The phone rang at about 9:00am and I hear my dad say one minute and walk up stairs. I automatically assumed it was for my mom, then the foot steps grew louder. "Justin, phone call", he said partly annoyed because he had to walk up stairs. Who could be calling me on a Sunday m morming? Jeff was in Connecticut, Sean never calls unexpectedly. It was Larry on the other end of the phone. Larry is another fire and scanner buff who takes me to some of the wet downs and parades, he was in Mahwah for work and wanted to know if I wanted to go to the Newark Fire Munster. I moaned yes and as soon as I put the phone down I hopped, more like stumbled, into the tub and raced to get ready! He pulled up, we packed the walker up and left.
We got there and the trucks were just starting to pull into the lot, kind of like an antique car show, but strictly fire apparatus. It was definitely OK by me!1 The lead truck was the Newark FD antique Mac truck. The license plate read Q/Q WTC343, a dedication to the three hundred and forty-three firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11/01. Kids were climbing in the hose bed to ride in the parade. I thought it was neat the Newark Fire Department let them do it. Larry half jokingly said, go ahead jump on! I didn't go for it, but peered in the cab. I saw this beauty at a few 100th anniversary parades and always dreamed what it'd be like riding shotgun.. Just then the driver of this piece of moving history stepped behind me. He said he couldn't fit me in the back, I couldn't climb up there anyway! I kept looking at the cab. The driver said, "go ahead hop in!", I looked at him for a split second and quickly opened the door and jumped in. Seeing antique fire engines is neat but actually sitting in the passenger's seat gave me goose bumps. The first thing I noticed was a brand new Motorola radio sitting on Newark's fire dispatch channel!! Of course I wanted to scroll through it to see what else was programmed in, but I didn't want to do anything to get myself kicked off the truck. I stuck to ringing that bell. People waved at me and smiled, probably thought I had been involved with the Newark Fire Museum for years. It was definitely a very nice surprise!
Larry stood on the corner snapping pictures of everything that looked cool to him as it passed by! I admit I directed him to a few nice shots. He go pictures of some of the older truck radios and the old plectron inside the museum itself!! I sometimes think that camera is glued to his head like the scanner is glued to my ear!
When all was said and done, both of us had a really amazing time! It was kind of sad to overhear the munster wasn't as good as in the past, but we had fun!! Now if you excuse me I have to review to new frequencies I picked off during the festivities! I can't wait to do it all over again next year!!!
P.S. For those who know about my "Top 100" the Newark Munster rates as #18
Larry took some amazing pictures you can view them here: