By Diane Feldman
Only in New York
From Tom Brennan (we miss you!), former editor and technical editor of Fire Engineering:
We were relieved from heavy duty in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn–that happened every third night in those days in the 1960s and 1970s–and we were sent to the “lovely” strolling promenades of Ocean Parkway, with its beautiful art deco apartment buildings and quiet streets. The team hated it, but I guess we didn’t know what was good for us.
Around 3:00 a.m., we received a complaint from an apartment house on the “Parkway” from Fire Prevention (in those days you went out instantly!). On arrival at the sixth-floor apartment door, my crew and I, wearing bent helmets and filthy and “tenement smelling” turnouts and with arms full of tools, were met by the Widow Greenspan, wearing a nightgown and robe and wide awake.
“Come in, Firemen. It is an awful dilemma I have here,” she said as she ushered me further into the apartment between the smiling faces of my crew, the “Gang from Watkins Street.”
Into the bathroom we went, where we both stared into the open toilet bowl.
Scott Millsap’s definition of “mud”: “‘Mud’ is ‘firehouse coffee.’ You can drink it, clean your paint brushes with it, or use it as a good 10W40 weight oil in your car in a pinch. Often the above can be accomplished with the same cup.” We miss you, Scott!
Diane Feldman, a 21-year veteran of PennWell Corp., is executive editor of Fire Engineering and conference director of FDIC. She has a B.A. in English communications. She has been a yenta (look it up) for most of her life. If you have a story for