It was my recent honor to be present for an event in my hometown of New Auburn, Wisconsin, to honor Chief Ernie Sylvester (below, center, in shorts), retiring after 40 years of service to the village and surrounding environs. It was my privilege to serve 12 years beside the Chief and my other neighbors.
Came back to the desk to find this on my computer screen:
Can you guess what happened? Answer below (don’t be distracted by the smudges, they’re electronic and I put them there after the fact):
[Insert Jeopardy! theme here]
I was working on a manuscript when the pager went off. Switched from typing a story to typing an address.
It’s one of my favorite things in the world: transforming mid-word from writer guy to EMS/fire guy. Most meaningful privilege of my life, serving with my neighbors, even if only for a few calls per year.
The purpose of this post is to offer my heartfelt thanks to those of you (both givers and readers) participating in World Book Night. After the word went out and givers started signing up, I quickly realized I couldn’t manage to personally thank everyone in the manner they deserved, so I hope this post will go a little way toward doing that. Notes, photos (including the Beagle’s tattoo!), and a video after the break.
Tomorrow my honorary nephew Connor McDowell will be competing in the Firefighter Combat Challenge finals. I don’t overdo the word “proud,” but I’m deploying it now. Well done, sir. (Live stream available at site)
This happened a few years back, and I think I posted these on the old version of the site, but just came across them again. One of my more memorable signings. Country music stars get asked to sign the ladies’…well…but when you write a book about fire and EMS this is as good as it gets. I was pretty nervous.
Some old Post-its I scribbled notes on down at the fire hall when I was working on Population 485. This October will mark ten years since that book came out and the reaction to it still surprises me in the most heartwarming ways. It was an honor to write about a place I love, and to write as best I could about fire and EMS from the perspective of the end of the hose and the back of the rig. For all the good things that have come my way, serving on the New Auburn Area Fire Department remains the most meaningful thing I’ve ever been allowed to do, and I still count it a privilege to carry a pager for the local crew.
The scribbles on the yellow Post-its were made after ambulance calls (I remember both calls – one silly, one very nasty – but have no idea what the math is about). The scribbles on the blue Post-it were made as I looked around the local park during Jamboree Days, which is happening again this weekend. Hoping to sneak up there for at least part of it, we’ll see.