Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Day the Fire Truck Came


Though I was only six, I remember the day the fire truck came. It was 1956, and we were living in Navy housing in Alameda, California.  One evening my mom was frying dinner, when the oil suddenly burst into flame. My dad grabbed the pan off the stove. The flames reached up as tall as his head. He calmly told my mother to take my brother and me outside. Just before we stepped out the door, I looked behind me and saw my dad turning on the faucet with one hand and holding the flaming pan in the other.

BOOM! Flames shot out the kitchen window!

What had happened!? Before I had time to worry about Dad, he was standing outside by us. My mom rushed us upstairs to a neighbor's apartment where my brother and I had an exciting evening watching the fire truck dash up, the firemen spraying water, and the neighbors milling around below us.

After a few hours, we were allowed to go back into our apartment. I stepped inside and just stood there. The kitchen walls were bubbly! It looked funny!

Week after week, my parents worked scraping all that "funniness" off the walls. When the burned and bubbled paint was finally removed, they got permission to paint the walls aqua instead of the normal ivory. They liked having some color on the walls, but not enough to ever mix hot oil and water together again.

I felt almost like a celebrity since my family had gotten the fire truck to come to our neighborhood and fondly thought of that exciting day.  Though my parents were glad we were all unhurt, they definitely didn't share my excitement about the day the fire truck came.

(I was about six in this picture and was standing by the wall to the peanut butter factory in our back yard area. Note all the missing teeth!)

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