Cy Scarborough, right, talks with Steve Johnson, a firefighter with Turk Water, of Helena, Mont., who helped save the Bar-D from the Missionary Ridge Fire last Thursday.
Johnson and other firefighters gave Scarborough
an autographed pulaski, a type of fire ax.
..."It is a special night," Cy Scarborough, who founded the Bar-D in 1969, said Wednesday.
"We're just fortunate as we can be to have this."
Wednesday night, the Bar-D
officially resumed operations.It closed last Thursday when the Missionary Ridge Fire swept through, destroying four homes north of the Bar-D
, but leaving other buildings, including those at the Bar-D
, virtually untouched.
"It's good to be here," Scarborough
said before the evening's meal and performance of Western music by the Bar-D Wranglers.The Wranglers have sung under the pines on summer nights for 34 years, never missing a day until last week.Riders in the Sky also performed.
In that time, 2 million people have visited the Bar-D
.So when news hit that the Bar-D
was lost, that a raging fire had consumed it, there were some damp eyes.
is 75 years old, after all.But he
has the energy of a much younger man.What else could explain Scarborough staying to hose buildings and clear ground as a firestorm dropped down off Missionary Ridge, tossing burning branches and starting spot fires all around?
Finally, when fires started in the forest between East Animas Road (County Road 250) and the Bar-D parking lot, Scarborough
and four firefighters drove out through thick smoke, barely finding their way to the road.
When the worst of the firestorm ended, firefighters returned.Scarborough
learned Friday that the Bar-D
But not all was good news: Bar-D Wrangler guitarist Gary Cook's home burned.Scarborough's son, Rick, lost his
Wednesday evening, the firefighters who stayed with Cy Scarborough
to the bitter end returned with a gift: a gold-painted pulaski they'd signed.
invited all firefighters to the Bar-D
to eat for free this summer.
After explaining to the 620 people in attendance the drill for lining up for the meal ("coffee has the right-of-way over the lemonade"), Scarborough
offered the customary moment of silence.
A half-minute later he
broke it, his
voice cracking as he
choked out the words:
"And thank you Lord for all the firefighters that saved this place.
The audience rose in applause.