Sunday, October 16, 2011
Sirens, Bells, Fires and Foxes
I have fond memories of Mrs. Cannon's sugar cookies, likewise the reassuring sound of Evy Wintermute announcing on the fire radio," This is KQE686, it's six o'clock." Then the siren sounded from the fire station, audible everywhere in Liberty and well beyond the town limits. The church bell ringing on Sunday morning. The rhythm of life in Liberty was reaffirmed by the siren and the bell.
When the siren continued beyond one cycle, life's rhythm was temporarily disrupted since the volunteers were being called to attend to a fire. My dad and many others would hurry to the car and drive to the firehouse for further instructions. It could be a field on fire, a barn on fire, or rarely a house burning. I've written before of the worst case scenario when the United Fireworks, about two miles from the center of town, would have an explosion and then a pyrotechnic fire. We could stand in Grandma Clayton's back yard and watch the fireworks, and so could the waiting, worried wives of the fire fighters. (Yes, folks, at that time no women were fire fighters).
The fire department Christmas party was a special benefit of having a fire fighter volunteer father. Each child at the party got a box of hard candy or chocolates.
Another memory of the fire department was its serving as the base of operations for fox hunts. I guess there were pesky foxes around Liberty which needed to be eliminated or thinned out, so the men of Liberty got together for a fox hunt. The fox hunts somehow disappeared before I was old enough to hunt, so I don't have any stories of the hunt.
Who remembers the fox hunts, fire sirens, church bell or the volunteer fire fighters?