Last week saw the end of an era. The fountain in the center of town was removed. Sad. My kids spent many summer days romping in the water and dancing around the fountain during summer concerts in the park or afternoons gatherings. I have no idea how old the fountain was. I have no idea why it was removed. I do know that times change. When we moved here there was a giant slide, large swings, and a merry-go-round. Slowly, one-by-one, each of these former icons of American parks have disappeared. I blame lawyers. In a few generation slides and swings may be extinct. All those fun things I used to play with will be gone. At least they are replacing it with a splash pad and some other new expensive water feature.
Last week I spent some time at the high school helping out. Some shows wanted to use the auditorium and the school had them all contract me to work the shows. The first show was an elementary school. They come in every fall and spring to do their music presentations.
I worked all day Friday from 7 am until 12:40 am on a Senior project. A girl brought in Pure Rebellion, a faith based ministry, for her senior project. It was an ok. experience. For the most part. There are just so many pros and cons to renting out the auditorium for travelling shows and community people and the school district has not completely thought it through.
Pure Rebellion is a faith ministry that promotes abstinence, no drugs or alcohol, and good decision making skills. However, it’s mostly a “come-to-Jesus” meeting.
Strange. They weren’t very good at following rules. The principle said they couldn’t advertise on school property and they did. They would even put up more posters when posters were taken down. They didn’t seem to have a respect that they were in a school and that school was in session. They didn’t fill out all the things they would need on the rental agreement so we were scrambling to find what they wanted .. or they would wonder around the school and just take what they wanted as if the fact that they were renting the auditorium meant that everything in the school was available to them. But most disturbing was the lack of wishing to follow the law regarding occupancy.
They arrived early and started setting up a utility trailer full of lighting trusses and lighting instruments. After a couple of hours the sound rental company arrived and started their set up. It wasn’t until after lunch that they finally started a sound check and their 17 year old lighting director started amending his light cues. I thought my job would be easy since they were “bringing” everything they needed. Not. I was a police officer… don’t park on the landscaping you are breaking the irrigation pipes…. using our spotlights will cost you more money… please stay out of other areas of the school because school is still in session…. what are you doing to our sound system…. please down walk on the seating… no food in the auditorium… you need internet? that would have been nice to know… the generators are causing problems breathing… no we can’t add more chairs, the room is rated to 599 occupancy only… After a long day of set up and policing their every move the show was ready to begin.
I wasn’t prepared for the amount of people pushing to get in. I knew that there were too many. I tried to tell them that they needed to turn people away. They started to at the door, but there were already too many people in the doors and they weren’t going to kick people out. People were everywhere… in the aisles, on the stairs, in the doorways. One of the Assistant Principles saw me and said he wanted to add chairs. I told him that the principle said no. He nodded and I never saw him again. Thanks for helping, dude! Next thing I know they are bringing in chairs and parking people in the aisles. Hello! what if there was an emergency? A parent said it wouldn’t be a problem because this was done in God’s name and he would keep people safe. I do believe in God and I do believe he keeps us safe, but I also believe that he expects us to obey the law of the land. He expects us to be smart! Personally, it should have been the school administrator protecting property and life and obeying the law. I should not have been the one to state the obvious I was also told that people stay in their chairs for this performance. That’s not what I saw. I saw people climbing over chairs to get where they wanted to go. I saw people walking on chairs or standing on them to see better. At the end of the concert about 125-150 people pressed up to the stage and crowded into the small space between the first row of seats and the stage. We are lucky there was no fire. Anyway, I complained.
I also felt like they were not very honest for being Christian people… oh and they had horrible language. The things they said while they were tearing things down did not reflect followers of Christ or what they had just preached to 650 people in the auditorium for the past 3 hours. I told them I that although I was contracted for $400 dollars that I would accept $350 IF they were out by 11 pm. They were not. I left the building at 12:40 am. I got home and read the check. He handed me $350. Grr. They could have at least paid the $400 of the contract since they didn’t get out in a timely manner. My friend Jeff was not happy. He is insisting that they pay up! I had to attend an extra meeting to discuss all the issues with the district. It will be interesting to see what they choose to do to protect the assets. I’d just like to be done with them.
