Tales of the 7th Battalion 5

The Fonz

Howard belonged to Engine 33. His home was nearby so it was easy for him to hang out at the fire hall. He was no match for the flamboyant character who hung out at Engine 37. They called him the Fonz. This kid patterned himself after the popular TV actor, Henry Winkler, who played the roll of a hip teenage greaser called the Fonz. Men detailed in, for the day, to work at Engine 37 were amazed at the accuracy of the kid’s portrayal of the legendary TV character. The uniform of the day for the Fonz was Levis and a black leather jacket. He had his hair styled into a DA and was constantly combing it. When he talked he used the same manner of conversation he learned from the television. There were the familiar yeahs and nahs along with the turning of the head. He had the Mr. Cool attitude down to a science.

The kid was entertaining but sometimes we wondered if he was a little unbalanced. Then the day came when the Fonz disappeared. In his place was Steve Austin the Six Million Dollar man. Apparently this kid had multiple personalities. He had morphed into a new TV character. He was now a super hero with amazing abilities. This character always wanted to arm wrestle. Of course the Firefighters always let him win. Again his portrayal was accurate to a high degree of proficiency. There was a time when the Fonz thought he was Elvis Presley. He would stand for hours in front of the engine house with a guitar flexing and wiggling his hips. He also knew the words to all the songs. This phase didn’t last long before he became the Fonz again. We were all glad to see his main character return. There was some rivalry between Howard and the Fonz. They both attended a school for slow learners and were in the same class room. One of the Firefighters from Engine 37 was a substitute teacher at the school on his days off. The Fonz and Howard could never figure out how the teacher was also a Firefighter.

The Firefighters soon defused the rivalry situation between the two kids by telling The Fonz that Howard was studying Karate. This seemed to put enough doubt in the Six Million Dollar man’s mind so he never bothered Howard. Howard left the area eventually and with the closing of Engine 37 the contact with The Fonz was lost. They have both faded into the folk lore and legends of the 7th battalion. It was fun to know those kids.

Any of you old 7th Battalion guys out there with a story please contact me at .

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"Fire Horses" book authored by firefighter R.J. Haig.


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