Old Mail #8:  To go to Old Mail #7 click here

7/1/2009 from Danielle Ceizlervarin:

Dear Rich,

Thank you so much for running and distributing the Bresnan.  I was with Dougherty until consolidation and then retired early from ALCO in 2005, so not many of the retired guys know me.  It’s great getting updates on the guys that I do know though.

I’m still living in Livermore and I have a 4 ½ year old daughter and a 1 ½ year old son.  I just returned from my 12th year volunteering at Champ Camp as a counselor for the Alisa Ann Rusch Burn Foundation. 

I hope all is well with you and again, thank you.

Best regards,

Danielle Ceizlervarin (#255)

6/24/2009 from Greg Fernandez:

Hey Rich


I hope all is well. WE are currently in Jekyll Island in Georgia. Krammy and his sweet peach know where that is. We left St. Augustine Florida, the oldest city in USA according to them and the hottest city, right now temp wise. Since we hit Florida it has been almost miserably hot for this California boy. But we are having a blast. We hit Epcot center recently and Dick and I it a Tampa Bay Rys baseball game and we have tickets for the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox on Friday night the 26th. God bless you all and I thank God for the opportunity to do this. All 4 of us are still talking to each other after 51 days!!


Greg and Mary 

Dick and Kim Kolda


Here are some pics



6/11/2009 from Bill Wood Jr.:

Hello Rich-- 

So sad to hear of Frank's passing.  I saw Frank at Kaiser maybe last January post Chemo tx on a day my wife Debra was getting treated also.   I regret not approaching and saying hello but he was really sick that day and struggling, he was a good man and a pleasure to work with.  Thanks for including us in the news. 

Bill Wood   

Frank Keith Boscow Dec. 27, 1929~June 4, 2009 Resident of Alamo

We lost the most important person in our lives today. We will no longer be able to look into his sweet eyes that told us how much he loved us. Frank Boscow was a man of honor, a hard working man, a gentleman who was a great listener with a big heart and he was respected by all. He was always willing to lend a helping hand, and he could accomplish anything with a tool in his hand. He taught us how to do things right, and influenced not only his children and grandchildren, but anyone fortunate enough to be a part of his life. Frank was a firefighter for 30 years, as well as a land surveyor. He started with the Piedmont Fire Department, and ended his career as Battalion Fire Chief in San Leandro. Frank also loved Lake Tahoe, and owned a home in Kings Beach with his wife for over 50 years. Frank is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Sue; his sister, Carmean Small of Placerville; sons, Jerry Boscow of Alameda and Tom Boscow of Placerville; daughter, Jane Gaube (Don) of Alamo; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Our family would like to thank all of the nurses at Kaiser in Walnut Creek who treated our father with such care. Frank fought with dignity to live, always wishing to stay on Earth with his beloved wife Sue. There will not be a service, as requested by Frank.


6/4/2009 from Joe Banchero:

Pat and I took grandkids to Yosemite on Tuesday, great time.  Here are a couple of pictures.



6/1/2009 from Greg Fernandez:

Hey Gang,


We are in Day 29 of our USA tour, We left New Orleans this morning and are in Mississippi for 5 days. Great campsite, looks like good fishin!!!  WE have enjoyed the Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Johnson Space Museum, Holocaust Museum, New Orleans ( French Quarter and some great eats and tours ), Here are some pictures. I am doing a journal with pictures on Facebook. I hope all of you are well. Val I still owe you 30.00


God Bless

Fernandez'' and the Koldas


5/302009 from Tom Neurerburg:

Neurerburg – Kolda – Fernandez at a recent A’s game.

5/29/2009 from Greg Fernandez:

Hey Ferg


Greg and Mary Fernandez, Dick and Kim Kolda checking in with ya. We are on Day 25 of our USA tour. We have seen both ends of the Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Johnson Space Center-Houston, Galveston Texas. We are now in New Orleans for 5 days!!. Food is great and this pace is crazy. Dick and I have been hitting church on Sunday during our travels. I am praying for a great breakfast message this month. We have been getting along great. I have learned how to shrink pictures, so I can send you some for the Bresnan I hope.

We were in Flagstaff for 4 days and we stumbled on a Steak house that had young people from Northern Arizona University as signing waiters. I still like the small town discoveries and conversations we are having with new friends across the USA. We also visited the Holocaust museum in Houston, Boy that was humbling, but it was very educational.


God bless all our ALCO Fire Family and My group that has a special place in my heart

Firefighters for Christ!!!


