Monday, October 24, 2011

A fireboat memory

It appears cooler weather with some dampness is moving into our region. The weekend wasn't as nice as were told it would be and did you see the temperatures forecast for later this week? In the 40s.

The TV station I watch the most for news...hard to break old habits...began broadcasting in HD over the weekend. I sure do hope someone at the station notices that the dark blue background is, in my humble opinion, extremely ugly. I have no clue what it's supposed to represent. The commentators this morning said they're working on getting everything switched over so that soon we won't be faced with the narrower field stories. It's great to see them now in HD, but I sure do hope they change that awful blue background.

President Obama announced that the agreement signed by President Bush to have all U.S. troops out of Iraq at the end of this year will be honored. He said American troops will be home by the holidays. At first I was a little upset he couldn't say the word "Christmas," but in more thought, there really are many different holidays at the end of the year. Will this bring a peace to Iraq? We've already seen the answer to that one. Nevertheless, I'm glad we'll stop losing American men and women in at least one part of the world.

The Portland Fire Boat is in the news. Published reports say it was on a what some call a family/friends cruise on Casco Bay the other night. Other reports say it was a training cruise. Whichever it was it hit something in the water and an estimated 38 thousand dollars in damage resulted. At least a couple suspensions have resulted which might hint that it wasn't a training cruise.

It's really unfair for me to make judgmental comments on the situation because I wasn't there. All I know is what I've read in the newspapers and from very informal sources on the Internet. So I won't. But you know me, I love to reflect on past experiences. Some say it's my age that leads me here as the older we get the more vivid past events seem to get.

I've had trips on a Portland fireboat.

They weren't on the current, modern one but rather on a rather old boat used in the 1970s and early 80s. They were cruises sanctioned by those years' City Council and administrative officials of both the city, like the City Manager and others, and fire department officials. I had been invited along for this annual City Council tour of the Portland owned islands each summer. I don't know if those trips are still taken or not, but at the time councilors took this trip as an opportunity to discuss island conditions with the residents.

I was a reporter for a local radio station at the time and City Hall was on my beat. The Portland newspapers' reporter and I were always invited to join them. The trip was both informative as the source for several stories and pleasurable. It was kind of nice riding on the boat enjoying a can of Coke with the city's leaders. That's when one gets to really know the people making the decisions that affected all Portlanders.

What's all this got to do with the present fireboat controversy? Nothing. But reading about last week's ride by the reported family and friends of the crew simply awakened some memories of my other life.

As a true Gator, I have to congratulate possibly one of the best Gator football players in recent history in his first start of the season in the NFL. Tim Tebow led a huge comeback in the final 2 3/4 minutes to guide the Denver Broncos to an 18-15 win over the Miami Dolphins. The Broncs trailed 0-15 when the comeback began and ended with an O/T field goal. Sure, the Dolphins haven't been too good this year, but neither has Denver. Congrats, Tim, even though it wasn't your greatest or prettiest game ever.


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