Brummets Creek Fire October 2000 Mitchell County, NC

In October of 2000, the Brummets Creek Community of Mitchell County North Carolina was host to a wildfire of thousands of acres that threatened homes and Roan Mountain, the state park and jewel of Mitchell County.

Mitchell County also became home to fire fighters from all over the United States.

Not one home was lost and the "Roan" was saved.


Most of these pictures are from the "staging area".

This was where all vehicles and personel checked in, received orders, received food, often rested, and waited until they were called to a "hot spot".


Close to the fires, the "troops" "hurry up and wait", just like in the military.

Most of the time, the waiting is the hard part.

This is also the farm and home of Jerry and Kim Griffith.

There were many people and businesses who chipped in food and labor.


The "command center" was in another location while the "staging area" and the Griffin farm became a city.


Fire-fighters lived in this temporary "tent city" day in and day out.


The fire-fighting Sioux Indians were fast, methodical, machine-like, and continuous.


In the end, only small sheds or structures were lost, no homes.

You can see my mountain bike propped against the fire truck above.

Nope, that's not standard fire-fighting equipment.


The farm of Jerry and Kim Griffith became a buzzing little town.

.

The Fireman Is His Brother's Keeper!

Let’s hold our brothers up,

For we’re soon to see the “reaper”.

Make no mistake my brother,

We are our brother’s keeper.



These cold and complex times,

Just need simple words and rhymes.

Let’s do just what we can,

To lift our fellow man.



As our people just get sicker,

Don’t just buy a bumper sticker.

Don’t start your political rant,

Let’s just do for those who can’t.



If you’re a leader - lead.

Do your fellow man a civil deed.

It’s really a simple creed.

Don’t pretend. Sow a righteous seed.



If you wear a suit to work,

It’s really work, you shirk.

And what does it matter,

If you’re making fat cats fatter?



Out here at the fire there are no,

Tommy Hillfrigger clothes.

And if we saw that freak out here,

Many a man would hold his nose.



But Tommy will get carte blanche.

At any formal “do”.

But get it right,

He’ll want no part of you.



Don’t just wear a suit,

It should be of the finest thread.

Make that suit the best,

To turn every bimbo’s head.



Buy everyone a drink,

Give all the girls a wink,

Buy some wine,

And hold that “party-line”.



Be a big star,

Drive a big car,

Smoke that big cigar,

But be ashamed of what you are.



You can’t pay that ultimate price,

While wearing an expensive suit.

I think it’s time the righteous man,

Gave the suit the boot.



It’s time to deny,

That old lie that won’t fly,

About how folks are working hard,

While they’re wearing a lovely tie.



They tell everyone they can,

How they’ve worked for what they’ve got.

Tell them, would you please,

To sail to Hades in their yacht.



It’s those who really labor,

On whom you can depend.

It’s those who really work,

Who fight and defend.



So you’re a scholar. Well give me a holler,

Have I got a hot suit for you!

You’ll also get some fire-proof boots,

And a real cool helmet too.



You can spend week-ends,

And some of your weeks,

With fire-fighting friends,

Learning life saving techniques.



You’ll just be another extra,

You won’t be a star.

No, there isn’t any money,

But you’ll learn CPR.



You’ll carry a hose,

And extend the ladder,

And the lives you can’t save,

Will just make you sadder.



You’ll rake some leaves,

Chop some wood.

Dig a fire-line.

And really do some good.



You’ll crawl on your knees,

Through a house full of smoke.

Then drive to car wrecks

On your own gas till you’re broke.



You won’t supper at the Waldorf,

Or dine at the Ritz.

And when you’re on “location”,

You might have eggs and grits.



You can’t fight a fire,

If you’re just a phat cat,

You can’t fight a fire,

In a cowboy’s hat.



This life isn’t for Barbie,

And we can’t use “Ken”.

And if we depended on Ken and Barbie,

How would we begin?



These are real men.

This isn’t for boys.

They are not pretend.

And they play with big toys.



This is for real men,

With real dedication.

It’s hard work and long hours,

That defend the nation.



They miss their homes,

Their kids, and their wives.

They write blank checks,

And pay their lives.


Lino
Lino


But when they’re visited,

                                     by that old Grim-reaper,


They’ll already be known,

                                         as their brother’s keeper.




by Micky Dee



In 2007 most fire departments required 32 hours of training just to be a member of the local volunteer departments.

There are hours in the day to get to and from work.

There are hours of work for volunteers at their regular jobs.

