Monday, August 29, 2016


by Norman E. Hooben
Today, August 29, 2016… If my dad was still alive this would be his 111th birthday.  We were not close as fathers and sons go but he was my dad none the less.  He was most likely the best fireman the city of Taunton ever mustered…even his obituary stated, “He was the firemen’s fireman.” Now I don’t have a lot of memorable stories to tell about him but I remember the one he told about himself.
When he was just seven years of age back in 1912, his dad (obviously my grandfather) took him to Madison Square Garden in that big city just 200 miles to the west.  Buffalo Bill’s Wild Wild West Show was coming to New York City and any dad that could scrape up the extra money to travel that far in those days would be an indelible mark on his son’s memory.  As luck would have it, gramps and my dad got some front row seats in the arena to watch the show that just returned from England’s performance in front of the Queen.  This spectacular event was enhanced when the man himself, THE BUFFALO BILL rode up on his stallion and looked down on my dad (the 7 year old) and reached over the railing and shook his hand.  I guess my dad had bragging rights but no one’s around today that would remember…’cept me, my dad shook the hand of Buffalo Bill Cody!  Now who else could brag about that? His son, me!

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