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Bonus Rodeo: Old Time Radio

The good folks at the Continental Fire Company selected the following writers as their winners. They may use taglines or stories from this collection to develop local radio spots in the future. We’ll share those when we have the sound bytes. Carrot Ranch thanks the CFCo of Houghton for supporting literary!

THIRD PLACE: D. Avery

SECOND PLACE: JulesPaige

FIRST PLACE: Kay Kingsley

ENTRIES

99-word Radio Spot by Charli Mills, Hancock, Michigan

[Narrator with a reserved tone] Students have walked the halls of the Continental Fire Company for over a hundred years. Horses in the basement, fire engines on the second floor, 23 students on the third.

[Sounds of shuffling feet, tin pails, soft nickering of a horse.]

[Student 1] S’cuse me, coming through.

[Narrator with a reserved tone] The first students learned to engineer mines.

[Student 2] Yes, Sir, the most common deposits of copper are—

[Cut to club music, sounds of crowd chatter, clinking of glasses]

[Narrator with an enthusiastic tone] But today’s students learn to unwind after the challenges of classes at a public research university.

[Student 1] S’cuse me, coming through.

[Music recedes]

[Narrator back to a reserved tone] Once these brick walls housed students and firefighters. Today they heat up with Scorpion Bread, dancing to frighten away the Tommy Knockers and the best local mixologists.

We remain smart.

59-word Radio Spot

[Narrator] Students have walked the halls of the Continental Fire Company for over a hundred years. Horses in the basement, fire engines on the second floor, 23 students on the third.

Once these brick walls housed students and firefighters. Today they heat up with club dancing, gastropub delights and the best local drinks from mixologists.

We’ve changed but remain smart.

9-word Radio Spot

[Narrator] Horses, fire-engines, 23 students. We’ve changed but remain smart.

🐎🐎🐎

99-word Radio Spot by JulesPaige, Pennsylvania

[Haunting background music]

[Spirited narrator number 1] Unwind while engaging our historical ‘spirits’ with your own!

[Bell chimes or fire house claxton in the background]

[Spirited narrator number 2] That’s got a nice ring to it.

[Some nice background chimes]

[Current live mixologist or bartender] The old fire bell may have moved to the new fire station but we can still ring your chimes.

[Current live owner or chef] And we’ll feed you too!

[Change of class bell for school]

[Current owner or chef] Education can light a fire in your belly!

[Sounds of ice shaking in a tumbler]

[Live mixologist or bartender] Welcome one and all to The Mining School Restaurant!

[Food sizzling on a grill and or pizza board being slid in and out of pizza oven]

[Current owner or chef] Open yourselves to the history of our Continental Fire Company! Now delighting the Houghton community with nourishment from our smoker and pizza oven.

[Club music, laughter of happy customers]

[live mixologist or bartender] Come drink at our lounge, nightclub or host your own event right were the past speaks to the present.

[Spirit narrators laughing together along with living customers]

59-word Radio Spot

[Change of class bell for school]

[Current owner or chef] Education can light a fire in your belly!

[sounds of ice shaking in a tumbler]

[Live mixologist or bartender] Welcome one and all to The Mining School Restaurant!

[food sizzling on a grill and or pizza board being slid in and out of pizza oven]

[Current owner or chef] Open yourselves to the history of our Continental Fire Company! Now delighting the Houghton community with nourishment from our smoker and pizza oven.

[Club music, laughter of happy customers]

[live mixologist or bartender] Come drink at our lounge, nightclub or host your own event right were the past speaks to the present.

[Spirit narrators laughing together along with living customers]

9-word Radio Spot

[Live mixologist or bartender with sounds of ice shaking in a tumbler] Unwind while engaging our historical ‘spirits’ with your own!

[Spirit narrators laughing together along with living customers]

🐎🐎🐎

99-word Radio Spot by Norah Colvin, Australia

[surf in the background, murmurs of people, calls of evening birds]

[Tour Guide]

Our tour finishes here. The evening is yours. Classes start back on campus 9 am sharp tomorrow.

[people talking and moving away]

[Young woman, wistfully] It’s so beautiful, and so much history. I think I’m gonna like it here.

[Young man, not so wistfully] I’m famished. Let’s find somewhere to eat.

