Photos by Kathy Robbins … Slideshow by Elaine Van Develde
It’s an honored, good time tradition. The Fair Haven Fire Department recently had its Installation Dinner. Every New Year, new line officers are officially installed and honored and outgoing officers and members are honored in a thank you dinner dance.
There’s a lot of casual hometown pride running through Fair Haven and it has to do with a hero’s run in New York and a couple of longtime borough residents, friendship and many years of brotherhood in emergency response.
The night is still. A light is on. Trucks are out of the bays. Cartoony faces and ghosts in empty seats on unassembled carnival rides stare back in the dark. Someone’s cooking at the Fair Haven firehouse. It’s fair time.
Nothing says community spirit like a face full of dirt and smashed eggs on your Sunday casual best. Well, nothing like Fair Haven Fire Department’s (FHFD) Old Timers’ Day, anyway. Add to that the fact that the young ones from back in the day are now the old timers and the losers … of the traditional baseball game that is the day’s focal point.
Everything’s gonna be alright Everything’s gonna be alright Nobody’s gotta worry ’bout nothing Don’t go hitting that panic button It ain’t near as bad as you think Everything’s gonna be alright Alright, alright
Kenny Chesney ~ Everything’s Gonna Be Alright
They called him Joe T. He never hit the panic button. And he was more than alright … with a smile, a nod, a laugh and a reassuring pat on the back.
He was a loving husband. He was a devoted dad. He was a dedicated volunteer. He was a calming presence. He was a jokester. He was a beacon of hope, inspiration, fun and laughter. He was a loyal friend. He was just plain, no-nonsesense full of life. And, last year, he lost his life. But, longtime Fair Havenite and Fire Department/First Aid Squad guy Joe Truex lives on in the memories he made with purpose. He was toasted by loved ones in a “never forget” tribute party on Friday night, the one-year anniversary of his death, organized by his wife, Ethel Hodgkiss Truex.
Saturday was a traditional night for the stars of the Fair Haven Fire Department Auxiliary to shine with its annual dinner.
And from all accounts, all stars shone brightly. In fact, there was a little bit of all-star mingling across community and career arenas going on during the event.
Fire Department fireman and first aid squad captain, Dan Kane, rubbed elbows and, more aptly, chatted and shook hands with actor/producer Brian O’Halloran, a Middletown guy who is known for his roles in the Kevin Smith movies Clerks, Mallrats, Dogma, Chasing Amy, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks II.
Clerks came out in 1994 and was shot in a convenience store in Middletown. Do you remember which store and what section of Middletown? And, in Clerks, there is a scene in which a copy of a newspaper is seen. Do you know which weekly newspaper that was?
The story about Clerks being filmed, before it met with major success at the Sundance Film Festival, was told in that same newspaper that appears in the movie. Smith, himself, worked in the store.
The budget for Clerks was less than $30,000. Once released, it brought in more than $3 million. O’Halloran’s character always had he same last name in all the Smith movies. Do you know what that was?
As for Dan Kane, do you know how many years he has been with the fire company? In capacity as a line officer has he served over the years?
And, as for the true stars of the night on Saturday, the ladies of the FHFD Auxiliary, do you know how long they’ve been hosting this dinner? Favorite food served? What did O’Halloran eat?