Old Mail #7

8/29/2007 – 7/25/2008 To go to Old Mail #6 Click Here

7/25/2008 from Ralph Johnson:

We have had many calls from my buddies in the Bay Area, thank you very much for the concern, it sure makes a difference when you know that your friends and workmates  are thinking about your welfare.

I have enclosed some pictures of what was going on behind our house as well as above it!!!!

The Town of Paradise at this time is out of danger, the Camp fire continues to burn, with 50% containment, about 5 miles southeast of the town limits.

It came within 600 feet of our home, we live on the edge of the West Branch of the Feather River. Watching it's progress from our side of the canyon was cause for  a lot of concern on my part!!!!!

After 5 days we were allowed to remain in our home overnight. While we were away we hand housesitters from San Diego, Hemet,Modesto,Norco, San Francisco and Wheatland and these were just the ones who were at our driveway and on our deck. We can see about 30 miles off of our deck, WHEN THE VIEW IS NOT BLOCKED BY A LOT OF SMOKE!!!!!

I am very thankful that Siggy, Ryder Myself and none of my retirement buddies were seriously affected. There have been many homes lost, one of which was Julie's Doctor.

We are in the process of collecting donations for those that lost everything, again seeing the terrible damage some have suffered, I am truley thankful!

I offered my assistance and was told your retired, we will handle it!!! ( 25 year old  studs, like we used to be )

Although there are fires burning all around us, I think the 3000 men and women and all of the equipment, will GET IT DONE soon.


Ralph Johnson


P.S. One of my golf buddies ran into an Alameda County engine, he asked if they new Ralph Johnson?? They said WHO, but as I found out, you may be gone,( Retired)  but your buddies never forget you!!! I'll drink to that, thanks again my fellow firefighters!!!!!!!



7/14/2008 from Bob Hopken:

Hello everyone,


My Dad may not be around the stations for awhile (month or so)  He had neck surgery today.  Dr. reported it was successful.

He is at Eden hospital and is likely to be for 2-3 days.  For now, please refrain from phone calls or visits as he is in quite a bit of pain and needs rest.

If you have any e-mails or messages that you would like to send my way I would make sure that he gets them.


Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers!


Bob Hopken


7/3/2008 from Terry Givens


I was very saddened to hear of Ted’s passing.  I was very good friends with his deceased son Gordon and still am friends with his other son David.  I have to tell this story about Ted.

Gordon was a member of the old OES fire department under the then leadership of the Sheriff’s Department.  Along with the Dublin Fire Department we burnt an old home down where the new exit off the freeway to Castro Valley is now.  When it came to Gordon’s and my turn to go into the house Ted was our Team Leader.  The fire was in the attic so we "scooted" up and prepared to go up and in, when Ted told us to take off our SCBA’s.  We were directed to go up without them.  I was the nozzle man and Gordon right behind me.  The fire and smoke advanced and I wanted to get water on it.  All I heard was Ted yelling “not yet” “not yet”.  Soon I could not see, the smoke was getting thicker.  “Not yet” “not yet” was all I heard.  Finally he shoved our heads below the joists and yelled “breath the air down here” and Then he started yelling “This is not a hobby, this is what being a firefighter is all about”  By now I am coughing so bad and I cried to flow water.  “Not yet” “not yet” was the only reply I got.  Then flames came over the top of us and I cracked open the nozzle, boy was that the wrong reaction.  Next thing I know Ted was next to us yelling that this is what a firefighter does.  He called us all sorts of unprintable names and told us (remember his son was there) what we could with our Volunteering.  By now I thought I was getting dizzy things were blurred (little did I know at the time my face shield was melting).  Finally he told us to flow water.  When we came out of the attic Ted was still in our faces about becoming a firefighter was an honor and if we were going to be Volunteers we better be ---- good ones.  Then and only then did Ted state “You guys did good, real good” and as he walked away I heard him say for ------- Volunteers. At Gordon’s funeral Ted and I talked about this experience and all he did was laugh.

I will miss Ted and I will always remember him fondly and I wished I had kept that face shield.


Terrell L. Givens


7/1/2008 from Tom Boggs:


  My condolences to the family. It is always sad to hear of one of our own passing. Hope they find peace and hope in this time of loss.



7/1/2008 from Dino Zoggas:


           Ted Slade a former Dublin Firefighter passed away On June 25th,he started his career in 1965 and was our Union President.

              The Service will be at 3P.M. At Callahan's located at 3833 East AVE. in Livermore on Thurs 3rd of July.Immediately following the service,there will be

an internment accross the street.


                                                                                Dino Zoggas


7/1/2008 from Ray Jannson:


Rich – I hope you can read this.  Please correct as needed…..Ray

Arvo Wallenius-  A well liked and one of the finest and competent firefighter and engineer, both in-house and at emergencies.

He entered the SLFD with eight others when part of Ashland was annexed to San Leandro, January 1955.  He was promoted to fire engineer 11/70.  He retired 12/73.  He had spent many years at the 143rd Ave. Fire Station #4.

Before moving to Juniper St. in San Leandro, Wally and Dorothy and two sons lived on top of the hill above 169th.

He loved to fish and once owned a boat in the Delta.

He traveled a great deal and spent many a winter in Yuma AZ with Joe Neves.  His son Butch was a San Leandro Firefighter before moving to the Salem OR FD.

He joined the Ashland FD September 1953 after service as a volunteer.


He was a good old boy and was a credit to the fire service.


Ray Jannson

6/25/2008 from Virginia Gebhardt:

Dear Rich,

I remember Wally Wallenius.  Thank you for telling of his passing.


Virginia Gebhardt


6/24/2008 from Floyd Nabonne:

When Wally retired, one of his concerns was for the San Leandro Fire fighters Association treasurers position that he held for many years as the one and only treasurer. He wanted to have someone replace him that would be there long term and care about the finances and well being of our firefighters. I  was happy that he accepted my request to take over his job.


I took over for him and was the treasurer for many years. The position not only collected dues but also made sure that life insurance fees that were collected with payroll deducted dues and any policy changes were kept up to date. He also made a point to see to it that the widows of our deceased retirees were always remembered especially at Christmas.


He taught me to watch out for the guys and to make sure their beneficiaries were helped in any way if they unfortunately needed to collect on a policy.

