Among the Buffs
Five clubs were voted into membership and the first associate member taken in as the International Fire Butt Associates held its Seventh Annual Convention in Nashville, June 25-27. IFBA Scribe Henry G. Nathan of 3916 Brookhill Road, Baltimore 15, Md., says the clubs taken into membership were:
The Anne Arundel Alarmers of Ferndale, Md.; The Box 234 Club of Pikesville, Md.; The Friendship Fire Association of Washington, D. C.; The Box 8 Association of St. Louis and the Racine, Wis., Fire Bell Club. Nathan says the honor of becoming the first associate member of the international group goes to Buff Byron W. Brown of Paducah, Ky.
More than 70 buffs and their families gathered in Nashville. Representing 30 clubs, the delegates elected Edward R. Damaschke of Detroit, editor of the Visiting Fireman, as the association’s new president, succeeding Charles C. Price of the Baltimore 414 Association.
Other new officers include: Robert B. Wren of Cincinnati, secretary, and William E. Conradi of Newark, N. J., treasurer. Elected vice presidents were John Irvin, convention chairman, Nashville; Henry G. Nathan, Baltimore; Larry E. Pegler, Detroit; William H. Perkins, Boston; Edward J. Gill, Chester, Pa., and James M. Kirkley, Chicago.
The delegates reaffirmed that the 1960 convention will be held in Chester and that the next midwinter officers’ meeting and 1961 convention will be scheduled for Chicago.
Convention activities began with an open house and meeting of the officers in the Noel Hotel.
One of the prime topics of business was approval of an accident insurance plan which was sent to individual clubs for their approval.
Delegates and some wives toured the safety building which includes the Central Fire Station and headquarters and the Nashville fire alarm station. The ladies toured the city under the guidance of Mrs. O. J. Vann, women’s chairman.
The Nashville Fire Buffs Club opened its hospitality room at the hotel and “good fellowship and buffing prevailed,” reports Nathan. Later, the visitors were taken to Old Hickory Dam and Locks and then to the beautiful Colemere Country Club where a southern barbecue was served. The club adjoins the Nashville airport and the buffs attended a turnout of the field’s crash wagons when flames broke out in an airplane. Formal activities ended as visitors saw “The Grand Ole Opry” where a special section was set aside for them. Buff Nathan says Chief John D. Ragsdale and members of the city’s fire department and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce aided with convention planning.
Baltimore’s Box 414 Association welcomed the city’s new fire chief, John J. Kitten, when he took office and also Baltimore’s newest battalion chief, Kayton G. Moses. Chief Moses was a charter member of Baltimore’s Box 13 Association, the forerunner of the Box 414 Association, says Editor Bay Wheatley of the 414 General Alarm newspaper.
“He became a member of 414 almost at its inception and is an honorary member of our organization and a constant visitor at our meetings and affairs,” reports Brer Wheatley. Chief Moses told Editor Wheatley that one of the most memorable fires he fought was the 18alarmer in Canton.
Fire Chief Killen told the Baltimore fan club not long ago that: “The Box 414 Association is doing a fine job on the fire grounds and for the department. They are beneficial to the health and above all, a moment of cheer to a tired, wet and cold fire fighter, with their ever-present hot coffee and a smoke.” What better tribute could a buff want?
Herbert H. Harrington of 1557 West 27th Place, Cleveland 13, Ohio, wonders whether there are any fire buffs in Cleveland. If so, he’d like to hear from them. Firefan Harrington, formerly an active fireman, is now with the Erie Railroad. However he keeps up with Cleveland Fire Department activities by tuning in a Hallicrafters Model 104. He also is a fire policeman in Meadville, Pa.
“While I was in Meadville,” he reports, “I had the pleasure of making a movie of fire department activities which was received by the city as being a well worthwhile contribution. I was also secretary of a volunteer fire company for 10 of my 18 years service with them.”
That’s about the size of things until the bells go down again next month. Please continue to send your buff anecdotes and club reports to me at Box 8731, Crenshaw Station, Los Angeles 8.