If the city sounded different this July 4th, there was a good reason for that. Obviously, something was missing. It didn’t feel quite the same, and it certainly didn’t SOUND the same. For many years there was a distinctive “boom” in the air that seemed to be missing this year.
It was in 2012 that the city of Port Huron would gain a moniker that would define it for the next 7yrs. “Boom Town” was the name conceived by an ambitious Art Welsh whose singular goal was to see to it all the inhabitants of Port Huron (and the surrounding areas), shared his passion- Fireworks. This was Art’s favorite time of the year. He was in his element as he could be seen in ”his spot” on Lapeer selling fireworks. Art was the kind of person that always did things with an “angle” in mind, and Boom Town Fireworks was no different. He went out of his way to see to it that his prices were the lowest in town. Not because he wanted to use low prices to draw business, but because he wanted to make fireworks affordable to everyone. He actually did this even to his own detriment, because he knew it meant he would not make as much profit as his competitors. But that didn’t matter to Art.
When I met Art five years ago, I had no idea the impact his fireworks would have on me. Not as a customer (personally I don’t indulge in shooting fireworks), but it was the sounds of the city last night that left me thinking about Art and mourning our brother who has brought so much joy to so many during the 4th of July holiday. I am convinced from this day on, every time I see fireworks, they will make me think of Art. Art has seen many impressive displays of color and awe in fireworks over the years, but nothing compares to the awe that he sees today. Rest easy Art, we love and miss you. You have left your mark on this city, and now have gone from Boom Town to your new home in “Heaven Town.”