firetruck image from: https://spydersden.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/studebaker-trucks/ (although grandma said their town’s truck was yellow)
This story from our Grandmother is a circa 1932 memory about life in an oil boom town, known as Crane, Texas.
The fire station had a shiny new firetruck with a siren! This was big news and of great fascination for all, in particular the teens of the town. The town did not have a garage for the truck so it was left parked behind the fire station with the key in the ignition.
The teenage kids, realizing there was a chance to have some fun, started climbing in on the way home from school, pushing the siren and then running away or hiding. Our grandmother says she only did it once, but I have my doubts as the memory gives her quite a bit of joy. She said this was considered “big fun” for the kids of the town. Finally, the department had enough of it and came to school. The principal called everyone to the auditorium and chewed them out, “big time” according to grandma. Then the fire chief got up and chewed them out some more. A few threats were made about what would happen if they were caught and that ended it until…..
One day the town drunk got up in the cab to sleep it off. Someone told the firemen and they ran out to roust him from the truck. The drunk man took off with the siren wailing, careening haphazardly all through town. The firemen gave chase in one of their personal vehicles and someone informed the police who jumped in their sole police wagon hot in pursuit. After smashing a few things, then heading out into open country, the chase finally ended in a field when the gas in the stolen firetruck finally gave out. The new truck was apparently very fast as the drunk man had already vacated the cab and was resting in the shade of the truck when they converged on him.
After that the department parked the truck out front without the keys in the ignition until they could get a garage made for it.
Oh and here is a fun fact. Our brother is a firefighter in Texas!
For more entertaining stories and wisdom from grandma check out these posts by Melanie:
Grandma is going to be 99 in October and she is still living in her house on her Texas ranch, on her own terms, and still telling fun stories!