"Prosperity always inflates the imprudent, and worldly peace weakens the vigor of the soul." - Peter Abelard

Friday, July 22, 2011

Foam-Covered Kids Enjoy Norwood Tradition

This story was originally published, center and above the fold, on the front page of the July 22nd edition of The Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Norwood Firefighter Mike McCarthy operates "The Bazooka." Wicked Local photo by David Gordon.

“Awesome!” he declared, and so began the annual Foam Day celebration in Norwood on July 15.

The woman behind the magic, Norwood firefighter Jennifer Gover, dressed in heavy-duty rubber waders, stood hip-deep in the blob.

“It’s so fun to watch the kids, they really seem to enjoy running around in the foam,” said Gover, who volunteered specifically for this shift.

Perched on the side of Norwood Engine 3, Gover patiently explained the mechanics of the foam contraption – appropriately nicknamed “The Bazooka” – to a group of kids, the technological details going right over the frosty-topped heads of her young audience.

The blob itself is roughly oval-shaped, and grows to be about 50 feet long and 30 feet wide.

A circle of smiling parents and tentative youngsters surrounded the blob, which inevitably created a game of sprinting out of the blob, covered in foam, to slather up the foam-averse. Little trails of foam spiral out of the blob in all directions as lasting evidence of these mini-missions.

“This is crazy,” yelled one exuberant, foam-covered boy.

“I didn’t even recognize you, silly,” chastised his mother, who cleared the bubbles off his face. He immediately plunged back into the melee, rendering her efforts practically for naught.

As the bazooka starts to wind down, the kids divided into two camps.

Hailey Roberts, 9, and others carefully rinse off all traces of foam in a shower protruding from the back of the fire engine. Their male compatriots, however, determinedly plunk down in the middle of the shrinking foam blob.

“I don’t want to leave,” said one boy.

“I’m finally clean, so don’t touch me,” Hailey said.

Eventually, the foam gets downright grimy, and even its steadfast supporters have to leave it behind, reluctantly.

“It’s a simple concept that kids really enjoy,” said Linda Berger, Recreation Program Director for the Town of Norwood. “You can just see it in their faces.”

Appropriately, most faces on this day were covered in foam.

Maggie Curran, 8, emerges from the foam pit covered head to toe on Friday afternoon, July 15, 2011 during Foam Day. Wicked Local photo by David Gordon.

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