Response to Hoeppner

Mr. Hoeppner,

Read your commentary about the fellow playing with fire. Some years ago, I was pre-fabbing a pool fence out of rebar in an area east of the McDowell Mountains toward the end of Happy Valley Road.

A new house under construction abutting right against the side of a hill covered with dry grass and other desert vegetation.

While cutting rebar with a chipsaw and wearing dark glasses, I unknowingly was sending sparks into the grass.

A lot of hollering around me and I look up and see a fire going downwind from me and thank God the roofers and siders working on the house were there beating out the flames. It only covered maybe a thousand square feet, but if not for those fellows, I could have burnt down the whole McDowell Mountain Park. (Just as a sidelight – they were all Mexicans, maybe some illegal, probably most looked down upon. THEY SAVED MY BUTT)

As a sidelight (in case it makes a difference), I have been scared or afraid some times in my life. Years as a submarine crew member, a commercial fisherman, a clammer and tug boat captain – blah, blah, blah – but I can’t think of a time where I was more scared than the time I might have seen the mountains go up in flames.

For what it’s worth.

Cave Creek