Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Old Siren Tower

Old Siren Tower
My question was offhand, but it led me to learn something about hubby that I didn't know before.  I asked, "What's that tower over there?"

In the mid-1900s, our small rural towns had only volunteer fire departments.  Men and women were alerted of a fire by tower sirens like this one that tells of a time when neighbor took care of neighbor, friend took care of friend.

Hubby told me the story of when he was about 10 years old, he and his mother were uptown in the general store fitting him for new shoes. That was a big event for a little boy in those days, especially when he was first in line for hand-me-downs.  As the two of them came out of the store (with box of new shoes), a man ran right in front of them and across the street to the siren pole.  He pulled a lever and the town siren blared.  The man kept screaming, "My house is on fire."

One can picture people running out of the three taverns, the bank, grocery store, and barber shop to get in on the commotion.  Men pitched in to help however they could with the antiquated equipment they had, and women tended to the family needing that precious commodity called 'maternal love.'

Hubby remembers his mother driving down the side street to the fire.  When she found out that the wife had been burned, she and hubby offered to help her into their white '49 Ford and drove her to the nearest doctor, four miles away.

Harsh memories for a little boy.  But, this explains why all our married years when he hears a siren, he's out the door in a flash and makes himself available to help any way he possibly can.

Goes to show, it pays to ask questions.