Love the Koldas and the Fernandez

Thank You God for giving us this opportunity to Live our Dream

5/29/2009 from Roy Jones:

Just a note to many of my good Friends: 


   Esther and I have almost finished packing.  After 6 months in

Arizona, we now hope to start back to Alabama tomorrow.  We have a 25 foot Flair motorhome that we will drive and tow the Honda Accord.  We expect to go via El Paso and visit Esther's relatives in Dallas/Fort Worth Area briefly as we go through.  Will write again when we get back at Helena, AL


             Love to you all,   Roy


For those that don't know. My address there is


105 Cedar Bend Drive

Helena, AL 35080  205-621-5196

5/29/2009 from Mike Walker:

Rich, I am Mike Walker, son of retired fire chief Eugene Walker of ECFPD. I accidentally came across this site when trying to find out some information on ECFPD. I have to say I was amazed. This is a wonderful thing you are doing, so many of these retired folks I grew up with in the fire department family. Can I be added to the list to receive this publication? I am living in Washington state and have lost contact with a lot of these people.

Thank You,
Mike Walker

5/26/2009 from Ralph Johnson:

George Bungarz spent a week in the hospital, as there was a minor complication when he had a section of his colon removed. He is home and was going to take a walk when I called him today, Tuesday May 26, 2009.

If you would like to call and wish (Harass) him well, the number is 916-645-3325


Ralph Johnson

5/26/2009 from Ralph Johnson:

Ralph and Julie Johnson just returned from a Caribbean cruise to Miami, Honduras, Belize and Key West Florida. The trip was for Julies birthday (39 again).

We had a great time. Cruises are at an all time low, if you would like more details call me!!!


R.C.Johnson 530-872-8598













5/3/2009 from Dick Kolda:

Kim and I are setting off in our 5th Wheel with Mary and Greg Fernandez in their 5th wheel for the camping excursion of a lifetime. Cross country with a dose of Canada.  Hope to be back by early August to catch the First In events of the rest of the Summer, Autumn and Winter 2009.  Hope to see you all then. 


4/302009 from Ralph Johnson:

George Bungarz goes in for surgery to repair a weak spot in his colon on May 18th, He is a pretty health old guy, wish him well!!!


Ralph Johnson

4/29/2009 from Katie:

Al Kleveno called this morning and sounds great!

He says his ankle replacement surgery went well yesterday; started a little late and went a little long, but all is well.

He is at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto and should be discharged tomorrow.

from Judy Bahr:

Dear Rich Ferguson,

My Father, Herbert L. Bahr passed away in July. His wife Louise followed in December.

I know how much dad enjoyed your newsletter & Keeping up on the generations of fire dept. news.

Please accept the enclosed check to help in your good work.

God Bless You

Judy Bahr

325/2009 from Greg Fernandez:

The only one in these pictures that has not aged is Chrsitina!!!!



Feb March 09 Super Bowl and Arizona

3/2/2009 from Norb Hudak:

Dear Rich,
Please give our condolences to Tim and his family.  Betty and I will be out of town as of the morning of Tuesday the 3rd.  We are going to our son's house in South Lake Tahoe and will be there for several days.  This has been planed for some time now.


From ACFD:

The Alameda County Fire Department has lost a member of its family. Retired Engineer Tom Green, Tim's Dad, passed away yesterday. Tom was hired into the Ashland Fire Department and retired from the Eden Consolidated Fire Department prior to the formation of the Alameda County Fire Department.

Flags at ACFD stations should be lowered to half staff and badge shrouds worn on March 4th from dawn to dusk in recognition of Tom's 20+ years of service to the citizens of Alameda County.

The services will be at Lakewood Memorial Park [(209)883-0411] located at 900 Santa Fe Avenue in Hughson CA 95326. The viewing is March 3rd from 16:00 to 20:00 hours. Funeral services are Wednesday March 4th at 13:30 hours.

Please keep Tim and the Green Family in your prayers.

David Rocha, Deputy Fire Chief
Alameda County Fire Department

2/26/2009 from Dave Rivers:

"Hello Ferg, we stopped in Amsterdam on the way over and toured the Corrie ten Boom museum in Haarlem, Holland. What a story! Then we landed in Tel Aviv and were met by a guide named David Jacobs who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Bible. He is truly amazing. We went to Galilee and toured Nazareth, the Church of the Annunciation and Mary's Well. We stayed in Tiberias. We went to Sepphoris, the Valley of Armageddon and the excavation of Tel Megiddo and also the newly excavated ruins of Bet She'an (where the bodies of Saul and his sons were displayed after their defeat on Mt. Gilboa. While in Tiberias we also visited the River Jordan, took a boat ride on the Galilee, visited the Mt. of Beatitudes, Capernaum, Caesarea Phillipi and the Golan Heights. Yesterday we crossed into Jordan and visited the Decapolis city of Jerash and stopped at Mt. Nebo (where Moses saw the Promised Land) en route to Petra. Today we toured Petra. It has been a very busy week. Many blessings..."