I will always remember him, and my wife and I will keep Wally in our prayers.


Floyd Nabonne


6/24/2008 from Butch Wallenius:

Dear Rich:


Wanted to let you know of the passing of my dad, Arvo “Wally” Wallenius.  He was born 10/27/17 in Ironwood, Michigan and died on 6/5/08 at 90 years of age.  Wally started his firefighting career with Ashland Department and came to San Leandro Fire Department in 1955.  He retired in 1973 and was officially replaced by me, Arlen “Butch” Wallenius.


He was an engineer for many years and enjoyed working and teaching new recruits.  He was active in softball and bowling and enjoyed camping and fishing.  He built two retirement homes, one in Angel’s Camp and one in Grass Valley, but never lived in either one. 


Wally met and married Dorothy in July of 1946 in Ironwood, Michigan.  They moved to California in 1948.  Wally was a bus driver before starting his firefighting career.  Dorothy worked for Chrysler Corp. on Davis Street in San Leandro for 30 years and retired in 1981.  They then moved to Cottage Grove too, and wintered in Yuma, Arizona for 22 years.  They traveled in all 50 of the United States and many countries in Europe and Scandinavia.  Mom and Dad were married almost 62 years, quite an accomplishment these days!


Wally lived all of his 90 years, with age only catching up with him the last six months of his life.  Thankfully, he was still very sharp mentally and enjoyed being around family and friends.  Dorothy will remain in Cottage Grove


Butch worked for San Leandro Fire Department from 1973 to 1976 and then quit his job to move to Cottage Grove, Oregon and went to work for Eugene Fire Department.  Butch served for 25 years with Eugene and retired in 2003 as an engineer also.  Butch and Linda’s son, Jeff, (Wally’s grandson) is a third generation firefighter in our family and also an engineer with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue near Portland, Oregon.  Wally’s other son, Bruce, worked for White Brothers in Oakland for many years, and still resides in San Leandro.


Dad will be missed but not forgotten.




I’ve attached a photo of dad for you to use if you can or have room.  If you have any questions, let me know.  Thanks for keeping the Bresnan going…I don’t know that many anymore, but it’s nice to see faces from the “old” days! 



Butch Wallenius

5/6/2008 from Rich Pfisterer:

Rich, thank you for the call, really great to hear from you, though I am sorry to hear about Ed and Gil. Why do we have to have the bad with the good? As you now know my wife and I moved to New Mexico. We are in the Placitas community, which is about 15 miles north of Albuquerque and about 40 miles south of Santa Fe. We had a home built here at the foot of the Sandia Mountain, which was to be completed Jan. 15 2007. We had to wait in a one room extended stay motel with our dog for three months for it to be completed finally on April 15, 2007. We found out right away everything here is Mañana. They will get to it when then fell like it and you either put up with it or go elsewhere, but it would still be the same story, so you learn to live with it. That's just one of the ways that is different than living in California. We came here to visit friends about two years before we started building the home and my wife fell in love, with the mountain. So we stated looking at the less expensive homes in Albuquerque as compared to California, then we looked at lots. When we were back home I met a man there who told me about Placitas, New Mexico and on our next trip we looked at homes and then lots in Placitas and decided on this lot with an incredible view of the mountain. You know I have been here a little over a year now and I'm am getting just like the people here, my wife just asked me when I was going to plant a couple of bushes she bought the other day and all I could say was I will get to it, or in other words Mañana. Well Rich our brand new kitten is trying to help me type and you asked for my contact information, so here it is and thanks again.


See Calendar


June 9, 2008

Alameda County Fire Department

and Fire Chief Sheldon Gilbert

invite you to attend





See Calendar


4/29/2008 from Frank Gattoni:

Hello to all, I am leaving Thursday for a 3-week trip to Louisiana and Texas to include 8-10 days in Nawlins, (New Orleans for the uninitiated) to work with Habitat for Humanity, visiting relatives, etc. Please do not send me any emails. No one will be checking my computer and I am sure this poor, tired, overworked, antiquated machine would be completely inundated and probably crash, falling to the floor and shattering in a bazillion pieces. Thank you for your time and consideration. Should anyone wish to communicate with me my cell phone is 209.559.1908. Luck to all and God Bless. Frank

4/29/2008 from Jerry Skaggs:

Hi Rich,

Thanks for everything you do for all of us with the Bresnan.  Before I get going here I want to do a short rendition of what my career was like.  Basically my career was 30 years of short jokes interspersed with a zillion medical calls and an occasional fire.  All the short jokes never really bothered me, but I did keep a journal with every joke noted with content, date, time and jokester, and I'll give you some actual examples from my extensive short joke log: "Why don't you just walk under the rig and check for leaks" (Sigglekow);  " Hey, shorter than everyone..."  (Naas); “Does someone as short as you get a full paycheck?"  (Phil Smith).  Then some of my personal favorites, practical short jokes: phone books piled on the Captain's seat, or a small step ladder next to the engine door, (Denny Hopken); and best of all when I was driving, thick wooden blocks taped to the gas and brake pedals, (Valentine).  Yes I drove to a fire with the blocks still on.  Ho, Ho.  Anyway, Big Fun, and I do miss the daily kidding around.      


  I just wanted to say hi and let you know about retirement.  After I retired Linda and I moved to Brentwood from Hayward and moved into one of the Del Webb golf course communities and we really like it here.  Big house, very small yard, and a centrally located Pool/Spa/Gym/Library setup that is real convenient without any maintenance on my part.  My daughter and I owned three Pump It Up franchises, one of which was in Brentwood so the move was really good for us.  We have since sold the businesses and Linda and I are now avid recreational bicyclists and ride a lot locally and also when we are on vacation where we usually rent bicycles instead of renting cars, etc.   Our future plans include bicycling through Italy and other parts of Europe.  As for this summer we are riding lots of 100-mile rides, also the Death Ride, Lake Tahoe, and in September a 500 mile, one-week ride in Oregon, called Cycle Oregon.  I still ride with Banchero, Woody and Kramm once in a while on some of the rides.  And a year ago I rode with Potts, Milan and Thompson up on the Sierra Century out of Murphys.  Big fun.  I saw Joe B sent in a picture of climbing Mt. Haleakala and, not to be outdone, I am enclosing  a pic from the same climb.  Linda and I both climbed it this summer, very tough, relentless mountain with a view from the top that is unbelievable. 

