MASON — Dalmatians have been associated with firehouses for centuries, and the Mason Volunteer Fire Department now has one of its own.
The local mascot won’t need much care, however, maybe just a clear coat now and then. KeithAnn Lee, girlfriend of Fire Chief C.R. Blake, recently used her skills to paint the hydrant on the corner of the fire station to resemble a Dalmatian.
Lee said it was actually Blake who wanted the hydrant painted, and after searching the internet, found a photo of the Dalmatian. Lee, who has been painting for several years, told her boyfriend that she could do the job.
The goal, Lee said, was to have the hydrant completed by the recent open house and ice cream social hosted by the department. Because of rain and the extreme heat, however, it didn’t happen. The dog is now finished, and Lee has received dozens of compliments after the department posted a photo on social media.
“It’s a God-given talent and I love to use it,” Lee said. “If it makes one child smile, it’s worth it.”
And, now that she has started painting the hydrants, she doesn’t want to stop.
Lee would like to eventually paint all 80 hydrants in the Town of Mason. She figures the job will take her a couple of years, and would like to start with the ones on the main thoroughfare.
She wants to paint a gumball machine next, and would like to do sports figures near Wahama High School. Lee said she will always leave the top of the hydrant red in order to allow the firefighters to easily find them.
The painter said normally it will take two or three hours to complete a hydrant. She uses spray paint for the base, adds details with acrylic paint, and then sprays it with a clear coat.
While Lee lives in Middleport, she said she would love to help beautify Mason, and hopes it will bring more people to town.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.