Archive for Thursday, February 17, 2005

Letter to the Editor

February 17, 2005

To the editor:

Before the last vestiges of a really icy winter melt away, I'd like to call attention to three groups of workers.

First are the men who repair the power lines that bring us electricity. They are at work when the weather is at its worst, nor do they wait for daylight to begin. They are real heroes, uncelebrated and unsung. They are essential to our well-being.

Second are the postal workers, some in cars, some on foot, seeing that the mail is delivered. I have never heard of a delivery being suspended because of weather. I suspect it would take something on the scale of a tsunami to keep these folk from their rounds.

Third is our volunteer fire department. I wish I could underline "volunteers" or put the word in boldface, to emphasize the fact the fire fighters who protect our homes and businesses, protect our lives -- are unpaid. And completely reliable!

I recall seeing a newspaper photograph of a man watching a fire in a big eastern city. Although he was dressed in fire-fighting gear, he was simply watching the blaze, not fighting it -- the firemen were on strike! Most notable was a five gallon gas can in his hand. The caption under the photo didn't comment on the gas can -- no comment was needed. No danger of this happening here in Baldwin.

I watched our firemen at work this winter on a night when my part of town had no power, when a cold drizzle was falling, and when every street, sidewalk, tree and rooftop was coated with ice. Glancing out my window, I saw a veritable pillar of fire worthy of the Old Testament. It was the utility pole not far from my garage that had a transformer at its top and a barbecued squirrel inside. My garage held not only my car but the tree flats used in the Ballad of Black Jack. Replacing them would have meant hours and hours of work! I was more than a little grateful to see, within minutes of my 911 phone call, a fire truck roll in. Soon the fire was out. How did these fire fighters get from their homes to the fire station to my alley so quickly, and did it dressed for work? I have no idea, but I was tremendously grateful that they did.

My thanks to all these vital workers, for all they've done and all they do!

Don Mueller

Baldwin City

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