|As I was going toward a granddaughter's home, I quickly snapped a picture of a familiar building. My parents lived in the early 1950s just a block away from the brick building just behind the one in front. In fact, that garage did not exist when we lived in an apartment on this street. The all-brick building back then was the main (#1) fire station of our city. Now it's an education center for trainees.|
For some reason, memories of the firemen (only men were firefighters back then) and their marvelous kinship with my younger brother and me were sparked that day. Back then, it was the second fire station to which we'd lived so close. Consequently, firemen were friends to us, and sometimes tutors. Our family did not have a TV in our home till I was about thirteen. So both in this station and the one prior to this one, my brother and I were allowed to come and watch shows with the firefighters on their down time. My most beloved memory was of one of the men helping me to memorize the state capitols. I don't know why, but remembering Maine's capitol city seemed impossible to me. John (yes, I remember the firefighter's name after all these years!) told me to say it backwards- Maine, Augusta. That did it! I also kept track of my height by walking under the ladder of the hook-and-ladder truck in the station. I was nearly 14 before I was too tall to walk under the ladder without ducking. So it can be assumed that I respect and love all firefighters because so many reached out in kindness to my sibling and me. Just think, they could have so easily shooed us away.