Monday, May 19, 2008

day to remember

Life has a way of speeding by, and I have come to learn that you take everyday as a very special gift. Ed and I can't believe that it was five years ago that we lost a dear and childhood friend, Dave Hilton. Dave died from a Brain aneurysm while he was visiting with his parents one afternoon.... he was in his early forty's.

Dave had a special love... the fire watch tower!! and the fire department itself. He was also a husband and a Dad, but aside from those other two things, the fire watch tower was a major thing in his life. In the early 90's the state of Maine felt that they could no longer afford to keep the watch towers running. Which is a bad mistake, because when it comes to catching fires, time is a huge factor. So, instead of letting them "go", Dave brought together a group of folks and trained them "how to watch" and this volunteer group began to take over, especially during fire season.

After Dave passed, the volunteers continued their work, and have added even more to their group.....I can't even begin to think of the number of acres of land that has been protected by them, let alone other fires that have been quickly spotted and brought people to the scene... sometime even house fires have been called in by the towers, before anyone else.

It was also decided that Dave's memory should be shown in another way. So, my Ed and another good friend and firefigther, Mark Gay... put together this memorial "garden" at the foot of the fire tower on the top of Mr. Agamentius. The story boards tell about Dave and the history of the three towers that keep watch over this part of York county. This is Dave's parents... Janet and Alva.. they come almost every day to the top of the mountain to tend to the memorial and often to answer the questions of people who stop by to look and read the boards.

We had a little memorial service in Dave's honor yesterday, Chief Rick Plummer from Gray .. a very dear and close friend of Dave's, my Ed, Mike Estes, a selectman, and Mark Gay all gave a little speech ... it was very touching, and meant a great deal to Dave's parents.

For those of you who live here in the southern part of the state, you should feel very proud of these volunteers who keep careful watch over the land.. especially during "fire season".... thanks, Dave!!!!