this new years eve i made a resolution to meet all of my facebook friends by the end of the year. it means i’m meeting friends i haven’t seen in forever. meeting friends i see every day but never really am mindful of in a way a friend should be. and it means i’m always being surprised. f2fb #67 jeffrey weber is a surprise. i mean, he’s forty three. forty three with a body of a twentysomething. a twentysomething in spectacular shape. which, given jeffrey’s smarts, is the exact combination you want in a firefighter for the chicago fire department. somebody gonna come save me from a burning building or use those jaws of life to drag my sorry ass out of a crunched up car, i want it to be jeff.
jeff works a twenty four hour on, two days off schedule at the firehouse downtown. he is part of a company that works two trucks that are prepared for advanced rescue. someone drowning in lake michigan or the chicago river. a window washer on the skyscraper who’s suddenly a whimpering, tangled mess. the car that’s been smashed to bits but there’s someone stuck inside. he’s seen everything. absolutely nothing phases him. it might be because he’s an ex-marine. also, he teaches both martial arts AND motorcycle riding. imet him five years ago when my younger son eastman was rehearsing for a play down the street from where jeff works at a fitness center. i would work out every time eastman rehearsed. which was every day for six weeks. i haven’t seen much of jeff since, but man, slap some old spice on this man and poor isiah mustafa won’t be in those commercials anymore! and if i wasn’t engaged to the very dead but still charming mr. clark. . . ..
surprisingly, jeff taught me a lesson about the need for organization. the two trucks used for his job are “a place for everything and everything in their place” trucks.
the chicago fire department’s motto is “we’re here when you need us” and i’m so glad they’re here. there. everywhere.
and firefighters are always heroes. just think of those famous vivian leiber books “safety of his arms” and “the 6’2″ 200 lb. challenge”!!!
of course, there was something that puzzled me. why would firemen who are so compulsive about keeping everything ready for emergencies be so lacksadaisical as to throw their pants and boots on the ground and their jacket up over an open car door.
jeff explained that the boots are carefully inserted into the pant legs and the coat is ready so that all he has to do is put both feet into the boots, pull up his jumpsuit., thrown on the coat and head for trouble!