Friday, August 17, 2007
So we made it home after a detour to Birmingham Alabama to visit a dear old friend. What a cool city! Great old buildings intact. Michele explained that because there was never any market for development, the city retained the old architecture. Loved how it looked, particularly the grand old movie palace, The Alabama. We met the local hero who basically led the great restoration effort to save its Wurlitzer organ.
Then to Texarkana to catch the last Alamo Rolling Roadshow screening this summer. Smokey and the Bandit at the Texarkana Fairgrounds. We got to town early, stopped in at the Cattlemen's for an excellent steak dinner, and came back to find scores of cars, rows upon rows, full of families, full of Texans and Arkansan locals. My very favorite part, too dark to photograph, was the full row of Trans Ams up in the front.
We hightailed it back on Thursday in time for my board meeting and salsa shines. Finally, exhausted, we settled in to watch some TV. The screen went black, the power in the house out. This used to happen all the time in Garrison, but that was a rural hamlet. It's surprising that it still happens regularly here. I know the drill, pulling out a nearby flashlight and lighting some candles. We hear an Austin energy truck speeding to a tree outside our backyard. We wait a few minutes, it's still out. Eventually we wander out to check out the commotion outside. Leaning on our backgate, we see the Asplundh orange truck, with a guy up high in the aerial bucket. It's dark. A couple of guys on the street shine their flashlights upward. The guy in the bucket is maneuvering through the damp branches as sparks fly. Deftly, he ropes specific branches, saws them off, and they drop away. It's highly entertaining to watch the maneuvers. Turns out the top of the tree had split on the utility pole, causing the top of the tree to catch on fire. We missed that part! But great to watch the emergency fixit. Always worrisome to ponder what would have happened if it had occured a day earlier, when the trees were drier. What if no one had noticed, and a raging fire had ensued? My vacation nightmare. Relieved not a reality. Instead, a little excitement for the evening return, some good back and forth with the emergency crew, an end to our lovely little adventure.