Thursday, June 21, 2012

Build it and They Will Come

The day was a success. The celebration brought out our members. Our older members. Members who rode with us back when they were at the university. Family. Friends. Neighbors. And many of our mutual aid companies. I don't think anyone counted or could have guessed. I would say there were a lot of people.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Push

It is fire department tradition to push the apparatus into a new station. This crowd of testosterone thought they could do it on their own. God bless them for trying.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The March to Our Future

Following the closing ceremonies the members and apparatus started a five block walk to the new station. two blocks into the march the members and apparatus from Shippensburg EMS fell in behind and as a whole we continued through to the Shippensburg Emergency Services Building. Along the way there got to be more and more support from the community and from our fellow firefighters from neighboring companies. Finally arriving home.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Closing of 129 East King Street

It was a sad but proud moment, standing in front of the old Municipal Building in Shippensburg while the leaders of the past spoke of the future. Then there was a pause. The tones sounded, the bells rung one last time and the crowd was silent. "Attention, The Vigilant Hose Company No. 1, Station 52, located at 129 East King Street, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania for the past 169 years, is permanently being placed out of service, 1319 hours, KGD 556" The silence was broken by three rounds of the house siren. Throughout this long day at the end of an even longer week, this was the only time I got a lump in my throat. This building has been my home for the past 32 years. It's hard to say goodbye.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

On to the New

Today we finally opened the Shippensburg Emergency Services Building, new home to the Vigilant Hose Company and the Shippensburg Area EMS. After a historic closing of the old station we all marched to the new station 5 blocks east. Couldn't have asked for a better day. Next week will be ThemeWeek Vigilant Home. Stay tuned.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Onward and Upward

Please excuse the short post today. Me and everyone else are busily preparing the new station for tomorrows dedication ceremonies. The long story involves us needing a new home for the past 30 years, the short version started nearly 4 years ago. But since reality hit us all we have been living and breathing this for almost a year. It will be sad to say goodbye to our home of 84 years on a corner of downtown we've inhabited all of our 169 years. But it will be nice to move forward in a place that can hold us and not hold us back.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Avenue of the Arts Approach to City Hall

A view of Philadelphia City Hall from the east. Taken in my typical "Hit and Run" style. When taking advantage of a street crossing among the masses you stop half way, snap, snap, snap. And then continue about your business. In Philly you're lucky to get away with something like that. This view is looking north, up Broad Street, from the intersection with Chestnut Street.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Big Getaway

Sunday, a week ago, started with a vehicle accident on the interstate. Units arrived to find a tractor trailer hauling fish, live fish, on it's side.  So, the guys spent the morning hosing ten of thousands of minnow off the interstate roadway. Along with a couple dozen big catfish. Also along for the ride was a few stow-away crawdads. Of course, after awhile in the fresh air the only movement was those mini crustaceans seeking somewhere to go for a swim.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Double Rainbow

April showers bring May flowers. Well, June showers bring rainbows. This double rainbow and mammatus were caught on the outskirts of Cleversburg.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Coolest Fire Mascot. EVER.

Found this one at the Fire Expo in Harrisburg this year. Coolest mascot, ever. I want this t-shirt. Tanker 5 is from the Seventh District Volunteer Fire Department from Avenue, Maryland in St. Mary's County. Avenue is about 60 miles south of Washington, DC along the shores of the Potomac River.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Class of 2012; Stick a Fork In'm, They're Done

Today is graduation. One giant leap into the next phase of life. The real world. So, Class of 2012, good luck and Godspeed, change the world. I haven't heard it yet this year but I'm reminded of the song by Baz Luhrmann. Not really a song but spoken word put to music. And not just spoken word but an article written by Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune. It's kinda lengthy but it is good advice.

Everybody's Free (to wear sunscreen)

Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '12... wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are NOT as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.


Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Sunset from the Game Lands

Saturday evening ended with a drive around the game lands looking for deer and the evening color. I only saw two deer but look at all the color.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Subway Concourse

This is the subway entrance on the Market Street side of Philadelphia City Hall. A bit art deco, don't you think? (Actually I don't know what that means) Love the barbed railing behind it to keep people from sitting on it.

Monday, June 04, 2012

The Barn on the Norristown State Hospital Grounds

This is a huge barn. And by huge I may be under exaggerating. This thing is massive.  It is now all boarded up but it is being used as storage for the grounds crew. I looked on the interweb and couldn't find much. My guess is that it was built in the late 1800's possibly early 1900's. The Norristown State Hospital opened in 1879 as the State Lunatic Hospital at Norristown. Norristown is 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia city center.

For more barns that were on rural farms, not at lunatic asylums on the outskirts of large cities, check out Tricia's Barn Charm site. Click on the icon above.

Friday, June 01, 2012

SFD in the Shippensburg Memorial Day Parade

I'll bring Fireday Friday home this week. This is the Shippensburg Fire Department marching in the Memorial Day Parade. Marching members are from the Vigilant Hose Company, Cumberland Valley Hose Company and West End Fire and Rescue. The bike patrol behind the Vigilant's Engine 252 is from Shippensburg Area EMS.