In the May/June Cook's magazine this month, Christopher Kimball writes about the volunteers of America. He tells a story courtesy of Roland LaFrance about a little boy who called in a fire. He speaks of Scott, an assistant fire chief in a small town where firehouses host fundraisers to raise money.
"I once heard a story about a call that came in from a firebox on the street corner, and two fire stations were dispatched. When the first company pulled up, they saw a little boy standing at the firebox on the seat of his tricycle. When they went up to him they quickly realized that he was the son of one of the firefighters on the other truck. When asked what was wrong, he replied, "I just wanted to see my daddy."
That boy knew his dad was both a volunteer and a hero - not heroic in the grand scheme of things, perhaps, but where it really matters: in a small town, in a small state. In an age when we think that we can simply buy our way out of trouble, Scott and others remind us that Americans once built something out of nothing, that kids grew up proud, and that if you called in a fire, you would soon see some folks you know showing up in a big red truck, and one of them, riding shotgun, would probably be your daddy."
I don't think we necessarily need to idealize the past, but instead let's celebrate what is happening now. Here's Barack Obama to let us know that the focus of our leadership is greatly changed from the misdirection of the Bush administration.