They weren't firefighters back then. They were firemen. It didn't take 9/11 to convince me they were brave. We often stopped by the Arbor Street fire station to talk to the firemen and sit on their trucks. We got a tour of the firehouse, checked out the brass fire pole, tried on their helmets and even got to pet and feed the Dalmatian. Yes, they had one visit from time to time. We even got to see them in action many times at local fires. The biggest ones were close by, both within walking distance from the station. There was the huge warehouse general alarm fire, that I first saw through my bedroom window and the infamous Lewis Lumber Co. blaze on Bishop Street, that had Mom packing family photographs and other valuables. The smoky smells of these fires were in the air for days in the neighborhood. Arbor Street was the home of the brave and courageous. We knew that.