Back safe, sound and somewhat relaxed. I know I had a few of ya wondering with my last post … ok it was more of a “rant” than a post. Don’t panic … I’ve just been a little stressed here lately. That and if ya can’t tell; I am passionate about what who I am and what I do. I can’t really even call it “a job” because the Fire Department is part of me … it’s who and what I am.
Things aren’t always easy … we get frustrated … we get mad. Unfortunately, I’m kinda of the “old school” type and try to file it away somewhere. Every now and again, the files spring open up and the vent process ensues.
Thanks for hanging with me through the last few posts / weeks. Hopefully things will get back to somewhat of a “normal” state from this point.
Ok, even though my last post was a “rant” …. it also held a lot of truth. For whatever reason, we are “counting backwards” in today’s fire service. The post received several “comments” etc. but one didn’t make it to the site. Captain Craig Sellers was unable to post his comment so he sent it via E-mail … I’ll share that comment with you now …
“What happened to the leave a comment box? Not all of us are facebook people! You are exactly right about the shift in how people view their years of service in the Fire Service. Used to be a time when we were proud to share with anyone how long we have been on the job. Now we are looking at how much time until we can leave. When I took this job I knew It wouldn’t make me rich. But, going year after year without a raise, having privileges taken away, and an ever increasing work load, it makes it really hard to be upbeat and positive thinking all the time. I am very proud to say that I have 29 years 3 months and 8 days on the job. Only have 8 months and 19 days until I reach my 30 year mark (but who’s counting). So you don’t have to do the math, the special day is Nov. 16, 2011. I love “riding the big red truck”, but the associated BS that comes with it wears on you.
I enjoy getting comments from you guys … good or bad. That’s why most of us write. We want a “reaction”. We want to know what you’re thinking and how you “feel” about “this or that”. I’d like to thank you all once again for not only reading and following but for also taking the time (your time) to leave and post a comment.
Ok, so I’ve been to “sunny Florida”. I was scheduled for duty yesterday (Friday) and need to thank my “little buddy” Rhett for covering the shift (I hope they had a quiet one).
I mention all the time about how most every firefighter works a 2nd job. We have to do it to make ends meet. I’m kinda a “jack of all trades” if you will. In addition to farming, I’ve done a little of everything to earn a buck (the prostitution thing didn’t work out … I had to pay the “customers” and that kinda defeated the purpose … LOL). If I’m not welding or fabricating something, most likely I’m driving … or “hauling”.
This weekend, I was hauling “Royality” …. Bluegrass royality. My dad and I have both drove charter or private busses on and off for the past 20 years (Pop even longer than that). My Uncle (on my Mom’s side) is in a band … not just any band mind ya … an AWARD WINNING band.
They are not only family, they are also a GREAT bunch of guys. Pop and I tag teamed a ride from Lexington, Va to Waldo Fla. this weekend. We left out Thursday at 13:00 and pulled into our destination at Midnight. We enjoyed a day of high 70’s and low 80 degree weather on Friday until the fellas preformed 2 shows Friday night. At midnight, we headed home … the boys had to be in Harrisonburg, Va. at 15:00 today for yet another show.
It was a long ride and a hard drive but it all seemed easy concidering the company I was in. Pop and I haven’t done a “together” trip in years and it fit like an “old shoe” slidding back into that assignment … we work well together … I musta taught him well …LOL.
The boys on the bus also made it fun. Cards, jokes, stories and lots of “jam sessions”. OMG these guys are good. No wonder they won the SPBGMA Entertaining Group of the Year Award for 2008, 2009 and 2010! See their complete Bio “HERE” .
Mike Andes is the lead singer of the group and he also writes many of the songs they play and record. They have several that I call my “favorites”. They worked on a new song all the way to Florida and I can tell ya … it’ll be a #1 HIT ! I can’t put it here yet or even release the title but I will as soon as I can. I will give ya a little ‘youtube” version of one of my favorites .. “Heaven Got an Angel”
I bet you can imagine the “looks” we get … both going down the road and after we get off the bus.
Who would have ever thought that such a small group of guys from Buena Vista, Va. would or could make such an impact.
One of the biggest “impacts” they made was on me.
As in most cases … just when you’re NOT expecting it … you learn something. For me, it was ANOTHER life lesson.
The first lesson goes towards me and Pop being back together in a “work” environment. I wish I had paid a little more attention to him along the way …. He kinda “insisted” I take this trip. I couldn’t figure it out but HE KNEW.
He follows my site and knew “where” I was emotionally. Now, I get my “file it in the back of your mind” system from him so as you can imagine … we don’t talk much about the job, our emotions or their effects on us as men. Some how or another, Pop knew I needed a break and wanted me by his side. I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t do an 11 hr drive by himself but when Pop asks in the way he did … I knew I was going to Florida.
We never spoke of “whats on you mind” or “how are things at work” but but we both knew why we were together. Without a word, it put me at ease … back to a “comfort zone”. I’ll post more on Pop and I and our Father / Son relationship in the future but for now, just know that my dad was there, stepped in and straightened me out without even saying a word.
Another lesson I learned was from the band and Mike in particular. The guys were “jamming” … practicing … playing. Rehearsing new tunes. They would play it and they stop abruptly. Should “so and so” sing that line in “this” tone? They would change the “pitch” of one singer to get “the message” across. This note HAD to played in “this” cord to project a message. mikes songs are poetry to music. He is telling a story and they guys want to make sure that the story is told correctly.
The care about the message their fans and listeners receive! WOW!
It amazed me how subtle changes in their playing or singing affected the message. What was even more amazing was the fact that they actually took the time to know, understand and adapt to these changes! They care about their job. They care about the END RESULT just as we do.
Their work made me think back to how I too care about the end result. About making my customers happy. It’s easy to forget the “little things” but it’s also the little things that make something small HUGE.
It was a good trip and I’m thankful to have been able to make it. Thanks again to Rhett for covering my shift, to Pop for making me go and to Nothin Fancy for bringing me back down to earth.
Ok, moving on and for those of you wondering about the Buckaroo … NO … he didn’t miss out on ANYTHING. He was our main driver.
Alright … I’m back to duty tomorrow and Tuesday but tomorrow is also another BIG day.
We will be at our home field … Salem memorial Stadium @ 13:30 hrs for team pics, mock practice etc.
YOU GUYS ARE WELCOME AND INVITED!
Come out and meet the team …. this will be a chance for you to get some pics and meet the guys one on one. Last years event was a huge success and this year should be no different. Hell, even plan on tail gating … make an evening of it. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
Don’t forget our Gun Raffle Tickets. Contact me here to purchase yours for only $10.00
I’ll snap a few shots tomorrow and check back in as soon as I can … no kidding … come on out … it’ll be a good time.
Until I get back … thanks again for sticking with me. For reading, following and leaving comments. Stay safe and in house!