children thanking me for such a great night. Each letter was unique and personal and they all made me cry like a baby. I was stunned that any father could get all six of his children to write such letters. Tim told me, “I didn’t, they wanted to do it. They did it all on their own.” It seems they brought another family who had never seen anything like our BLASST show. They were so proud to host another family of such excited kids, particularly Colton who doesn’t let being color blind ruin any of his enjoyment. Such appreciation through the eyes of babes; it was sweet and fulfilling for me. I couldn’t even speak to Tim about those letters for weeks because I knew I would cry. Thanks for everything, Tim. I appreciate you and all that you sacrifice.
Kids…Daddy Tim has to work that night but if you six shorties and your Mother would like to be picked up at about 9:45 at the dredge dock to come out to the barge, I’d love to have you. It’s the best seat on the lake. Consider this your invitation; as I would do anything for your father because he does so much for our golden pond. If you’re bringing friends, please let me know how many ahead of time.
The Beacon comes out on Thursdays so please get it as soon as you can next week or read it on line.