Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fireman's Farewell for former Fire Chief Linwood Kolb

     This past week I covered the fireman's funeral of former Ridge fire chief Linwood Kolb. With the family's permission I was able to photograph his funeral procession for The Mercury. On a very foggy day fire companies parked trucks and formed ladder arches with a large United States flag tied between them. Everything in the background was enveloped in a gray mist. The snow covering the ground was melting and a light rain fell.
     I had known Chief Kolb from covering news events, vehicle crashes and fires in the Ridge coverage area over the years of my career as a photographer. He had always taken the time to greet me with a hello and would fill me in on some details of what was going on. When I read his obituary I hadn't realized that he had been the fire chief for 30 years. I know its a line used over an over but time does fly.
Funeral procession for former chief Linwood Kolb.
    It was quiet as I waited for the procession that was making their way to the Vincent Mennonite Cemetary. You could hear the sound of the motor of Ridge engine 62-1 before it was visible in that thick fog.
Then the headlights and truck came into view. They slowly passed under the ladder arch and the flag that hung motionless on a calm winter day.     
    That's when I shot the photo that I thought told the story on that day and to pay tribute to a man who volunteered a lot of years to his community.

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