06 March 2009


When Son Tim was about 4 years old, LaJ sewed a fireman’s outfit for him. It was made of bright yellow corduroy, and had Scotchlite® reflective tape in the appropriate spots, plus Tim’s name sewn on the back. He had a little black plastic helmet that fit complete with a clear faceshield, a plastic airpack, little heavy rubber boots, and he just loved that outfit. It was so cute, and LaJ made several alterations as he grew over the next couple of years.

I’ve chronicled his continuing journey through EMS in the same company I served.

Last night, I got home late after preparing for a sentencing in federal court today. Tim wasn’t home yet, and since he works strange hours (goes with the work), that wasn’t unusual. This morning, I needed to be on the road before the sun hit it, so I was up and out early. As I picked up briefcases headed for the door, I said to myself, Wow, LaJ is at it again! There in the dining room was another fireman outfit that looked a whole lot like the last one. Of course, this one’s a larger size, but it’s a yellow coat about the same color, with lots of Scotchlite® tape. On the back, in Scotchlite® letters, there’s the name of a nearby volunteer company (Company 10, Monongah), and as I examined the coat, I found that it wasn’t made of corduroy. Darn thing is made of a Nomex® shell, which is a fire resistant material, and it’s lined with an insulation layer and a vapor barrier, just like a real fireman’s. He has bunker pants of the same material, and the darndest Globe bunker boots. There’s a black helmet, with a “Fire Medic” rocker (that’s a sticker showing rank or specialty). On the table was an air mask.

What is play? What is real?

God protect him and all his colleagues, wheresoever about the world they may be.

Pippa passes.


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