Chris had a secret.
He was in love with Miria and he didn’t want her to know about his passion. On one of their first dates, he snuck away to visit his second love.
“I love fireworks,” Chris Good admits.
“He shot fireworks on the first night he came out to my house down on the river bottom,” Miria recalled. “He did it alone because he didn’t think I’d be impressed.”
Little did Chris know Miria would become equally passionate about celebrating Independence Day.
“I thought it was kind of a geek thing and I didn’t want her to know how much I was into fireworks,” Chris said.
Twenty-one years later, the couple laughs about it. Much of their lives is centered around fireworks and business is booming.
The Goods own Pyrotech Professionals, the area’s largest display fireworks company, and Western Pyro Enterprises, a consumer fireworks and import company. The company is the home of Cowboy Brand, its own line of fireworks. The Powell couple also own and operate Quality Propane.
On Wednesday night, the duo performed Cody’s Fourth of July fireworks show, starting what they hope is a long tradition of the Park County show after taking over from the disbanded Cody Skylighters.
The show featured 5,000 salutes (aerial explosions) in the finale. One shell measured 16 inches and spread out over 2,000 feet in the sky above the gateway city. More than 1,500 fireworks proceeded the finale in the 22-minute show. For the Goods, the work begins many months before the big moment.
“It’s an art form. That’s the part I like the most,” Miria said.
In October, after the contract was signed with the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce, Miria began selecting music for the show and then started choreographing the show to the music — a process that takes about 100 hours, Chris said. Pyrotech Professionals were some of the first to incorporate a computer program into their business. The program, which choreographs the display with music, is now used all over the world.
Miria stresses about the job until the grand finale, which is designed by Chris.
“It’s a lot of physical work, but it’s the stress that I dislike the most,” she said. “I don’t like boring fireworks shows.”
The budget for the Cody display was $30,000. Ten employees worked four long days to set it up. Every shell was numbered to correspond with an input on an electrical board, controlled by a main computer.
“We used to hand-fire the shows. It was dangerous,” Miria said. “It’s neat to me how it works: I like the details and he likes the finales.”
The show was fired from private land on the north shore of the Shoshone River. Originally, the Goods planned to fire them from higher ground south of the river, so the show was designed with some low and mid-range displays. But the fire department and the city council recently decided it would be safer to use the barren site directly north of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
“We’re grateful Cody asked us to do it. I want to make this the destination event for the Fourth of July in Wyoming,” Good said. “But if we’re made to stay so far away from crowds, the budget will have to grow.”
The larger the shell and the higher they fly, the more they cost, Chris said. The couple loves the work and have done many shows throughout the region in the past 21 years, including the past 20 years of displays in Byron. Yet it’s not all about the business. They still feel the excitement of little kids lighting off fireworks on the street in front of the family while celebrating the country’s birthday. It’s a love they share.
“People need to remember on the Fourth of July that we’re celebrating our freedom,” Chris said.