Greetings. As you read this, St. Patrick's Day will have come and gone (had some excellent corned beef and cabbage — which is not really Irish), Ralph's Cafe has opened for the season and the vernal equinox (spring) arrives on the 20th. The days are growing longer and I saw a red-winged blackbird.

Now I need to share something very important:

"Everyone hates Mondays. Garfield made a career out of it. Millions of sarcastic coffee cups have been sold. We here at the Brooks Fire Department take the first and third Mondays to a whole new level. We meet right here at the one and only station (known internally as the party house) and do all kinds of things. Inspect water fountains. Sweep floors. Check oil in trucks. Almost superhero type stuff. Occasionally there is a light bulb to replace.

"In the recent decades, all rural towns have seen a decline in volunteer membership. The old timers sadly retire or shed their mortal coil, the young ones coming up move away or work increasingly farther from home, and the few left pick up the slack.

"Here's the deal. We need you. You may not even know it, but you have the qualifications. We have a small crew but a great one. We know how to cut people out of cars. We do not blink twice at showing up to a fully involved inferno. We have the best equipment, best training and I would put our guys up against the best. People have seen us in action and they know it. But we need a bit of help.

"You might not want to cut a mangled car up or even be able to. But you can stop traffic so we can do it faster and better.

"You might not want to or be able to hike a mile into the woods to put out a forest fire threatening hundreds of acres. But you can be our radio guy and coordinate stuff for us, especially snacks. We need a snack person.

"You might actually be able and willing to do these things, and figured awwww, they're all set. We're not.

"We can't offer you a lot. A shiny black pager and probably a few T-shirts a year. Nobody realizes how much they need us until they do, and nobody realizes how much they are needed until they come see us and find out."

Many thanks to Bryan Menard for writing this. Please, if you can help out in any way, contact the Brooks Volunteer Fire Department, Chief Hans Albee, 322-4106. And change your smoke detector batteries.

Bryan posted this on social media and stated that if he gets 100 shares, he will pose wearing only his helmet and boots!

The Unity Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary will be holding a bake sale to raise money for food and drinks for the firefighters during extended calls. The event takes place Saturday, April 3, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cone'z, 8 Depot St. The fundraiser will feature homemade pies, cookies, bars, breads, rolls, and dog biscuits. Come and pick out Easter treats.

Until next time…peace (and don't forget to send me your news).