Wednesday, September 29, 2010

From My Writer's Police Academy Notes: On Firefighters

A group of student firefighters raised the flag our first morning on the campus of Guilford Technical Community College in Greensboro, North Carolina. We were attending Lee Lofland's (The Graveyard Shift) Writer's Police Academy.

When the students placed their hands over their hearts and recited the Pledge of Allegiance, most of the attendees (who were paying attention) followed suit. It was a nice moment.

Then, one of the students broke rank and walked over to a bell. He rang it five times, pause, five times, pause and five more times.

In the days before cell phones and 9-1-1, call boxes used to be scattered throughout towns and cities across America. The communication device in the old ones was a bell. Each call box was numbered. If someone spotted a fire, and the closest call box was 762, they would ring 7-6-2 so people would know the approximate site of the fire.

5-5-5 is the code for a downed firefighter.

CR: Breathing Water by Timothy Hallinan on my Kindle.

It's all better with friends.


  1. What an experience the whole conference must've been, Peg! Hope you'll keep sharing--

  2. Jenny, it was terrific. The challenge will be to pull just a few things to share that might be meaningful.

    Tomorrow's post is a little off-topic, but still an experience I had related to the conference. It will highlight an attitude writers should never adopt.

  3. I heard and saw the ringing of the bell for the 9/11 ceremonies but never had it explained in detail before. Thanks for the information and a very emotional moment.

    Glad you had a great time last weekend. I so wish I could have gone.

    I did donate the Crime Scene: New Jersey antholgies that I hope someone is enjoying.

  4. I bought raffle tickets for the baskets of books, and bid on a silent auction item, but won nothing. Just as well. Would have had to haul or ship them home. At our dinner table though, 5 or 6 out of the 8 of us walked away with something.

    Lee says they're already planning the next one, so keep positive thoughts!