 We also still tour on motorcycles and I just sold Bob Spurr's old Goldwing that I had for years.  Thanks again Bob for keeping it so nice.  Linda and I went cross country three times on it and we are currently awaiting a new one, which I will be picking up in North Carolina and driving back in two weeks.  We joined a gym here in Brentwood and work out a little every day to basically stay in shape and help us on our bikes.  Good luck to you Rich and to all the other working and retired firefighters.  Yes retirement is tough but someone has to do it.

See you soon,



4/23/2008 from Stan Farrelle:

Hello Rich: Wanted to get on your e-mail listing for the Bresnan Dist.   I retired on 9/6/06. I moved to Placerville area on 10 acres and a brand new home. Anyway, still involved in the Fire Service. Work for Cal-Fire these days writing LE-100 citations. Hope to make a retirement lunch one day. You do a great job in keeping us old farts informed.

                                                                               Stan Farrelle

4/20/2008 from Floyd Nabonne:

Well Rich, as you saw, the turn out this year was even smaller than last years luncheon. Here is a list of those that did attend. Connie and  I are at a loss as to what else we could do to entice the retirees to attend this once a year function:

Connie and me, You, Ron Johnson, Emil MacDonald, Jim Dorpinghaus, Mike and

Priscilla Fitzgerald, Paul Smith, Bruce Ghezzi, Lennie Orr, Daymon Orr, Kay

Dana and Beth, Buddy Figueira, Ed Bennotti, Ed Stoner, George Sliva.


While there at Harry’s, we were visited by a chief I believe was from Emeryville. He said he was having lunch with some other chiefs from the area. Probably wasn't from Alameda County though as I am sure they would have taken the time to stop by and say hi.


It was great to see those that did show up. No one from the Sacramento area showed up. Maybe one of those who live in that area would be willing to have a breakfast, lunch or dinner in their area. Some of them probably have a hall in their community that we could use for this, or a restaurant close by. I am willing to help, but will not set up this event for that area. How about it Bungarz, Ivey or even Siggy? Why not. It could be fun. It doesn't take that much time to set up.


I have also sent an a-mail to Bill Peters about a bar-be-que at his place, we had a couple of them in the past, and it was great.




4/18/2008 from Ralph Johnson:

If you knew Gil, you knew he was a dry wit, but sometimes he would have us rolling on the floor!!!


When brand new Station #1 was opened in the seventies, it had an intercom system. You could talk to anyone from the ready room. It was a great new innovation!!!

One morning while we were washing up to go home in the large modern bathroom, the following conversation was heard, between Captain Jack Wood and Gil!!


Wood: Gil Are you there I need to see you!!


Gil: Silence

Wood: Gill I know your are in there!!!


Gil: What do you want WALL?????


Another time Gil told us the story of a cat he had owned, it had lost it's tail to an old belt driven refrigerator!


Every time the refrigerator would start up, the cat would raise up , arch it's back and hiss!!!


If you knew Gil picture him telling that story and imitating the cat, he got us every time.


Gil was on one of the first crews I ever worked on. It has been 38 years ago and I still remember Gil Jenike!!!


Rest in peace Gil,


Ralph Johnson


4/15/2008 from Pam & Fred Biscotti:

Fred Biscotti and I can not be there [The Nabonne Luncheon].  We have had a very difficult winter.  For 3 months we could not see out of our windows due to the great deal of snow.  It is very hard not to have sunlight or light, and then not to see grass or trees, and to not get off this mountain we live on.  The sun is out, and the Chester Cemetery that Fred is Director of, was opened, after we plowed about 12 feet of snow that was 6 feet wide, in one place.  We did that on Sunday.


Please tell all of Fred’s brother's, that we both appreciate what they did for us when Fred was so sick with Cancer.  It was their love, emails, letters, and visits, and calls that kept him alive, with God above blessing us so greatly.


I know it would do Fred a world of good to see the men he worked with and loves.  Please relay that for us, please. 


God bless you all, and God bless our troops, and America.


Pam and Fred Biscotti


from Joe Banchero:

Hi Rich,

              Here are a couple of pictures from a bike ride I did while on Maui earlier this month.  I did a ride they call "The ride to the Sun" it starts in Paia (sea level) and finishes 36 miles later at the top on Haleakala 10,000 feet above sea level. Total time on the bike was 5 hours 45min.  At the 5,000 foot level there was a group of hang gliders, I'll send one of those pictures.  Jerry Skaggs did the ride a week before me, I'm sure he'll send you a picture.


By the way all the retired guys are right, what's not to like about retirement!!!!!!


                                                                            Joe B.


3/12/2008 from Daily Review, sent by Kay Dana:

"Our" Bill Wood Jr.'s Dad.      KAD:

Former Hayward Assistant Fire Chief Wood dies

Longtime public servant was best known as 'right-hand man' for politician Matt Jimenez


Article Created: 03/12/2008 02:42:55 AM PDT

HAYWARD — William "Woody" Wood Sr., a man known as the "right-hand man" for legendary Hayward politician Matt Jimenez, died Wednesday, March 5, 2008. He was 80.

Mr. Wood was also a notable public servant in his own right, serving as a Hayward firefighter from 1949 until his retirement as assistant fire chief in 1981.

The Hayward City Council adjourned its weekly meeting in his honor Tuesday.

Mr. Wood was one of Hayward's first promoted battalion chiefs and served as a chief inspector during the 1970s in the fire prevention bureau, according to a statement provided by the office of the fire chief. He was later responsible, as captain, for an "indoctrination course" for probationary firefighters, the statement said.

But in recent decades, he was perhaps best known in Hayward politics as the campaign manager for all of the political endeavors of Jimenez, a former Hayward fire chief and longtime city councilman who died in 2006.

Born on Dec. 28, 1927, in Denver, Mr. Wood moved to Hayward after serving in the Navy in 1946 and 1947. He lived here for 61 years.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Betty (Leedom). He is survived by two children, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held noon Saturday at Sorensen Brothers Funeral Home, 1140 B St. Sworn personnel will be wearing their Class A uniforms. Visitation will also be on Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. at the same location.

