Savage Addiction

“Springfield Truck 10, respond to XXXX W. XXXXXX St. for a possible J4, with an unsecured domestic situation in progress” “Truck 10 copies, en route. Truck 10 will stage upon arrival, Dispatch, please notify when scene secured by PD” “Truck 10, update, there is no domestic, that was a child crying in the background, this will… Read more »

Under The Sea & Into The Soul

Today Facebook gently reminded me that precisely one year ago I walked into Hearts of Fire Tattoo shop to get some artwork committed to my body. It’s my take on a mermaid kissing an old-school deep sea diver, and while the artwork’s original, the design isn’t; when I first saw it, and saw it in… Read more »

Lift With Your Heart, Not Your Back

One year ago today I wrote this essay right here. It was about embracing your inner weirdo, forging forward through failure and a promise to be by your side as we stumbled through 2016. It was a story not of false hope but that through it all, we’d grow together. And the first chapters of… Read more »

For Every Man, A Sheila

“For last years words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice” TS Elliot   The way he looks at her when we’re talking ABOUT her. The way that he describes his often broken past, the triumphs and shortfalls, his kids, his desire to be in Mexico RIGHT NOW, his unabashed… Read more »

A Muse Me

“Spend your years/ Spend your time/ With all these tears/ Not all were mine”* N. Rateliff, “Thank you” Gratitude and ego. Forever there is a balance to strike, these two dogs growling and circling in our minds, and in equal measure I’ve written about both. And, like lunar cycles, we will all go through phases… Read more »

L’eggo My Ego

SO much good is afloat. So much for which to nod our heads humbly and be grateful. According to something written down somewhere gratitude is one of the highest forms of passion, for the person that lives from a grateful standpoint is one without limits and limiting factors. I think I read that on a… Read more »

Everywhere Signs

Like a scene from some Norman Rockwell painting of the Midwest, I was sitting on the porch stoop enjoying some watermelon while lightning bugs began their twilight mating rituals, tiny Vegas signs beckoning members of the opposite sex with bright lights and the promise of a good time. It should have been more pensive, but… Read more »

To Soar Again For The First Time

“Did she push you off the cliff after taking the picture?”       -“Something like that, but not” “You’re still alive, that’s what matters. Although, knowing you, you’d just figure out how to fly on the way down, anyways.” It was singularly the kindest thing I’d heard in a while from an outside source, but… Read more »

Fire In The Soul & A Heart On The Run

“So, a fireman walks into a tattoo joint called “Hearts of Fire”…..” And thus begins a joke that has never been told. Mostly because it’s not a joke, but partly because the journey, like so many before, is unpredictable at best. It began so long ago, and the path has been so twisted and arduous,… Read more »

Paper Tigers In The Golden Cage

And another Sunday is spent at the firehouse, and with it, the promise of less radio chatter, fewer demands, and more time for the mind to roam across our own plains. Even our usual clientele seems less inclined to dial 911 on this day; it’s as though they are intuitively gearing up for a week of rampant… Read more »

Latest
  • 5128

    On May 5th, 2015, the City of Springfield Fire Department was dispatched to its five thousand one hundred and twenty eighth call for the year. For run #5128, Engine Company #1, C-shift was toned out for a “fire in a house” call at approximately 7:50am. The house in question was on Commercial Street in an… Read more »

  • Thank You, Anonymously

    The note with my handwritten name on the envelope arrived at the firehouse, an event unusual enough. We rarely receive personal mail there outside of the obligatory thank-you note from grade school kids after a tour or event. The hand writing caught my eye, as I did not recognize it. No return address, no town… Read more »

  • Do It All Over, Again

    “Your story isn’t calm. The road has been chaotic at times, filled with detours and rain and loss so sudden and soon. Sometimes, the bliss was so elevated your heart could hardly hold it. Sometimes it was maddening to have, and then to lose. You learn soon enough that it hardly ever goes as planned… Read more »

  • Ring Of Fire

    The tones came in as they would any other: “House fire, xxx East xxx Street for Engine 7, Engine 10, Truck 6, Truck 10, Rescue 1, Battalion 1, Battalion 8, Air 8″, and we loaded up on the rig, ready to roll to an unknown; these kinds of calls happen with a regularity that doesn’t… Read more »

  • Thaw & Light

    O, Wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?  – Percy Shelley I’ve always loved the winter. It’s cold and stark and you can, to quote Wyeth, feel the bone structure of the landscape. Growing up in Southern California, it meant that the temperatures dropped from 78 degrees to 76 and people, well, they… Read more »

  • Cover Me Up

    “Heart on the run/keeps a hand on the gun/You can’t trust anyone.” – Jason Isbell Where do we go when we need support and love as our hearts collapse and we can’t lift ourselves up alone? The faithful go to church, the introvert turns to a book, the songwriters craft soul-wrenching tunes that, when they… Read more »

  • To Love, Again

    Slowly entering the crowded hospital elevator with a glass vase of roses in each hand, I could hear the barely audible sighs of the nurses and techs for whom these weren’t intended. “9th floor, please,” murmured over a grin to the wide eyed lady in scrubs nearest the buttons. “Whoever works up there, let me… Read more »

  • On Purpose

    “Don’t outsource your mission.” These words could be from a military unit commander or the fire department chain of command, but instead they were issued by the local gym owner as a mandate as we seek our purpose in this life. The workout was set up as a fundraiser/dedication to  local police officer Aaron Pearson… Read more »

  • Calibrated In A Time Of Chaos

    “Wherever You Are, Be There” -This, as as seen on a bumper sticker on the back of a hybrid, while its disheveled driver swerved erratically as he talked on his phone and angrily jabbed a cigarette towards the front windshield. Wherever it was he was, it wasn’t here. It must have been there. Yes, there,… Read more »

  • Figures

    Dark, cold and crazy. Three words to describe standing in front of the auto shop, dropping off the car at o’dark thirty and preparing to run in to work. It’s one thing to do a couple miles on a trail in the middle of the day, another to be on the nasty windy streets with… Read more »