[Young woman] The guide mentioned the Continental Fire Company.

[Young man] Fire? I don’t want fire. I need food. And a drink!

[Young woman] The Continental Fire Company has food. And drink. The guide said meals are generous, and affordable, and there’s local beers on tap. Entertainment too

[rustle of paper as opens and checks brochure]

— trivia night tonight. Come on. We’ll ace the history questions.

[change of scene to inside the Continental Fire Company with background music, people talking, laughing, having a good time, clatter of people eating]

[Young man] This is good. I’ll like it here, for sure.

[clink of glasses as in a toast]

59-word Radio Spot

[inside the Continental Fire Company with background music, people talking, laughing, having a good time, clatter of people eating]

[Young man] The guide was right. The Continental Fire Company is my new favourite place. The food is great, and I love the choice of beers.

[Young woman] I love the history. It’s like having one foot in the past and the other in the future. These photographs are fascinating.

[Young man] We showed them a thing or two in the history questions. Tomorrow —karaoke!

9-word Script

Where history greets the present – a great meeting place.

🐎🐎🐎

99-word Radio Spot by Charli Mills, Hancock, Michigan

[Sounds of rock mining]

[Narrator] 1.75 miles below the surface of Old Reliable, hard-rock miners extracted copper. Quincy Mine yet prevails, overlooking Portage Canal — a monument to the most successful 1840s-era mines.

[Softer sounds of water lapping, seagull]

[Narrator]Across the canal in Houghton, the Continental Fire Company stands as the historic building where the earliest mine engineers attended class.

After sharing space with fire-engines, hayloft and horses, technology education grew to be an internationally recognized university.

[Murmur of socializing]

[Narrator] And the Continental Fire Company? It’s brick and mortar still stands, too, welcoming university students to socialize. We still recognize hard work in the Copper Country.

[Clink of glasses]

[Narrator] We toast the students and the strong.

🐎🐎🐎

59-word Radio Spot

[Sounds of rock mining]

[Narrator] Hard-rock mining and engineering built this community.

[Softer sounds of water lapping, seagull]

[Narrator] Across from the Quincy Mine, the Continental Fire Company stands as testament to the work of miners and technology.

[Murmur of socializing]

[Narrator] Where earlier students once shared space with fire-engines, hayloft and horses, modern ones come to socialize.

[Clink of glasses]

[Narrator] We recognize hard work and smarts in the Copper Country. We toast the students and the strong.

9-word Radio Spot

[Hard rock mining sound, murmur of socializing, clink of glasses]

[Narrator] Recognizing hard work and smarts in the Copper Country.

🐎🐎🐎

99-word Radio Spot by JulesPaige, Pennsylvania

[pub music and laughter]

We have been your historical Houghton neighborhood go to for pub grub at the nightclub.

[sizzle of food on the grill]

Now enjoy all that the Continental Fire Company is offering!

[soft yet discernible three alarm fire house klaxon and maybe a fog horn too]

Book your special event with our ‘superior’ menu of “elevated traditional items” including vegan and gluten free options using many locally produced ingredients.

[buoy bell and/or fog horn]

Or just come in and horse around.

[horse whinny and nickering]

Yep, the kitchen is where the firehouse horses were kept, but you’ll only find a the best modern kitchen that’s now a spectacular showplace!

[trumpeting ta da music]

We’ve got a smoker and a pizza oven too.

[pub dance music starts to play as and continues in the background as the last line is read]

Let the Mining School Restaurant surprise you for lunch or dinner.

59-word Radio Spot

[pub music and laughter]

The Continental Fire Company has been your local historical Houghton neighborhood go to for the finest pub grub at the nightclub.

[sizzle of food on the grill]

Come on in and horse around!

[horse whinny and nickering]

Yep, the basement kitchen is where the firehouse horses were once kept.

[trumpeting ta da music]

Now, our kitchen is a spectacular culinary showplace!

[pub dance music starts to play as and continues in the background as the last line is read]

Let the Mining School Restaurant’s menu surprise you for lunch or dinner.

9-word Radio Spot

[Change of class bell ringing, followed by soft pub dance music playing, increasing slightly and continuing in the background as the line is read]

Let the Mining School Restaurant’s ‘superior’ menu surprise you!