2/7/2009 from Emil MacDonald:

I was sorry to read about Ray Jannson.  I had a lot of laughs with Ray.  For his display of the old fire equipment in his office, I gave him my helmet we used when we first went into the San Leandro Fire Dept. in the 50’s.  I do not have a computer so when someone I have worked with passes away, I don’t find out until I read it in the Bresnan.  It is always after they have held a memorial service.

Emil MacDonald

2/4/2009 from Jeremy Roderick:

From: Thomas, Derrick, ACFD
Sent: Tue 2/3/2009 11:32 AM
Subject: New Edition !!!!

Please welcome a new edition to our ACFD family and congratulate Eric & Robin Mikel, on the birth of a healthy baby boy!  Donovan Marques Mikel, was born February 1st at 6:29pm Donovan, weighed in at 8.5lbs also   23in. in length.


Alameda County Fire

Captain Derrick Thomas

Station. 5A

1/31/2009 From Kevin Johnson:

The first car club meeting will be held at Steve Young’s house, the address is 2485 Ancona Circle, Livermore, Ca 94550.

The meeting is scheduled for February 28th, at 10:00 am. I hope to see you all there. If you need more info call Steve Young at 925-449-7004 or Kevin Johnson 916-847-2348


We will be having a meeting at the New Railroad Café in Livermore. I have spoken to the owner, and she said the best day is on Saturday’s. Remember to bring $25 in check or cash to pay your dues for 2009, and don’t forget to bring your cars. She’s excited to have the First In Car Club so let’s have some good old fun.


 Kevin Johnson Sta: 8 ACFD 916-847-2348

Steve Young Sta:6 ACFD 925-449-7004

1/26/2009 from Jeremy Roderick:

From: Arganbright, Bradley, ACFD
Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2009 8:54 PM
Subject: ACFD Historical Committee


Hello All,

                With the blessings of the Department Fire Chiefs’, I am starting the creation of the Alameda County Fire Dept. Historical Committee and am looking for volunteers to join and help make it happen. The main goals of the committee are to gather old documents (i.e. newspaper clippings, awards, pictures, Etc…) paraphernalia (helmets, old equipment), and research information on the general history of the departments pre-consolidation & post-consolidations. The committee will help to preserve all the history and to ultimately find a single location for it to be housed, archived and displayed(museum). With so much growth and change in our Department and so many new members joining our organization, I think that it is important that this history does not get lost or forgotten. I am looking for anyone who is willing to give their time to achieve this goal. Whether you’re active or retired, suppression or support, anyone who has an interest in the history of this department is encouraged to join. Even if you are not interested in joining the committee, it would help immensely if you could forward me info on any contacts you might have, “items of interest”, or any knowledge that might be beneficial to the committee. Feel free to contact me at station 12 or my Cell at (408)310-7933. Thank you all for your time in this matter.




                                Brad Arganbright 12-C

1/23/2009 from Katy Marciel:

I am pleased to announce that effective 1/20/09, Lorelei Wade will be returning to the Benefits position for Alameda County Fire Department. She will be cross-training with me for a month and take over the benefits position for the department effective 2/20/09.


New contact information is as follows:

            Lorelei Wade, Benefits

            Alameda County Fire Department

            835 E 14th Street #200

            San Leandro, CA 94577




            510-618-3490 Main

            510-618-3476 Direct

            510-618-3445 FAX


It has been an honor to coordinate the benefits for the department the past three years. I have learned so much and it has been a pleasure working with so many wonderful people. I have been transferred back to the EMS/Training Division and will be there once Lorelei moves here 2/20/09.


Please let me know if you have any questions.


Thank you,


1/9/2009 From Ron Johnson:

If you have not heard, Jeff is grandpa and we are great grandparents as of 2 Jan 2009.

Scarlett Rose was born in Fort Hood, TX.  Looks like she is a keeper!

12/24/2008 from Bret Boukather:

Rich- I just got back from a trip in Cancun, Mexico and gave away some old worn ALCo shirts to the local Firefighters. "Alameda County Fire- We're everywhere."




12/19/2008 from Kay Dana:

To all of my FD pals both past and present


I think of you often and have great memories of you


Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays


Happy New Year

To all of you and your loved ones!


