Talking To A HotShot

By |2017-06-30T17:45:22+00:00June 30th, 2017|6 Comments

This is stuff I heard from a guy, so it’s the very definition of “hearsay”.

I had to get out of the 4 walls of that hotel room, so I went for a drive and ended up at Trader Joe’s.

There was a HotShot truck parked outside.

When I walked in, there were various young men walking around, wearing red tee shirts.

There was a logo on the front that said “Mormon Lake Hotshots”.

As I was picking up some almonds, a lady down the aisle asked one of them some general questions.

I walked down and asked this one guy where they were working.

He seemed a little tired and dazed.

He said they were the night shift and had worked all last night.

I told him I lived in Walker. He didn’t seem to recognize that name.

I asked about Breezy Pines. He slowly nodded, but wasn’t sure.

Poland Junction? Big bug Mesa?

His eyes lit up. “Yeah. We were building a line from Poland Junction Road to the top of Big Bug Mesa. The top of Big Bug Mesa was burning.”

“Today’s crew should be able to get that finished. If they do, then it should be good. It should hold.”

I asked “So that’s good news?”

“Yeah. That line should hold and everything should be good. I mean, anything can happen, but that should do it today.”

I said that it seems like there’s a lot less smoke today. “Is that a good thing?”

“Yeah. That’s a good thing.”

I started to get a little emotional.

I mean, here’s a guy who is literally risking his life to save my house.

What do you say to that?

“Thanks for doing that. It’s my house you’re saving.”

I had to turn away.

No one wants to see a grown man crying in the aisle of their local Trader Joe’s.

I held it together and thanked him again.

He gave me a thumbs up and a big smile.

I held it together while getting dog treats.

I held it together while standing at the cashier and checking out.

“How are you doing?” asked the cashier.

“Fine” I said. “We got evacuated from Walker, but we’ll be fine.”

The lady behind me turned and said she hoped we got to go home soon

“Sorry” said the cashier.

I held it together as I thanked them.

I held it together as I walked out.

I held it together as I got in my truck.

And then I didn’t.

About the Author:

I’m Conrad Walton, a full time resident of Walker. We've lived through being snowed in and power outages. We have no other home. I'm a licensed real estate professional working for RealtyONEGroup, Mountain Desert, here in Prescott. My goal is to give back to the community by providing a common web site to support everyone’s efforts in the Walker area. Because I’ve been a web developer for over 20 years, building web sites is easy for me. I want to help in any way I can. This site is not owned by the WFPA or the WCAA or any other organization. I host it, manage it, and I am completely responsible for it.


  1. Kate June 30, 2017 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Yeah I hold it together until someone asks me how I am 🙂 great writing. Strength and safety to those young men fighting for our forest and our home.

  2. Rachelle allen June 30, 2017 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh Conrad! Just reading that made me cry! I can’t even imagine what all the evacuees, fireman and other first responders. ‘Thank you’ isn’t enough – but it’s all I have. Blessings.

  3. Jeanine June 30, 2017 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    This is beautifully written.

  4. Mike Burns June 30, 2017 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    Your emotions are ones we are all feeling. Thanks for asking the questions we all have.

  5. Grace Huntley July 1, 2017 at 6:23 am - Reply

    Hey, Conrad. I held it together until I started reading it to my neice. Thanks, buddy.

  6. Deb Roehl July 5, 2017 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    This is awesome!!!!

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