working together for social inclusion in America

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fighting Fire

Them sons-of-bitches was Mennonites and wouldn't fight in the last war -- said they wasn't afraid to work or die for their country but wouldn't kill anybody, so somebody, maybe for this somebody's idea of a joke, had them sent to the Smokejumpers. It turned out them sons-of-bitches was farm boys and, what's more, didn't believe in using machines no way -- working was just for their hands and their horses, and them sons-of-bitches took them shovels and saws and Pulaskis and put a hump in their backs and never straightened up until morning when they had a fire-line around the whole damn fire.

Them sons-of-bitches was the world's champion firefighters. The rest of us bastards was dead by midnight.

--Hal Samsel, United States Forest Service

From Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean


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