Unpublished

Below is a Letter To The Editor I sent to my local newspaper, The Journal News, on July 16. The content of the letter and the reason I wrote it will become apparent when you read it. I was pretty mad when I wrote it, and the next morning, I wished I hadn’t.

In the cold, sober light of day, I realized the publishing of my letter would really serve no purpose. It would not contribute to the public good. It would not spark discussion nor promote debate. It was simply me venting.

I think the Editors showed great wisdom in not publishing my bitter and twisted diatribe. What do you think?

Here’s the letter:

An Open Letter To The Person Who Stole My Shoes From A Monsey Fireground This Evening,

I am a volunteer. That means my brother firefighters and I don’t get paid to put out the maliciously set dumpster fire we were called to tonight. I don’t get paid to be away from my home and apart from my family when the alarm sounds. I don’t get paid to risk my life going into burning buildings to protect life and property in our community.

So how do you express your gratitude for my service? By stealing my shoes. Yes, the shoes that were sitting on the ground, next to the trunk of my car, where I had changed into my protective turnout gear.

The shoes themselves are no big deal, just an old pair of sneakers. No, it’s the thought that counts. And here’s what I was thinking when I drove home tonight in my stocking feet. What if, one day, it’s your home that’s on fire? And what if I was searching for anyone who might still be alive in it? And what if the room was hotter than an oven, and smoke was banking down, turning it so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face?  And what if I found my pair of shoes in your closet? And then I found you, lying unconscious next to them.  Know what I would do? I would save your sorry ass.

If you feel like returning my shoes, just bring them by the firehouse at 16 Grove Street.

HS

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