Thirteen years ago this book arrived at my house on Main Street in New Auburn. I took it on tour and haven’t stopped since. Still not stopping. But gonna retire this edition, park it within sight of my desk as a reminder of good fortune, good people, and the everlasting thicket of tangents.
Special thanks to “Nobbern” and the NAAFD, John and Julie for the cover, and the late editor Robert Jones, who called from New York City one day and said, “Michael the chapter on death is perfect…and the rest…can be fixed.”
Looking forward to speaking with firefighter/EMT/paramedic/first responder groups the next three days in Weston, Marshfield, and Rhinelander. It has been my privilege to be involved in Fire/EMS for over 25 years now. Especially enjoy how we all show up with different backgrounds and occupations but can speak the same language (S.A.M.P.L.E., surround-n-drown, B.S.I., water hammer, etc.). A special thanks to my hometown department in New Auburn, the Chetek crew, and TFD’s Emergicare. My schedule limits the amount of calls I can make but I’m still grateful to carry the pager. Speaking event info here.
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)