One of the best things about being a retiree is getting a phone call from an old friend and former colleague you haven't heard from in years.
Last Monday Jack Calamo visited Station 4, where he was greeted warmly by friendly firefighters, some of whom were still in grammar school when Jack was a company officer there. After a tour of the newly renovated station, they gave Jack my phone number. The call made my day. At 5:10 we met at the Dunkin Donuts and didn't leave till well after 8. Our time there was well spent sharing plenty of good memories and, of course, a lot of laughs. A wonder they didn't throw us out.
Jack retired in 1996. He and his wife Peg now grow and sell blueberries at their Penhook, Virginia farm. Recent health issues have been a concern for Jack, but he is looking and feeling much better now and aims to stay that way. He hopes that a future hometown visit will coincide with a quarterly HFRA meeting.
DGJ - Posted 8/8/14
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In the 1970 photo below, Jack Calamo is in the front row standing immediately to the right of Dep. Chief Daniel Hume. He was one of fifteen recruits who joined the department three months before the changeover to a 42-hour workweek. Jack was among Hamden's first four paramedics in 1976 and was promoted to lieutenant in 1984.
Class of July 1970 (L-R): Dep. Chief Hume, Jeff Stoehr, Jack Calamo, Dennis Cosgrove (rear), Frank Dorman, Steve Hitchcock, Ray Chase, Bob Kenney, Tom Mikolinski, Bill Coppola, Tony D'Agostino, Bill Giaquinto, Howie Hurlburt, Jr. (hidden), Jim Hagerty, John Corbett and Bob Kelo.
Website fan Mel Kooper, of Tampa, Florida sent this iPhone photo following his family's recent trip to the Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. This World War I era American LaFrance pumper, once assigned to the Jack Daniel's "Fire Brigade," helped to protect the facility in those halcyon days before the Volstead Act took effect - and probably for some time after Prohibition ended in 1933. NOTE: Lynchburg is located in Moore County, which remains "dry" to this day.
American LaFrance pumper at the Jack Daniel's Distillery's "Fire Brigade" in Lynchburg, Tennessee (Photo by Mel Kooper)
About Jack Daniel's location in a dry county, Mr. Kooper noted, "The factory has figured out how to sell you a bottle of Jack Daniel's. In the gift shop they sell you the 'collectible bottle' and give you the whiskey. They will also engrave your name on the bottle for you. If you are real thirsty and a bottle isn't enough, you can buy a whole barrel." The barrel, and its contents bottled for you, goes for somewhere in the $14,000 range - delivered to your favorite package store. (Liver transplant is extra.)
Wednesday, August 8, 1962 - The New Haven Register (Courtesy of Chan Brainard)
A very young recruit Bob "Bubby" O'Donnell takes the wheel of Whitneyville's 1928 Maxim, while Lt. Everett Doherty and Co. 3 volunteer Larry Spahr stand with Co. 3 mascot "Belle." Bubby went on to become Hamden Fire Marshal, retiring 40 years after this 1947 photo was taken.
1961 - 1965
Car 30 - 1961 Ford Fairlane
In January 1961, a new white Ford Fairlane two-door sedan costing $2,498.15 was purchased for the exclusive use of the Battalion Chiefs. The designation for this vehicle was "Car 30."
The Battalion Chiefs were stationed at Headquarters. Each night, after some careful maneuvering by the rescue driver, Car 30 was squeezed between the rescue and Engine 4.
After the title of Battalion Chief was changed to Deputy Chief the following November, the words "DEPUTY CHIEF" were painted on the two doors of this vehicle.
In January 1962, Chief Leddy was assigned a brand new white Rambler sedan costing $2,971.50. Apparently the 1956 Pontiac was traded in because it disappeared from department records after the Rambler was purchased.
1965 Mack 750 GPM Pumper
In April 1963, the New Milford Fire Department purchased Hamden's 1941 Diamond-T city service ladder truck for $2,200. This spare ladder truck had been located at Station 5 since the Maxim 75' "Junior" aerial ladder truck was delivered in 1958.
In November 1964, the Board of Fire Commissioners voted to purchase a 1965 Mack 750 g.p.m. pumper that cost $19,21,940. It was Hamden's first full-size commercial body fire apparatus since 1942, It also was Hamden's first red apparatus since the 1954 Maxim was purchased.
Ironically, the next purchases were a new white 1965 Chevrolet sedan for the chief and a new white 1966 Ford station wagon for the deputy chiefs. They cost $2,240 and $2,565 respectively, and would be the last all white vehicles in the Hamden inventory.
The white 1961 Ford sedan previously assigned to the "Deputies" was reassigned Deputy Chief Training Officer Daniel Hume.
The Mack went in service at Headquarters in August 1965, and the 1954 Maxim was transferred to Whitneyville. The 1952 Maxim went to Mt. Carmel. And the 1951 Maxim went to Merritt Street.
The 1942 600 g.p.m. Diamond-T pumper that had been Engine 6 since 1959 was transferred to West Woods Volunteer Fire Co. 9. The old '38 Squad that had been Engine 39 since 1959 became a spare and was moved to the south bay at the Mt. Carmel station.
For the first time, the apparatus assigned to paid companies were all manufactured after WWII.
Hamden Fire Department Apparatus Inventory 1965 Station 2 Engine 1 (Spare) – 1938 Seagrave 600 g.p.m. pumper Engine 2 – 1959 Maxim "Cab-Forward" 750 g.p.m. pumper Ladder 1 – 1958 Maxim 75' "Junior" aerial ladder truck Repair Shop 1952 Dodge D126 Maintenance Truck Car 50 - 1955 Ford 1/2 Ton Pickup Truck (CD) Station 3 Engine 3 – 1954 Maxim 750 g.p.m. pumper Rescue 1 - 1958 International Travel-all Station 4 (Headquarters) Engine 4 – 1965 Mack 750 g.p.m. pumper - Delivered 8/18/65 - $21,940 Rescue 2 - 1960 International Travel-all Car 30 - Dep. Chief - 1961 Ford Fairlane 2-dr. sedan - $2,300 Station 5 Engine 5 – 1952 Maxim 750 g.p.m. pumper Spare – 1938 Diamond-T e/w 150 g.p.m. pump
Station 6 Engine 6 – 1951 Maxim 750 g.p.m. pumper Station 7 Engine 37 – 1939 Diamond-T 500 g.p.m. pumper Engine 47 – 1935 Dodge 150 g.p.m. pumper Station 8 Engine 38 – 1942 Diamond-T 500 g.p.m. pumper Station 9 Engine 39 – 1942 Diamond-T 600 g.p.m. pumper Staff Vehicles Car 40 - Chief - 1965 Chevrolet sedan - Purchased - $2,240 Car 41 - Marshal - 1962 Rambler