Yes, Warmheart is back and better than ever. If this little tale doesn't warm your heart, then I suggest ending it all now. Sit back, relax, and read on.
Sparky the Fire Dog Saves the Day!
For a lot of people,
September 11th, 2001 was a bad day. They say it was a dark day that
they shall never forget. For these ravaged souls, it was a day full
of shock and sadness, anger and fear. But for me, and for those I came
into contact with during that day and those that followed, maybe it
wasn't so terrible after all. Maybe, just maybe, I touched a few people
and lifted their spirits. How about you? Do you look back on those
days with regret and anger? Should you? Nay, says I! So, put aside
your emotions for a few moments and come with me, back through the
swirling mists of time: back, back, to those fateful days. And if,
by the end of my story, I have reached out and warmed the hearts of
even just one of you, then every one of my actions and every one of
my words will have been worthwhile. Yes indeedy, they will have been
firefighter looking around to make sure no cops are in the area
firefighters stopping traffic to "fill the boots". Closer inspection reveals gun in hand of firefighter near car
My brother must have noticed the quizzical expression on my face."Um, we're going to use that money to fund various projects to promote fire safety in this city. Yeah, that's it", he told me.
I stood there with my mouth gaping. I - was - awestricken. It was, quite simply, one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. My eyes mist up just thinking about those people unhesitatingly handing wads of money over because these guys were wearing fireman suits. Let me tell you now, my friend, I was truly inspired. So inspired in fact that I immediately came up with an idea that has provided the funds for many a warmhearted project I've carried out since that day.
I turned to my brother and said "Chief, I have a feeling your little operation here is going to be visited by someone special very soon."
" Why, who would that be, Warmheart?", he asked.
" You just wait and see", was all I said and with that I was gone.
In the space of a few minutes, I was in my car and driving hard to a costume shop I knew was nearby. It wasn't long before I was back in the lockerroom at the firehouse changing into the cute dog costume I had just rented.
Searching through the lockers, I found a firefighter uniform that fit over the costume. I then copped a helmet and wrote the word "Sparky" across the front. Another brief search turned up a large fireboot and I was on my way back outside.
You will no doubt remember that I was in all the news that day as the reporters found a real human interest story in this heroic fire "dog" named Sparky who was almost manic in his money collection. I was "on" that day, yessiree Bob. When my boot would get filled up with wads of green, I'd hide the money under my car seat and leap back out into the fray. I was at intersections, gas stations and even made a memorable trip through the downtown mall. The next day, and the day after, the hero Sparky the Fire Dog made appearances up and down the bay area waving at tv cameras and holding out that ever present boot.
I think we can skip the part of the story where the nosy TV reporter, Rigo Chacon, started asking pointless and inflammatory questions about what was happening with the money. Instead, I would rather we all remember the fun and excitement of those days. For example, I had discovered quite quickly that little children were strongly affected by their parents' reactions to the attack. They would have bewildered looks upon their little faces and it would make me sad. Then when they saw Sparky the Fire Dog, their faces would light up anew! It was a joy for me I will never forget. And, when those self-same children would run up to me, give me a hug and throw their quarters and dimes into my boot, well suffice to say that I was overcome with boundless joy.
And how could I ever forget those wonderful old people who, with a tear in their eye, would reach into shabby wallets and dig out a dollar. All it took was a little wimper from Sparky the Fire Dog and they would somehow find a few more dollars to donate.
It was beautiful. Oh yes, and then there was the young rich couple who were walking around a mall I was visiting, looking devastated. They were putting on quite a public display of shattered emotion due to the attack and so it wasn't long before they were joyously signing over the pink slip on their SUV to me in the name of firefighters everywhere.
Love and money, money and love: no matter how you put it, if it's rolling in, you're bound to have happy, happy days that you'll always remember and cherish. I would just like to take out this moment to thank those randy firefighters who put aside their own safety and raced into the World Trade Center that fateful day. Your families' lives may have become darker for a while, but your actions sure brightened up a stormy day for me and so many others in the San Francisco Bay Area. Yep, September 11th was a good day for me. Me and Sparky the Fire Dog.
here's me as the heroic "Sparky the Fire Dog" just before leaving the fire house for the first time
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