After the service, burial will be at Lone Tree Cemetery, 24591 Fairview Ave. Later, a reception will be held at the Hayward Firefighters Local 1909 Union Hall at 22734 Main St.


3/12/2008 about Luster:

Thanks Chief,

I will forward this to Rich Ferguson ASAP.

-----Original Message-----

From: McKenna, Brian, ACFD

Sent: Sunday, March 09, 2008 2:37 PM

To: Martin, Vincent, ACFD

Cc: Knowles, Aisha, ACFD; Lord, David, ACFD; Rice, Daniel, ACFD

Subject: Luster Knight Update


Thanks for putting out this information Vince.  I appreciate the inclusion of planning as well.

I believe that we should share this information with our retirees via Rich Ferguson and the Bresnan Distributor as well.

To the best of my knowledge when financial hardships arose during these types of situations the ACFFA & L-55 were approached for assistance. I informed Mike Abele of Luster's condition yesterday. Given that John Torres has himself been a victim of this disease I would expect his consideration and insight invaluable.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Luster and his entire family.

Thank you all very much for being there for them.


Sincerely & fraternally,



----- Original Message -----

From: Martin, Vincent, ACFD

To: Lord, David, ACFD

Cc: Knowles, Aisha, ACFD; Rice, Daniel, ACFD; McKenna, Brian, ACFD

Sent: Fri Mar 07 20:09:18 2008

Subject: Luster Knight Update


Dear Chief Lord,

The following issues and results discussed with Luster are listed below:


Workmen's Comp paperwork (for presumptive) - Luster was gracious of Chief Lords offer to help file proper paperwork for presumptive.  Vince asked him if he could be in administration on Monday, as he said yes. Chief Lord is to get back to us on a good time to come.  Luster thought it would be good for our people to know which cancer's are effecting our members so we can continue to be better prepared in preventative measures.


General ACFD e-mail notification to all ACFD about Luster condition. Luster agreed to have a general e-mail put out about his condition.  I told him Ms. Knowles would contact him regarding specifically what would be relayed to the membership. He agreed with my suggestion to have no calls so he could prepare for upcoming treatment and appointments.

Chief Lord, when Aisha obtains an approved statement I have been authorized to put this out.  I would like to verify if this is okay with you for me to put out or if you desire for this information be distributed by ACFD Fire Administration.


Support for L. Knight at appointments etc. - Luster stated that initially he would like Vince Martin, Dan Rice or Aisha to accompany him to appointments etc..  Vince mentioned that since Both Rice and him were on the same shift, Luster could consider others besides ourselves and Aisha.  He mentioned to let him consider who else he'd like to have assist.  Vince notified Aisha to comprise an appointment date schedule a month in advance so we could make sure Luster will be accommodated to all appointments.  Ms. Knowles will follow up.


ACFD family Volunteers to assist with future needs.  Luster initially wants to have time to reflect on what he really needs at this time. Luster has his brother and a daughter (in his words) who is coming to be with him for the near future.  I told him Chief's Lord and McKenna, the 55 Association and many others such as Carlene have given a word of support in any way there's a need.    He will go through Vince and Aisha for getting out any specific requests for assistance.  Vince suggested the Luster consider comprising a list of people he feel comfortable with helping him out from cutting the yard to retrieving prescriptions. Vince will probably start a voluntary donation request of $10.00 bucks per ACFD member to purchase what ever items are needed in the future from a pre - established fund (The Luster Knight Fund).  What do you guy's think? 


Respectfully submitted,





3/5/2008 from Bill Robertson:

Hi Rich

     Just back from visiting with my wife, checked my Email and saw the article about Gil.  I had been in touch with him and his wife Adelaide since the both of us have been retired.  He had been in failing health for the past few years, but his wife and I would keep in touch at Xmas time anyway.  I was quite shocked to see that she had passed away ahead of him.  
     Gil and I had worked together with Ray Jannson when Ray was our Captain at the old #1 Fire Station behind the City Hall.  Ray was kind enough to call and let me know about Gil’s wife passing away, so I wasn’t expecting Gil to join her so soon.  Life goes on though, but in a lot of  ways that we least expect it.
     You have no idea what it means for all of the work that you do to keep us old fogies informed.  Most of us after retirement have gone our separate ways, but you do all of us a great service, by keeping us abreast of life after the Fire Service.  I greatly appreciate what you have done and have continued doing.  My sincere THANKS.

                                                                                               Bill Robertson

3/5/2008 from Frank Gattoni:

Hi Rich, Frank here!

  Cindy and I are very involved again this year in the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. I was hoping that you would post the following info on the Bresnan Site.

  This is a 24 Hour event and takes place on April 26th and 27th. The event raises money for patient services, education, and research.

  If you feel that you can help, you can make a contribution to the American Cancer Society and send it to us here, 15204 Ridgewood Dr. Sonora, Ca 95370. We need to receive contributions by the first part of April.

  One of the highlights of the event is the Luminary Ceremony at dusk. Candles are placed in bags weighted down with sand. They are lit at dusk and remain so through the night until the next morning. The bags have names of loved ones who are cancer survivors or in memory of those who have lost their lives to this disease. The suggested donation for each bag is $10.00 and we would be honored to walk in memory of your loved ones. The idea is to have someone from the team walking on the track at all times for the twenty - four hour event. Thanks in advance for any help you can give us for this worthy cause. The event is here in Tuolumne County. It's at Summerville High Schools track. The school is on Tuolumne Road. The entire inside of the track is lined with teams and members from the teams are on the track walking at all times. There are activities going on and food brought in. It's a really nice turnout for an area of our size. It gives you a really good feeling to see so many people give their weekend for such a good cause. Take care and say hi to all for me. Best to all.




                                                                        Frank and Cindy Gattoni


2/21/2008 from Bob Moore:


Leave for New Zealand for the month of March, then in a couple of months my sweetie and I head for the Dolomites in Italy. How lucky we all are. Thanks for all that you do.   


2/9/2008 from Roy Jones:

Dear Rich,

I am not sure when I sent you some money for the Bresnan so it must be about time.  Thank you for all you do.  I like reading the letters you put on the website.  I enjoyed Roberton’s letter.  He mentioned Joe Neves.  He and his wife, Marygrace spend their winters in Yuma and their address is 11281 Clara Anita Drive, Yuma, AZ 85367.

