Will July 4 Fire Go Down to the Wire?
By Orv Alveshere
THREE-STORY BUILDING BUILT TO THEIR SPECS IN 1912
A homesteading couple had built a farm and tilled the soil.
Their efforts were successful, from the many years of toil.
They would move to the village where there was a pleasant spot
And kindly neighbors, so they bought a vacant lot.
They would bring along some favorite equipment, of course;
They also built a small barn, for a cow and a horse.
They’d assign the farming to their son – it was their desire;
They’d walked miles behind a plow – it was their turn to retire.
ATTEMPTING TO DOUSE THE BURNING HOUSE
They had chosen warm wood tones for the parlor and the living room,
Added a two-sided porch and made a spot for flowers to bloom.
Wind was blowing sparks and embers and a plume of smoke
While the water hoses were aimed to give the house a soak.
Churches Ferry, Leeds and Minnewaukan men were aiding
The effort to save the stately house, but hopes were fading.
Trucks held limited water, so circumstances were dire.
They were about to lose the battle to the raging fire!
WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, THERE’S FIRE
The volunteer firemen fought the fire and the thick smoke.
The blowing wind brought the dense plumes to them and made them choke.
The barn was already destroyed, so they were debating:
Could they save the huge house, though the fire was not abating?
The wind fanned the flames; the blowing embers became hotter!
They checked the tank gauges – they were running out of water!
Firemen win and lose; this contest would go down to the wire.
They aimed the remaining water at sparks and the roof fire.
THE FURNITURE MOVERS SUPERHUMANLY MOVED IT
With a lot of human movement, despite the choking smoke,
The furniture was removed by some neighbors and kinfolk,
Successfully taking the household goods across the street.
It was crucial – urgent! They hurried, due to the intense heat.
We credit those brave mortals; it was danger they were braving,
To carry furniture and the possessions they were saving.
A tribute to fire fighters whose stamina we admire,
But that day, they would need extra help to beat the fire!
THE WHINING, RED-LINED WATER TRUCK DELIVERS
“We’re out of water!! Any new hot spots we cannot douse.
Everyone move back! We are about to lose that big house!”
An aged water truck came over the hill. The driver spoke:
“I was crop spraying and put the plane down when I saw the smoke.
Can you guys use this water?” It was an intervention,
Or a guardian favor, that has not escaped our attention!
It was determination and perfect timing we admire!
They let out a shout and doused the roof, and at last put out the fire.
Orv Alveshere grew up hanging on a horse; “Neighbors claim they never saw us walking,” he says of self and brother, and AKN-BREAK ACRES, where bones broke, horses were trained.
“I’m copyrighted, claim to make nonsense out of sense, sense out of nonsense. Maybe 90% fact, 5% embellishment, 5% fiction.” Orv has written 250 poems at last count, spent 20 years at Medora Cowboy Poetry Gathering, including having done opening acts. He is the winner of three writing contests, had some work nationally published, including “AM AT THE MILLENNIUM: BEST POEMS OF THE CENTURY.” Orv resides in Rancho Mirage, CA.