unfortunately for you all I have not been posting too much. Fortunately, though the last post got maximum exposure.

Things have certainly busy in this little World of mine. The deadline creeps up on the book, now due in a mere week. I think I got this under control. Many thanks to all the guys out there who have gotten pictures to me. I think this book is going to surpass most expectations. Including mine.

The latest great find is an original Constitution and By-laws from 1891 for the Fire Department Board for the City of Roanoke.

Look for an update on the future of Station #1 soon. The new fire station is moving right along, slated to open in February 2007 from what I hear.

Sorry I don’t have time for more. I will try and get something good up tomorrow.

Yesterday, as I was working on the pictures for the book I noticed something. Not just anything. This was a history changer. This one will be a keynote of the book. One of the pictures I got copied from the History Museum thanks to Kent Chrisman is more than I ever thought. It is a picture of one of the volunteer fire companies. Which one you ask? Well it is narrowed down to the Friendship #3 or Junior #2 companies. The dress looks like that of the Friendships. However the building behind the firefighters looks to be Rorrer Hall, where the Juniors were once housed.

But that isn’t the interesting thing, that is a formality. The best part about it is that the men are all lined up holding a banner, which is not legible, with a hose cart behind them. So I say to myself “Self – why are they holding swords?” and then I answered “You idiot, those aren’t swords, those are the ropes to pull the hose cart”. So there you have it, possibly the oldest picture of Roanoke Firefighters. But you cannot see it yet. You have to wait for the book. That is the deal.

March 2007 – Firefighting in Roanoke.

I will post the image of the cover soon, once I have turned in the rough draft.

You know all this mess with the Transportation Museum and the roof flying off in the storm the other day? Well here is the deal. I have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for a freaking year to get into the museum and see the pictures that they have of Roanoke Firefighting. Meanwhile as I waited, I was able to speak with the guy who was working on the vehicles at the museum and get some pictures of the old Cadillac ARFF vehicle they have. However that wasn’t any help with the photos and he doesn’t work there anymore. Then after so many months of waiting for that phone call I stopped back by. The guy at the front desk remembered me, but the lady who was in charge (of what I do not know) was new. So I told her my story and that I wanted to see the pictures. She explained to me that it would take a couple of weeks to get to them, but that she would call. No phone call ever happened. Imagine that. Fast forward a couple of months to about two months ago. I placed a phone call again to speak to someone about the pictures. This time on the phone I was told that everyone was new, so I told the story again…yada yada yada. Nothing. So last week I stopped in to see about the pictures and the titles. Guess what? Everyone was out, except for the guy at the front desk who still remembers me…by name. The bonus news was that the museum just hired an archivist. This is great news for me, someone who can help me with the pictures. Then guess what. The freaking roof blows off, and the museum closes for a while, and the deadline for the book gets closer and closer, and now they found asbestos on the roof, so they will have to clean that up, and I probably will not get my hands on the photos. But wait, it gets better. Now there is a huge investigation going on in regards to the Museum Director Bob Dills and his use of funds. You can see a video of the ordeal on WDBJ 7.

I know that these guys are busy at the museum. They are probably underpaid and overworked. The thing about it is that all the pictures at the museum that are fire related belong to someone else. Several firefighters, mostly retired, let the museum borrow them for their exhibit that they still have up. The museum used the pictures they wanted and stored the rest.

So the book will move forward without the pictures which are being held at the Museum.

Thanks for letting me vent.

This weekend I will sign the contract for the book I am working on. The working title is “Firefighting in Roanoke”. Let me know what you think or if you have a better suggestion. I will be busy working on this book through September 1st when the book will be submitted.

Here is your chance to get yourself into the book. If you have a photo you think is worthy of the book send it in to me. I will need an original if possible to be used in the book. You, or the proper photographer, will be credited in the book. If you remember a great photo seen in the paper, get me the photographers name and the date it ran and I will seek it out.

In the near future, I will be looking to Roanoke Firefighters for information on certain fires, photos, and events so that I can accurately document our history.

Thanks in advance for any assistance on the book.

The proposal has been sent in for the book, tentatively titled “Firefighting in Roanoke”. If the book is picked up it will hopefully be completed on my end by September and published by early spring of next year. I will keep everyone posted on the progress of the book. If it is not accepted then I will seek a different publisher and we will go from there. Once it is accepted the stress will begin because I will be working under a deadline. It isn’t like I have anything else going on, so what the hell.