Every year firefighters across the country participate in the “Fill the Boot” campaign to raise money to help fight Muscular Dystrophy. Most people are familiar with the disease from the annual Jerry Lewis telethon. Over the years firefighters have raised millions of dollars for this charity in hopes of finding a cure.

This is my eighteenth year filling the old boot. This week we went out to our usual spot at Rittenhouse Square to spend an hour or so doing our part. Every company in the city is out doing the same thing and there is a bit of pride in collecting as much as you can. Of course some stations do much better than others depending on what part of town they are located in. Since Rittenhouse Square is like Philly’s version of Central Park we usually do well.

So imagine my surprise when we arrived this night only to find out we had to compete with this kid. I’m thinking this is the kid from the Charlie Daniels song who out fiddles the devil. Great. Instead of the crossroads he’s on our corner!

My first instinct was to just flat-out rough him up and take his corner. He’s like twelve right? Plus there were nine of us so in my book a win is a win. Anyway this kid is awesome. He stayed right where he was. He told me he taught himself to play and he plays a couple of instruments. He could be lying but I wouldn’t know. He also said that next year he hopes to go to a music school instead of the neighborhood school he’s currently attending. Yeah that’s probably a good move.

What he needs is a fiddle made of gold…



  1. Ingineer66 says:

    Yikes, self taught or not that is some stiff competition. Although 9 of you probably could have taken him.

  2. Robbie says:

    This kid freaking rocks !

  3. Dustoff says:

    LOL….Ok CAPT.
    This is what we did in my city. We have a ferry dock where hundreds of cars line up all day long to travel to our outer islands. It’s a great spot because they are stuck there for 25 mins. I’ve filled many a boots during our long weekends.

    I just love a (Captive Audience) (-:

  4. Bob G. says:

    A “Street Corner Prodigy”…who’da thunk, eh?

    This boy is A-Frigging-Mazing!

  5. Andrew says:

    Kid has got some talent.

    There was a guitar player who used to play right above the platorm at Market East – I used to watch him play after getting off the train in the morning, and waiting to catch it home at the end of the day. He was definitely Jimi Hendrix reincarnated – what a sound!

  6. Yeah I should post this on YOUTUBE, maybe it would go viral. How cool would that be?

  7. Mrs. Crankipants says:

    You should have moved him a few blocks over to The Curtis Institute.
    He’s really good!

  8. Wyatt Earp says:

    Holy crap, he’s awesome!

  9. Old NFO says:

    He’s GOOD! πŸ™‚ Hire him and split the take πŸ™‚

  10. Bob G. says:

    If this boy is 13 year old Justus Rivera, then Ashton Kutcher’s already “discovered” him…there is a YouTube video as well now.

    Still, the kid’s got chutzpah…and talent!

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