All posts by Angela Rozzi-Burns

Born to Work the Fourth of July

From Fireworks to Facials – 4th of July Edition

4 Rozzi Sisters - Nancy, Angela, Paula and Louise
4 Rozzi Sisters – Nancy, Angela, Paula and Louise

I was born into a fireworks family. Family businesses are a little crazy because, well do I really need to state the obvious? Throw Italian and fireworks in the mix and it’s kicked up a notch. The Rozzi’s have been making, displaying, selling, eating (ok, that’s going a little far), breathing and living fireworks since before 1895.

My great grandfather, Paul Rozzi, started our first factory called New Castle Fireworks, Co. in New Castle, Pa. soon after immigrating here from Pietramelara, Italy. My Grandfather, Arturo Rozzi, the founder of Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks and The Tri-State Mfg. Company, settled our factory here in Loveland, Ohio, after several failed attempts to start factories in a variety of places He ended up here after he landed an 8 night summer gig at Coney Island in the early 1930’s. It gave him enough to start his dream again. I remember Coney Island had an awesome official announcer who introduced the fireworks and said at the end of his intro, “And now Mr. Rozzi, on with the show!” I thought he was famous throughout the world. He made great fireworks, drove a Black Cadillac, had playboy magazines in his office (typical Italian man) and was generous and kind. When we visited the factory he said, “ Put out your hands” and he’d give you as much change as you could hold…. this was when a coke in a machine was probably a dime.

Arthur Rozzi, Founder of Rozzi's Famous Fireworks in front at our factory ages ago.
Arthur Rozzi, Founder of Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks in front at our factory ages ago.

My grandfather left his Father (My great grandfather Paul) to start his own business. The story my Dad told me was that they couldn’t agree on much. Arturo wanted to do things differently. So he did. I know he was an artist and an innovator. He was passionate about fireworks and nothing stopped him from following his dreams. I know he didn’t get it right the first time or the second and actually I don’t know how many times it took, but he got up and tried again. If not, we wouldn’t have ended up in Cincinnati making fireworks.

Women working in process building
Women working in process building

Our factory made two types of fireworks, the kind you see at big displays (1.3G) and the backyard variety (1.4G). Our reputation in the industry was unsurpassed in both. With my grandfather’s creative mind and together with his sons working by his side,( My Father and Uncle), they created one of a kind fireworks with skill, precision and innovation. Every documentary or news article that has ever been done on Rozzi’s usually focused on the big displays and our beautiful (1.3g) shells. I’d like to take this little blurb to tell you a bit about our backyard line and how innovative it was at the time.

We made a full line 1.4G fireworks (back in the day they were referred to as class C for Common) including fountains, rockets, roman candles, aerials and our patented 2 Stage Silver Jets. Pre 1960’s you could have included M-80’s and Cherry Bombs and Silver Salutes, We supplied most stands in open states across the USA as we were the largest manufacturer when U.S. manufacturing was in it’s hey day and sent out tractor trailer loads daily and employed over 100.

My Grandfather invented the Two Stage Silver Jet. It was the first firework made using a plastic molded piece. When placed on a hard surface facing the right way up it soared upward like a helicopter with tremendous force, paused mid air, and took off again mid air. They were red and blue and some people called them “flying brats”, like the sausage…How Cincinnati is that? We also manufactured an item called “The Rocket To The Moon”. The rocket came with it’s own 45Lp (that’s an old school music app for those who don’t know) that played a real NASA countdown recording.   Every June, we opened up our shipping garage and sold our overruns and to the general public. This is what my sisters and I did for 4 weeks every summer. I’ve had a love/ hate relationship with it ever since.

I started working in the summers selling when I was 12 years old right at the start of summer vacation until the 4Th of July. (hate part) It was usually 90 degrees and 100% humidity (hard to rock the curly hair) and the gravel roads kicked some nice dust up throughout the day. It was a place to wear jeans and boots and learn how to drive in old trucks you couldn’t hurt with three on the tree. (I loved this)

The endless 3 questions were and still are ( hate part):

  1. What’s the loudest thing you got in here?
  2. What’s the biggest bang for the buck?
  3. Do you sell M-80’s?

It’s the place I spent every summer working with my sisters. There were others in the later years with nieces and nephews and in-laws, but it was working with my sisters that I remember and value now the most. I’ve loved it and hated it. I could never walk completely away from it, I know as I’ve often tried.

