Nine green tanks sit on the counter and Doc West is beaming.

Nine green tanks sit on the counter and Doc West is beaming.

The tanks are only part of the haul 8-year-old Doc has chosen for the day from Rudy’s fireworks stand at SH 102 and Highway 9 — they sit among torpedoes, rockets, missiles and magic candles.

The only three things that are certain for his next purchase is that it will be the next day, there will be rockets and there will be missiles.

Doc buys fireworks from Rudy’s almost every day since they opened a couple weeks ago, and has since last summer.

“Everyday (of the summer) I run out of fireworks,” Doc said.

He said he shoots them off right after he gets home.

Doc’s favorite fireworks stand is Rudy’s where Brandi and Shawn Parsons, along with some of their friends, await Doc’s arrival everyday.

“When he comes up and we get to visit...you can’t help but tear up a little bit,” Shawn said. “Everybody likes him, everybody likes to see him. … There’s something in (your heart), you could be having the worst day in the world and you see him come up with that infectious smile and that excitement in his eyes, you just start smiling.”

Doc’s mother, Jennifer West, said he was worried the Parsons wouldn’t remember who he was.

“We yelled across the parking lot (when we saw him), we said, ‘Doc!’” Shawn said.

Doc earns some of the money he uses to buy fireworks from mowing lawns for $10 using his John Deere D105 auto. He also uses money he gets from collecting cans.

Crushing the cans, though, isn’t just about fitting as many as he can into a bag, which he’ll receive about $10 for. Crushing the cans also acts as a form of physical therapy.

When Doc was about 3 years old, he had a brain tumor removed. The tumor was resting on his optic nerve, so he can’t see out of his right eye anymore. He also suffers from short-term memory loss.

“He can’t read, he can’t retain,” Jennifer said. “Kindergarten came and went, preschool came and went, and he couldn’t remember the sight words. Right now I think he’s at about 30 percent retention of what he learned in preschool.”

Jennifer said Doc goes to dyslexic tutoring in Tecumseh, which shows him a different way to learn things. However, she said he’s great at math and science — he has a particular interest in space and rockets.

His challenges, though, don’t stop him from mowing lawns, collecting cans or setting off fireworks.

“Sometimes he gets bullied, but he’s so nice he usually wins them over,” Jennifer said. “He’s just a little different. … I’ve never seen him discouraged — he just figures out other ways to do things.”

Doc currently has $365.09 saved, but the money isn’t just for fireworks and gas for his lawn mower. The rest of it is for a house he plans to live in at Lowe’s, but he’s short about $7,600.

Doc said he will probably continue buying fireworks, mowing lawns and collecting cans until his late teens.