The last Blog I wrote was written in the section called "Beginning My Life"... It had 3 parts to it. In Part 1c I hit on the beginning of my life in the fire station. This new series of Growing up in Spencer, I will continue on from moving to the fire station at 10 Grand Avenue at the South end of Grand avenue just before you go across the bridge.
We lived in one of the two apartments above the large first floor where the fire trucks were parked waiting for the call to go to a reported fire. To get to the second floor where the apartments were located you went up a flight of stairs on the right or South side of the building. To give you an idea of the buildings and businesses outside and around the fire station I will share with you now. Directly next to the fire station north was an alley. This alley went from its start at Main Street to where it ended at 1st avenue East, the street directly East and parallel to Main Street.
Next to the alley directly north was a business that when we first moved into the fire station was a Michelin Tire center and became a sewing machine sales and repair business. I will share more later about the people I got acquainted with that owned and operated the sewing machine company.
Continuing on north and right next to the sewing machine store was a Standard Gasoline Station. I was managed and operated by a man whose name was Stew Mackey. Then directly north of the gas station was a street, East 1st street.
Now I will move to the businesses south of the fire station. Right next to the fire station was a small business that I can't remember what the people that ran it did. Maybe it will come to me later.
Then directly south of that business was a Texaco Gasoline Station. Continuing south and right next to the Texaco station was another street and was called Park Street. This made up my territory that I played in and around. The first floor of the fire station housed 3 fire trucks, an old Lavern model fire engine that my dad drove, a newer bigger fire truck that Ted, our neighbor drove and an older fire truck (don't know its model). It was parked behind of the one dad drove.
There was a large work bench next to the old truck and in the middle in the back was a rack that held all of the firemen's rain coats boots and other things. Then way to the back was a roll top desk mostly used by Ted where he kept his things.In the center of the wall in the back of the fire station were a set of stairs that led to the laundry room and the shower/locker area. (I touched on those rooms in my previous Part 1c blog).
I can't forget the small area under the steps where I stored my things, like my tricycle, wagon and other paraphernalia (big word for "stuff").
I spent a great deal of time playing on and around the fire trucks especially my dad's truck. I would pretend I was driving it to a fire all the time. I would sit on the seat where the steering wheel was and with my hands on the steering wheel I would turn the wheel a little bit as I pretended to drive the truck to fire after fire. This activity would not be allowed today because the EPA has restrictions against playing and even touching certain equipment considered dangerous to those not trained to use the equipment.
Nevertheless, back when I was growing up, it was OK and I had a lot of fun pretending.
Putting Out Pretend Fires
Many times a day I would back my tricycle up in front of the fire trucks and wait for my voice alarm to be sounded to alert me that there was a fire. Then with all the strength and power I could muster I would tear out of the station sometimes on just two wheels on my way to put out an imaginary fire.
One day there was a lady that was watching my actions. She came over to me and asked me some questions. The very next week, my mother showed me an article in the Spencer Times. (It was another Spencer Newspaper at the time.) She read it to me because I had not learned to read yet. It told, in a very humorous way, about my daily activities of pretending to be a fireman and pretending to put out many fires a day.
My journey to put out these pretend fires would take me all around the one block area of my play area. I would go to one house and then another, sometimes right next to each other.
Most kids wanted to be Superman or a cowboy. I had a strong desire to become a fireman when I grew up. I was so happy when Mom made me a raincoat with "Spencer Fire Department" on the back with my name on the front. It was just like the raincoats that the real firemen had. She also got me a pair of buckle boots that I also placed in the same area as the other equipment the firemen used. I was told that I was their "Mascot".
"Writer's Comment" These stories may not mean much to most of you and may be a little boring but I like to remember and record them for my friends and family's later use.