It’s my weakness and my strength. It’s a tradition and a worthy opponent. It’s beaten me more than once, but as a great teacher, it taught me how to get up one more time. We carried, packed and sold a lot of fireworks. We made lots of mistakes. In counting, adding or forgetting a case, but we were kids. We got ripped off so many times. We did the best could but didn’t always get it right. I thank God I had my sisters with me during those times. They showed me how to do everything and if we didn’t know we figured it out without cell phones, Google or Youtube videos. If a bad day knocked me down, one of them was there to put a hand out and pull me back up. You’ve got to have someone to go to and say, “Oh man, I messed up or can you understand a word that guy said? or I think he’s drunk, I’m going to need some help.” We figured it out together. (If my dad found out, well that was a different story.) We worked together so long we developed a kind of rhythm. We didn’t have to discuss or talk about how to sell or stock, we just did what we did. And when push came to shove, we had each other’s backs.

For the most part things ran well. We dealt with assorted drunks and thieves. It was a great school. We laughed a lot, mostly out of delirium from the heat and exhaustion. We fought a lot too, probably again mostly due to heat and exhaustion and generally being together way too much. But there comes a time when things need to change. When you might want the bigger job or a different role. In a family that’s a tall order. That’s when the shit hits the fan. The day you want to show up as one of the big kids.

So in the spirit of my Grandfather who left his father to pursue his own dreams, sometimes moving on is necessary to grow and it is the same spirit that moved me to go on my own. After all, isn’t this what Independence Day is all about?

A young country growing up and knowing so completely that it must forge it’s own path and did so with such focused determination. To grab with both hands the God given right of free will to make ones own decisions and learn from it’s own mistakes. While not forgetting to honor old traditions they fought to banish and be free from the ones that stifled, oppressed and kept them rooted in values that no longer served them. Isn’t that what everyone wants?

To gain the independence, you must be willing to forge ahead into new uncharted territory without guarantees. It’s backbone is made up of determination and perseverance and knowing that in order to succeed, giving up is not an option. If it had had been, would any of us be enjoying our right to celebrate our country’s independence loudly and proudly as only Americans know how to do on the Fourth of July?

Look back at any hard won victory and know that you will most certainly get knocked down, but don’t stay there. Getting up and back in the ring is what it’s all about. If you can’t get up by yourself, put your hand out and by the grace of God and all that’s good, someone will help you up the way my sisters helped me up. (We knocked each other down a time or two but hey, that’s family)

Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks continues to grow and evolve and come into it’s own with each generation. We are now going into the 6th. I value the family it has become, and I’m not just talking about those with the Rozzi name, and I remain ever grateful to be part of a 6 generation Fireworks family, no matter how crazy it gets, and thank you to my great grandfather for immigrating to this big beautiful land of freedom, opportunity and tolerance. I love my Italian heritage, but the being an American moves my spirit and inspires me to be more.

We laugh,
We fight,
We take care of each other
We split,
We get together
We rearrange until we think it’s right
…..Simply because we fought for and won the right to have the debate.
We win some
We lose some
We fall
We help each other up
Here is where
Hope Springs Eternal

There are no facials this week as I’m selling, packing and stocking fireworks in elated misery.

Celebrate! It’s important. Do it justice and do it safely.

In the spirit of 4th of July moxie, think about the people in your lives that helped you up, throw them a hand and maybe light something …..

Angela

**Thank you Grace Della Torre Burns, my lovely daughter for the music selection that fits so perfectly.

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True Grit

True Grit

34615_1454886764976_2731530_nOne of my all time favorite movies is “True Grit”. I love both the original and the remake. My favorite word from the movie is “bragadocious”. So, I don’t want to seem bragadocious, but I really had a great Dad. And I mean great, not perfect, because in his imperfection lay an element of humanity that made everyone want to know him, talk to him and respect him. He had no idea.

