Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Big Maryland fighter had no bone to pick with us

Visiting fireman John Means Jr.
came to Appleton WI Jan. 30, 2012
to see the new Pierce Fire Engine tiller truck
being built at the Appleton factory
for his Howard Co. Maryland fire company.

John has driven fire engines for several years
and is licensed now to drive tiller on this
2 million dollar truck.  A tricky job.
He humbly describes it:
"You gotta turn left when it feels like
you should turn right...."

Highly maneuverable for getting a big rig
into tight places,
fireman John, Dee's 'little' brother,
will handle the machine deftly,
we know.

See a sample video

Below, there is a current Facebook photo 
by photographer
Emily Means:
 'firefighter's togs at the ready to jump into.'
Volunteer firefighters have these rigs set up 
to go at a moment's notice 
by their front or back doors.

Emily is John Means Jr.s' daughter,
a senior at Westminster High School, MD.

There are a total of I think seven firefighters in the immediate
Means family.  Emily's mother, Doreen, a paramedic,
has been one one of them.

While John was here to view the new firetruck
we rendezvoused with him after hours yesterday
when he was off duty from the Pierce engine plant.

As it happened, Pierce put the fireman contingent up
at a night-time rest site, The Raddison Paper Valley Hotel,
which was only a few blocks from Lawrence University,
Erin's work-site where she is the Archivist.

We picked John up at his hotel and had a joyous evening
together.  Part of the time we were at Erin's apartment
where we got some pictures:

Left to right, Erin, John, Dee, and Erin's friend Ben
gathered around the Phil Kari moose femur leg bone.
See previous SRN post about that.  We took Phhil's bone with us
to show John.
It rests on an old chair from the Wildgrube family farm
circa 1880.  The Wildgrubes were our great-grandparents.

Erin refurbished and reupholstered the chair, with Ben's help.

This was John's first visit to our state.
  He brought a CD of a brilliant grand-parents interview
done as a school project by daughter Emily with her Gramaw Jeannie and Grandpa Poppy.
(See previous SRN postings: 'Poppy's Barn'.)
Gramaw and Poppy share their happy memories of many years together in Pleasant Valley MD
with Emily and a video camera which quickly did not inhibit them.

It was a golden family time together.  A partial reunion, an earth-salt family I am lucky to be
part of.  Same for Leland and Erin, too.