Kay Alfred Dana

SLFD '66 to '87



12/18/2008 from Vic Mumford:

Rich, I am currently on your email list (I think) and I do go every now and then to look at the web site to check the news letter and if there is anything new. Save the $$ and the paper on the mail out, the earth could use the help. I just wanted to say thank you for keeping everyone together with the Bresnan and the e-mails. I’m sure the fellow brothers of the dept. appreciate it AND their families like myself. You were there when we needed someone and continue to be there for us just to stay in touch with others. Looking at the photos from the retiree’s lunch I spotted someone I haven’t seen in years, John Azevedo. He looks good for an old man…..LoL (Feel free to tell him I sad that) Have a blessed holyday season and thank you from the Mumford family.


12/17/2008 from Jim Kneeland:

Rich, so sorry to hear of Ray's passing, He was a "Fireman's" Fireman, a true gentleman and very impressive icon, truly someone to emulate.  He will be missed.   Thanks to you for passing on the word.   My prayers to the family and friends.   

Jim Kneeland 

12/17/2008 from Joe Banchero:

I've been speaking to a few of the guys that seemed to be genuinely interested in correcting the problem of retirees not getting e mails letting them know what's going on.  Parties, retirements helping poor people etc etc.

   There are a lot of us out there and it would be nice to be on a "read only" e mail loop.  We could follow up with a phone call for more information. the newsletter often arrives after or right before the published event.

 We old guys were  used to getting e mails sent to us, NO official or unofficial bulletin boards to try and navigate.  Get the email, open it, and take action if interested!!!


I will forward this e mail with my reply to the interested parties.


                                                                     Joe B.


Rich and Jermery please forward to whom ever you think can help fix the problem

12/16/2008 from Floyd Nabonne:

I am sorry to hear about Ray's passing. I have many fond memories from my time spent with him in the office during my 5 years in Fire Prevention. He was very knowledgeable on the history of the San Leandro Fire Department. We had many interesting discussions on the background of the department.


My earliest encounter with him was when I was first hired. After my probation period, I was concerned that my home at the time in Dublin was outside the living restriction we had at that time. It was only a matter of a mile. He told me "If they don't say anything you don't say anything". Kinda like a don't ask don't tell sorta thing.


Any way, I will miss him and Connie and I will keep him and his family in our prayers.




12/12/2008 from Eric Moore:

Please join Station 9-A crew in “kissing” goodbye to Captain Lyle Stepman.  After 31 years in the Fire Service Captain Stepman is retiring.  Monday, December 22, will be Captain Stepman’s last day on duty. Please feel free to come by.

Monday, December 22

Station 9, 450 Estudillo Ave. San Leandro.  

Anytime between 11am and 2pm. 

Say good bye, have some food, cake, and share some of your great Stepman stories (do you remember when!!!). If you are lucky you may even receive a famous “Stepman” kiss. If you are in contact with any retirees, please pass this information onto them as well so they can come by and give Lyle some good retirement advice. We hope to see you there.

12/2/2008 from Jim Dorpinghaus:

November 23, 2008


We're having another very nice day here in metropolitan Turlock but like so many other areas in the state, we'd like to see some rain. We need it—big time!!, and with the reservoirs so low, the farmers will be in a big heap of hurt if we don't start getting some of the wet stuff soon to start filling them up. It's almost come to the point of last resort, which is to start doing the rain dance. Let's hope nature kicks in soon.

Enclosed is a verse I put together a few weeks ago--and for the most part, it fits with the tune of "Jimmy Cracked Corn". An old Iowa buddy wrote recently stating their golf course closed down for the winter and he was going to need to find something to do to fill the time. S000!!! I put this verse together and suggested he memorize it and put it to the tune and by the time he did that, he'd be ready to give up the game altogether. I also came up with the enclosed "cartoon" of the portrait of a golfer and then added the cheering section at a later time. Am not sure what you can do with this but thought some of the 'would be' golfers could identify with some of it if you could find room in the Bresnan. And I will say without hesitation the last two lines are a perfect description of my game.

Doris and I are doing well at this time. We're having a lengthy run of some very nice weather with the temps in the 60's and 70's. We referred to weather like this in Iowa as Indian Summer with all the leaves turning color and our wanting to be outside. I remember those times when the colors stretched, for miles along the little river that ran through part of the town. We have been back there on 4 occasions to catch the changing of the colors, but were either a week too early or a little too late. We hope to make it back there at least one more time and, hopefully, catch the colors at the right time.

