This is a story about a truck, a man, a generation, some heroes, two small towns, three companies, a lot of gear, a bit of history and a lot of cogitating.
The truck is a 1960 Ford C-850 Fire Engine.
The man is me, nearly 40 years old, over-privileged and armed with a sense of whimsy and honor.
The generation is the folk who've caused and survived the changes in the world between 1960 and today.
The heroes are the brave men and women who serve their communities as volunteer firefighters.
The two small towns are Ferrell, NJ and Buchanan, TX, both easy to miss on a map.
The three companies are the Ford Motor Company (now nearly a force of nature,) Young Fire Equipment (lost in the ashes of the steel belt) and Hale Pumps (transformed into a multinational tech firm.)
The gear is an endless pile of hoses, couplings, nozzles, axes, spanners and the other odds and ends that acrue around firefighters.
The history is the growth of urban sprawl, the decline of manufacturing, the acts of heroes and the labor of regular men and women.
The cogitating, well, that's the product of my encounters with the above and my attempts to make sense of it all.
I hope you enjoy the story. It doesn't have an end, at least yet, and the plot is a bit vaporous. But it's a story I seem to have to tell, so...