🐎🐎🐎

99-word Radio Spot by Bill Engleson, Canada

[Narrator-wistful, a strong voice, thoughtful] I was there, you know, back in 18 and 83. The Continental Fire Company was a crackerjack fire hall then. Brand new! But so was I. A lot of fine memories. The kind that stick with you.

[Fire bell ringing, then the clop of horse hooves, then the crackling of fire.]

But…through the smoke of time, I can’t help but see the joy that’s here now.

[happy voices, glasses clinking]

And hear the voices of folks enjoyin’ themselves.

[more happy voices, glasses clinking]

It’s so lovely to see the old brick beauty being put to such mouth-watering use. And it sure smells a lot sweeter now.

[the sound of food sizzling on the grill]

And did I mention the vittles? I don’t remember food ever smelling so good…lookin’ so good.

59-word Radio Spot

[Narrator-wistful, a strong voice, thoughtful] I was there. Back in 1883. The Continental Fire Company was a crackerjack fire hall. Brand new! Fine memories. The kind that stick.

[Fire bell ringing, then the clop of horse hooves, then the crackling of fire.]

But…through the smoke of time, I see the joy that’s here now.

[happy voices, glasses clinking]

The old brick beauty’s being put to mouth-watering use.

[the sound of food sizzling on the grill]

And did I mention the vittles? Don’t remember food ever smelling so good…lookin’ so good.

9-word Radio Spot

[Narrator-wistful, a strong voice, thoughtful] Crackerjack memories, eh!

[Fire bell ringing, then the clop of horse hooves, then the crackling of fire.]

And did I mention the vittles?

[the sound of food sizzling on the grill]

🐎🐎🐎

99-word Radio Spot by Kay Kingsley, Germany

[sounds of a busy restaurant/bar, happy hum of talking and distant laughter over text]

[Narrator] The past has a way of leaving its mark on the future and here at the Continental Fire Company we bring life to a place with a history, a place we all can find a little bit of home in.

[insert sound of an old engine and siren then bell ringing, sounds of students transitions to current music, loud laughter and ding of the “foods up” bell over text]

[Narrator] From the screaming sounds of engine sirens to the steadfast ring from our bell tower, we’ve transformed the university quarters and haylofts of Houghton Fire Hall into a vibrant atmosphere of live music, lounge events and cutting-edge gastropub cuisine.

[Sound of clinking glass to cheers and busy bar sounds over text]

[Narrator] Cozy up with a drink and stay for the laughs, where history is more than a thing of the past.

59-word Radio Spot

[old man voice] The bell tolls for a fire station long lost to time,

[teachers voice] for a university that no longer shapes young hearts and minds,

[farmers voice] for a hayloft that no longer houses the horses in stalls,

[students voice] nor the students that occupied the length of its halls.

[one staff member of CFC] With food and laughter The Continental welcomes you inside, discover Houghton’s past, keep our history alive.

9 word Radio Spot

[narrator] The flavor, the vibe, CFC keeps Houghton’s history alive.

🐎🐎🐎

99-word Radio Spot by Robbie Eaton, South Africa

[Waiter] “This is your table, Sir.”

[Dad] “Thank you.”

[Son] “Who are the people in the pictures on the wall, Dad?”

[Dad] “Those are heroes, son. The man with the shovel pictured in front of the rock face is a miner. Men used to mine coal to generate electricity and for heating.”

[Son] “What about the men standing around the truck in that picture over there?”

[Dad] “Those are firemen. They are also heroes and often have to go into burning buildings to rescue people from smoke and flames.”

[Dad] “Now you must eat so you can grow big and also be a hero one day.”

59-word Radio Spot

[Son] “Who are the people in the pictures, Dad?”

[Dad] “Those are heroes, son. That man is a miner. Coal is used to generate electricity and for heating.”

[Son] “What about the men standing around the truck in that picture?”

[Dad] “Those are firemen. They are heroes and rescue people from smoke and flames.”

[Dad] You must eat to grow and become a hero.”

9-word Radio Spot

You must eat to grow and become a hero.

🐎🐎🐎

99-word Radio Spot by D. Avery, Nantucket Island

[narrator] The Continental Fire Company first housed the horses, equipment and men that were prepared to protect the people and property of their community. For a time it was also home to the Mining School that served the local industry.

