I remember very vividly the first fire call for the Woodbury Volunteer Fire Department, where I was an active member. I had my uniform readily available as we had been directed so it could be slipped on a moment’s notice. When I got the late night call from Chief Bostow, Larry, being very direct and a man of few words uttered, “Fire…dox blocks.” The rest is history.
Lake Elmo beat us to the scene that first night, but was a good learning expereince for all of us. We had many more such learning experiences at first; for several weeks and weekends, kids in the area were lighting haystacks on fire. They probably were watching us from afar, but, thankfully, none of the fires spread to cause any severe damage.
The drive down to sourthern Minnesota to bring our very first fire truck back to Woodbury was very exciting to say the least. Before the first fire hall was built, the trucks had to be stored in the yards of the firemen while we worked on them.
One of our first fundraising events was a dance. I was chosen to help count the money and then “volunteered” to take it home and place it somewhere for safe keeping until it could be deposited into the bank. Upon arriving home, we decided the freezer would be the best bet. No one had safes, so we just buried it carefully in the freezer in diguised packages under some vegetables. It was a blessing we were able to keep the money there, because a short time later, our house was broken into. Along with many personal items, the thieves made off stole some meat and some baked goods, but – thanksfully – no frozen vegetables, or money!
I have many wonderful memories as I recall glimpses of the past 50 years. I feel so honored and proud to have my name on the commemorative coin, honoring the founding fathers of the Woodbury Volunteer Fire Department. I’m proud of the bunch of guys that worked so hard to get the fire department up and running. My Dad had volunteered to give the township some of his land on Upper Afton Road for the new fire department, but at that time there was no water access available there. Also, the largest population was centered at Woodbury Heights. Now, the main fire department is located on Radio Drive, which would still be part of my Dad’s farm. This makes our whole family very proud to still be a part of the Woodbury Fire Department.