New Year’s Day Blaze


It was the first day of the New Year and Mom and Dad were still in bed after celebrations the night before. My brother and I were trying to entertain ourselves and that’s how we ended up in trouble.

It was the far end of the field, across from the Morgan’s and behind Mrs. Teshudi’s home where the trouble began. Perhaps, maybe it was in our home as that’s where we found a book of matches.

Either way: trouble. The two of us went outside and found a spider web. We burnt it using a match and it was fun.

So we went looking for more webs in the yellowing grass throughout the neighborhood. After having torch a number of webs, we found ourselves in that field as previously mentioned.

However, the web be lit on fire turned into a small grass fire, which grew into a large fire. After trying to stomp the blaze out, we raced home to tell Dad, who was also the Fire Captain of the Yurok Volunteer Fire Department, about the grass fire.

Of course we didn’t mention the fact that we had started the thing. He scrambled down to the fire station at the head of Redwood Drive, pushing the siren and starting the large fire-truck on the way up the street.

By the time he pulled up to the blaze, it was burning the fence along Mrs. Teshudi’s property line and was racing west towards the Babbs’ home. It took fire crews about half an hour to put out the grass fire.

The gutter along the sidewalk was filled with dirty brown water and debris. One of the items of debris was a book of matches from the Air Force base’s NCO club, where my parents had been the night before.

As they washed by, I pointed them out to my mother. Busted!

By the time it was all done, both my brother and I had gotten a lecture from the Fire Chief Warren Hornsby, Sheriff Deputy Lloyd Seats and eventually a butt-whipping our father. We thought we’d never be able to sit down again.

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