Family has been lighting things up for 55 years

Published 12:08 am Thursday, June 28, 2007

NATCHEZ — The Murray family has an explosive history.

And Stephanie Murray fits right into the 55-year-old family tradition.

Murray and her brother Herbert haul out the goodies twice a year and set up shop at Murray’s Fireworks on U.S. 61 South.

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“My grandfather Skinner ‘J.S.’ Murray originally opened the stand,” Stephanie Murray said. “I’ve been working it since I was 13 years-old.”

They sell everything from sparklers to full-on light-up-the-sky firework displays that contain 500 grams of explosive powder.

The stand is open in June and July for Independence Day and then closes until late November.

“We open the stand up right after Thanksgiving dinner and it stays open until New Year’s Day so people can have fireworks for Christmas and New Years,” Stephanie Murray said.

The fireworks stand is one of many businesses Skinner Murray owned and operated in Natchez.

“My grandfather used to have: It’ll Do Lounge, Imperial and Action Furniture, Village Grocery and a car lot in the area,” Herbert Murray said.

Although the other Murray businesses are no longer around they still have the family fireworks stand and it just keeps getting passed down.

“My grandfather gave me the fireworks stand in 1991 and then my sister got involved,” Herbert Murray said.

Stephanie Murray works the stand with her 14-year-old son Casey Floyd from 11 a.m. until her brother gets off of work and takes over for the night shift.

Skinner’s wife Peggy Murray, 77, still does the books for the business, Stephanie Murray said.

The Murrays’ fireworks stand is definitely a family tradition and if Casey Floyd has his way the Murray firework legacy will carry on.

“I told my mom that I hope to takeover the stand one day,” Floyd said. “I would really like to keep it in the family.”

The Murray family has watched the Cherry Bomb become the M-80 and the M-80 become the M-150 but in that time three generations have owned the stand.

“The fireworks got more expensive, but the show they put on got better,” Stephanie Murray said. “Fireworks are supposed to be for fun and not blowing things up or hurting anyone.”