Another Department Funeral
Today was the funeral of Dave Chittum, one of the Marion County Rescue Squad veterans. Dave was an adherent of the strength of the “brick in the wall” theory. Rather than negativity of the Pink Floyd version, the brick in the wall theory is quite robust. Systems require cooperative effort. One person cannot do it all alone. It is a noble thing to do one’s part, to be a “brick in the wall.” Dave applied himself vigorously, worked hard, and served as a good example. He was always prepared and meticulous. Toward the end of the funeral, the rescue company took over the service. I guess I’ve become sort of a de facto department funeral spokesman or sexton (even though I’m long “retired”), so I gave a short eulogy, and then the officers and members performed the traditional all-companies roll call. I recently described that - All radio frequencies are cleared, and all county departments are alerted, which takes a couple of minutes to scroll through the tones. The dispatcher then announces that EMT Dave Chittum does not answer roll call, that he is loved and missed, and that he is now serving with our Lord and Savior. Uniformed squadsmen (that includes both genders) were pallbearers, including son Tim, and the hearse was tucked in amongst several pieces of apparatus for a procession to Station 20 for a final salute before the hearse went on alone. There is something about the long line of ambulances and rescue vehicles, lights flashing, driving along in procession at about 10 miles per hour, that is very, very somber and sad. My brethren the Fords were in charge of the service, and this is the second department funeral they’ve done in two weeks.
Mr. Physics Strikes Mildly
This is the weekend that Partner JC moved to Fairmont from Baltimore. Inasmuch as all of us had more ambition than brains, we arranged for a rental truck and guys on each end to do the move. JC rented a 26 foot Uhaul, and Bro. Dave’s son Elliott drove me and it over to Balto. A bunch of guys loaded Saturday, and it took several hours longer than “budgeted.” Then, the truck was full, but here was more stuff, so we went out and scrounged another Uhaul truck. We returned to Fairmont late last night, and I put the short truck up the hill, no problem. I told Elliott to take the turn up the driveway wide, because the driveway is narrow. However, still not having an overabundance of brains, I forgot that the truck was riding low and that the driveway gets real steep real fast coming off Locust Avenue, so I forgot to consider coming in another way. The truck’s rear bumper dragged and stopped the truck coming in. When Elliott put ‘er in reverse, the trailer hitch dug in, and that puppy was going nowhere. I called the Fairmont Police because we were a traffic hazard and one of Fairmont’s Finest came out. That’s not sarcasm, the Department is working well these days. The officers are well-trained, reasonable and respected. He called a large wrecker (non-locals: That’s a localism for a tow truck) to free the truck. Fortunately, the fine asphalt and steel bumper were of exactly the same hardness, so neither was marked at all by the experience. LaJ came down to No. 3, and found 3 young fellows who did hard work, and she hired them to help unload in the morning, and they helped get the truck up the hill after the wrecker freed it. Helped, hell, they figured it out, or the truck would still be there. I gave them fifty bucks to have some refreshment on me last night, and they were there at No. 3 at 8 AM and worked hard unloading. Elliott was somewhat chagrined. I thanked him for two days of really hard work and also for giving me a story on him (To tell the story, I do have to conceal the fact that it’s really all my fault.)
First Crop Circles, Now This . . .
I was really glad that the whole thing with the truck bumper didn’t mar the asphalt. However, before I left the office last night, I saw a terrible thing. Aliens have been at it again. They dissect our cows. They abduct people. And those damn geometric crop circles, what are those about? Well, now, right in front of No. 3, they have started asphalt etching. I’m trying to figure what the message is. It looks like it was done by a UFO with a large metal flat surface dragged across the asphalt, with a metal protrusion right in the middle that dug in. I’m calling the Air Force, this is outrageous. I’m an American citizen, and I need protection.
Tomorrow is Columbus Day (observed), when we lose a day of work in honor of an Italian navigator who was so lost, he missed is destination (China) by 8,000 miles and never knew it.