It doesn't seem possible, but I began my 19th year of retirement from SLFD on August 1 of this year. The years have gone by at a very fast pace. If there was some way to slow them down a bit, there'd be a lot of happy retirees out there. I've managed to stay quite busy during that time. We made 4 trips to the Midwest plus traveled through Oregon, Washington and Canada. Too, I landed a job as a part time mail carrier in Patterson, staying 10 1/2 years and turning down full time employment on 3 occasions. We sold our home in Patterson and bought in Turlock 6 1/2 years ago--a move that turned out to be a good one as I had a massive heart attack 8 weeks after moving here. The upshot is we were 12 blocks from the emergency room as compared to 22 miles had we remained in Patterson. And, I had the big one on the table while hooked to all the "good stuff'. Too, I wrote a 66 page story about growing up with an older brother. He wanted me to wait of he was gone so as to not spoil his last chance at sainthood but I reminded him that if he lost his halo, I'd loose mine too, as I was the other half of all that mischief. Last year I built a roof over a 225 sq.ft. patio and next year, I plan to put up a building to house my electric train collection. That'll be a lot of fun, but what else is there to do when you hit 75?? Who knows, after that I just might take up the game of golf.

In closing, I want to mention I heard from Wilson Sandrey a couple of days ago and he sure would like to hear from some of the old timers. We correspond 5 or 6 times a year and it's always good to hear from him. So, take a few minutes and drop him a line or two. On that, will close. We hope this finds everyone doing well and keep enjoying them retirement years.

Our best to all,  Jim Dorpinghaus



Sung to the Burl Ives ballad "Jimmy Cracked Corn"


He went to play golf 'cause he wanted to see,

How far he could hit a golf ball off the little tee.

He took out the driver and swung with all his might,

The ball went airborne and soared out of sight.


(Refrain) A dream golfers have about the game they play,

A dream golfers have about the game they play.

A dream golfers have about the game they play,

Is to have a hole in one some day.


Sailing through the air was a cross wind strong enough,

To turn the ball left where it landed in the rough.

To play the ball where it lay he had a great plan,

But the darned ball hit a tree and landed in the sand.


(Repeat refrain)


Using the wedgie it just didn't seem,

He'd ever get the ball out to land on the green.

When the ball did come out all he did was cringe,

'Cause that blasted golf ball landed in the fringe.


(Repeat refrain)


He stroked it with his putter but the ball rolled wide,

Missed the hole and came to rest on the far side.

He putted back and forth and didn't give up,

'Til nine putts later it dropped in the cup.


(Repeat refrain)


Fifteen shots over par called for a new goal,

To play better golf on the second hole.

So when you play golf, don't ever tell a soul,

The best games are played at the nineteenth hole.


(Repeat refrain—if you so desire!)

 By Dorp

11/26/2008 from Kay Dana:

Happy Thanksgiving!


May all of my family and friends and their loved ones enjoy

this festive holiday.  And may we all say a prayer and give thanks for our many blessings that all of us enjoy.


Warmest wishes from,


Dad/Grandpa/BK/Kay (Al) Dana



Program looks to tap into local areas for future firefighters

By Kristofer Noceda

The Daily Review

Updated: 11/27/2008 09:41:26 PM PST


SAN LEANDRO — In an effort to tap into the community for future firefighters, the United Firefighters of Alameda County and the Bayfair Employment Training Academy are offering free classes aimed at preparing and helping those interested find a career.

"As a little kid, I would see the red firetruck pass by and I always wanted to be in it," said Edward Nava, a resident of Castro Valley enrolled in the class. "That dream has always been there and I want to give back to my community."

It's people like Nava, 19, that program coordinators are looking for.

"These people, if they become firefighters, will be more sensitive to the communities they are serving because they grew up in the area," James Cobb, class instructor and engineer at the Estudillo Avenue fire station in downtown San Leandro, said of the program participants.

About 10 East Bay residents, ages 16 to 31, attended the most recent seminar, Tuesday.

Aaron Freitas, a 17-year-old student at Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo, was one of those in attendance.

"The program so far has been very helpful, and I like being able to interact with the firefighters," he said. "They are enthusiastic in helping us with what they know."

Cobb is a product of the Oakland Black Firefighters Association, which he credits with helping pave the way for his career.

He wanted to bring a similar program to the United Firefighters of Alameda County and launched the first class Nov. 18.

"For Engineer Cobb to take the initiative to develop a firefighter preparatory class in a community that traditionally does not produce a lot of young adults that grow up and pursue this type of career is remarkable," said Aisha Knowles, community outreach coordinator for the Alameda County Fire Department.

The weekly classes last three months. There are about 10 volunteers from the United Firefighters of Alameda County looking to help the next wave of firefighters.

"Many of our volunteer instructors are products of some type of preparatory program," Knowles said. "Our successes in our careers are a direct result of the time and energy of caring people in this community, and now, it's time for us to pay them back for what they have passed on to us."

In addition to developing a network within the industry, participants are given pointers on how to prepare for the written, physical and oral tests needed to pass for eligibility as a firefighter.

"I'm getting a lot of inside information from actual firefighters, which is great." Nava said.