Phone # I have for them is 520-342-0467.  Also Arvo Wallenius and wife Dorothy live at 1308 Nikki Place Cottage Grove,  OR 97424

Thanks again,


2/3/2008 from Gary Henthorn:


Hi Rich,

Do you have a PayPal account? People could donate online?
Thanks for all your effort! I don't see very many working FD personnel so the Bresnandistributor is a good way for me to keep informed.
I'm still riding Dirt Bikes all around Cal. and Nev. and camping every chance I get. There are only a few older guy's in our club [FOG MC] most now are our kids and there friends.
I really miss  uh eer that place I use to err--- Well I do miss the guy's!!!!!  I have a lot of respect for most  that I worked with. And I'll never forget the great respect they showed me.
I'm proud to call them my friends.
I seen the good times and witnessed the bad. I'm a better person from seeing them both!
Keep up the great job your doing,  it's terrific!

Thank you,


(I do have a PayPal account of my own, but I don’t want to mix it up with the Bresnan stuff.  At some point in the future I will probably have an official Bresnan Bank Account and open up a Bresnan PayPal.    FERG <><)

1/30/2008 from Ralph Johnson:


Greetings from Ralph and Julie Johnson. Come visit, bring a shovel!!!!!!!


1/29/2008 from FERG: I just got back from a banjo camp in Boulder Colorado.  I was not able to link up to the web site while I was there.  I want to pass on this info:


  Just a note to let you know what has transpired this last month.

  I had to go to New York as my step-mother had a heart attack on Jan 13. While she was in the hospital, my dad passed away on Jan 17. He was 90, and had been on O2 more and more for the last 2-1/2 years. Since Sept '07 he had been getting worse, and was totally house bound for the last month. This drastic lifestyle change was not his style. He broke ribs in December before Christmas, so I knew this would not be good.  My sisters and I were there, and he knew were there. He died at home as comfortable as we could make him.   My step-mother is home, and doing as well as can be considering she had 70% blockage, a stint and defibrillator installed.

  I will miss this coming months breakfast, but will keep you all in thought and prayer.



And this info from Dino Zoggas:

Rich ,

     I wanted to let you know my Dad also passed on Dec.28.

                                                         God Bless,




12/24/2007From Tom Neuerburg

From: Charlberg, Jerome ACFD
Sent: Monday, December 24, 2007 12:59 PM
Subject: Greetings from Captain Rod McGrew (ACF Retired)


Captain Rod McGrew called Station 17 today and wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday season.  He is doing well, fishing, ranching, punching lil’ doggies, etc. .  He would like to extend congratulations to the newly promoted Captains.  He was amazed that Lenny Patane would even entertain the thought of moving, especially to El Dorado Hills and wishes you well Lenny.  It was good to hear his voice and he sounded really good.  He really had a good time fishing with Gazdik and was able to catch up on the going ons here.  Also for you 48/96ers, Petaluma and Roseville (he has one son working for each) are going to it and the personnel there are excited about the change.  It was good to hear a voice from the not so distant past.  


For those who do not know Captain McGrew, he was around since dirt and could ‘read’ wildfires better than most people who get paid to ‘read’ them.  He was also a good dozer operator from what I hear although I never got to see that side of him.  He was someone I looked up to and wished I could have learned more from him while he was here.  I never got the opportunity to work with him except for a day here and there.


Anyway, he sounded good and wanted to have relayed that he hopes everyone stays safe and has a great upcoming year.


Respectfully Submitted,


Jerry Charlberg     Captain

ACF Station 3 'C'

1430 164th Avenue

San Leandro, Ca. 94578



12/22/2007 from Mike Wiley (retired Florida FF):



I came across your web site for your retirees organization  and I am very impressed.  I handle the email for the Anne Arundel County Maryland Retired Firefighters.  We do not have our own web site, but do have space on the Locals site (local 1563 IAFF).  Our group is about 5 years old and we have close to 200 members.  We do allow those still on the job that have more than 20 years to join as associate members (without voting rights).  We have 2 lunch/reunions, and 1 breakfast a year in the county.  Plus we have enough members living in Florida that we have a huge 3 day event there.  Many of us   still living in MD go to that.


I send out group emails for important events, (deaths, sickness, pension issues etc.)  After seeing your web site I am inspired to try and get more formal.


Have a Merry Christmas from your brothers on the East Cost.


Mike Wiley

email coordinator

AA Co. Ret F/Fs.




Our county runs south from Baltimore City protects close to 1/2 million people, over 800 uniformed personnel, plus some certified volunteers.  We have everything from heavy industry to rolling farmland, many upscale houses from Washington DC workers, plus miles of shoreline on the Chesapeake Bay.


12/6/2007 from Kevin Johnson:

“Gentleman” Start your engines!!!!!!!


The “First In Car club” is back in service…..


Kevin Johnson and I will be getting the car club back together after falling on its face at the get go last year.  Initiation Fees are $30.00 the first year.  That is to cover the cost of the T-Shirts.  Those members that filled out the application last year will only pay the yearly dues $25.00.  This club is only for Alameda County Fire Employees and Retirees.  This is a non Profit Organization.  Any proceeds will go to A.A.R.B.F an ECT. 


We made some changes on the t-shirts art work.  You can read it now.   They look good.  I will be putting together a list of shows in the area for next year.  Mark this one down now “Kool April Nights” in Redding Ca.  April 18-22, 2008.  I have the applications.  If you want one contact me.


Applications for the club will be available on line in the unofficial board and at Station #6.


If you need to contact one of us, call Kevin or Me at Station # 6 or cell phone.


Kevin           916-847-2348  

Steve           925-765-0758

Station 6     510-670-5886


12/3/2007Some photos from Tom Neuerburg:





12/3/2007 from Dick Kolda:

My ACFD family.

    Kim's dad passed away November 13th. It was sudden and quick and most likely an M.I. secondary to a blood clot after repeated left femur fractures. He had been living with us in Discovery Bay for 3 1/2 years and we were with him when died.  He has had several surgical procedures on his left hip and femur which fractured 2 1/2 years ago. He recently returned from the fourth surgery to rebuild the femur/artificial hip.


