By: Xavier Cunningham
My name is Xavier Cunningham. I am a high school Dreamer from the Colorado I Have a Dream program and I have grown up watching Stapleton develop as a community. I didn’t know about a lot of the great things in Stapleton, yet I have learned many great and surprising discoveries; and hope to tell you about these unique places, through my eyes, in this blog series called “Did You Know?” Introducing the fourth story in this series.
If you happen to drive past or visit Fire Station # 26, on your way down Martin Luther King in Stapleton, you may notice a slightly old looking statue of a rather brave looking firefighter accompanied by a very loyal Dalmatian. This statue is called Tradition. Tradition fits in quite well and adds a nice taste to the fire station, considering that service Dalmatians have historically contributed to the force. But this statue is really based on a specific Dalmatian that was one of the best in the business.
Tradition was made as a contribution to a dog named Chief who worked in many different fire stations in the 60’s and 70’s. Chief was always the first in action whenever the fire alarm went off and served by keeping passerby’s at a safe distance from the danger of the location. The artist, Joe Cipri, was a retired firefighter who actually worked with Chief in his firefighting career. He wanted to build something that not only showed his love and respect for a very loyal Dalmatian, but also make viewers feel the closeness and the companionship of the canine and the firefighter.
So the next time you happen to pass by Station #26, go and take a look at Tradition. You will be able to see this amazing dog; and sense how close it was to the firefighters.