Tuesday’s Tale

The Power of Siren

In the tiny town of my childhood, the fire siren blew every day.  

We called it the noon whistle. 

And if it sounded at any other time it was a really big deal. People stopped whatever they were doing, came out of the stores, or homes, stood in small groups in the middle of the street or gathered around fences to determine what was happening. And if all else failed, someone would call ‘central’, and the high school girl working the switchboard would know who, what and where. 

It was small-town curiosity. But it was also a call to arms. A neighbor needed help. And whether it was a fire, or some other type of alarm, the community was there to help: provide meals, take care of children, do chores, etc..

Recently I was in a small town that still had that familiar call to lunch. 

Just one crescendo. 

Time to eat. 

All’s well. 

If it were only so.