Most people don't realize that volunteers are not paid to be firemen.

Most people have no idea how many nights and week-ends are interrupted just for training.

Most people have no idea how often the volunteer, volunteers.

Very often the volunteer pays for gas, food, or lodging.

Very often the volunteer pays for some equipment.

Volunteers leave their warm beds to help their Brother Man!


Above is a training session held on Saturday and Sunday for Confined Space Training.

There can be rappelling off cliffs, buildings, and fire towers.

There might be a class on ropes and tying knot.

There are ladder classes.

Brush fire classes.

Building fires.

Car fires.

There is traffic incident training.

And - the training goes on and on, including bombs, poisons, and anti-terrorist training.

It just never ends.

Emergency medical training is extra and very time consuming.

Hug a fireman and rescue worker when you can!


The above class was held on "Forced entry.

This is teaching firemen the best ways to enter buildings.

One object of the class is to prevent excessive damage while entering.


There is always CPR training.

There are always "fund raisers" like spaghetti dinners or in the case above at Bradshaw Fire Department, a ramp dinner.

A "Ramp" is like a wild strong garlic that grows in the western North Carolina Mountains and tastes great with everything and especially eggs.


The Bradshaw Fire Department is on the Toe River near Pigeon Roost and Relief.

Bradshaw is the closest department to water rescues on the Toe River and on the Nolichucky rapids but because the department is small it doesn't recieve the funding it needs for the water rescue.

Fire departments are always in need of equipment and funding.


Bakersville Fire and Rescue.

Bakersville Volunteer Fire and Rescue | Facebook


My former fire department is the Bakersville Fire and Rescue.

I invented the "Roan Moan" bike ride.

The Bakersville Fire and Rescue uses the Roan Moan for its major fund raiser.

It's one of the finest bike rides I've ever done.

Roan's climb is 7 miles of steep heavenly climbing.

The Roan Moan offers a:

Century (100 miles)

Metric Century (62 miles)

Quarter Century (27 miles).

All three rides give riders a chance to climb one of the prettiest mountains!


Above are just a few of the riders who have enjoyed the "Roan"!


Bicycle Descending Roan Mountain North Carolina

I have suggested that we abandon the suit.

I'd say many of the people above fighting the fires are suit wearers occasionally.

My ultimate stance is not to disrupt tradition.

It is not to attack those with their own just creed even while wearing suits.

But I ask please, when could I trust the guy above?

Isn't the image above false?

These are Hilfrigger clothes. Hundreds of dollars are paid for clothing made in Bangladesh and parts unknown while textiles are dead here in America?

Ladies are marrying the suit. Why fall in love with a man with no money when a girl can just as easily fall in love with a suit and money?

When will suits better the common man?

When will suits ban together to respect the common laborer?

I guess the real bottom line for Micky Dee is I just don't think the suit will benefit the poor.

How do the poor buy suits?

I am poor.

I place myself beside the poor.

I place myself beside the uneducated manual laborers.

Folks can label me for my lack of labels but this is all I can be, regardless.


More by this Author


Comments 31 comments

richtwf profile image

richtwf 5 years ago

Beautiful message to share and as always accompanied by lots of great photos too!

It's an excellent reminder to all of us to make us recognise the time and effort that volunteers contribute to making a difference to their community and to keep it safe. We owe a lot to volunteers in our society and they can often be easily forgotten until one has lost their life helping others. So we should not forget volunteers and their sacrifices - they do a fantastic job for all of us.

Cheers for sharing this hub Micky. God bless and peace to you Brother!


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 5 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Awesome hub and such an honor for those men and women who are their bothers keeper. My uncle Bobby was a volintgee fire fighter all his life and he was compelely deaf, but he was not working and they would pull up infront of his house and he was dressed in uniform and ready to happily go to help. And, my prays are always their for those that put their lives on the line to help us to safe our homes or businesses, and God Bless all those souls that lost their lives on 9/11, Excellent hub, rate up peace & love darski


Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 5 years ago from Barefoot Island

OMG, this is grand, you out did yourself, Michael you are getting better and better I am in awe of your work, of how you weave pictures and poetry and your mastery of perking the pictures. My dear you need to get a book done, Your really need to. Love you. Have a most grand holidays and a great and prosperous new year full of joy. I love you :D hugs :D


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

Wow! This is a great ode to the wonderful people who do not get paid but answer the call feeling it is their civic duty. We need more of these wonderful and selfless people. They work hard doing this on top of their regular jobs. Bless them all! Great hub, loved it so much.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

