Taking off his shirt in public was a whole new experience for Rick Catlin. But he figures it was all in the line of duty and for a good...

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Taking off his shirt in public was a whole new experience for Rick Catlin. But he figures it was all in the line of duty and for a good cause.

Catlin may not be a household name, but his body will be well-known after tonight’s unveiling of the 2006 Firefighter Calendar. He is one of six Eastside firefighters who will be featured in the popular fund-raising publication of the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation.

The tradition of featuring firefighters on a calendar was started by Kirkland firefighter Mike Aguilar in 1996.

While the firefighters don’t bare it all, they usually bear a lot of teasing from fellow crew members.

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Chalk it up to a bit of jealousy. These women and men work hard for pinup bodies.

Take Catlin.

“At the end of 2004 I was a little heavier than I’d ever been,” said the 51-year-old Bellevue firefighter and paramedic as he took a break from his workout on an elliptical machine yesterday. “I hit the workouts hard and watch what I eat instead of eat everything I watch. I’ve lost 44 pounds.”

He said he tried out for the calendar because “it’s a fun way to give back to the community and to mark my 25th year of service with the fire department.”

Other Eastsiders featured in the 2006 calendar include Kris Johnson and Tony Hightower of the Bellevue Fire Department, Robert Lasswell of Snoqualmie, Justin Walker of Eastside Fire and Rescue and Jake Murry of Renton, a Port of Seattle firefighter.

Tickets for today’s 7 p.m. unveiling party at Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle are $25 and available through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com or www.firefightercalendar.org. Proceeds from the calendar sales go to burn research and burn-prevention programs.

Good junk

Even museums can be overwhelmed with stuff.

The Issaquah Historical Society, which operates the Gilman Town Hall Museum and the Issaquah Railroad Depot, will hold an open house and rummage sale Saturday in its restoration shop. The shop, which ordinarily warehouses tools, treasures and even antique Burma Shave signs, rarely opens for public display.

While the Burma Shave signs aren’t for sale, tools, stoves, saws and books will be available for purchase. The society isn’t selling anything significant to Issaquah history; just an accumulation of odds and ends and extra items.

The sale runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Historical Society members can attend the presale that starts at 9 a.m. (Memberships will be available at the door.)

The restoration shop is at 170 First Ave. For further information on the sale call 425-392-3500.

Get ready

After years of fund-raising, construction has finally begun on KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Factoria Mall. More than $3 million of the $3.5 million needed has been raised and organizers hope the sale of inscribed decorative metal leaves (available for $1,000, $500 and $250) will end the campaign. Expect KidsQuest to officially open in December. For more information go to www.kidsquestmuseum.org or call 425-637-8100.

Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633 or sgrindeland@seattletimes.com