Rebuilding Tree Stands
Editors Note:  Please bear with me as I try to fill the editorial shoes of "Dr. Bob".  Working with a brand new publishing program, which will, in the long run, be a more efficient way of getting information to everyone.  I will work on format for future editions, but wanted to continue the information flow.  Wish me luck! 
A beautiful sunny day in October and 16 stalwart members joined us at the Back Street Inn, as another dozen joined via Zoom. Those present had temperatures read by Kent Gloor and Phil Perington.   Our illustrious President, Dan Rodriguez, called the meeting to order at precisely 7:07 a.m., allowing those physically present to heap their plates with a delicious breakfast of sausage, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes and fruit. The A-team of technical support, including Dan Rodriguez, Tom Hoch and Stephen Avery made sure those at home could fully participate in the meeting.  Tom also read the invocation and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Presidents Corner
President Dan started out by thanking Tara for the wonderful breakfast.  Dan said that the club had closed out the 2019-2020 administrative year with 127 members, which is probably good enough for Honor Club status.  He also mentioned he would be e-mailing a survey to determine in which direction the club should be moving with respect to meetings (Live, Zoom or Combo) and frequency of meetings.  Dan mentioned that Phil Perington had passed the Colorado State test to become a Raffle Manager, but that it would probably take about six weeks to process the raffle license.  The raffle is designed as a supplemental fund raiser, given the many question marks about the Christmas Tree lot for this year.  Timing of the raffle depends on receipt of the raffles license.  Dan said that seven “First Responder” award winners and the awards, along with a complimentary “Friend of Optimism” membership would be presented to each of the winners in the near future.
Club Announcements
Tom Glazier (via Zoom) said the 10 members had met this past Wednesday at Café du France and had enjoyed a rather chilly breakfast.  Plans are to have another “Meet Up” on Wednesday October 21 at 9:00 a.m. The plan is to meet inside. For those not familiar with the concept, no “official business” is discussed, but there is opportunity for club members to stay in touch.  If you would like to know more about it, contact Tom (303-522-5214).
Joe Marci asked for some more volunteers for the Junior Golf tournament which will be held at Green Valley on October 17-18.  We currently have only four volunteers.  With 82 golfers signed up, this ain’t gonna get it, so let Joe know if you can make it. (e-mail Phone: 303-847-7844.
For those of you who don’t know, the club has a new Treasurer, in the person of Pat Bush, with our past outstanding treasurer, Greg Young, acting as backup.  There’s a $5.00 discount if you pay the full amount of annual dues before November 1. (No discount if paid on-line.)
Tree Lot Talk
Tom Kramis announced that a number of members, including Tom Glazier, Pat Bush, Kent Gloor, Bob Avery, Mark Metavia, Cesar Camerena and Ken Dunphy all helped in refurbishing tree stands and other tree lot stuff.  Tom Glazier got a deal on some 12 ply tires to replace the current ones on the trailer, which we guess to be around 25 years old.  There will be another work day in the near future.
Pumpkin Patch
Bob Avery announced that the Boy Scouts will be having their annual Halloween Pumpkin Patch at Belleview and Holly.  Bob said all the pumpkins have been unloaded, now they need to sell.  If you are out and about down South drop by and help out the Boy Scouts.
On a sad note, Bob also reported that Patti, the wife of our former caterer, John Marino, passed away.
Member Spotlight
Today’s star was Tom Kramis who, in addition to being club Vice President and Tree Lot Manager, has lead a many faceted life.  Born on Mercer Island (off the coast of Washington-near Seattle), Tom studied abroad in London England. Studying Shakespeare, he had the opportunity to visit Stratford-Upon-Avon among other things. Tom went to various colleges, including the University of Colorado, where he did most of studying and ended up getting his degree from Metro State. (Tom said he was on the 25-year plan.)  Tom has a heavy culinary background.  His mother, Sharon Kramis was a protégé of James Beard and has several published several best-selling cookbooks.  She worked as the  Executive Chef for Anthony’s Homeport in the great Northwest, until she retire recently at the age of 80.  In addition to her other culinary achievements, she developed the Cinnabon Cinnamon roll.  Tom studied cooking in Florence Italy and was the only male in a group of ten in the class.  Shortly after, Tom opened his first panini sandwich shop (called Pressto) in north Boulder.  Within ten years Tom had expanded to seven Pressto shops which had been named as “best quick lunch”  and “best sandwich by both the Denver Post and the Boulder Daily Camera. Tom has two boys, one of whom will be graduating from Denver South High. His oldest son is currently taking time off from attending CU, but still living in Boulder. A man of many talents, Tom currently works as a professional tree trimmer and landscape designer.
Our  speaker today was Lt. Kris MacDonald stationed at Fire house 9 at 45th and Brighton Blvd.  Kris has been a Denver Fire fighter since 1999, 21yrs.  He was born in Montreal, Quebec Canada, and moved to the US in 1995 to Avon, CO as a Resident Fire Fighter for the Town of Avon.  Since becoming a Denver fire fighter he has been assigned to many different fire houses, Truck 19, Truck 8, Rescue 1 and the DFD Training division, most recently Tower 9.
 After moving to Colorado, was his first exposure to wildfires in the West. More recently the Denver Fire has developed the 2nd largest wildfire team in the US, second only to CalFire.  Almost all of his  wildfire experience has been in Operations and more specifically in hand crew and engine work. Currently he is crew boss for the DFD Fire Suppression Module which is a group of 10 well trained fire fighters whose job(s) involve line construction, structure preparation, firing operations just to mention a few.
Kris said that because people want to live in the wilderness, the incidence of “interface wild fires” have grown immensely in the last 10 to 12 years.  Attitudes toward fire control have also changed significantly, with the safety of firefighters of utmost importance, which means that current philosophy is to be “a little more standoffish with respect to aggressive attack on fires.  
Kris said that the are three main elements to be considered in fighting a wildland fire: Weather, Topography and type of fuel.  Most wildfires (75-80%) are caused by lightning.  Main causes of man caused fires are discharging firearms and fireworks.
There are ten members on Kris’ suppression team, each of who carries a 50-60 pack with all their gear and a chain saw.  They work 16 hour shifts, with 8 hours off to sleep and take care of any administrative details like resupply, equipment repair, etc. After 14 days they get a two-day break, then go back on the fire line.
 Bob Avery asked Kris about teams from the penitentiary. Kris said that their were two “Con teams”, that inmates received a day off their sentence for every day they were fighting fires and got paid $6 a day.
Tom Mauro asked why Denver Fire Department would be involved with fires outside of there territory. Kris said that, in addition to the fact that the city of Denver owned about 50,000 acres of mountain parks, the city was reimbursed by the Federal or State government for these services, thus it is a revenue generator for the city.  Our thanks to Kris for sacrificing his time and risking his life in order to preserve our wildlands!
Firefighter Kris McDonald
Delicious Breakfast
"Meet Up" at Cafe du France
We meet each Friday at 6:45 a.m.
Back Street Tavern
1150 S. Galena St.
Aurora, CO 80247
United States of America
Mask and social distancing will be enforced