OB Firefighters Celebrate 100th Anniversary with Shirts – Hodad’s Picks Up the Tab

by on August 5, 2015 · 1 comment

in Culture, Economy, Environment, History, Labor, Ocean Beach

OB Fire Station bh 03By Matthew Wood

Crews at the Ocean Beach Fire Station – Firehouse No. 15 – are celebrating the house’s 100th anniversary this year by making t-shirts to mark the occasion.

They won’t be reaching into their own pockets to pay for them, as another local institution stepped in and offered to foot the bill in the spirit of a local legend.

Hodad’s general manager Jeremy Diem offered to take care of the cost of the 100 or so shirts, saying it was a no-brainer to pick up the tab.

“Anything for the firefighters,” he said. “It’s in the name of Bossman (the nickname of former Hodad’s owner Mike Hardin, who passed away earlier this year). We’re gonna do this even though he’s gone.”

Todd Barry, a firefighter in the OB station’s C Division, said the whole gesture came out of a simple community meeting.

“We were working with James Gang on the shirts,” he explained. “They mentioned at a meeting and next thing you know, Hodad’s jumped on it.”

James Gang owner Paul Bearce said he’s not surprised by the generosity. He knows of Hardin and the Hodad’s family’s love for the firefighters.

Some of the shirts we’ve done for them are mistaken for a fire shirt,” Bearce said. “Bossman, when he designed it years ago, he wanted it to look like it was one of the firefighters’ shirts.”

Barry hopes it will be just the beginning of the celebration for the firefighters and the No. 15 Firehouse’s golden anniversary.

“It’s a really cool piece of history,” he said. “We’re proud to be here for 100 years. Not many companies have that type of lineage.”

He said the crews are hoping to have an open house later this year to show the community what the fire station at Voltaire and Ebers is all about.

For Diem and Hodad’s, it’s just another way to give back to the OB community. Diem said:

Before Bossman passed away we had a list of things we wanted to do. Helping out the firefighters and lifeguards was at the top.”

Diem added that the restaurant is also picking up the tab for t-shirts to the upcoming lifeguard relay race.

“It’s just a little bit of a thank you. I was born in San Diego, so I know what they do. I know fire season. Once it starts, you better watch out!”

OB history buffs may recall the original fire station opened in August of 1915 on Newport Avenue. It moved from there to its current location in 1946. Barry said the shirt’s logo will commemorate the house’s very first fire truck.

“We came up with this design for a really nice t-shit,” Barry said.

And now they have someone to pay for it.

There’s no word on the total cost of the shirts yet. For his part, Diem shrugged off any residual benefits that may come to Hodad’s because of the gesture.

“It’s just a good thing you’re doing, and if you have the opportunity to do that and turn that money over into something good, do it,” he said. “This is the firefighters’ good karma coming back to them.”

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Avatar Christo August 10, 2015 at 10:34 am

Thanks to everyone involved.

Thanks to the Rag for bringing this to our attention.

Thanks to James Gang for making the shirts.

Thanks to Hodads for footing the bill. We all know Bossman would be proud of you!

Thanks to the past, present and future crews of Station 15. You come to our aid in our moments of greatest need. Words cannot adequately express our gratitude to you.

Please keep us in the loop for the Open House.

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