THROWBACK THURSDAY: Smokey sends signals to save Knights

Midcentury Shield staffer impersonates a bear to remind us how to avoid fire outbreaks.


“Direct scan of a vintage embroidered patch. Christmas present in 2009 from my Mom. She knows I like this kind of stuff.” Credit to Calsidyrose on Flickr.

Sandra Sanders, Shield staff

Special to the McCallum Knights:

A suit of armor is a good defense against a fire. However, when your armor is removed, you are subject to, and perhaps the cause of, many fire hazards.

Fires kill 31 persons daily in the U.S., and Knights, you have no magical protection that keeps you from becoming one of these statistics. Any one of you, your friends, or your family could be fatally injured in a fire. 

Even more of you Knights could be involved in a fire that takes your household belongings or wrecks your health. Even Sir Safety, the fire-protection knights, cannot help you unless he gets a little cooperation from you.

Some of the most common fire hazards that you Knights can help prevent are as follows:

  • Smoking in bed: You, as a Knight, can help prevent this cause of fire by never smoking in bed yourself and by encouraging your parents to never smoke in bed.
  • Electrical fires: I know that when you are studying it is nice to be comfortable. But, sometimes overloading a circuit by turning your radio, lights, record player, and hair dryer on at one time can cause a fire. Please be careful that the kilowatts don’t kill you.
  • Excess Trash: If you are a saving packrat, you are also a potential fire causer. Nothing is more inflammable than old, dry paper and what, I ask you, could possibly be more inflammable than your second grade spelling tests? Throwing away these papers would make your house more fire-proof.

Knights, I know that you don’t want to cause a fire, so please be more careful. Let’s cut down on senseless fires that cost lives.

Your faithful forest friend,

Smokey, the bear

(Alias Sandra Sanders)

P.S. And when you come camping in my forests observe good sense. Ninety percent of the forest fires are caused by humans who have no regard for wildlife or trees.

This story was originally published in The Shield on Oct. 19, 1962.