This story begins in Alex Rooker's real estate office in Hickory. But it doesn't end here.
Real Estate is his trade by day. But by night, and weekends, and most free minutes he gets, Alex collects cannons.
"As teenagers they'd sell us stump powder and fuse for 4 cents an ounce and 4 cents a foot," said Alex about the hardware store where his fascination with cannons started as a boy. Now it's a hardcore hobby.
Alex's most recent antique acquisition is an 18th century replica of a relic. And it's a very special design. "It has a reduced size for the combustion chamber for the powder," said Alex of the specs of this model cannon.
He had the replica built for more than just show. Alex Rooker had it built for his final show.
"In early adult-hood I began commenting that I would like to be cremated and shot from a cannon upon my passing and I was sincere when I made that comment."
So sincere, in fact, the only thing not in place with Alex's plan to go out with a bang, is when.
"I've understood death for a long time. And it's coming. I don't care who you are it's coming,'
Some people may think unusual to have such an idea for the end of life. But some don't see death as an end to anything.
"Cannons have been used for celebrations for hundreds of years at this point. And so to have one's life end in such a celebration way, it just makes sense to me."
And in the end that's all that really matters. Alex plans to have his big send off on the Eastern Coast of NC near the Hatteras Light House.