Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another "Back in the Day" story...American Iron

I was waxing nostalgic with friend about the good ol’ days when Cadillac made ambulances and Plymouth had the corner on police cars. Specifically the Fury III with the 440....darn thing was like being on rails, you couldn't make the rear end slide out from under you. The deputies used to turn the air cleaner cover upside down....just to hear that WHOOOOOOMMMMM when the secondaries opened......Shazam!!!!

Sigh! Those were the days! There was a time when the sweetest sound I ever heard was those secondaries opening up as the SO units crested a hill coming to bail my a** out. Hearing those WHHHHHOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOMs followed by the sound of the was like a cavalry charge!

The call? A Domestic with injuries...we didn't know what on the initial call... On our arrival there were lots of people (Sumdood’s Cousins I think) and lots of emotion. Some of the "Cousins" didn't want us to leave with the patient because they thought he would be arrested at the hospital. Some of the others wanted a piece of the patient. Patient wanted to get the hell out of there before he got whupped up on more.

We got him loaded up quick, but the Cousins wouldn't move from around the rig. I tried to move forward slowly …no effect. I gunned it a little and moved forward again. People started banging on the unit and smacking the windows. A bigger crowd was gathering and the mood was rapidly getting ugly. The rig started rocking…then somebody bounced a beer bottle off the windshield.

That was it!!

I picked up the mike and said "Ambulance 3, requesting a 10-33 our location".

Dead silence on the radio. I thought somebody ripped the antenna off.

Then dispatch came back and said "Ambulance 3. Repeat!"

"Ambulance 3, 10-33 our location!!!" Sheesh! Was anyone awake?

"10-4 Ambulance 3. 10-33 your location!"

Then the hotshot tones started on the countywide. "Attention all units and State Patrol. Ambulance 3 has declared a 10-33 at..." and gave our location.

About 10 seconds later, all the SO units on patrol marked on, the area trooper marked on from home! , a city unit marked on, then the deputies the next county over. Even the Fire Company marked on responding. About a minute (a very loooong minute!) later, you could hear the first units cresting the hill and screaming down into the hollow.

Some of the crowd scattered when they heard the cavalry coming. The first few of those big Plymouths screeched to a stop…there was a moment of dead silence…then the smell of overheated asbestos and the clicking of cast iron cooling…the remaining crowd looked like a heard of dear in the headlights. They scattered when that peculiar sound, known to strike fear in the hearts of all Sumdoods, floated through the air… the sound of the Supervising Deputy racking the slide of his Ithaca and asking....

"These boys givin' ya trouble Doc?"

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Quiet Passing

Michael Jackson, Farrah, Ed McMahon, Billy Mays...their deaths were splashed across the media. My Dad's wasn't. On June 22, at 4:50 pm, the finest man I have ever known quietly passed away. The man I admired and respected the most, whose opinion meant every thing to me was gone. There was no news media present, just my sister and I. There were no late breaking announcements on CNN, just tearful phone calls as I contacted the rest of the family.

I guess I sound jealous or spiteful, but the world lost a wonderful man without knowing it. A man who worked hard, paid his bills on time, had a loving wife, three kids, and eight grand children. If more of the world followed his example, this would be a much better place to live.

Good-by Dad. I hope I made the right decisions. I miss you.