My life as a "roadie" and a little more detail..

Back again from the 2010 National Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial weekend. I know here of late, my post have been either scattered or shortened. That said, I also know you guys understand why and I need to say that I appreciate the patience. So, as mentioned previously; it’s been an emotional week or so… both good and bad. The bad part, we’ll skip for now. The good (but also somewhat sad part) I want to cover as much as possible.That story is here.. Emittsburg Maryland at the NFFF Memorial weekend. WOW !! What an honor and privilege. You guys know me so hang “in” or “on” while I figure out how and where to start. To begin with, I left one little man to spend the weekend with another. Yea.. I had to kiss the Buckaroo goodbye for a few days to head up here with Rhett (actually, I think the Buckarro has grown a little taller than Rhett already.. I know Sam {Dave Statter’s son} has..LOL) Anyhow, I told the Buckaroo that Paw-Paw had to go out of town to do some “firehouse” work. Well, you guys know the Buckaroo by now and, as you may guess; he was dressed for the occasion to see me off…

I miss the little fella but will also say that we’ve been so busy that I have been able to keep my mind other wise occupied. Yea.. it’s the “new” Capt. The last several trips have been more about work than play believe it or not.
Yea, WORK.. I’m a “roadie” now ya know… serious business. Heck, they have me working out of the back of a 52′ tractor trailer / broadcast center…

Now again, don’t get me wrong; it’s work but it’s also enjoyable and worth while work. I mentioned earlier that I am here with Firefighter Netcast to record and produce audio for Fire Hero Radio (new material up from Statter now). Yea.. I got skills like that ( you seen me in that broadcast truck right??). And, all kidding aside, Rhett and John do a FANTASTIC job of providing a needed service to not only their customers but to the Fire Service as a whole as well. Yea… this work does, will and can benefit YOU. Here’s a shot of the set up, just outside the Chapel..

I say it can benefit you because, you need to hear these stories. We all do! Much like while in Chicago at Fire Rescue International where we got to hear the “meat and potatoes” of every main lecture / topic, here in Emmitsburg; we have had the honor and privilege of hearing and witnessing the families of our fallen brothers tell their stories. Do you folks remember Lt. Kevin Kelley from Boston? He was killed in the line of duty when the brakes on Ladder 26 failed and the Rig was involved in a fatal crash. We had 8 of his family members stand in our booth and talk about the life and death of this true hero. We had the wife of another fallen Brother along with their 3 year old daughter talk for 15 minutes of their loss and the support group that quickly surrounded their lives. I’ve shed a many a tear today and am proud to say so. The stories don’t just “touch” you, they reach out and grab you! Friends, family members etc are returning from fatalities from years past. They feel attached and / or connected to this sacred place and keep coming back. They walk, talk and share their stories. They help the newest families feel at ease and then take the time to reflect back to their first visit… to their own loss. The sidewalks (or brick walk ways) are inscribed with tributes. Many visitors end up on their knees with paper and markers rubbing an imprint of those bricks onto paper so that they have yet something else to hold on to.

You can’t witness this and not be moved. I didn’t take a rubbing but did spend a few moments visiting the names and memories of my department’s last two Fallen, Helm and Cassell.

We have seen both new and old faces. I was fortunate enough to have a person whom I had never met walk up to us at our “booth”. John Crist is from Hagerstown, Md. and, to that point; we had never met. John wanted me to know how much he enjoyed my site! WOW! He took the time to share that with me (and Rhett seen and heard it … poor fella.. not my fault John has never seen or read whatever site it is Rhett runs these days). A face to face.. hand shakes and greetings. Another HONOR for this weekend. Thanks John. I also seen several old friends here. A couple brothers from Roanoke County and another brother from..ummmmmmmm… let me think…where is he from??? Well, maybe you’ll recognize him..

Is that Chief Billy Goldfeder again??? Damn he sure takes a lot of pictures with me (must be mustache envy.. LOL). All kidding aside, thanks for d
ropping by Chief. Tonight’s services were as impressive as suspected. I know we had some slight video problems with the live broadcast I linked to earlier but hopefully all were handled rather quickly. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the live broadcast of the Memorial Services … if you can’t be here, Ironfiremen will bring you the next best thing. There are Pipes and Drums here from all over the Country. I have some pics of the brothers and sisters from out west (taken for my friend Schmoe.. for or to fret…who knows … LOL). I haven’t downloaded them yet but here are a few shots of Pipes and Drums (just not zoomed in on the “West coast” members)… you gotta love (and cry) when you hear the Pipes fire up..

Ok, that’s enough for tonight. I have a ton more material but I’m just too tired to do it right now. I’ll get it up.. I promise. Until then, keep checking back and scroll down to watch the live feeds. Thanks for the comments and for following. I’ll check in tomorrow. Until then, stay safe and in house..
Captain Wines