Mic' well done article on sacrifice of great people, yet the media only recognizes acres burned and body counts. I reckon you know how I feel about that, dust


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

Micky Dee – I am in full agreement with this view of yours, and I just have to repeat at least two of your statements - As our people just get sicker, Don’t just buy a bumper sticker, Don’t start your political rant, Let’s just do for those who can’t.... It’s those who really labor, On whom you can depend. It’s those who really work, Who fight and defend. BRAVO, Nicky, you are a real man.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Thank's Micky for showing us the good people who save our homes.Your pictures are really good.Fire fighters do daring acts to save people.I have a friend who is a volunteer fire fighter,works long hours without thinking of payment.Great hub.

Love and Peace


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

I also know a young man who is a volunteer fire fighter. Amazing jobs they do for all of us! That is wonderful that you arranged a bike ride as a fundraiser and do it each year! Love the pictures all grouped together like that. Very effective! How do you do it? Do you have a special program?

Hey Micky...I know that you are concentrating on certain jobs like firemen, soldiers, police, etc. as being good defenders of us all and who have specific "suits" or modes of dress as compared to businessmen and others who wear suits. We owe them so much!!!

Certainly you don't condemn all those whose jobs mandate the wearing of suits? Some teachers and professors for instance and even some salesmen in shoe stores or furniture stores as well as others. All hard working souls just trying to make a living.

I catch the drift of your meaning however. There is nothing black and white in this world. Wish that it was that easy. Mostly shades of grey... Guess I am getting too serious.

Really liked this hub!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

Thank you Peggy. I don't condemn people who wear suits. but suits make caste and class systems and the more expensive the suit - the less manual labor people do.

Manual labor isn't rewarded correctly.

The more expensive the suit, he better table I guess.

I suppose it is the high priced business suits that "Tommy", the mafioso, congressmen, etc. I don't like.

I have suits. I bought them for funerals.

But - I guess - my place is with men like are pictured here and my place is probably not with folks who wear suits or maybe my place is not with people while they are wearing suits.

I bought some at goodwill to wear to funerals but I'm an idiot in a suit and just can't identify with a suit.

For all you folks who wear suits - good luck with that.

I think we'd be better off if we gave suits up. Suits haven't kept the textiles here - yet Tommy Hilfrigger shirts cost $150 made in Bangladesh or places we've never heard of and TH has committed some human rights violations. I see human rights violations in our courts by suits. Lawmakers wear the finest. World "leaders(?)" wear them. I think suits must, eventually, choke off the blood flow to the brain.

Yes, Peggy, I won't start a movement, but I guess I wish we would make our own cloth and wear what Gandhi wore actually. But Gandhi didn't make lycra either and I wear lycra. So - I guess I'm a hypocrite about making my own clothes but I'd rather see people dress plainly and of simple cloth than falling into the traps of buying the finest suits to gain acceptance in the suit world. It seems that white collar crimes by folks with white collars and suits are judged differently when their crimes may cause more suffering.

Manual laborers don't wear suits so I guess I want to be a manual labor guy that's too old for manual labor.

God bless Peggy.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

Hi Peggy. I added the capsule to better explain my position on suits. I guess I want "suits" to lift people up but I just don't trust the suit. It's etched into my soul. It's an unnatural state and just cannot balance my soul in this world of suits. I am just not of "this" world of "business as usual".

Many of the people above wear suits as well as fight fires.

My dad wore a suit every Sunday.

My job is to lift the common man and I just find the more "common man" is without a suit. God bless!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

There are many points in which your aim is a bulls-eye. The human rights abuses in creating much of our clothing is shameful. The people who are rich and who commit the same exact crimes as poor people are most often given a slap on the wrist verses doing hard time in jails.

I hear you!

Am trying to capture some Amazon money with many of my late hubs...so don't hold that against me. Ha! Just trying a different approach to see if it works. I don't have any sterling silver or crystal ornaments (my latest hub)...in fact none at all except one or two from family Christmas trees in the past which are in a drawer. We don't put up a Christmas tree any longer. Donated all of our old ornaments away so that others could use them.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

No worries Dear Peggy. We are all addicted to money. Money feeds us and clothes us. Money buys bicycle parts. We have to have money for everything.

We have to make money where we can it most of the time. We may have to make our own clothes eventually. I think I'd rather make my own than spend $150 for a shirt. I buy from the goodwill stores.

We should be encouraged to grow our own food when we can and do for ourselves when we can.