I was a daddy’s girl. All of his 4 daughters were.

My sisters and I didn’t always get along or agree but we all loved and adored our father, Joe. Simply put, he was lovable.  He called me Ange and loved my curly hair.  We doted on him. We cooked for him and waited on him. I loved to bring him his coffee after dinner. He sat at the kitchen table while we cleaned up. We took care of him and he took care of us.  I saw him express kindness and compassion often. He taught us how to work hard and take care of ourselves but even so,we knew he had our back. He taught us to take pride in whatever we did. He thought being Italian was the best thing on the planet. Not only did we know him at home but we were all fortunate to know and see him in a wholly different light as he faced the daily grind at work.

That’s when I realized he had a personal relationship with Jesus as most of what he said started with the two words, Jesus Christ. “Jesus Christ girls, get to work. This was often expressed during the month of June. There was the ever popular,  “Jesus Christ Ange, what the hell were you thinking?” “Jesus Christ, be careful, we’re not making donuts.” Etc. So, my Italian Mom prayed and My Italian Dad talked about Jesus.

Work Dad was highly focused on surviving the Fourth of July with an intact family, employees and a company in the black. No laughing, smiling or horseplay at the factory. Meant you weren’t working. So we just had fun until we saw him coming. He was quiet and humble but he could shut you down and bring you low with a grumble and a look, and often did. He was demanding and kind. He passed down his big heart as well as his quick temper.

And with all that passion, he made great fireworks. He spent countless days finishing shells in a cinder block building with a creaky floor. It smelled like black powder, like him. His hands were strong and the size of catchers’ mitts. He always carried pieces of fuse, a pocketknife and a thousand keys in his pants pockets.  He tested fireworks in our backyard. He lit them with his cigarette.

At show time, he stood in the firing zone focused on the sky.   Burning paper and fallout rained down on top of him. I looked for cover but he never flinched, he just casually brushed hot ash off his shoulders. I was more fascinated by him than the show.

He was unaffected by what he did. It was his job. I was sitting with him in his office talking as we often did. It was close to lunch. A Loveland fireman walked in and asked if he would drive down the road and take a look at what they suspected was a car bomb.

I said, “No Dad!”, and thought to myself, Jesus Christ Dad, what the hell are you thinking? Yes, I am my father’s daughter.

He didn’t think twice, “Come on Ange, drive me down” he said.

(“Are you ***kidding me?”)

15388_4593785635486_1022309376_nI very reluctantly drove him down in his little white Chevy. He got out and walked over to the car, looked under the hood for about 5 seconds and pulled a wire off and declared it a fake. He walked back to the car and we left. I kept asking, “How did you know?”, he answered, “Because I did”. I think we went to Frisch’s for soup and pie. No big deal for him, just like he never dwelled on the fact that he brought joy to so many. It was simply what he did, no more and no less, to the best of his ability Everyday.

True Grit just knows itself. It solves the problem and moves on. It’s the part of us that keeps on getting up because we can’t stay down…Just like Rooster and just like Mattie.

Joe Rozzi was one of a now rare breed of true grit men of the greatest generation. Growing up hungry during The Depression, fighting in a world war and making explosives for a living, you’re pretty much considered macho and full of grit in my book.

My macho Dad also cried listening to Vivaldi and while watching “Cinema Paradiso”. True Grit shows vulnerability.

Married 57 years

Raised 7 children

Never went to high school.

Made salutes with quarter sticks of dynamite.

Faced cancer

Worked and provided

Led and inspired

All With True Grit

I know not all of us have dads to grow up with for any number of reasons so I live in a grateful state for having mine.

So in my fireworks to facials way,

Real Men Do Sparkle.

Make an appointment for yourself or your man and I’ll tell you more stories about True Grit….

My Italian Mom

 

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my Mom. As Mothers Day approaches, I’d like to share with you some of what my mother meant to me, and a glimpse of what it is to be a fireworks wife. It’s not news that the Rozzi Family has been in the fireworks business for 6 generations spanning over an entire century. As with any family business, all family members are or have been involved in some way or another.

Although my mother, Jeanette Della Torre Rozzi 1923 – 2009) never worked a 40 hour work week at our factory, she was involved.

