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.