The Firefighter Preparatory Class meets from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and is free to those interested in a firefighting career. Classes meet at the Bayfair Employment Training Academy, next to Target, at Bayfair Mall, 15555 E. 14th St., in San Leandro. For details, call 510-481-0272

11/13/2008 from Jim Kneeland:

From: James Kneeland [mailto:neje@onlinedotnet.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 08, 2008 12:22 PM
To: Neuerburg, Thomas, ACFD
Subject: Fw: E-Mail addresses


Subject: E-Mail addresses



 Read with  extreme interest your listing of ACFD  & EDEN  E-Mail  addresses of Jan 08.

Entered some on my list  and have been unable to connect with many from Eden.


Would be VERY appreciative if you could contact me by I-Mail and supply me with late addresses.


Ron Anderson, Rosa Doll, James Ferdnand, Greg Fernandez, Jim Henderickson, Alvin Kleveno, Ed Laudani, Ray Moulton, Carl Scallin, Ken Silveria, John Torrez, John O'Brien, Pat & John Dailey  to name a few. 


Hope to hear from you soon.

Thanks much.


Jim  Kneeland

Retired firefighter's good deeds remembered at service

By Jason Sweeney The Daily Review Article Last Updated: 10/30/2008 10:46:56 PM PDT


CASTRO VALLEY — Under gray skies, drums and bagpipes played Thursday for retired Alameda County firefighter Luster Knight, whose flagged-draped casket was lowered from a fire engine by pallbearers as nearly 200 firefighters in dress uniforms snapped to attention and saluted.

Knight succumbed to cancer Oct. 24, a year after retiring from the Alameda County Fire Department. He was 59.

Knight was honored at a funeral service at Neighborhood Church, attended by family and friends, members of the Alameda County, Hayward and Oakland fire departments, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, and other local agencies.

Also in attendance were state Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro; Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Hayward; County Supervisors Alice Lai-Bitker and Gail Steele; and San Leandro City Council members Surlene Grant, Joyce Starosciak, Diana Souza, Jim Prola and Michael Gregory.

Knight's career spanned 41 years, beginning in 1966 as a volunteer with the Camp Parks Job Corps Center and ending with his retirement from the county fire department in September 2007.

A San Leandro resident, Knight earned a reputation as a community volunteer and an energetic fundraiser for children's causes.

"We don't take anything with us but our good deeds," Wafaa Aborashed said during the funeral procession. "Luster has a bag full of good deeds."

Aborashed is executive director of the Healthy San Leandro Environmental Collaborative, which works to educate and organize residents whose health and environment are affected by pollution. She said Knight volunteered with her organization and helped to locate ground contamination in San Leandro, and that she knew Knight as someone who was always trying to find ways to help the poor.

Each holiday season for the past 20 years, Knight helped round up toys and turkeys for the Firefighter Turkey Drive and Holiday Toy Drive, said Rose Padilla, director of the Davis Street Family Resource Center. Over the past 10 years, Knight took charge of the event, raising money and organizing firefighters to box toys and food, she said.

About 1,500 boxes are given to local families each holiday season, Padilla said.

"Luster was funny. He was that gentle giant who just loved life," she said. "We were his family — the fire department and the community."

Retired Alameda County fire Chief Bill McCammon said he fought plenty of fires alongside Knight over the years, and described him as an excellent firefighter.

"The thing I remember most about him was that he greeted everyone with a smile," he said.

Current Chief Sheldon Gilbert said Knight would enter a room full of firefighters with his "trademark smile and chuckle" and leave the room having collected $20 donations to be put to use helping children.

During the funeral service, Chaplain Larry Vold said Knight grew up in rural Mississippi and visited his hometown of Greenville each year, where his mother and siblings still live. Whenever Knight returned home, he would look for things he could fix or improve, Vold said.

Knight will be buried in Greenville.

In San Leandro, Knight served as a Recreation and Parks commissioner and was a member of the Leadership San Leandro Steering Committee — in addition to his volunteer work with the Davis Street Family Resource Center and the Healthy San Leandro Environmental Collaborative.

He is survived by his mother, Louise Knight, of Greenville, Miss.; his sisters Carolyn Knight of Louisville, Ky., and Charlean Robinson of Greenville, Miss.; his brother Thomas Knight of Greenville, Miss.; as well as a large extended family.

Donations to Knight's family can be sent to the Alameda County Firefighters Association, 413 13th St., Suite 300, Oakland, CA 94612. Make checks payable to the ACFFA.

10/31/2008 from Robin Payne:

From: Payne, Robin, ACFD
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 1:41 PM
Subject: BCN


I am now the new BCN representative, if you have any concerns or have had any problems PLEASE let me know.  I am at station 6 B shift.  While talking to BCN’s regional manager he wanted people to know that if you are retired BCN can and will assist you in whatever you my need.  If you have any questions regarding programs that you would like to see BCN offer please e-mail them to me.  If you know of any people that have retired and had any problems with BCN please have them call me or e-mail me.