She lived it everyday. Every success and every tragedy, of which there were many, she was there as a source of strength and support. She had great strength, as many women of the greatest generation did, to persevere and endure. I’m not sure how she did it.

She raised seven children plus grandchildren and saw every one of her seven children work at a fireworks factory that she knew could be cruel enough to cripple or kill one of us if we weren’t diligent or we didn’t follow instructions or we just made a simple mistake.

She knew the dark side of the business all too well. After all, she looked after her husband with his hands wrapped with  2nd and 3rd degree burns from a factory accident. But harder than that, she held her husband up after his only brother, Paul Rozzi, was killed in front of him in a tragic explosion at the factory. She never told him to give it up or get a safer job.

She taught us about the sacrifices we all must make for the family business because we took care of the business and the business took care of us.

I can’t say she didn’t complain. She was pretty verbal when no one was around to cut the grass in perfect diagonal lines (yes, she was that Mom)….including but not limited to hospital corners, clothes folded neatly and crisply and stacked by size, no purses on the table, no dishes in the sink lol this could be a long list or keep her company during the lonely days and evenings all summer long when everyone in the family was working around the clock to put on the shows   She complained in funny ways that let me know she missed us. We were her whole world.

She cheered us on when we were dog tired on July 3 and gave me a shoulder whenever I needed one without judgement. She cooked her signature pasta for us and sent it up to the factory and asked lots of questions but mostly she prayed for us.

She prayed all the time but during the season, she prayed a lot more. She sat vigil in her chair in her favorite room and prayed with her plastic prayer cards (purchased in quantity from the catholic shop down the road) and rosaries and statues of the Blessed Mother Mary.

Before one of our biggest fireworks shows of the year, Riverfest in Cincinnati, she would show up at the barge with copies of the St. Joseph prayer in hand. She taped copies all over the barges that held all of the people she loved and were filled to the brim with explosives all wired and tucked into their mortars just waiting for showtime.

She buried a little plastic St. Joseph statues in the sand that provided the makeshift earth that supported the mortars that launched those loud beautiful shells into the sky that brought joy to so many. If you were lucky, she gave you a plastic laminated prayer card to keep with you at all times.

You might wonder why St. Joseph? Well, my Dad, brother and son are named Joseph (Italian thing) but it was actually what the St Joseph prayer represents. The end of the prayer read:

“Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves, shall never die a sudden death, or be drowned, nor shall poison take effect on them: neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy or shall be burned in any fire…

So she gave out copies of prayers and buried statues and prayed a lot.

mothersday

Riverfest, Cincinnati 2009. sending a prayer up to Jeanette “Rozzi Style”. Myself and Chuck Valentine (his laminated prayer from Jeanette)

I loved my mother for so many things, for her love of beautiful music, and all things Italian, for her love for her family and any stray who needed a meal and a family.  She loved to watch sports and cheered for her teams but I’ll always love how she felt sorry for the losing team.  Her food was heavenly. She made a bed you wanted to crawl into and never come out. I loved how she loved my Dad.

I loved her strength and compassion and how she believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself.  And for the things she didn’t do that allowed me to spread my wings and do for her what she could not do for herself.

As mothers, we love our children so much that we naturally put them ahead of ourselves. The day they are born our life becomes more about them and less about us.  It’s a beautiful thing. There comes the time when we have no choice but to let them go and say goodbye. Except if you’re an Italian Mom, then you never have to let them go until they haul you to the nuthouse and make you. On certain evenings when the day slows down, I feel my Mom near. I know she’s there.  I smell something that reminds me of her or I hear her voice and say out loud “Hi Mom, what’s going on?”

So, as Mother’s Day approaches, it is again a time to reflect on all of the things your mother, or mother figure, is: friend, rock, confidant, cheerleader, partner in crime, or pain in the rear.

I’m eternally grateful for having Jeanette as a my Mom.

The Essential Man Skin Treatment

“The Essential Man”  skin treatment is designed specifically for a man’s skin.

Having a professional skin treatment isn’t girly at all. In fact, there are many good reasons for men of all ages to have a professional skin treatment.

