I can't take all the credit for the title, though, because it was all but handed to me on a paper plate while I was eating a hot dog and wishing..... Ah, no. You're not getting the punch line this early. Keep reading.
As a matter of fact, the whole top of the day was propitious, now that I consider what happened. It all started around 11:30 this morning when I was standing on my front deck talking with a couple friends. We had plans for the next couple hours and it was time to go, so when the Moose Pass Volunteer fire truck and the EMS rescue truck went wailing by, we wondered if our plans were going to be cancelled.
See, we were going to the dedication of the new fire hall in Moose Pass. It's new to the fire company, but it's an old building. Used to be the highway maintenance building until the State Dept. of Transportation decided to center this area's maintenance section in Cooper Landing which has a newer, nicer DOT building. After many years, much money, and lots and lots of work, the MPVFD and EMS folks were ready to show off their new digs.
|The photo on the left is how the old DOT shop looked. On the right is the shop in its new incarnation as the Moose Pass fire hall.|
That was supposed to start at noon today, but then came that call out that sent a firetruck and rescue truck screaming up the highway past my house. We wondered if anyone would be home if we still went to the party. We went anyway, and lo and behold, the sun pierced through the heavy gray clouds that have been with us for a couple days (and expected to remain a while). There's that "propitious" again.
Not to worry.
The responders were back AND in uniform, for gosh sakes. Uniforms!
|Assistant Chief Jake. Hmmm. You know what they say about a man in uniform... Boy, is he going to be embarrassed.|
I wandered around, chatting with friends, checking out the new fire hall, which is "really much nicer than
While I was wandering, the Alaska Railroad coal train passed by on the far side of the lake.
About that MP Sportsmans Club: In most communities it would be called the Moose Pass Community Club, but this is Alaska, and "we don't care how they do it Outside" (which was a very popular bumper sticker during and after pipeline construction days.). It's been the Sportsmans Club since before I moved here in 1977. It's actually recognized as a quasi governing body, something to handle town business when the real governing bodies have something to talk to us about and vice versa.
Eventually the festivities began. The guest speaker was a no-show, and I have no idea who that no-show was, but Fire Chief Brian did an admirable job of thanking all those who had helped pull this new fire hall together, even complimenting the town on its annual Christmas party where all the kids in town (and some that didn't live here) got a present directly from Santa, and a few other events the club hosts.
|What a fleet of fire trucks!|
Then they cut the ribbon.
|Are those Fiskars scissors?|
No wimpy pair of scissors to cut this ribbon. Nope. They cut it with the "Jaws of Life" which is like a giant pneumatic can opener used to free people trapped in wrecked cars.
Once that was over, we headed for the barbeque table.
Out the back door, hot dogs and hamburgers were cooking over a charcoal fire and smoke was billowing up from the BBQ.
Now, the prevailing winds in this town usually would have sent the smoke away from the building. Not on this propitious day, though.
|See all the BBQ smoke going out the front of the building?|
Nope. Today the smoke wafted in the back door, drifted past the tables for diners, and continued out the front garage door. And what do you supposed happened???
What else? The smoke alarms went off, of course.
And there it was, like mustard on the hot dog I was eating and wishing someone would turn off the screeching alarms: The title for this post. What else could I have called it?
It was also a propitious reminder (No, wait, maybe this was a serendipitous reminder) for all of us to make sure our smoke detectors were in working order. Serendipitous, you see, is something good that happens accidentally, mostly when you're least expecting it.
I didn't stick around for the cake. I had chores to do at home and those chores required borrowed scaffolding that the owner would need soon.
|My housework. Yes, that is an eight foot stepladder on top of the scaffolding. I'm sanding the old finish off the logs.|
I wish I'd stayed for the cake.
Before I close this post with all its propitiousness and serendipitousness, here are a couple photos of the old fire truck, a 1942 Ford. Plans are to restore it and put it on display.
|Looking a little sad there, lady.|
Okay, here's a nicer photo...
* If you're of a certain age, you'll most likely remember these lyrics from the Limeliters in the early Sixties:
Have some Madeira, my dear,
It's really much nicer than beer.