Monday, March 16, 2009


The rain was no match for Roanoke's Bravest and our friends/family during Roanoke's Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. The weather...well it SUCKED ! Rainy and cold all day long. Station 9's resident weather man "Coon" had forcasted the conditions, so most of us were prepared. It really didn't matter though because everyone who attended came for the camaraderie and time spent together away from the stresses of the job... not the weather. Take a look at the pictures below and see for yourself.
ALL SMILES! At the top is none other than C-shifts Lieutenant Rob "Bugg" Reid. Next photo, left to right is "Coon" from 9C-shift, Collin "Pee Wee" Humphries formally of 9B now living at #5B and Jerry "Beans" Franks of 9A riding the back of Local 1132's 1938 Chevy Fire Engine. The Local recently purchased the Engine from now retired Battalion Chief James Patton and has used it in this Parade for the last 2 years. Because of the large number of our Brother's children who rode on the Engine in last years Parade, we decided to provided some extra riding room this year. I brought in a tractor and we borrowed a wagon from past Roanoke City now Bedford County Firefighter / EMT Frankie Leonard. A few 2x4's and a tent and we quickly fabricated a shelter for the wives and kids.
I don't know how or why, but I have always driven the '38. I have also always had a pretty trusty co-pilot in Rhett Fleitz's son Preston or "Big P" as I call him. Well, apparently Big P is growing faster than I thought. He willingly gave up his seat in the Engine this year so my grandson Wesley or the "Buckaroo" could make his first ride. The consolation was that Big P rode shotgun in the tractor. I had appointed C-shift's very own "Opie" Glidden to drive the John Deer 2555 along with his co-pilot Kyler (his Opie 2 passengers in the cab).

( me and the Buckaroo in the '38, Opie and Kyler, Opie and Big P) All riders and marchers were welcomed. We had a very good turnout considering the conditions and the crowd watching and cheering us on was also better than expected. We even took in 1 orphan firefighter. It seems as though all that "green" stuff from up at the "Hippie Hotel" (station # 3) will wash off in the rain. One lone resident made it out for the festivities and she looked so sad and lonely that the "Melrose Misfits" just had to take her in.
All that talk about being so tuff and drawing the little pictures of the cartoon character Hulk etc... and then 1 member shows up! ON ST. PATRICKS DAY! Your house is suppose to be all about GREEN...St. Patty's Day?? Shamrocks? Leprechauns?? GREEN beer? Any of this ringing a bell? HA! Guess we all know now who has a set up there...errrr ok so she's a girl but you know what I mean. LOL just kidding guys and we were damn glad to have you Winters. Be careful in Fla. while on vacation and hurry home, Whites off and we need someone to catch our hydrants. ;-)

We even had some special guest. VPFF President Mike Mohler picked ours of all the Parades in Va. Mike and his wife made the trip down from Richmond and MARCHED...not rode. Mike marched with our own (and State Sec. / Treasurer) Mike Hanks. Hanks not only made the march, he did it on a bum knee. It was good to see State Officers here in town. Thanks Mike and Mike!
So, after the Parade, we all headed back to the Union Hall for fun, food and beverages. Nathan Foutz towed in his cooker and whipped up some of his famous chicken. Battalion Chief Teddy "Theodore" Adkins was also on hand and saved the day by taking the lead on cooking the corned beef and cabbage. Both were delicious despite the fact that the Chief bitched all day because I...err "someone" didn't buy any cornbread to go with the corned beef. All kidding aside guys.. THANKS A MILLION for all the hard work! The food was top notch!
Left to right is Chief Adkins, Nathan Foutz (station 1B) and Joey Pugh (station 1A). We ordered pizza for the kids and had plenty of entertainment for them as well. A couple of those jumpie pit, blow up game thingies and pony rides. Special thanks to the boys from Ladder 1-A for coming up and throwing a salvage cover over the game things to block the rain.

We had somewhere around 60 people at the after party sampled in the top pic. The 2nd down is the boys of L1 making a roof instead of cutting one off. Next is some of the youngins (Bailey Riddleberger to far right) enjoying the jumping. The 4th shows from right to left Coon's step-children Bradley giving the "peace" sign, Lexi prepping for one of her famous flips and ...and... I'm sorry guys but I'm not sure who the cutie on the far left belongs to. The 5th is of Rhett's precious Jade showing that beautiful smile. Next is me leading Captain Scott Mutter's son Justin around the lot on Brea. And, last is my very own Buckaroo getting his very first pony ride. It kills me that with all my horses that I didn't get to give him his first but Scott Mutter's daughter Mackenzie was a perfect substitute and did a fantastic job. Bailey Riddleberger, Thomas Mougin and Big P were also very good riders. The ponys were supplied and lead by a good friend and neighbor of mine Jennifer. Check her out for your future party needs here
All of the above pictures were supplied by Rhett Fleitz who was a huge help for the event. Check out another 100 or so pictures here Retired Firefighter Mike "Mikey" Overacker was also on scene and snapped several good photos. View them here . Sorry for the long post but I feel like the event was worth the coverage. Special thanks to everyone who helped and made it such a success... L1132, Aztec Rentals, N. Foutz, T. Cady, T. Adkins, David Alley, Opie Glidden, Mike Hanks, Mike Mohler, RFF Women's Aux., and any and all that I omitted.


FireFleitz said...

Great post Captain. I have always enjoyed the Brotherhood and camaraderie of the Local. Each year it seems to get better and better even though some fail to see it. I encourage all members and families to partake in these types of events. They only get better with time and more people to help!!!

I look forward to many more events like this. Thanks to all who attended and all of those who helped.

I know that my family had a blast!

It was truly amazing at how much fun all of the kids (young and old) had considering the weather. I don't think I heard my kids complain once...and there is certainly something to be said about that.

Thanks again.

Also...with a post like that you would think you were an Arthur.

Anonymous said...

How come B shift never seems to do anything or post anything?

Anonymous said...

He, said B-shift doesn't do anything.

Anonymous said...

So sitting around the Firehouse all day blogging on the internet is "doing something"?