Skin damage from shaving and the sun can’t be fixed with the soap and water you use every day. In fact the soap and water strips your skin of it natural protective barrier irritating it red and making it more susceptible to damage. Guys need skin treatments, thanks to their thicker and oilier skin, larger pores, and increased chance of sun damage. Men are more likely to skip out on using sunscreen, too. So, set aside the soap and water and consider these 3 reasons for treating yourself to the Essential Man skin treatment.

  1. Men Produce More Oil

Oily skin, when not cleaned properly, will clog your pores and can cause blackheads and breakouts.

A professional treatment will deeply clean the skin and extract blackhead, whiteheads and milia (those tiny hard white bumps).

Just because men produce more oil doesn’t mean all men have oily skin. Part of the reason facials are so effective is that estheticians understand your skin type and its needs. For dry skin types, you’ll need a facial that leaves your skin hydrated and moisturized. If you have oily skin, you will need a facial that decreases your shine, shrinks your pores and exfoliates your skin using products specifically for your skin type.

  1. You’ll Get a Smoother Shave

Whether it’s everyday or every two weeks, the continuous dragging of a razor across sensitive facial skin can cause irritation. Razor burn, inflammation, and irritation from shaving over pimples are common consequences of shaving; The Essential Man will soothe irritated skin. The combination of exfoliation, essential oils, masks, and moisturizers that an esthetician typically applies will address shaving’s side effects and make your skin smoother than ever. The smoother your skin, the better and less painful your shave. Even if you aren’t worried about wrinkles, this is one of the best reasons to slap on some moisturizer once or twice a day. I even have products that can prevent ingrown hairs

  1. You Will Look and Feel Great

I can and will educate you on your specific skin type and how to best take care of it. I will recommend products specifically for you and explain how to use them.

Angela Rozzi-Burns, Licensed Esthetician

Get healthy skin, look and feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Book an appointment for yourself or the one you love today at www.rejuvenatewithangela.com

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From Fireworks to Facials

This is my first Installment of “From Fireworks to Facials”.  Since the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day (Yay) is but a few short days away….I’d like to share a Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks story. How it relates to skincare, well it doesn’t really, but it’s fun.

Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks has been in my family since 1895. That’s a long time for one family to be together. We are a special kind of crazy family. Anyhow, in it’s younger days, Rozzi’s was there to help celebrate the first MLB night game at Crosely Field which took place on May 24, 1935 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“Crosley Field was damp and chilly from the previous day’s rainstorm, and a veil of smoke hung low to the ground from the fireworks eruption just minutes before. It was 1935, and 20,500 Cincinnati Reds fans waited in darkened silence as President Franklin Roosevelt flipped a gold ceremonial Western Union telegraph switch at the White House, sending a signal to Cincinnati. Within seconds, an explosion of light drenched the stadium as 632 floodlights illuminated a major league ballpark for the first time in history.” UC Magazine – Jayna Barker 2010

My Father Joseph and his brother Paul were there to light up the sky with the Cincinnati Reds famous “C” logo and an aerial display. The Rozzi’s have been Cincinnati Reds Fans for years and have been lighting up the Wins, Runs and Friday Nights just as long!  The city knows without watching the game if the Reds had a win. We are very grateful to still be part of the Cincinnati Reds and its’ rich history and tradition.

 

 

This year, for the first time ever, Rozzi’s will lead the Findley Market Opening Day Parade. As is our tradition, we bring the NOISE!

So whatthe night game in skincare you ask? Use retinol products at night. They work best while your body is at rest and sunlight can inhibit their effectiveness. Wear your SPF 30 every day…especially down at the ballpark! Using quality professional skincare can be a game changer for your skin. Start repairing  by booking a skin treatment at www.rejuvenatewithangela.com/products Subscribe to my blog for more stories and skincare tips at www.rejuvenatewithangela.com

Light at the End of the Tunnel

It seems that weather wise, the end of winter is in sight. Are you ready to get rid of winter’s dull and dry effects on your skin?
If you are,  a Rejuvenating Skincare Facial is what you need. After this 90 minute treatment, you will feel relaxed and recharged and, of course, your skin will glow and includes the following:
 – Enzyme or Glycolic Peel
 – Facial Massage
 – Pressure Point massage
 – Extractions
 – Customized mask
 – Customized Aromatherapy with DoTerra Oils
 – Eye Treatment
 – Healing Touch Mind Clearing
 – Hand/arm massage
 – Leg/foot massage
 – Plenty of steamed towels
 – Make an appointment at www.rejuvenatewithangela.com or text 513-304-0257
Book this month and receive a free Mud Mask!

