The Monday following FDIC is never fun. It’s usually characterized by exhaustion, sore feet and a stack of business cards that need some action, like, NOW.

But not all is gloomy—far from, in fact. I’ve spent most of my first day back in the FireRescue office musing about the sights, sounds and accomplishments of the previous week: the myriad vendor meetings and subsequent scheduling of product reviews; engaging debates about controversial fire service topics (including Lt. Ray McCormack’s keynote address in which he professed “We don’t need a culture of safety; we need a culture of extinguishment.”); and the charity exhibited by bidders at the NFFF’s “Stop, Drop and Rock N Roll” live auction, emceed by a mustache, er, I mean my dear pal Chief Billy Goldfeder.

I’ve also sent a handful of e-mails to our fantastic writers, many of whom hung out with our FirefighterNation friends at Indy’s Alcatraz Brewing Company on Friday night. To everyone who showed up at Alcatraz to share some chow and libations with the FirefighterNation and FireRescue staffs, a sincere THANK YOU! It was great to meet members of our eclectic community, including some of the more prolific bloggers like Tiger Schmittendorf and Art “Chief Reason” Goodrich, who I always enjoy reading. And I have to add that it was quite energizing to see so many of you wearing the FirefighterNation.com T-shirts that we handed out at the FireRescue booth.

The FireRescue staff was a little late joining in the festivities, as we were upstairs for a brief editorial reception, where we honored Greg Jakubowski, chief of the Lingohocken Fire Company in Bucks County, Pa., for his 20 years of service to the magazine. And once we joined the crowd downstairs, we ordered Greg a delicious dessert (that he was kind enough to share) to say an additional thank you for all his work over the past 2 decades. (Note: To put the event into perspective, we kindly shared some fun facts from 1989, the year Greg started working with us. A couple that come to mind: A little show called “Seinfeld” debuted on NBC, and a big thing called the Cold War came to an end. Seems like yesterday, right? Ha!)

Following the FirefighterNation.com event, we headed to The Claddagh, our favorite last-night-in-Indy spot, for a few more “adult beverages,” as our Truck Ops columnist Peter Kertzie likes to call them. We engaged in some lively conversation, took part in insanely amusing people-watching activities and even did a little drumming with the band.

Remember, “work hard, play hard” is a great motto, and it surely summarized my trip to Indy. How about you?

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Comment by Greg Jakubowski on May 5, 2009 at 11:04am
Nice Janelle - thanks!

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