By Thomas Parsons, and from “the Roto-Ray” the newsletter of the Mile High Hook And Ladder Chapter.
I have a buddy who bought an old fire apparatus. It makes me think of how many times my well intended procedures of planning were kiboshed while associated with the various organizations in my professional past. No one seems to want to see the future or plan for the worse. While some days were better than others, most results left me aghast. Meanwhile ole’ Bo buys the old pumper. It was right up his alley, an open cab mid-ship, long ago cast behind a fire station and discovered on a ride-by while out buffing stations along the coastal highway.
There are no doubt things to think about before procuring a vintage rig, (oh, now it has become vintage from old status?) These are things I had thought about when he told me of this great adventure in preserving a fire apparatus. Like, how do I get it home if the vehicle is disabled though age or indiscriminate poor maintenance. I don’t know anyone with a wrecker, flat bed, or even a tow rope. Then someone mentions that you have ‘till the end of the month to get it removed.
I guess someone should mention to the wife that we now have a newly acquired vehicle that will or may take up a little of the driveway or maybe a minimal portion of the garage. Oh, you don’t have a garage? Lets for the sake of argument toss in the fact you have an understanding wife who figures your new sleeping bunk may be on the hose bed of the newly acquired apparatus. Well, at least a real big car cover would be a good additional procurement. Christmas is coming right? Okay, a large tarp (a very large tarp) will provide temporary protection from the elements.
Perhaps it is time to figure in other criteria, like didn’t you remember that you lived in an HOA type neighborhood and how that 75 foot Dream-liner recreational vehicle down the street was banned from the street last year? Oh bugger! But, I think the newly acquired fire engine is ONLY 35 feet, so perhaps there is there a variance for vintage (now its vintage) or historical (uh, why not) vehicles displayed in the neighborhood?
The fact remains that familiarity with a mechanic’s tool box and the appropriate tools contained within said tool box, the possibility of a tire repair kit, or other items that will help transform this historical vehicle into some resemblance of a picture perfectly restored vintage vehicle back into its original form.
Like most major projects (yes it has escalated into a major project after you review the funds in the checkbook) proper planning will prevail in a procurement of this proportion. I would acquaint myself with others who have had such equations in their lives, someone who had grander thoughts of owning a fully preserved part of history, and can be made available for the restoration and eventual showing and sharing with other types with this type of thinking. Yes, an apparatus that has evolved from a rusted heap into a thing of beauty worthy of sharing with the intended marvels of the masses that will appreciate the beauty of such a fully restored vehicle with such magnitude of appreciation.
Okay maybe just a few of the masses that will marvel at this viewing.
Such a group of such individuals have been corralled into an exquisite group of select members in a society that may have more money than expected, have access to a very large garage or warehouse (perhaps they have more than one) such as the Mile High Hook and Ladder Club, for example. The group have not only acquired a variety of former (now it’s former) front line fire apparatus from extinction or worse, such as rusting behind a firehouse or forever parked in a scrap yard to disintegrate through time. These are hopefully a group of realists that will direct your steps into said hobby or adventure in ownership and intent to preserve that truly unique (yes now it is UNIQUE) fire truck that you always dreamed of owning. I mean your neighbor may be a computer geek, but does he own a part of the country’s great past, a product that was specifically designed to fight fires and provide a means to protect the citizenry of this great nation from fire or worse? This investment will be preserved for years and generations to come.
I guess it’s decided. That big beautiful (yes, it is also beautiful) rig is what you have always wanted, and you have the means and desire to make it reality with your new found friends. Oh what’s that dear, where am I going to park it?
Silver Trumpet – 2017 Vol. 01