 

Rejuvente with Facial Massage

 

To Rejuvenate Your Skin and Your Attitude, the best skin regime is to have a regular professional facial that includes a facial massage. It is the most relaxing part of the facial and includes the face, scalp, neck and decolletee. It stimulates the muscles, nerves and  lymphatic system . We have 300 pressure points on the face, which relate to every part of the body, so when you have a facial massage, every organ in the body is impacted. Your face will glow and you will look and feel refreshed.  Your whole body will benefit.

As a results driven society, we tend focus on results driven skin treatments  No doubt that skin treatments, which can include chemical peels , dermaplaning, extracting, etc.  are important for the overall skin health, including tone and texture, but don’t discount the facial massage as an equally important aspect of skin health. Most spas offer the facial massage as a part of the full facial experience. It’s worth it, and here are some reasons why:

  • Stimulates circulation – and increase blood flow stimulates collagen and elastin production
  • Detoxifies – by encouraging lymphatic drainage which moves toxins out of cells making room for nutrients
  • Relaxes the Nerves
  • Oxygentaes Skin Tissue
  • Hydrates the skin by bringing the nutrients up to the surface layer of the skin at a cellular level
  • Increase lymphatic flow
  • Ease muscle tention
  • Provides overall feelings of wellness through human touch
  • Relieves Stress
  • Smoothes deep expression lines
  • Relieves sinus pressure
  • Reduces Fine lines by toning delicate skin

 

In my experience, the clients I see monthly that have a full facial including the massage every month visibly improve faster than those who don’t. If you don’t have time, Rejuvenating Skincare with Angela  offers an Express Relaxation Facial, focusing mainly on massage using traditional massage techniques of efflurage and pettrissage as well as integrating elements of Accupressure and Healing Touch. Angela is a Licensed Esthetician and Certified in Healing Touch 101.

Book an appointment today!

 

 

 

Go to Bed Naked

Naked… as in without make up.

Washing your face at night is important and here’s why:

Our environment is pretty dirty and our skin works hard to protect us. Dirt, bacteria and pollutants stick to our make up irritating skin, clogging pores and aggravating breakout prone skin.

Using a gentle cleanser at night washes away the dirt, bacteria and make up, freeing your pores to breath, heal and repair, most of which is done at night while we sleep. If you don’t take 3 minutes to wash your face, pores stay clogged, bacteria grows and  skin becomes dull and lackluster and for the oily skinned among us, breakouts are likely.

For breakout prone skin, make up and dirt clog pores, trapping bacteria inside. When pores are clogged, oxygen can’t reach them. This trapped bacteria causes blackheads and whiteheads. So here’s a fun fact, bacteria can’t live in an oxygenated environment so it is essential to keep your face clean to reduce breakouts.

Take off your mascara too. Mascara can be drying to eyelashes thus causing them to become brittle and thin. They need a break too.

My painless way to wash away the day:

Drop some creamy cleanser in your hand, apply to face  (no water needed yet) make sure to use circular motions and be gentle on the eyes. Wet a wash cloth with warm water and use it to rinse and wipe off the cleanser along with the make up…No splashing required. Now serums and moisturizers can be applied and have all night to infuse beauty into your skin. Still too tired? Wash your face early. You don’t have to wait until you are ready to drop into bed exhausted.  I promise you it will be worth it!

See my webpage (www.rejuvenatewithangela) for an array of cleansers. Need help picking? Email me and I’ll help you choose the right one for your skin. Need a deeper clean, contact me for an RSC Signature Eco Facial. A mini facial that concentrates on deep cleaning and extracting to get your skin back to baseline.