His death is with mixed blessings. At 76 we thought he's plug along a long while. But, Birk was suffering from Parkinson's Disease for 26 years.  However, he did manage to escape the ravages of late stage PD.  He was of sharp mind, computer savvy, humor and memory. Please remember Kim and her two sisters and Birk's grandchildren and great grandchildren.  We had a memorial last Saturday at which he was honored by his family and friends.  He will be missed.  No longer will we hear his distinctive "Key-yum!"  (Mississippi drawl) when he beckons us for assistance.  He was very proud of the fire department and enjoyed visiting us at the station house when I was on duty. Can you please pass this news on to our ACFD brothers and sisters.

        `                                                                                            Thanks,


12/2/2007 from Bill Robertson:

   Thought that I would give you a little history that includes Vince Calcagno being hired into the Fire Department.

     On March 16, 1949 the City of San Leandro hired 8 men.  The reason for the hiring was due to a large fire in the City that required the Oakland Fire Dept.  to come in on Mutual Aid as San Leandro had neither the Personnel nor equipment to fight the large fire.
     The citizens said San Leandro needed more men and equipment.  Consequently the hiring of 8 new men and also the purchase of new fire rigs.  
      The men hired consisted of Vince Calcagno, Joe Neves, Tony Costa, George Koch, Roy Jones. Al Sukalo, Bob Sanchez and myself.  I have a picture of 7 of us being sworn in by the City Clerk at that time, Herb Burbank, less Vince [ I think that you also have that picture].    He was one of us hired, but he was already employed by the City and headed the Garbage Dept at that time.  The City didn’t want him to leave that department then as they had no replacement for him, so they let him remain in his position until they had someone to fill that job and he was ready to assume his new job in the Fire Department.  It was something unique at that time and I doubt if anything similar to this ever occurred again.

     At this time, to my knowledge,  I think there are now only three of us left who are living.  I’m not positive about George Koch as he left San Leandro to join the Berkely Fire Department where his father was a Chief Officer.  I know that Roy is still living and have not heard of Joe Neves whereabouts for some time now and am going on the assumption that he is still living, and then myself.  I was 23 years old at that time of hiring [the youngest on the Dept.] and am now 82, so a lot has gone on since that time.  It was the time when the San Leandro Fire Dept really first got started.  By the way, the salary at that time was $280.00 per month and very little in benefits.  With the hiring of the 8 of us it brought the department up to 27 men,  and   Station 2 on Davis street was only a year old at that time  Things have come along way since then.
     Just thought that some might be interested in a little nostalgia. Hope I haven’t bored you or anyone with my little tale.   Hang in there everyone, we all get old sometime.


                                                                                         Bill Robertson



ACFFA Annual Christmas Party December 8:


Check the calendar

11/1/2007 from Kay Dana:

Here is a link to a newspaper article about ACFD at the SoCal fires.



Hi Rich


I thought I would drop you another line and thank you for all you've done over the 3 decades that I have known you.  You’re a wonderful person and there is no doubt in my mind there's a place for you up there.  In 1976 there was the magnificent seven that transferred from other fire departments in what the city called the Lateral Transfer Program.  I think at the time it was an attempt to put more folks on the ground due to shortages and Chief Harold (Ham) Hamilton  was pretty progressive.   The transferees were, Ernie Young, Rod Mendes, Joe Ferreira, Rick Saliaces, Jim Nelson, Horace Gill, and Ted McGee.  All good men, with good hearts, as all firemen are.   As I look over a life of fire fighting that spans more then 38 years and I look at all the pictures of folks that I grew up with in San Leandro, the stories just run wild through my mind.  Keep up the good work, and like told you before.  Please let folks know I am alive and still raising the roof.  No need to slow down now.  After 55 there is no speed limit.  Oh did I tell you I have 6 children, my youngest child is 4 yrs old, my Oldest is 32.  Life is good.   All are doing great and all healthy.   Same for the grandkids all 8 of them, soon to be 9.  My oldest Daughter Erica still lives in Hayward and just had her second son, my oldest son Nathan is a Deputy Sheriff for Siskiyou County, has 3 kids and is doing great, even after a year in Iraq with the Marines.  Kristen lives in Pinegrove Ca. with her son, Jeremiah lives in Cottage Grove Ore, with his wife and two sons and one more on the way in Dec, works for the Forest Service and is a Squad Boss on a Hotshot Handcrew, Dale (named after Valentine) lives in Orleans, works for the Forest service and is a Squad Boss on a Hotshot Handcrew also, and in his spare time he cage fights and free style wrestles.  My youngest is Aidan, he is four, is a Hoopa Tribal member and just makes me happy to be alive.  Here are some pics for you.  Have fun Ferg.


Use them if you wish, all or some.  Thanks


Rodney C. Mendes

Division Chief

Six Rivers NF

Supervisors Office

Eureka CA

Phone: 530-598-9363



10/24/2007 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Chase, William ACFD
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 11:40 AM
Subject: 3443 status in SoCal


I spoke to Capt Davison this a.m. and he reported that their strike team (XAL 2002 Alpha) was working the fire near Magic Mountain in Valencia. I can’t remember the name of the fire. Anyway, he said they were assigned structure protection, as seen on TV, with pretty good success throughout the day. He also commented on the cleared out defensible space a lot of the homeowners had already established which helped in their success. Apparently some very large estates.

He said they stayed at a holiday inn express near Magic Mountain for a good nights rest.

Apparently they are being reassigned to another fire somewhere else down there and they were getting ready to head out as of 0830 this A.M. Everyone is healthy and rested.

Hopefully you’ve had the chance to see him on the channel 2 news. I think they have him looped cuz he’s been on about 8 times. Gotta be some kind of record pie & I bounty for all the face time.


Bill Chase, Capt.

ACFD Station 9

10/21/2007 from Ralph Johnson:

Some good news. My 60th surprise birthday party, a great time was had by all. Many of my old workmates made the trip, what a special time it was for me!!!!!

(I will probably have more photos in the next newsletter—FERG <><)

10/21/2007 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Pegadiotes, Pete, ACFD
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 1:03 PM
Subject: New Zipton Arrival



Casey and his wife Amanda are the proud new parents of a baby boy. I didn’t have a chance to talk to him very long and get any particulars however he and mom are very excited.


