Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New England's Volunteer Fire Departments - The Central Spiritual Core of the Town

Original Photographs from Archives
Wrote Judson D. Hale <http://amzn.to/297PBiu> in Inside New England:
I was a member of Dublin's Volunteer Fire Company for more than fifteen years.... I felt it was my duty to join the company simply because the fire station was located only a hundred yards from my office... I was very often that first man to arrive at the station, which constituted a problem.  To put it simply, I could never remember how to start or how to shift the many gears in that big truck - or for that matter, how to tune in the radio...
After serving some fifteen years... I submitted my letter of resignation. I was becoming more rather than less apprehensive about fires... Also, I was growing a bit weary of replacing sports jackets, oxford shirts, ties, and expensive slacks, which, even with the new fire coats, I inevitably ruined... 
I miss the fire company. I particularly miss those times after the fire was out, when a can of beer or a little whiskey was passed around while we were still hosing down. The tension and wild intensity of the preceding hours lifted and groups of men gathered near those on the hoses to jaw and laugh and summarize what had happened to each of then.  There was a euphoric feeling of having worked, endured under trying circumstances, and succeeded together. ("We've never lost a cellar hole," we always said.)... 
I never, before or since, felt more a part of what I might call the central spiritual core of the town than I always did during those special times after fighting a fire with the men of the Dublin Fire company. 



1956



Late 1980s

Twenty Five Years Later

Early 1970s

Early 1970s




















Late 1980s




















Early 1990s

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