Meanwhile, the dogs hold down the fort at home. LOL. This picture kind of sums it up. Kimber comes everyday to do P90X. Charlie makes sure she stays on task. While she is working on downward facing dog, Charlie works on upward facing dog. LOL. Actually, the dogs do keep us on our toes. Ben likes to follow them around. I thing his favorite is Kirby because Kirby is just Ben’s size. Missy tries to avoid pretty much everyone. I think she is too old to really be social. Actually, I completely understand how she feels. LOL.
The biggest news for the last couple weeks has to be Chad’s Eagle Project. A couple of Fridays ago, Chad went with Antone Gatherum to map out some new running trails at the new Independence City park. They worked for a couple of hours. Chad had gone there right after his math class, so he was wearing shorts and t-shirt. I look harmless enough… weeds and blackberries. Meanwhile, he got some gnarly scratches from the blackberries. I came home from Legally Blonde and knew immediately he had poison oak. He didn’t believe me. He did by the time Sunday rolled around. He was covered in a rash. All of his legs and arms broke into a rash with nasty yellow blisters. By Monday it was creeping onto face and torso. I finally convinced him that we needed a doctor to look at it on Tuesday because he couldn’t sleep and was now in pain. I was also worried about one sore that looked infected. It was. The doctor said he had a bad case of poison oak and gave him steroids to take and impetigo and staph and gave him drugs for that.
Saturday we all went out to the sight to work on the trails and to do our best to clear them some more. Chad called his friend Pedro from school. Pedro brought his 2 brothers. I’ve never seen such hard workers! Those guys are fast and strong. My friend Alicen came too. She used to be a forest ranger that worked trails. There will be no need to make a second swipe where she worked. It is wide and clean. Jacob came straight from the scout bike rude Br. Gatherum is a saint. He came out and helped Chad direct the efforts. Of course, we all were there. Hannah and Kimber stood at the sign and directed people to the tail beginning .. Ray used a chain saw and cut through large drift wood that was wedged up in the trees after flooding a few years back. Lillian carted stuff around and raked. Kimber and Hannah came to the trail after a little while and raked too. John smashed through trails and even “blazed” a trail. I was in charge of checking people in and out and providing snacks.
This really will be a nice trail when we are all done. I think I may even go down in the summer for long family walks… well Lilli and mom walks. Most of the others guys are too busy or ornery for family things. The good thing is, after several hours of work in the undergrowth we were all poison oak free. We did wear gloves. We did tape shut all parts that might be problem areas. We did bath in Dawn dish washing liquid. we did strip next to the washer and run directly to the showers. We will be working on this a few more days… I’d say Saturdays, but Chad is making this a little difficult for adults and working people to help him.
We found some crazy trash in all the undergrowth .. old cars, metal cages, rusty barrels…It’s pretty crazy the junk people think it’s ok to just dump wherever they want. It’s also rather sad.I wonder why people don’t take care of things better. Oh well… We will be at this for awhile. I’m hoping we have more people involved so that this doesn’t drag out forever. Meanwhile, the yard is still clean… we are not allowed to play out there and I think the grass is not allowed to grow… to keep it that way. LOL.
Hannah and I continue to work at Legally Blonde. It is nice to see my hard work and ideas actually work in the real world. The crazy thing is I’m not always sure it will. There are so many variables. However, this show is a success. It’s fun. It’s fast. It gets better and better each performance as the actors tighten things up.
I’ve also never seen so much drama in the drama. This is not a cast that is very unified. They keep fighting with each other. It’s all over stupid stuff. There is also budding romance and romance squashed. Really. The dressing room is a virtual soap opera. Still, when it ends on 30th I will miss a few of these people, some of whom are very talented.
Easter came early at our house this year. Lillian and John went the farm store and got 10 more little chicks. They are so cute! Too bad they don’t stay cute. Too bad they won’t all live. Baby chickens have a habit of kicking the bucket.