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W


ell, the time has come to say fare- well to another big name in the LAFD family. On January 20, 2012,


family and friends gathered together at The Odyssey Restaurant to celebrate the ending of a career and beginning of a new chapter for Cap- tain I Marv Williams, 21-B Platoon. After a lot of hard work, sweat and tears from Capt I Tony Campos, the dinner went off without a glitch - with the exception of having to get someone to go back to 21’s to pick up the Retirement Axe 40 minutes before the event. At last count, I believe we fi nished off


with approximately 120 guests. Tables were still being rolled in for the extra large turnout but ev- eryone fi nally got a seat. Our own Department Chaplain, Battalion One Chief Greg Gibson be- gan the gathering with a saying of Grace and a warm blessing for all attending. I was fortunate and honored to be able to M/C the dinner and chose to start off the with a slide presentation. The guests were entertained by a 60-40, truth-ru- mor “walk down memory lane” of Marv’s career. Never letting the truth get in the way of a good story, we went from Marv making new bonds with his classmate “Blackie” to the everlasting “blue exercise shorts.” After the good laughs came the amaz-


ing food (I’m assuming it was good, considering certain members with the initials “Mike Fortini” weren’t shy going back in for 2nd and 3rds of


dinner and desserts). As the dinner portion was coming to an end, one of Marv’s daughters, Shawna Williams, made a surprise and touching speech about her memories of her dad through his long career and never forgetting to be a dad fi rst.


The presentations of the Retirement


Axe, Badge, City Certifi cate and Service Pin went well. The presenters: Adam Knabe, Jeff Cawdrey and Bob Dunivin all had amusing sto- ries of Marv from his argumentative side, choice of exercise wear, napping abilities and eating habits that usually ended in the same infamous phrase, “Oh, my stomach. I shouldn’t have eaten that much.” - but never gaining a pound in his 35 year career. The winner, at least I think, was the presentation of Marv’s PRB by his Capt II Brett Merrell. Covering his amazing career from fi re- houses, rig certifi cations, training and an impres- sive minimum number of days off due to illness or injury (11), Brett fi nished off the presentation with Marv’s three golden rules for becoming a successful fi refi ghter. (1)Work aggressive but smart. (2) Never get a perm. And (3) Never, ever under any circumstances . . . Well, if you want to know the third, call Marv or FS 21-B. All the boys from the RIDE FOR 9/11


made an impressive showing and presentation with a slide show of their adventures as well as having Marv’s jersey beautifully incased.


The original thought of the dinner was


to not make it a traditional retirement dinner but more of a party. So the idea of having a DJ till midnight was agreed upon. FF Cody Weireter who did a fabulous job and not by any fault of his own didn’t really get the chance to show off all his abilities. It seemed that after the mic went around the room for the traditional telling of per- sonal experiences and stories, it was getting close to the Man of the Hour’s speech time. Marv had earlier asked me to reserve 20 minutes to speak before the party got going. Two and a half hours later, Marv was still personally thanking and tell- ing a story about everyone. And I mean every- one! Weather you worked 10 years at his side, had a V-8 with him once, or just worked at the Odyssey and took his plate after dinner, you were included. I did hear through the grapevine that a certain engineer did get his money’s worth with the DJ though. He was seen doing the Macare- na and Electric Slide till 1am . . . by himself! I wanted to confi rm the rumor but unfortunately he didn’t even remember sitting down for dinner. Marv (and I know I speak for all who


were lucky enough to have worked with you), you were truly an amazing partner to work with, an inspiration, a mentor and most importantly you are a true friend. Your experience, knowl- edge and work ethic will be greatly missed. Good luck in your new ventures and Godspeed.


April 2012 • 45


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