Lil' Ol' Volunteer Fire Department

(A true story that never happened)

The story is told that several years ago Hughes, ”Preacher”, Chatham our late EMA director was on his way to a conference in Hawaii with a planeload of big city EMA folks who were giving him a bit of a hard time about his country ways. As they flew over the Mississippi River they said he probably didn’t have anything like that in Union County and he answered “No, but we’ve got the purtiest, clearest trout streams you’d ever want to see.” Crossing the plains states with their massive farms, they said he surely didn’t have the likes of that in North Georgia and he replied no but “we’ve got peppers and silver queen corn and sorghum, the best in the world, in our small mountain farms”. Looking out over the Rockies, they suggested that he had no such mountains in the Appalachians and he had to agree, but that those Appalachians were more welcoming and comforting to people living there than the stark Rockies. Crossing the Pacific Ocean brought the inevitable comment that there was surely nothing like that in all of North Georgia and Hughes answered that there wasn’t but we had a host of beautiful lakes with good fishing and limitless opportunities for recreation. As they neared their destination, they flew over a violently erupting volcano and it was offered that such not only did not exist in his home but there was nothing to make any sort of comparison with, to which Preacher replied:

“You’re right, boys; we’ve got nothing to compare to that mess down there, but I’ve got me a lil’ ol’ volunteer fire department in Suches that’d have the thing put out in a half an hour”.