Lauri and I stayed in Columbus, Texas during the antique shows. One night after supper we met the FIRE CHIEF ! I guess I need to clarify this by saying we left the restaurant and I saw a fireman's bumper sticker on a car. I made some smarty comment about firemen and that's how we met Chief Walla and Mrs. Patsy Walla. (We also met Dr. Clive Marburger - yes that Marburger-and the lovely Mrs. They had dinner together celebrating Doc's birthday WHICH happened to coincide with mine(lulu). Any way Mrs. Marburger was in a hurry to get home to watch "Dancing with the Stars" so after a quick photo op they left.
The Chief and Patsy were so lovely. I asked him if he had any old fireman's stuff for sale. He did not. HOWEVER he offered to give us a TOUR OF THE FIREHOUSE! Being shy and reserved we thought about it for 2 seconds and accepted!
I have to say, the fire department is all volunteer so there were NO firemen hanging around. Damn. The Chief spent over an hour showing us around. He has the most incredible collection of antique apparatus that the department really used. Old hats, the old horn they blew to alert everyone about a fire, a fully restored 1930s Ford fire engine, fire buckets plus all the new gizzys and such. They have a boat for river rescue since the Colorado River runs through the town. He even showed us the secret-squirrel x-ray camera that shows heat-emitting objects, such as people, in the thick fog of a fire (I still say I saw Lauri's underwear when he pointed it at her). The camera costs about $11,000. He said he put in ad in the paper for donations to buy one and within 2 days he had enough pledges to buy 2 cameras!
Any way he was swell to let us climb around on the trucks. He gave us patches to give to our fire departments in exchange for their patches. They started to collect them from all over Texas and the U.S.
So we salute the brave men from the Volunteer Fire Department of Columbus, Texas and especially Chief Bob Walla and Mrs. Patsy Walla!
Chippy favorite #9xo lulu