What an exciting FDIC! This year's event was an incredible experience of meeting new friends, laughing loudly with old ones, autographing prints, and book signings. The popularity of Drawn By Fire continues to skyrocket and it's humbling to see it fly off the shelves - I never would have imagined this success!
However, they real joy of the week was getting to meet new people and catch up with old friends. Those of you who know me understand the impact that both Bobby Halton and Rick Lasky have had on my career, both as a firefighter and as a fire service artist - I honestly would not be standing on the stage that I am without these two men. It is a MUST for me to catch Chief Lasky's class every year and I was honored to be able to get this photo with two of my most valued mentors. Thank you, gentlemen!
My first FDIC was in 1997, and my very first class was John Norman's eight-hour fire ground tactics lecture. So you can imagine my joy of sitting with him signing our books at the same table this past Thursday at the PennWell bookstore. Wow! Not that I'm surprised, but he is the nicest, most down to earth person you'll ever meet. As with most of us, whether big city (FDNY in Chief Norman's case) or small town, career, combination or volunteer, when you get right down to it, we are all just firemen.
The week finished up with my signing the limited edition, 2011 FDIC print at Lucas Oil stadium Friday morning. Again, fun time meeting people from all corners of the fire service landscape. Two hours and 250 prints later, I skipped lunch and headed over for my last book signing appearance.
Thanks to everyone who took time out of their busy conference to stop by and say "hello", get a print, or buy my book - I truly appreciate it and I look forward to seeing you next year! April 16-21, 2012, get it on your calendar now:)