Thursday, July 4, 2013

Birthday Odds and Ends Were Odder than Usual

 Yesterday was Max's birthday and it was an unusual day. I think I was more excited than he was in the build up to "Now open your presents."

We'd been looking for an acoustic guitar for him and hadn't found anything in our price range. I figured in New Orleans you ought to be able to find a lot of good used guitars in the pawn shops and music store, and you can, but the owners are not fools. They know a good guitar when they see it, and price it accordingly. Finally we looked online and found a really nice one. An Epiphone, spruce top, mahogany back and sides with a mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard. And it was half price! We could actually afford it! When it was delivered (in only four days!) Tori and I got it out of the box and it was beautiful. It just sat there and glowed at us. We could barely contain ourselves until his birthday.

So the afternoon of his birthday, July 3, we planned to go down to the park where there was a pre-Fourth concert/fireworks show, have a picnic with the kids, watch the fireworks, then come home for cake and presents. We were getting ready to go when the lights went out.

Or more accurately, half the power went out in the house. Living room was still on. Kitchen out except the refrigerator was still running. Two of the three bedrooms were out. One of the two bathrooms (which are side by side) lost power. A/C out. Dryer still worked. Nothing wrong in the breaker box. It was just weird.

At this point I'm thinking, well, at least the guitar is acoustic. 

So I called the power company and they sent a guy out. He showed up right as we were ready to leave for the park, picnic dinner packed. He was a really nice guy; he and Tori chatted for a while about growing tomatoes, and he told us about a great website for enthusiasts – Totally Tomatoes. Their catalog is apparently spectacular. Then he checked the breaker box, checked the meter, then pointed to the line coming in from the transformer. I'm not kidding – a squirrel had chewed through the insulation, shorting out one of the two lines! 

I guess the squirrels are in cahoots with the hawk. 

Another guy was going to have to come out to replace the line, and someone had to wait for him. So Tori and Max and his girlfriend Lauren and two of their other friends went down to the park and I waited.

Max and 'Caroline'
And waited. And waited. The guy finally showed up around 7, a sort of taciturn young guy who didn't want to talk, just got busy. It took kind of forever, but he got it done, all the power came back at 8:30. I shook his hand and lit out for the park. Got there just before the fireworks started.

The fireworks were spectacular, one of the better shows I've seen. I caught up with Tori and the kids – Max and three of his friends – halfway through the show. Even in the dark it was easy to spot them. Tori and the kids "conduct" the fireworks, pointing to the sky and waving their arms as if personally responsible for the show, which I believe they are. Anyway, they created a grand finale. Then we turned around and walked home.

A block from the house, we ran into two girls, one of whom knew Max from school, so Tori invited them over for cake. You know Tori, she picks up stray kids like some people pick up stray cats. Our house has always been full of teens who have trouble at home but respond to her. So we ended up with rather a largish gathering in the living room. It was fun. It was LOUD. 14/15 year old girls and all. 

Max loved the guitar – he's named it Caroline because it sounds sort of classy and French. He spent a good hour noodling with it before remembering he also got an Xbox game. He was up until god knows when playing that. I was asleep.

Tonight there's a fireworks display at the end of the Zephyrs game, so we'll just walk up to the end of the block to watch that and that will be our Fourth of July.

1 comment:

TikiGeek said...

Great story. Happy Birthday Max and Happy 4th John.