If you or anyone can make money on hubpages God bless you. I want everyone to prosper.

I don't give both sides of stories often because there is just one I'm emphasizing but I can see the difficulty of life. I don't write for the overall acceptance.

Maybe more than anything in life I want to lift the ones with least but the hardest job or way of life.

Thank you always Peggy! Thank you for every comment.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

Micky my brotherman! I haven't worn a suit in years! This is excellent stuff and most appreciated. If only we could lose the superficial crap and concentrate on what matters - like being good neighbours, helping those in need, being a loving spouse and not getting caught up in ideology. You have hit a whole lot on nails on their heads here, my brother! I really love you for what you write about. It's so great. Thanks, man.

Love and peace

Tony


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

They are great people. I give my big attention for this hub. You made this so special and I really enjoy your words. My uncle, you are the best of the best. The pictures are the soul of this hub. I give my Vote special for you.

Your nephew, Prasetio.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Mickey Bro, it takes a certain kind of bravery to be willing to wade into a forest fire like these men do year in and year out. They should all receive medals of achievment. We are indebted to these men for the work they do.

Bro Dave.


pmccray profile image

pmccray 5 years ago from Utah

Beautiful tribute to the first responders who volunteer their time and themselves to the safety of the community at large.


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

A brilliant hub, your writing and pictures are awesome - thank you for sharing.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

You show your fire in this piece, Micky Dee. This is a wonderful tribute to these unsung heroes. My BFF just moved to North Carolina, about 20 minutes away from Boone, a college town and Rolling Rock. She loves the "cabin" her and her husband rent. She said the mountain and scenery are beautiful. She has a creek on the property that I can "hear" over the phone when she calls me everyday. Would her place be close to Roan? Thanks for this beautiful tribute. I would never have known...


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

Micky - I'm always AMAZED by your pictures but this time for REAL? Absolutely incredible - and what a great tribute. Thank goodness no homes were lost! I always think of policemen and firemen as having the most thankless jobs and what would we do without them?


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

Thank you all very much for loving the firemen! Amy, your fiend is very close to Roan Mountain. Drive time in the mountains could be 30 minutes or an hour though. My daughter attends ASU in Boone. God bless!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Thanks Micky Dee! Actually, though, I was talking about a friend and I won't tell her you called her a fiend! Yeah, I'm being a smartass. I am going to tell her to check out your excellent piece so close to her home!!! Thanks for letting me know. I really enjoyed this hub of yours.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

Hard work is good for the soul and so volunteer fire fighters and or fire fighters have the best of souls. Great tribute the hard work, sweat and tears. Love and Peace dear friend. :)


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 5 years ago from Texas

What an amazing hub and great pictures as usual. I have always had so much respect for people who volunteer to do things for no pay, it just shows that they care about what they are doing and give their all because they are not doing anything for recognition or promotion but only because they care about their fellow man. Great job Mikey you are the man as always. Cheers.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 5 years ago from US

Nice collage and now I know the history about it. Thanks for the information Mick. Volunteerism is a fading virtue. Nice, Maita


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

Firemen spend a lot of time in training my Dear Maita. God bless!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

Micky you could write a book, such is your passion for these brave men. Fantastic hub.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

Yo Dim! God bless you Girl!


Timothy Donnelly profile image

Timothy Donnelly 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Great job Micky, and from a great man at that!

It's always good to volunteer -- that's what called GOODWILL to men. Peace and Good Tidings, Brother.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

God bless you Brother Timothy! Peace Brother!


Moncef 21 months ago

God Bless You WCB and Double Bless for internetb4s way of innidedpeng music.Thanks to the internet free stream, I finally got more music from What Cheer Brigade as I wanted for a long time! In this minute I finished recording WCB albums from myspace stream. Thanks to IT who made my little program The important thing is, that now I can listen to WCB music any time, any way I want. However its good, I still will be sadly missing being on WCB live show! Please tell me, if you will play in Europe again, because this year, when you played in Germany etc., I was on Rainbow gathering and I missed you.More Live Acts !!!Blessings from Czech Rep., Kuzmyč


Ade 20 months ago

I'm SO excited to see the start of Tennille & Chris' piceurts and can't wait to see more now that you've teased us with some great shots! There's something unique and special about each of the shots on the blog so far WONDERFUL work and what a great memory of a fantastic day! Thanks for taking the time to capture every moment of that special day for Tennille & Chris and for all their family and friends. Maybe you can capture my own children's weddings someday

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