Former Firefighter takes birthday ride on Central Fire Station truck
BROWNSVILLE — Brownsville native Roy A. Weaver returned to his old stomping grounds, taking a ride on a fire truck out of Brownsville Central Fire Station as it cruised the neighborhood around Adams and East 10th streets.
Weaver rode shotgun Wednesday, with Maria Guadalupe, his wife of 57 years, and their two daughters taking in the scene from seats in the back. The ride was to celebrate Weaver’s 79th birthday, which was the day before.
“ I used to run here,” Weaver said. “I was a driver here.” He also fondly remembered cooking for the crew on duty.
Weaver took the civil service exam to become a firefighter in 1967. He worked at the Central Fire Station through 1970 and was instrumental in helping firefighters win their pension and insurance rights during that time, his younger daughter Julia A. Gonzalez said.
“ I was proud of my daddy,” she said. “He was my hero.”
She and her older sister Belinda W. Lara remembered a fire breaking out a few doors down the street from their house and Weaver leaning off the side of the fire truck as it arrived to put out the blaze.
“ He played a big role in helping the firefighters earn the benefits that were due to them,” Gonzalez said.
“ Not seeing him, that’s what I remember most,” Lara said. “We would come down here to visit and we enjoyed watching them slide down the pole” from the sleeping quarters to the trucks. “He also worked as a security guard at the Kress department store. He did work long hours here.”
“ I served from here, right here,” Weaver said at that point. “We would go out from here,” he said, indicating the trucks and entire station.
Maria Guadalupe said her husband has great memories of his time in the fire service, which was evident when they brought him to the station recently and his eyes lit up as they went upstairs. He suffers from some memory loss, she said.
In 1970 Weaver resigned from the fire department to go to work for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, where he worked until his retirement in 2001. He said his biggest memory is “getting up and going” on calls.