That is all,

Paramedic Payne


10/26/2008 from Ralph Johnson:

This picture was taken about 1977. Luster's snoring could shake the building!!!!

He was always there to help out on all the charitable causes, when the rest of us wouldn’t do it.  I don't believe anyone can replace him.

God must have a fund raiser going in heaven!!! Rest in peace Luster, you will be missed!!!


Ralph Johnson

10/25/2008 from Denise King:

I have been blessed to have known Luster since 1987. I was just a kid working at local San Leandro travel agency. I eventually opened up my own travel service and Luster stayed with me. We became very good friends. Over the years he had adopted me as his "niece" and I always referred to him as my Uncle Lus.


Luster always came to see me, even if it was just for a visit. He always had a smile on his face and a funny story to tell. He traveled back and forth to Greenville Mississippi to visit his family often. That was always such an important thing for him to do. He also loved to go on cruises with the guys from the station and recently he had been going solo ! I enjoyed planning out his next escape. Upon his return, he always had all kinds of funny stories about each adventure. We would laugh for hours.


In his free time, he was always volunteering and giving back to our community. He even got me involved in the Davis Street Community annual toy and turkey drives. I remember one volunteer day with Alameda County Fire, it was raining and cold as we handed out the Turkeys and toys. Luster gave me his Fire cap to keep my head dry and we keep the line of cars moving. It was such a good feeling to see the smiles and hear the blessings from the people we helped.


He just retired officially not even a year ago, and told me of all the big plans and places he wanted to go. When he me told of his illness, I was shocked. He went through all his treatments and keep in touch with me. Once he was feeling better, he called me and asked me to plan a trip back home for him. He proclaimed, "the doc says I am Ok now darling". A few weeks later he phoned me from the hospital and said he couldn't travel just yet...


I learned earlier this month that his illness was terminal. After speaking with his brother last night.. and hearing that he passed, I haven't been able to stop thinking about what an amazing man we have lost. Luster has had a wonderful positive impact on my life and he will be greatly missed. He will live in my heart forever.


Denise King

Hayward, CA

10/25/2008 from Sheldon Gilbert::

From: Gilbert, Sheldon, ACFD
Sent: Fri Oct 24 21:01:49 2008
Subject: The passing of Luster Knight

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I tell you that at approximately 1930 hours our beloved Luster Knight lost his battle with cancer and passed away.  There are no words that come to me to adequately describe how much Luster has given to the ACFD and the communities we serve.  We are working on plans for a memorial service to celebrate Luster’s life next Thursday at the Neighborhood Church.   As soon as the details are finalized we will pass them on.

Please keep Luster’s family and the ACFD in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.


10/18/2008 from Ray Jannson:

To: Rich Ferguson

From: Ray Jannson

I have submitted to the San Leandro Museum on West Estudillo Ave. all of my pictures of the old fire equipment, plus fire history material and other articles and equipment with misc. fire pictures.  In addition, I gave them my old fire models with pictures of those old time fire trucks.

They are beautiful (to me), authentic looking pieces of metal artwork from 1887 to 1920.  They were made for me in the 1980’s by Fred Biscotti of the Castro Valley FD.  They are all about 16” long except the longer ladder truck.

  1. Union Hose Co #1(SLFD). Hayes Hose Cart 1887 w/specs.
  2. SLFD first gasoline driven fire pump that was horse-drawn, 1906 w/specs.
  3. SLFD first motor driven pumper 1913 Seagrave w/flat nose.
  4. SLFD second fire pumper, 1920 Seagrave (called “Old Betsy” by the new guys).
  5. 1909 horse drawn tiller ladder truck built in SL for the San Francisco FD in 1901.

Thanks to Fred Biscotti.  He did a magnificent job of creating these unique pieces of FD History.

Ray Jannson

 From: William

Date: 10/13/2008 9:25:02 PM

To: rich@bresnandistributor.com

Subject: posting a e-mail


Hey rich, how do I post an e-mail?


Bill Moore

Alameda County Fire Patrol, 1971-1987

4782 Chama Ct

Las Vegas, NV 89121


Hi Bill,

You send it to me, and if I think it is something all of the retirees want to know about I will send it out and post it on the New Mail portion of the web site.


FERG <><



I’m seeing names of people I’ve worked with come up in the e-mail. I just wanted to post my data so some of them , if they with, may contact me or a contact if they ever make it to las vegas.

