Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sun, April 21

Volunteers may strengthen fire defense's thin line

Daiton Rutkowski, that gifted gab guy whose talk show airs weekdays on local radio, came up with a good suggestion on Monday.

Rutkowski, while recognizing just how thin our line of fire defense is in the Prescott area because of the continuing tragedy in the Show Low area and the consequent siphoning off of firefighters from here and elsewhere, said that he's good for maybe a hundred ideas, one of which may be a good one. And I agree that this is one of them.

Why, he asked, couldn't the area's fire departments train a cadre of volunteers, maybe 400 or 500 in number, in the basic techniques of firefighting who would be on call in the case of an extreme emergency?

The first thing that comes to mind in that regard, of course, is potential liability. That problem could be solved simply by participants signing a waiver that would preclude the filing of lawsuits, he said. After all, Rutkowski reasoned, volunteers would welcome such a trade-off because they would be pursuing the noblest of causes – the protection of their, and their neighbors', homes.

Sounds like a plausible idea from here.

***

A soulful item appeared in last Thursday's Courier that read like so: "Dear Ann Landers: I went out with 'Jane' three times, and now she finds excuses not to see me, and I have no idea why. This isn't the first time a budding relationship has ended for no reason. I am a nice guy and treat these women well, yet I cannot get them to return my phone calls. I wish they would tell me what the problem is. Do I have bad breath? Are my shirts dingy? Do I walk funny?"

Well, the guy went on a little bit more and Ann told him that he should keep on trying. It all reminded me, though, of a fellow who had exactly the same problem, which a writer named Max Shulman spelled out in a book that he wrote and published 50 or so years ago. Shulman said the man did everything in his power to cozy up to women, but that they all rejected him.

The story had a happy ending, though, in that the fellow finally landed a young lady who cottoned to him, and he reported, happily, that they were dating regularly. "Her name is Mary Alice Hermatoa," he said. "She's a lovely three-legged girl … with sideburns."

***

That was a nice touch at last week's luncheon meeting of the Prescott Noon Lions Club. Casey Zaczek, a 16-year-old girl from Clintwood, Va., who has been blind since birth, started the meeting on the right note by singing "God Bless America".

Zaczek, who was visiting Prescott and says that she would "love to live in Arizona," was unable to accompany herself on a keyboard as she normally does because no facilitating adapter was available. But not to worry. She simply went the a cappella route and did a beautiful job.

Contact Jerry Jackson at jjackson@prescottaz.com.

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