Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The One with the Poem about Smoke Jumpers

My grandfather moved to Idaho in the early 1950s to be a part of an elite group of fire fighters called smoke jumpers. They parachuted out of airplanes into the heart of forest fires to fight them in terrain that was otherwise unreachable - saving thousands of acres of timber from going up in flames.

He wrote a book on the subject, Two-Man Stick. I am a proud owner of copy and my brother just read it as well. After reading it, my brother wrote a poem in tribute to my grandfather. I jazzed it up a little and my mom is going to have it framed for his 76th birthday.

(In case you can't read it in the image above:)

The Jumpers
by Chad Filler

The wiser people of the town of McCall, Idaho,
tell many stories of the great
smoke-jumping dynamos -
Who plunged into the flaming seas
of many large, quick-burning trees -
Who risked their lives
almost everyday
to try and stop the pines ablaze -
Who loved the wonderful great outdoors
enough to save it from a fire’s roar -
And the people also tell of the ones who cared about the honor
they would earn,
even though it was possible to their homes they might never return.

Cool birthday present, no? My brother is also dabbling in cartooning these days. I'll have to post some of his art here sometime.


  1. SO cool Michelle! I wanna read it when you can part with the book for a bit! Sounds interesting!

    Very nice of you to make this into something that will be a gift for your grandpa!

  2. My grandfather Ken Salyer jumped in the 50's in mccall as well. Unfortunately he died when a cargo drop resulted in a plane crash. Step grand dad jumped then as well. I remember him talking about your grand dad too.


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