Monday, August 15, 2005

When smoke lingers

Like a clingy telemarketer who just won't give up, heavy smoke permeates.

It gets into your clothes, your hair, your nostrils.

It makes you feel and smell dirty, like a used matchstick.

It's an odor that no doubt is following around hundreds of central Pennsylvania firefighters and Philipsburgers who spent Saturday night and Sunday morning at the horrendous downtown fire.

If the color gray had a scent, this would be it, this smoky scourge.

You think you're rid of it, only to jump in the shower again and smell it washing from your scalp once more.

For firefighters, the intensity of the stink must be outlandish.

It's the kind of thing that doesn't let you forget what's going on, what's happened, where you were, what you saw.

At a moment like this, maybe that's not such a bad thing.

CentreSquawker is a blog produced by Centre Daily Times reporter Adam Smeltz as part of, the CDT's Web site. Adam's e-mail address is

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