COLUMBIA - The Discovery Science Channel has planned a new show this fall on "anvil" shooting, featuring the talents of three Columbia dynamos.
Anvils are heavy chunks of iron or steel on which blacksmiths pound their metal into shape. This centuries old tradition is making a comeback. Not only do the steel slices have to be level, but it takes two people to lift the 100 pound anvils and sandwich them together. Inside is black powder. The object is to propel the anvil up as high as you can and have it land close to its base.
Columbia residents Mark, Dianne, and Curtis Bollinger are national anvil shooting champions.
"I was kind of married into it," Dianne said. "Our first date was on the fourth of July and he [Mark] put a bunch of bottle rockets in a bucket and set them all off. We do anvil shootings at any celebration and that includes weddings."
Mark and Dianne's son Curtis is a graduate student studying computer science at MU. He came up with an equation to measure how high the anvil flies.
"I just wrote a program that you can enter the time it was in the air and it will go through the formula and tell you how high it went," Curtis said.
As for Mark, he said, "I believe any day's a better day with an anvil shoot."
Learn more about anvil shooting and the Bollinger's on their website here.