On Monday, September tenth we received a Stage 2 evacuation order to leave our home on the west side of Hamilton due to the threat of the Sawtooth fire. Despite the kindly offerings by friends and acquaintances to give us places to stay, and for which I am truly grateful, I decided to see what the American Red Cross had to offer.
So I drove by their set up at the First Baptist Church on Cooper Way in Hamilton and found them all set up for evacuees, with cots in a large meeting room that had been cleared out, tables of provisions, and a very warm and solicitous offering of a place to stay. Nice church!
Well, I had donated to the Red Cross, off and on, over the years, received free coffee and cigarettes during WWII, and read about their worldwide services in the papers but had never done much for them except give blood and a little money. I didn’t realize how well coordinated they are, and how kind.
I spent the night there, along with two other evacuees. I slept on a folding cot, the first I had used since 1943. I was given, to keep, a blanket which kept me warm while I slept, and a big bag of toiletries which included a large bottle of shampoo that I haven’t used yet.
In the morning, I ate a nice breakfast of orange juice, cereal and fresh milk, coffee cake, and strong java – a good meal! – and then I left with a feeling of friendly gratitude. So that’s how I spent the night as, “an evacuee, a victim of a disaster,” fed and cared for by stalwart and charitable volunteers. The Red Cross is great!
But so are the Forest Service and all the guys who are fighting fires. Thank you all!