[fire chief] You want to serve in the Company? You must be of age; a citizen of Houghton with a job or business, and be of good moral character and temperate habits.

[Background sound of modern-day patrons]

[young applicant] Yes sir. But, sir? Are these Mining School students?

[patron sounds, sounds of CFC have increased in volume]

[narrator] Houghton’s past is alive and present in the restored Continental Fire Company.

Food, drink, and entertainment are served with community spirit.

59-word Radio Spot

[narrator] Once housing the firemen that bravely served their neighbors as well as housing the Mining School that served the local copper industry, the Continental Fire Company continues to serve the Houghton community.

More than a place to enjoy good food, drink and company, the CFC features local artists, musicians, and Houghton’s own rich past. A spirited place since 1883.

9-word Radio Spot

[narrator] CFC- the spirit of Houghton’s past is always present.

🐎🐎🐎

99-word Radio Spot by Charli Mills

[Crackling barrel fire and murmur of voices gathered on the street]

[Friend 1] “Nothing like a warming libation on a snowy night.”

[Friend 2] “Whoa, Ed. You can’t take spirituous liquors int the firehall. House rules.”

[Friend 1] “Not at all?”

[Friend 2] “Not upstairs with the Mining students. Definitely not in the engine room with the Captain. Not even downstairs with the horses. This is 1886 Houghton, Michigan and we are a modern outfit, not some frontier wild west show.”

[Sounds of revelry, Christmas carolers in the background]

[Modern Friend 1] “Victorian Christmas in 2018, downtown Houghton – what a winter wonderland!

[Modern Friend 2] “These crackling fires in barrels make me want something warmer.”

[Modern Friend 1] Let’s go the Continental Fire Company for warming libations.

[Narrator] Good thing the Victorian Rules no longer apply.

59-word Radio Spot

[Narrator] Stroll back in time when Victorians walked the snowy streets of Houghton. Gather around the fire and chat with friends during the Victorian Christmas in downtown Houghton. Stop by the Continental Fire Company in the heart of the historic Sheldon Avenue District.  Good thing Victorian Rules no longer apply – the ban on spiritous liquors in the firehall is lifted.

9-word Radio Spot

[Narrator] Victorian Rules no longer apply – fine spiritous liquors available.

🐎🐎🐎

99-word Script by D. Avery, Nantucket Island

[nickering of horses]

[fireman 1] Fire in the basement!

[fireman 2] Don’t ring the alarm! That’s the wood fired pizza oven.

[sounds of cooks/staff in the kitchen, pizza board]

[cook] Order up! Pizza! Scorpion bread!

[fireman 1] Food has changed since the mining school days. These Michigan Tech students sure eat and drink well.

[fireman 2] A lot has changed since we firefighters shared our fire hall with the Michigan Mining School. There are no longer horses in the basement and the engine room is where students and locals come to eat, drink, and enjoy the arts.

[sound of local live music; sound of belly dancer music, sound of literary artist reading aloud; sound of patrons laughing, talking, eating]

[fireman 2] Nowadays the Continental Fire Company serves the community in many ways. Past and present keep good company at the Continental Fire Company.

59-word Radio Spot

[narrator] The Continental Fire Company has a history of service. Where firefighters once fed the horses that pulled their equipment, now wood is fed into a pizza oven. In the engine room good food and drink is served as local artists and musicians feed the soul.

Serving the Houghton community, the CFC is where past and present keep good company.

9-word Radio Spot

[narrator] At the CFC past and present keep good company.

🐎🐎🐎

Carrot Ranch Literary Community makes literary art accessible 99 words at a time through flash fiction challenges and a group of contests called the Rodeo. 

Full Copyright of individual entries remains with the original author. Collection as a whole is the property of Carrot Ranch Literary Community. Sponsors help fund future events, free weekly challenges and free contests.

Entries are as submitted and not edited. Entries not meeting the specified word count or specific contest rules are not included at the discretion of each contest leader and judges.

Published by Carrot Ranch Literary Community led by Lead Buckaroo, Charli Mills.

International headquarters in Hancock, Michigan, USA

Contact Carrot Ranch

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