Purple Haze All Around

Hunter S. Thompson may have got there first, but Meredith Smith went out in style last night: Kissing the sky as his ashes were launched in a fireworks shell.

Smith, who died in February, ran his Indiana community’s fireworks show for forty years, sometimes funding it out of his own pocket. His widow fired the final shell, which exploded in a white burst after the regular spectacular finale.

Commemorative tees called the blast “The Last Shot”.

Of course, this being America, the half-teaspoon of cremains had to be cleared with the local health authorities:

“There doesn’t appear to be anything in our codes that relates to this issue, and in talking to our water-quality people, if this is something a family wishes to do, we don’t see how it would create a public health issue,” said John Althardt of the Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County.

That settled, we look forward to a new wave of creative commemoration. For starters, we would be honored to sprinkle a half-teaspoon of Jesse Helms’ ashes in our cat’s litterbox.

Pyrotechnician’s ashes to be launched in a fireworks shell [IndyStar]
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