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93-Year-Old Torrance Woman Fights City Hall And Saves Annual Fireworks Show

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TORRANCE (CBSLA.com)  —  When Jackie Briles was born, Woodrow Wilson was in the White House, a half-gallon of milk was $.33 and a great home would set you back about $6,000.

Now 93, Briles a Torrance resident, is instrumental every year in helping fund the city’s fireworks show.

A year ago, the city asked her to pay upwards of $20,000 to help foot the bill — covering the cost of fire department personnel and police.

Briles told CBS2’s Dave Bryan, a few thousand … sure! But $20,000? No way.

The longtime Torrance resident and her son, Rob, were told by the city they had to pony up or the show would be canceled.

The city stopped totally funding the display in 2011 as part of budget-cutting.

The Briles matriarch and her son told Bryan they wouldn’t be deterred.

Who said you can’t fight city hall? Briles fought them and won.

She told Bryan she has a “the show must go on” spirit.

The oohs and ahhs along Torrance Boulevard are indication of how much the residents of the city enjoy the fireworks every year.

Jackie Briles says the show is worth every penny she pays.

“I love to have it, I love to have it,” she said.

The city had tried to charge Briles and her son to foot the entire bill. But they said no way.

“We never asked for any help from any body,” Rob said.

He told Bryan, he threatened to hold a news conference and explain to the fireworks fans that the city put the kibosh on the show and why.

“I didn’t want anyone thinking it was my fault, or our fault,” he told Bryan.

That did the trick. The fireworks show went off without a hitch.

Jackie told Bryan she isn’t sure if she will help pay the costs of the show again next year, but her son told him his mother says that every year and “she always comes back for more.”

 

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