Showing posts with label New Kensington Volunteer Fire Dept #1. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Kensington Volunteer Fire Dept #1. Show all posts

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ambulance 1942 Sepia Saturday Week 83 (Click here to visit Sepia host site)

We are again in Pennsylvania attending to business for Uncle's estate and visiting friends while this  busyness continues.  I did download a few photos to share on the road.  This week's  theme of "What's Going On?" could have worked for me the past two weeks with some of the men.  But this week I share a postcard sent to my Uncle Carl by his friend, Ed Saliba, who was on the home front, when Carl was in the Army in WWII. 

In addition to this handsome vehicle, what strikes me is that back then, fundraisers were held to purchase equipment, and although folks had little money they contributed.  I do recall community fund raisers as late as the 1970's in California, but today the attitude is to get money from the government, from a well which is now nearly dry.  I wonder if we have lost our ability to pay for what our communities need by fundraisers, bake sales, good old fashioned contributions and the like.  It has not happened as recently as last month in our town, where a new community swimming pool was overwhelmingly foisted onto the backs of property owners in the town.  People looked at me as if I had lost my mind when I mentioned that perhaps we could hold some fund raisers first to generate a baseline for the swimming pool before going to the taxpayers. 

But I will climb down from my soapbox for now and post the back of this card.  Ed Saliba would become the fire chief for many years, for the same New Kensington Fire Department #1 where Uncle Carl was a lifelong member, today Ed's son is the  fire chief.    Here is the back of that postcard.  I understand that Uncle Carl sent a dollar of his Army pay toward the ambulance.  That sounds insignificant today but if he made only $12 or $15 per month, that was a mighty sum. 

This third photo shows the 100 year old fire bell on the front of the 1981 annual banquet program,  celebrating that event.  Uncle Carl saved each of  these annual banquet programs some of  which I displayed in a memorial book at his funeral and all of which I have donated back to the local Fire Department.  I have written previously  that the fire department meant a lot to him all his life. 
This is my contribution for the week.   As usual, if you click on the title to this post, you can visit the international Sepia Saturday site and enjoy the multitude of photos and stories shared. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Firemen's Workshop Sepia Saturday Week 80 (Click here to go to Sepia Site)

Newspaper photo from May 6, 1940
I have been scanning  articles and photos from Uncle's collection so that I can send the originals to PA to the volunteer Fire Department to which he belonged for so many years.  They are hosting a statewide convention this August and will enjoy using  the materials for their exhibits.  As Uncle Carl had some interesting tidbits from their history over the years, I offer the above as my Sepia for the week.  The date of the newspaper is on the back side.  This must have been a nice workshop and quite the  place for it's time in that town.  Carl, 2nd from the left, who always was interested in tools and equipment looks very much up to whatever he was working on.  The other men look as though they might have been called in to pose for the photo as it appears to me they are not in work clothes.   All these men are gone. 

Many years later, after  he returned from the war and became established in the work world Carl would  amass his own work shop in his home, the entire basement level and would have at least three or five of most tools. He was a tool collector.   Everything would have a specific place and there it had to return. He had the original mancave where he enjoyed  spending time. 

Now that he is gone and we are left to dispose of the home it is a monumental task to clear it all out.  We will be returning to PA in July, hiring someone to  hold an estate sale and selling  off his lifetime accumulation of tools.  Jerry has  gleaned lots of treasures and  we have enticed another nephew to take some things, but there is too much left. At least he did not acquire massive equipment like this backhoe; he was always fond of those contraptions too.  This photo is from about 1970, at his work with the natural gas company.
About 1970  Carl and the backhoe
This last photo shows him in about 1989, we think when he was honored for 50 years with the Fire Department; he was president of the board for several terms and also very fond of that department.  Here he is, cleaned up and checking the guages on the truck, likely just stopped over the firehouse to see how the guys on duty were doing and to be sure all was as it should be.   

This has been my Sepia post for the week and as  always, click on the title to this post to go to the Sepia Host Site  to see what Alan posted this week and  to connect with other interesting  contributors.   We are on week 80, aging well, I think.