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Fire Station 33 - Champions

Fire Station 64 - Runners-up

Bill Bringas and crew I

t is so easy to find a reason to not do some- thing. And what you feel you “need” to do always takes precedence over what some-

one else would like you to do. We often get caught up in the shortest, quickest way to get somewhere and the easiest, fastest path to git ‘r done. Just human nature, I reckon. Heck, how many “apps” and devices are out there specifi- cally designed to replace mental effort and cre- ative thought with instant gratification. This, presumably, to free up our time for more “im- portant” endeavors. It is tragically funny how, with so much time saving technology, we still routinely come up short on time. Sometimes we just have to suck it up and make time. One day every year a group of dedi-

cated souls takes time, out of very busy sched- ules, to put together an event that offers all of us a chance to escape the controlled chaos of the firehouse, the out of control world we serve and protect and, for some, to enjoy a welcome recess from the tugs of the home front. On May 13, 2015, the annual Lane Kemper Softball Classic took place. We all had a chance to set aside the shift rivalries and departmental buf- foonery and partake in true fire family fun. 20 teams registered to play. Almost enough play- ers, for that many teams, showed up. In past years we have had more than twice that many. Aside from those gracious enough or greedy enough to work and those who had truly press- ing health or home concerns, is there any rea- son there weren’t more members involved? Lane Kemper was special, though he

would be the first to downplay that fact. Lane embodied what it meant to be a good fireman.

Lovely volunteers

Fire Station 61

Know your job. Do your job. Love your job. Share what you know. Outside the job, Lane embodied what it meant to be a good man. He was always there for his family, friends and co- workers. His infectious personality and high standards drew people in. His ability to moti- vate and inspire got a lot of us to reach a higher potential. Lane’s passion was to get as many people as he could to gather in fun and friendly competition to strengthen camaraderie. Cama- raderie is almost cliche’ nowadays in many firehouses. It is certainly watered down. That is tragic. Lane hasn’t been with us for some time now but his legacy still stands and still inspires some. Whoever would be inspired must be pre- pared to help carry the torch. Sorry, Lane, for the sermon. Just trying to rally a little more in- terest.

PLAY BALL! The day started cool

and overcast. Perfect conditions. No extreme weather deployments. No big department drills. No tactical alerts. Just another big traffic day in the big city. About 260 registered players and more than 100 supporters and spectators gathered for the fun and friendly competition. The logistics played out nicely even without the gold badges and white radios. Mark Curry and his cast of camp cookies circled the wag- ons and lit off the Q’s. E-Z ups, tables and the sound system went up without difficulty. Raffle prizes (lots of nice ones) were displayed. Re- freshments were cooled. Fields were prepped nicely. A wonderful rendition of the National Anthem was given. Only thing left was for Bill Bringas to concoct some equitable method of pairing the teams and tracking the competition.

July 2015 • 7

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