ALPENA - Fire Chief Bill Forbush was surprised with a uniquely crafted gift from Liz Vandagriff and her son Eric at the CobbyGoose pottery making shop on Wednesday. Vandagriff designed, crafted and painted a large plate with the Alpena County Emergency Medical Services emblem, along with three safety helmets, one of each color representing the different ranks of firefighters, and a small firetruck at the bottom.
"The chiefs and commanders wear a white helmet, the marshal wears red and the firefighters wear yellow," Forbush said. "This is a beautiful gift. It's very special."
The logo is even more personal for Forbush because his son was the graphic designer of the logo.
"We'll put this in the kitchen at the fire station," Forbush said. "It was built 20 years ago, and this plate will probably still be displayed more than 20 years from now."
Vandagriff was excited to give the plate to Forbush.
"I wanted to make it as a thank you," she said. "They did my ramp outside my house last year, and they do so much for the community."
It took Vandagriff over 40 hours to design and paint the plate at CobbyGoose.
"I love this place. It's so family friendly and a perfect place to bring the family and do things together," she said. "They have been wonderful and are very helpful here. They helped me order what I needed to make the plate."
On the back of the plate there is a simple, yet meaningful, message just for Forbush that reads, "not perfect ... just forgiven," outlining one of his more famous sayings.
"This is a wonderful gift and beautiful work," Forbush said. "We will need to build a display case for it to keep it on the wall at the station."
Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.