June 25 marked 34 years since tragedy struck the small Terlton area community. An explosion at 9:40 a.m. at the Aerlex Corporation fireworks plant literally shook the area. Bill Hickson recalls, “I felt the earth shake like and an earthquake. I looked out the window towards the fireworks plant and saw a mushroom cloud like a bomb had exploded.”
That morning at breakfast his wife Toni talked about what she would make for supper and Hickson reminded her that it was ‘Lodge night’ and he would be attending with his brother Jesse Don. As his wife left for work at the Aerlex plant, little did he know he’d just had his last conversation with her, nor would Hickson be attending a Masonic Lodge meeting with Jesse Don — his wife and brother were among 21 killed that day.