Bill Moore



10/10/2008 from Vince Martin:

Luster Knight update:

Dear ACFD Family,


Luster was released to return home on Tuesday October 7, 2008.  He was set up with a Hospital bed and pain therapy prior to arriving home.  Early Wednesday Morning 3451 responded after 0300 hrs and again at 0630 hrs to assist with pain management, as the second response required emergency transport.  Luster remained in ER on Wednesday and has been assigned a room for continued pain therapy up until now.  His family was informed that Luster had already been told he has terminal cancer and the remaining treatment is to make him as comfortable as possible.  3453 visited last night, as Luster was heavily sedated and sleeping.  Luster has a sister, brother and two nieces at his bedside and his mother is arriving this afternoon.  I am requesting that we allow his family to have their moment of personal time with Luster and adjust to the sudden news which caught them off guard, while figuring out how to let him know that they are aware of his terminal diagnosis. 


There may be some needs which arise in the near future as I’ll keep you informed.  Chaplain Vold met with the family yesterday, as it was much appreciated.  

Continue to keep Luster Knight and his family in your thoughts and prayers.


Respectfully submitted,


Vincent T. Martin    


10/2/2008 from Bill Robertson:

Hi Rich...

   If you would post this on the Bresnan I would appreciate it very much.  I have finally made the move that I knew was going to happen.  As Of tomorrow, October 3, 2008 – Friday, My new stomping grounds will be in Petaluma.  I will be living in an independent living place called Valley Orchards.   It is only about a 5 minute drive to where my wife is at and just a stones throw from my sons.  I will not have a computer for awhile so will be unable to communicate except by mail and cell phone until I make other arrangements.  For any of my old friends who wish to contact me the address will be:  2100 E. Washington St  #201, Petaluma, Ca. 94954, after having been at Clear Lake for over 26 years in retirement.  Would love to hear from any of my old friends.. Thanks a million and good luck to all.  Another Old Sucker who won’t give in... Bill Robertson    


9/18/2008 Daily Review from Kay Dana:

Plan would move county fire operations out of San Leandro

Dublin site pitched for new, more spacious headquarters

By Karen Holzmeister

The Daily Review

Article Last Updated: 09/17/2008 10:33:37 PM PDT


SAN LEANDRO — The Alameda County Fire Department wants to consolidate its top operations and maintenance services into a former Chevron document warehouse in Dublin, Fire Chief Sheldon Gilbert said Wednesday.

The disclosure came during a meeting of the San Leandro City Council's finance committee.

Gilbert said the department wants to merge fire administration, training, emergency medical services, the motor pool, apparatus maintenance, storage, central supply and the reserve officers' program at a new complex.

The programs now are spread among a variety of sites from San Leandro to Livermore, including department headquarters at San Leandro City Hall. But the department is outgrowing office space and aging training, classroom and storage facilities, Gilbert said.

The benefits of a new complex, Gilbert said, would include more adequate space, better coordination, streamlined operations, better use of supplies and merged services, and room for future expansion.

Under the plan, 18 county-operated fire stations between Berkeley and Livermore would remain open. But countywide services based at some stations could be moved to Dublin or any other centralized location selected by county supervisors.

The supervisors will discuss the proposal at their meeting Tuesday.

A 20-year lease for a portion of office and warehouse space at 6400 Sierra Court in Dublin would cost the county $29 million, Gilbert said.

He said the property would be remodeled for county use. The 200,000-square-foot warehouse complex was built in 1971. Chevron sold the property for $20 million to 6400 Sierra Court Investors in May. This week, David Robison, one of the property owners, said 85,000 square feet of the site would be converted into a go-kart racing center.

Similar space at the former Kellogg's cereal plant at 2020 Williams St., in San Leandro, would cost $38 million for 20 years, Gilbert said.

The fire department has the equivalent of 380 full-time employees, both sworn firefighters and non-sworn employees.

The number of people working, training or attending meetings at the new facility at any one time could range from several dozen to 150, Gilbert estimated.

The county fire department formed in 1993, and absorbed the San Leandro Fire Department in 1995. Dublin contracted for fire and emergency medical services starting in 1997, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was added in 2002.

8/17/2008 from Jim Kneeland:

This morning I received a phone call from Paul Bramell informing me of the passing of Captain Charles Bramell this A.M.


Charlie was Ret form Oakland F.D. & was the training officer at the tower (  C.C.C.  , USMC Guadualcanal in WWII )

Father of 5 children.  Charlie has been ill for the past few years since the passing of his wife Alice. 


They both will be missed

I just got word about the 6th Annual ACFD Retirement Party, October 11, 2008, 5:30 Open 7:00 Eat.  The San Leandro Marina Inn

Please RSVP Station #1 any shift – 510-276-9240

Check our calendar for flyer. 

FERG <><