Take care,


10/18/2007 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Moore, Eric, ACFD
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 8:03 PM
Subject: New Arrival!

Welcome the new addition

Gavin Andrew Whalley

Born October 15, 2007

7 pounds 4 ounces

20 inches long

Mom and baby are doing well and recovering at home

10/11/2007 from Floyd Nabonne:


As I mentioned at the EBFFC bible study session, I would like to see the retirees recognition be extended a little in the ALCO Fire Department. We were given a membership card that made us members of this department, but aside from the appreciation lunch and the retirees' breakfast/lunch, we are not informed as to happenings other than about other retirees.


I was disappointed to see in the paper the day after that there had been a memorial service at the Neighborhood Church. I would have liked to have attended this. I would also like to be informed of other happenings in the department such as notices of new hires, promotions, as well as retirements.


I considered becoming a member of the Highway Patrol volunteer program. The H.P. is paid from the state for the hours that the volunteers put in. I myself would be willing to donate some time to the fire department, if they had some kind of program for the retirees to contribute time to.


Recently at one of the appreciation lunches, I approached a chief from the department and expressed a desire to even travel to other areas such as for helping out at the Katrina disaster area as well as the 911 in New York. I would pay my own way as long as I could travel with the members sent from the department. I could be of some service working in the background I'm sure, some how. I was unceremoniously told that if I wanted to volunteer, I should contact the Red Cross.


When Loma Preata hit, I was still working for the San Leandro Fire Department. I helped out in my neighborhood to insure that neighbors and family were safe and then I reported to old Station 2 (then the Davis St. station). If (God forbid) we ever have a major disaster in our community, I will probably do the same thing in my neighborhood and then go to volunteer my help by going to Station 4.


Maybe some one there can direct me to the nearest Red Cross center. :)




10/10/2007 from Vic Mumford:

Rich, I would like to pass on the feelings of the family to you and all my Dads brothers and friends that attended or said a prayer on Saturday.

We would also like to thank all who sent flowers, donations and cards. The love and caring we felt could not be explained in words.  Our family will continue on remembering our father and the memorial not with sadness but happiness that he touched many people in his life time.

Early next year, the family plans on taking him and my mom to Maui to a special place they loved. You know, Dad never learned to swim (go figure being a Merchant Marine) but I guarantee he will learn quickly!

Aloha and Mahalo


Victor Mumford

10/8/2007 from Tom Neuerburg:

from Eric Frago

Hello to all,


I just want to say thank you to all that participated in the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation Golf Tournament this year. The Tournament was a big success this year raising around $13,000 that will be donated to the Burn Foundation. A special thanks to the Golf committee that makes this event possible. Without Ryan Davis, Ben Guild, Brian Centoni Kathie Schmiechen, it would be extremely difficult to run this Tournament. They all put in a number of hours to make it happen. A Big Thank You also needs to go out to all the helpers that take time to come out on the day of the tournament to help. That includes Joe Banchero, Gary Centoni, Rhonda Leen, Ericka Rardin, The Cocktail Girls from Aaron Lee, Ken Horton and his wife, Bill Potts, Denise from Carlene's and anyone else I may have forgotten. Hope everyone had a great time and we hope to see you out there next year. Stay Safe.



E. Frago 10A

10/1/2007 from Bill Robertson:

Hi Fergie..

Sorry to be so late in getting back to you with this donation, but have been busy with a multitude of things.


Last February, it was imperative for me to place my wife, Joey, into a facility that caters to Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients. Not only did she wander on me on 3 different occasions, but incontinence overtook her also. It is a tough-row to-hoe after being together for almost 58 years.


I was able to take care of her for the first 5 years, but family said it was getting beyond me and my 82 years of age. My 3 great kids, two daughters, and my son, have been nothing short of inspiration and help making sure that all is going well towards her care. My son is near at hand where he lives, if needed, and she is located, in Petaluma.


I'm still here in Clear Lake and know that I'm finally going to have to leave, after being here almost 26 years, but facing reality, it is inevitable, just not sure when that time will be. It is a good 2 hours drive for me to get to her location and I try to see her at least once a week, but not always possible. There is lots for me to do in the meantime.


You take care, hope your hand is healed up OK. Give my hello's to all of my old friends and co-workers. I have been retired now almost as long as I worked [30 yrs]. Hardly seems possible, but I've enjoyed every minute of this retirement, all except these last few years when mother nature played- a dirty trick on us.

As Ever

BilI Robertson


10/3/2007 from Joe Ferreira:


As you already know, Ellen and I moved to Greenwood Ca. almost three years ago. Since then Ellen has furthered her education and has become a wound care nurse. She works for Kaiser Permanente in Sacramento.

I have been bouncing from part time jobs. Most recently, I worked for Galaxie Marine in Newcastle CA. I was sort of the service writer for customers when they brought their boat in for repair. I also answered the phones and did some parts ordering. I purchased a 18' Duckworth aluminum boat and have been doing a lot of fishing with Ellen. She is a real trooper and doesn't mind it too much when I wake her at 4AM to head out to one of the local lakes for a day of fishing.

My mother passed away last month. As her executor, I have been very busy attending to her affairs.


Say hello to anyone that you might run across from San Leandro Fire for me.


Joe Ferreira


9/28/2007 fromi Greg Fernandez:

Hey Rich and all our working and retired



Mary and I are in Branson Missouri for a couple of days. We started off Saturday Sept. 15th up highway 80 through Reno through Salt Lake and Wyoming. I felt the souls of John McClintic, Tim Terzian and Vince Davis as we traveled through hunting country111 We parked our trailer on a patch of my old roommates 5 acers in a little ol town called Buck Grove Iowa where college football on a Saturday is like a national holiday. Cow patty bingo is played during half time of the Friday night Dennison High which by the way is the birthplace of the beautiful Donna Reed of It’s a wonderful life fame. Football game!!! What is cow patty bingo?  They grid off a section of the football field, put numbers on it and bring out a cow, hopefully the cow just ate.    What ever numbered grid the pooped up patty lands on YOU ARE THE WINNER!!!!!!   I will try to send some pictures!!!


