How it Started

When I was 12, I found a blank ledger book. It was a treasure beyond treasure to me. I debated and debated about what to do with it - it had to be something special. Finally I decided to make a list of things I wanted to do and places I wanted to see in my life and then cross them off when I had accomplished them. At first they were simple things, but soon I was adding dramatic things, impossible things, but things still worth dreaming about. Oddly enough, putting them on the list somehow made them attainable. I have kept the book and updated the list my entire life. Here is the story behind some of the entries - successes and failures, embarrassing and proud moments, laughter and tears - the ridiculous to the sublime!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ride on a Fire Boat (and truck) - DID IT

Most kids dream of riding in a speeding fire truck and holding the giant water hose, and I'm certainly no different.  It wasn't until I saw the Seattle Fire boat spraying huge arching fountains of water in Elliott Bay that I added "Ride on a Fire Boat."  Getting to spray the hose was an unexpected bonus!

The Seattle Fire Department's premier fire boat, the Leschi, was heading out for an orientation run with a batch of new fire recruits.  The Deputy Chief, who had been promising me a ride for over a year, put me on the boarding list.  Accompanied by my buddy, Captain Charlie, I took a thrill ride around Puget Sound with the Seattle skyline as a backdrop. I was in the bridge watching the fireman spray the forward water cannon, when he turned to me and asked, "Do you want to spray it?"  Are you kidding me?  Of course!!!  The water jets are all controlled by a joystick from inside the heated and dry pilot house, there are no hoses involved.

I couldn't resist the urge to go the water ballet route.  I performed artistic figure 8's, swirls and spirals with the water stream.  I figured anyone who saw it from onshore would think the firemen were drunk or crazy.  Later I discovered that a friend of mine was driving on the Alaskan Way Viaduct at that exact moment watching the odd display and wondered what was up with the fire boat, not knowing it was me at the controls.I tried spelling my name with the water, but apparently, that wasn't obvious.

Back on shore, they let me to climb into the cab of the ladder truck, sit in the driver's seat and play with the steering wheel.  I realized I was entirely too old to make siren noises out loud... so I made them very quietly so no one else could hear.  It was a great day on the water.

Many thanks to Charlie and A.D. for helping me cross three things off my DID-IT list in one day.

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