The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Fire Brigade

Today we went to the Hanover Fire Museum, a place it would probably never have occurred to me to visit had esteven not expressed interest because she was familiar with the fire museum in the city for which Hanover is named -- Hannover, Germany. The museum is currently housed within the city's main fire station while a new building is being prepared for it, at which point some of the big retired trucks that have been sent away may return.

We got there while the curator, a fireman on disability leave, was out, so we got a bonus tour of the station itself, the first time I've taken one since I was a child and the first time my kids have ever taken one, funnily enough. It was given by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic lieutenant who took us through the entire place -- the bunk room, the game room (with video games; my kids wanted to know if they were allowed to get to a save point before they had to throw on gear and jump down the poles), and the various rooms housing the electronics and equipment, plus the garage with several trucks and two ambulances. Then the curator arrived, and proved to be a firehouse buff roughly at the level of a serious Trekkie in terms of fannishness; he knew the entire history of firefighting in that area of Pennsylvania and had lots of stories about visiting other fire stations, including some of the ones in New York that lost a lot of people on 9/11.

There are three ancient pumps in the fire museum -- two that had to be dragged and worked by hand, and one powered by steam and pulled by horses.

A lot of the equipment looked hopelessly small and made one grateful for modern conveniences...

...though apparently the system was reasonably effective even then, and the somewhat outdated messaging used by the local fire dispatchers works faster than most national 911 calls...

...but the station's largest truck was having engine trouble!

Souvenirs from Hanover's sister city, Hannover.

Also, since I am posting for esteven and I know she will appreciate it, I came across this in Treason's Harbour, page 245: "Stephen watched Wray when the young man of the house, a beautiful youth with caressing ways, brought them their drinks, their cigars, their lights, and then unnecessary lights again, and it occurred to him that [Wray] was probably a paederast, or at least one who, like Horace, might burn for either sex. This aroused no virtuous indignation in Stephen; no indignation of any kind. He loved Horace, and, having the usual tolerant Mediterranean attitude, he had loved many another man with the same eclectic inclinations." Is it just me or is that last clause damnably vague -- is it not all too easy to assume "love" is an active verb here, and that the dangling phrase at the end might be attributing the inclinations to Stephen himself?

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