The 4th, not just another Wednesday

There should be a law against the 4th of July on a Wednesday. It’s just not right. Anyway, Dino sent me a text asking if I wanted to go to a B-B-Q. Sure! It’s in Hollister (Hour drive south)? Sure, I’ll go! Should we take one vehicle or two? I’ll drive. You want to follow me or meet me there? Follow. I’ll be over in five minutes. Give me 20, my phone is dead, needs charging. They make car chargers!

Finally I called Dino. I had enough texting. If it’s going to be going more than two or three times please call me.

It was a good thing Dino came by. My battery was dead on the van. Someone played with the switches and opened the door an inch. I never asked Dino whose house we were going to. I didn’t realize it was the 4th. It shouldn’t be on a Wednesday, add the motor home still out of commission, so I did not make any plans. But I’ve got great friends that know I’ll go out at the drop of a hat.

I followed Dino to a farm in Hollister. The long drive was perfect for charging the battery. Usually every other year or every third year someone plays with the switches on the outside of the van that controls my wheelchair lift, which drains my battery. People don’t realize they’re not a toy and it leaves me stranded with a dead battery, but I could disable them with a key, so I can’t complain. I just carry jumper cables or call AAA. I learned a long time ago that if I’m going to get angry at something or someone, make it a good reason! Dino had me running in less then 5 minutes, so no big deal.

At the farm in Hollister I wasn’t completely on the ground out of the van when Bobby walked over. It was his parent’s farm. I met Bobby last year. I drove Dino, his family and friends to Reno to celebrate his birthday in the motor home. That trip was a lot of fun. So I now know four people, Dino, his twin children and Bobby. Dino’s twins are four(?) a boy, Dino, and a girl, Sadie. I too am a twin, and I also have a twin sister, Jean. We were born premature, seven months, and only weighed 3 plus pounds each. I guess I started off life as a survivor. It’s all I know how to be.

Since the temperature was in the 80’s, I wheeled over to the group of people sitting in the shade. It was the table with the adults. There I met Bobby’s parents, John and Sandra, very nice people. I wasn’t there for even a minute when they offered me food and a beverage. The world has good people in it and they’re not hard to find. I accepted the beverage, a ginger ale, ok ok ok. The great Mickey Redmond, a TV commentator for the Detroit Redwings, calls adult beverages (beer, drinks, etc) ginger ale. He doesn’t want to say the players are going to celebrate a win drinking booze on the air, so he’ll say they’ll go out and have a ginger ale, with a wink and a laugh. I met Mickey Redmond. When I first moved out to California, 1995, I didn’t know anyone. I moved out here by myself. That year the Detroit Redwings made it to the Stanly Cup finals. They lost to the New Jersey Devils. The next year, 1996, they set a record winning the most NHL hockey games in a single season, but only to lose to the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference finals. But in 1997 and again in 1998, the last NHL hockey team to do it, won back to back Stanley Cups. Since I was new to California and to meet people, I’d take the light rail downtown to a sports bar call The Sports Page to watch the Detroit Redwing games. There I met Tom, Dave, Jack, his brother Matt, Liz and several others. They were my very first friends out here in California. When the Redwings were in town playing the home town San Jose Sharks, we’d all go to the games wearing our Detroit Redwing’s jerseys. After the games, we’d go to a bar called Katy Blooms(?) it was across the street from the Fairmont hotel where the Redwings stayed when they were in town. One night after a game, Mickey Redmond and a few others from the team came into the bar. We chatted the rest of the night, Mickey had just been to the Marquette area the week before, so he started calling me Harvey Michigan. It turns out we have several friends in common. He’s a really nice man. None better.

Tom just called, his ears must have been ringing. He’s looking for Liz’s number. She moved not long ago, so they must have lost touch. I miss the gang. Everyone except Jeff, who joined the gang later, moved away. We’d meet to watch Detroit Redwing games, especial near the playoffs and every playoff game, many times here at my apartment. I’m not the type to host gatherings, I’d much rather go to them, but the Redwing games were an exception. We’d watch maybe half the Redwing playoff games here at my apartment. Still do.

Some people are just easy to meet and talk too. John and everyone at his farm were these type of people. Within minutes we were all swapping stories. After an hour, without my asking, a cute college girl named Erica brought me a plate loaded with wonderful interesting foods. There was goat meat, sausage, salads, a shrimp gumbolaya? Etc. etc. ect. I love going to people’s B-B-Q’s. You get to eat wonderful foods that you don’t often, maybe never cook for yourself.  A little later Bobby took turkey right out of the smoker for us to eat. One of these days I’m going to invite myself back there for dinner it was that good.

As night begin to fall, they did something I never thought of doing. It was the 4th of July. What document was adopted or approved on that day on 1776?

The Declaration of Independence?

On July 4th, 2012, for the time in my life, I gathered in a circle among friends and we took turns reading the Declaration of Independence. I’m 50 years old and I’ve done a lot in my life, but that was pretty cool. After the reading, we went in to the back yard and watched the fireworks. They were the type you can buy at the local store, so they never reached more then 20 or 30 feet in the air, but they were fun to watch as well mainly because of the crowd. A bunch of good people!!!!!!!

Thanks Dino, Bobby, John, Sandra and the rest for an enjoyable 4th of July. I’m a lucky man. Oh I enjoyed the goat milk you gave me. Thanks again.