Having a ball no bull


Greg Fernandez

God bless all of the ALCO family


9/27/2007 from Scott Colagross (John’s son):

Hi Rich,

  Just want to thank you from our family for the posting you did for the death and service for my dad. It was great to see some of the guys I grew up with while my dad was working. I want to thank the firefighters union for sending the beautiful flower arrangement.

 My mother wishes to extend her thanks and love to all those who attended and could not attend. I think we are all in denial that dads gone, he was taken so fast from us. For all those "old timers" that she hasn't heard from for awhile, give her a call, I'm sure she would love to hear from you. 209-931-7820.


Thanks again,  Scott 

9/24/2007 from Rod Mendes:

Hi Rich,


Hope all is well.  It’s been 12 yrs since I left the FD and I sure do miss a lot of great people.  I didn’t know if you had my email at work and also I have a yahoo email I use to do personal; stuff. 

Let me know if you want more info.  Maybe I could do a little story for you of where and what I have been doing these last 12 yrs if your interested.

A lot of changes and then again, no matter how we change, we always stay the same.  I would love to get the Bresnan if you can add me to the mailing list.  Is there a cost involved?? 

I talked to Mick Roark this morning and he told me your still doing this newsletter, and its a good thing as far as I am concerned.  I did look at an issue of your news letter and it is so nice to see so many familiar faces.  Makes me wanna move back to the Bay Area ,  well maybe just visit.  It’s hard to leave Northen CA.  Heres a few pics if you wanna see how the old man has aged. Also a picture I took of

Denny Hopken 12 yrs ago when we had recliners in old station 4  at 143rd.

its okay to share my email address with whomever.  I would love to hear from anyone thats interested in saying hello.

  Hoppy >


9/23/2007 from Fred & Pam Biscotti:

Pam and I are saddened by this news.  Gene went a long way with me.  We were brothers.  I sit here, qt this minute, and wish to God I could do something to take the pain from his dear family.

Yes I have been blessed by beating Cancer, but I truly was blessed to have worked with Gene Mumford.

There are many great and funny things I could say.  This is not the time.

I just know that John 3:16 tells me that Gene is walking the walk now, as he is in a good place.  God bless him, as he joins another brother new to Heaven, John Colorgross

To tell the truth, it is just to much for an old man like me to digest. It gets to where I am afraid of who is next.  I say Cancer stay away from my brothers and I, and may God bless us all.

John Colagross was truly on my Engine.  He lived near by for a long time.  He and

his wife welcomed us in their home many times. 

My biggest memory of him are the years we spent together working on the old Seagrave, and working at the old flea market.  We did that to raise funds to rebuild the Seagrave.  As many will remember, it was nothing when we got it, it was a piece of junk. 

We worked hard, and made that old Seagrave something to behold.  We had a lot of laughs.  We were there for each other.  When we got together, we were family.

Pam and I really want everyone to know, like Chief Pedroni would say, they were the golden years.  All of us that were there, I know feel it deep, real deep.  We can never get it back, what we had then.  But that's ok, cause we always have the memory. 

I want Scott to know we are there for his family, and it is tough.

I don't know what else to say.

 Fred and Pam Biscotti


9/20/2007 from Victor Mumford:

Rich, I am sad to report that Emory passed away on the 11th of Sept. This was a hard year and a half for dad as I wrote you about in June but he never gave up. His Memorial service will be held @ The Castro Valley Masonic Center on Oct 6th @ 2:00pm. All are welcome. I have included his Photo and the Obit that will be in the Sunday paper. I am also so very sad to here about John Colagross Passing. Our family's prayers go out to Scott and his family as we also feel there sadness.


Emory Eugene Mumford was born Dec. 23, 1927 in Dayton Ohio and passed on this day Sept 11, 2007 in Castro Valley, CA. He was established in this small valley for over 50 years and gained many friends within that time. A retiree of Castro Valley Fire Dept, and loyal member of Castro Valley Masonic Lodge, His passion for life was noticed by all that looked upon him. Although he had many accomplishments, his most cherished was that of his family. Succeeded in life is two children, daughter Rosemarie and Ron Brekelmans of Brentwood Ca. Son Victor & Charnell Mumford of Gilroy CA. Sister Eunice and Gerald Schuetz of Stockton CA. Sister in-Law Beverly Mumford of Stockton CA. Sister in-Law Constance White of Newark CA. and many other treasured nieces, nephews and Grandchildren.

A celebration of Life will be held 2:00pm on Oct 6th, 2007  @ Castro Valley Masonic Center located at 4521 Crow Canyon Rd, Castro Valley CA. 94552

The Family requests Donations in lue of flowers to American Cancer Society in his honor.

 9/19/2007 from Scott Colagross:

If you can inform on your web page that my father, John Colagross, who retired with 30 yrs. on CVFD with a retirement date of 1989, passed away on Tues. the 18th from a very short but aggressive bout with lung cancer. The memorial service is being held on Sunday the 23rd of Sept. at the First Baptist Church of Linden.

17580 E hiway 26

Linden Ca. 95236

 At 1400 hrs

Any questions you can call me, Scott, his son at 209-505-0794

Thanks for your assistance.

Summer is beautiful up in Paradise, a great place to retire, come up and check it out.

Ralph & Julie Johnson


9/6/2007 from Renee Solomon:


Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you but the last year and a half have been hard.  When you know someone since you were 15 and married at 17, for 36 years, I’m still adjusting.  But the boys are helping and I will be a grandma with God’s help in March.  Thanks for sending the Bresnan.  Take care.

Renee Solomon

9/4/2007 from Aisha Knowles:

Retirement Celebration

The Alameda County Fire Department

invites you to celebrate the retirement of

Firefighter Luster Knight

A gathering will be held in his honor on

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Reception 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Presentations 1:00 pm

Alameda County Fire Station #10

2194 Williams Street

San Leandro, California

Please confirm your attendance by calling 618-3479 or

Email aisha.knowles@acgov.org



The 2007 Local 55 Union Picnic will be held on Saturday, October 6, 2007 at Oakland's Lake Temescal from 12 noon to 6:00 p.m.  Friends and family are invited to attend.  There will be plenty of food and drinks as well as games for the kids.

For more information contact Lawrence Hom at station 8 "B" or Pablo Cruz at station 8 "C" at 510-238-4008.

Hope to see you there!