by Bill Bush
SEDGWICK—To say that Dennis Basye is fanatic for the Kansas City Chiefs might be underselling it. How many fans buy their own fire truck to use in celebrating game victories?
But that’s how far his fanaticism has taken him…so far.
A drive through downtown Sedgwick leaves no doubt in one’s mind who Basye roots for. His yard is decorated with Chiefs items, ranging from decals to flags to sirens.
Now he has a fire truck parked in his drive way. At present it has Chief’s magnets placed all over it, but soon it will truly be a Chief’s mobile, according to Basye.
He plans to sand and touch up the paint, then paint pinstripes down the side. He plans to parade it once up and down Commercial Street after each Chief’s victory. He also wants to enter it in parades.
He plans to deck it out in Chief’s gear, including jersey’s, flags, and banners. He’s going to deck it out with lights and participate in light parades. He said the truck has a 300 gallon tank and was told the pump still works. He wants to shoot water in the air during summer parades.
Basye said he got the idea to buy a fire truck a few months ago when he was setting up his Chief’s display for the football season.
“I don’t know what brings those stuff to me,” Basye said. “It’s just like it pops out of my head and I was like, ‘you know, that would make something different.’ And that’s just the type of guy I am. I’m just a different man. I like to do crazy stuff.”
He started looking around and found a fire truck being sold out of Chanute. He said it was bigger, a Ford, and a Diesel engine, which he doesn’t know much about. Then someone who works across the street from his house told him about the fire truck sitting outside in Bentley.
Basye went to Bentley, asked if they wanted to sell the truck, negotiated a price of $2,200, and drove it home.
He said the truck has 39,000 miles on it and that the brakes need some work, but he said he can handle that. Basye’s a handy man and likes to work on carpentry and mechanical items.
“This little six cylinder, Chevy engine, I know them like a clock,” Basye said.
Once he has the truck in parade-ready condition he plans to build an awning in his driveway to protect the Chief’s mobile from the weather.
Basye has been a Chiefs fan ever since they started. He was a senior when they won Super Bowl IV and watched it with his brother and brother-in-law.
At first his wife, who passed away 13 years ago from Cancer, didn’t understand his love for football.
“She just kind of figured out, ‘if I’m going to spend Sunday with him, I’m going to have to learn the game,’” Basye said. “So she started sitting down and asking me and I started tell her the fundamentals and what the refs, why they called this and what it means and all that, and she got where she knew the game pretty good. And before long she started buying Chiefs stuff for herself, clothes, and buying more stuff for me, and I said, ‘bring it on girl.’”