To paraphrase the Beatles, the Axiom magical media mystery tour continues, this time with Houston's ABC affiliate, and some unprecedented moments in the process.
KTRK-TV Ch. 13 on Tuesday shined the spotlight on Axiom for “Hometown Live,” a staple in the station's daily afternoon newscasts. Reporter Sonia Azad interviewed Axiom's Tom Hair and Matt Schott, along with retired chiefs of the Houston Fire Department.
One by one, former HFD chiefs V.E. Rogers, C.R. Cook, Joseph Perino, R.R. Harrison, Lester Tyra and Phil Boriskie met with Tom Hair and mingled with other attendees. As the commemoration ceremony was about to start at 10:30 a.m., current HFD Fire Chief, Terry A. Garrison, and Executive Assistant Chief Richard Mann arrived, minutes after the Mayor Pro-Tem and District H (Sixth Ward) City Council Member Ed Gonzalez and his assistant, Steven David.Earlier in the day, the Axiom team, clad in red Fire Station No. 6 T-shirts, set up chairs, a check-in table for guests, and helped get the vintage 1926 American LaFrance truck into position for photo ops in front of the building. Valet parking and lunch also was provided at the event. The C shift of the HFD Station 6, led by District Chief Wallace Page, also got into positions at the front gates and along tour stops.
After the ceremony, a group photo of the chiefs, Hair and Gonzalez was taken before Hair conducted a tour of the building. Some say that such a gathering of past chiefs for a group photo is a rare, if not unprecedented, occasion that was not lost on Butch Edmonds, who attended the event. “I doubt this will ever happen again,” he said. Fire Chief Garrison noted after the tour that he had not met any of the previous chiefs until Tuesday.A gathering of 50 attended the event, which included brief remarks from speakers Hair, Gonzalez, Tristan Smith of the Houston Fire Museum, and former HFD spokesman Jay Evans, who introduced the lineage of retired chiefs.
Tour highlights included artifacts from the Houston Fire Museum, several 10-foot-by-12-foot black-and-white enlargements of HFD firefighters from the early 1900s, and of course the fire pole that connects from ground level to the second-floor ceiling. After the tours, the Station 6 firefighters, retired chiefs and other guests gathered in the west courtyard to enjoy lunch and socialize.
After the retired chiefs left Fire Station No. 6 in the early afternoon, Minette B. Boesel, an assistant to Mayor Parker for cultural affairs, visited the building and received a personal tour from Tom Hair. Ms. Boesel was indeed helpful in suggesting information sources on Fire Station No. 6's use since 1931, when the Houston Fire Department moved the station personnel to Henderson and Decatur streets until 1987. The current location of HFD No. 6 is 3402 Washington Ave.
The preparation for Tuesday’s commemoration of the restored Fire Station No. 6 took much planning and commitment from the Axiom team and others involved in making the event a successful one. Much thanks to everyone involved.
Also, a generous dollop of gratitude goes out to Humble Fire Marshall Clinton B. Johnson, who supplied the vintage fire truck, and Chuck Bruschardt for operating the truck during the event. Mr. Bruschardt was kind enough to drive most of the Axiom team around the block, an informal celebration of a job well done on Tuesday.