When he was growing up in the 1940s, Joseph Patrick Ryan spent many hours in the South Boston Boys Club where he learned to swim, play basketball, and box. He was so popular that the club declared him “mayor” in 1945. Part of his duties included helping to promote Fire Prevention Week. Fourteen-year-old Joseph and an officer with the Boston Fire Department were photographed for the local newspaper with that year’s FPW poster, which read, “We burned the enemy. Now save yourself from fire.”
Recently, Joseph’s son, Sean Ryan, decided to reenact the photo. He and his 13-year-old son, Timothy, donned FPW T-shirts and posed with this year’s poster at the South Boston Boys and Girls Club. For Sean, who has been working at NFPA for about a year, it was a fitting tribute to his late father and a way for Timothy to learn more about his grandfather’s childhood.