In 2013, leading into Burn, it rained like I’d never seen in these parts. A week of incessant, slow, seeping rain culminated in one overnight deluge. Just before the scheduled Burn, a small creek had formed running through Perimeter under Stack. Every vehicle on site – including the tractor – was stuck. Burn would be delayed. Among the many implications, that meant that for the duration of the holiday, someone would have to be on guard detail at Stack.
Andrew Pekowski was a newly-minted Sr. Redpot, HMFIC. He took guard detail on Christmas Eve so everyone else could be home for Christmas. His “little” gesture that night alone at Stack into Christmas morning has gone down to be a widely-shared source of Aggie pride every year. This is that story. Along the way, we talk about buddies, leadership, what Bonfire really means, and fly ash.
I am motivated for every Perimeter Fires story. But – as the kids these days say – this one hit different. Maybe it’s because I’m a father with kids growing too fast, and this is a story that sees somebody’s boy choosing to be alone on Christmas Eve just so nobody else’s boy or girl had to be, bringing a little light to himself on a dark and lonely night. And that light has since shone on all of Aggieland.