“I am the manager of this fireworks store in Seale, Alabama. I’ve been here 21 years. My boss hired a girl in skimpy cut-off shorts and a halter top to do a commercial. It was awful. I talked to my friend Jenny Smith about doing something better. She said I had to be the Bang Bang Lady. I said, ‘Hell no.’ She said, ‘Wanda, you sell fireworks and what do they do? They bang bang.’ I became the Bang Bang Lady and shook my ass on TV. As soon as it aired, people started coming through the door. One guy from Georgia came in yelling ‘bang, bang.’ He picked me up, swung me around and said, ‘I love you.’ We got crazy phone calls. Some were from religious old women who told me I need to get off TV. I told them to turn the channel. We do a new commercial every 4th of July and New Year’s. I am about to be 58 years old and still shake my ass. The commercials bring people in from all over. Today a man came in from Canada on his way to Florida. Meeting me had been on his bucket list.
My mom was abusive, emotionally and physically. That’s what makes me strong and feisty. It also opened me up to other people. I love children and soldiers. My door is always open. We have taken in so many children. I don’t like to see anyone hurt. I have let my bills get behind and almost lost my home helping others. It is just who I am. What goes around comes around. I love my job and do it all here. We lost our son in a car accident several years ago. He was 33. My boss paid for his funeral. He paid for my parents’ funerals too.
I go fishing at night for fun. We call it ‘jugging.’ We take a piece of PVC pipe, put a swimming noodle around it, and attach a line and sinker and a hook. I put chicken hearts on the hook. I caught a 55-pound catfish on that one night. It’s exciting to pull in a fish that big. I don’t want to live anywhere else but here.”