Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rust, Rubber, and Memories

Today we made the decision to draw our attempts to restore Truck 9 to a close. Time and the elements have taken their toll and she was too far gone. Some may say that “it’s only a truck” and therefore the decision should not be such a big deal. Well, it’s not about the truck itself but instead what it represents in the memories of those of us who worked with it over the years. I’m sure some of my SAFD friends have their own reflections of the many years this old pickup was in service and I’ll share of few of mine with you. I remember when it was new and then Capt. Henry Duren was our Training Officer. He would take us out to drill and we would fill it up with wet hose to be washed, dried and repacked. He was an amazing man, a good friend, and he taught me more about firefighting than anyone else in my life. I also remember the time it snowed heavily and we tied an old aluminum jon boat behind it and pulled each other around the headquarters station and I remember when I was promoted to Training Officer and proudly drove it the first time as Captain. Most of all, I am taken back to the night in 1973 when my Dad, then Chief of the Department, suffered a fatal heart attack and I tore out of the fire house in it, laying rubber through the apparatus room to get to his side. Yes, you see, it was more than a truck, and sending it to the crusher was not an easy decision. We have parted it out and it will live on in other trucks of my friends. I can tell you that I will smile each time I see one of them rolling down the road.

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