Friday, June 24, 2011

Flashback Friday: Planning Cafe Eminence

June 2001:
I'd managed to run the concession stand; spend equal amounts of time at both K and S's ball games (K's were on the weekends while S's were during the week); and help plan the annual Fish Fry for the fire department (I worked either behind the food line or in the Bingo Hall).

During the month of June, we attended many ball games at various ball league fields. Hamburgers were beginning to be offered at Belleville, and I wondered if we could add these to our menu. I consulted with managers of other stands, plus talked it over with a few of my friends whose kids were also on our teams and who worked many shifts in the stand. We knew the All Star Tournament was coming up after the 4th of July weekend, and then the 14 and older Girl's Softball tournament the following weekend. One of our local grocery store chains was going out of business and slashing prices, so I quietly made trips every week to different locations and bought all their bottled water, plus two huge 100-qt coolers that were on sale, to ice down drinks. The Pepsi cooler hadn't been very productive the year before, and keeping cold drinks in demand had been rough.

We also decided to have a 'drink tent' located between two of our three ball diamonds, and offer kids the chance to sell them in the stands, so parents wouldn't have to leave. The last two weeks of June, I was on the phone constantly, lining up workers for the tournaments and seeing if anyone had a grill we could use, for the hamburgers, plus a 'grillmaster', someone willing to cook hamburgers in the heat. And then someone suggested corn on the cob. I spoke to a local farmer who said he would gladly sell us ten dozen ears for the price of only nine. All I had to do was pick them up the day before; he'd go pick them fresh that day.

And then my car blew up again.

The spouse was working nights during this time, and trying to keep four kids quiet during the day so he could sleep was a hassle. I'd begun taking them with me every day, and one particular day the car overheated. D wasn't answering the phone (which was good; meant he was sleeping soundly), so I called a neighbor, who came and picked us up. I took all the perishables out of the trunk and we went home.

Fortunately, the spouse didn't have to be at work until 10pm, so after the neighborhood kids had been picked up and after dinner, we piled into the husband's truck and went to get the car. It started right up, so we decided to take the back roads so we could drive slowly and make frequent stops if it threatened to overheat again.

Halfway between tiny communities, it began to overheat, and I pulled over. S was riding with me, and we smelled smoke. I popped the hood....yup, the engine had caught fire. I called 911, forgetting my cell phone was an Indianapolis number. They transferred me to the local fire station, and I walked to the nearest street sign to tell them where we were exactly.

In the meantime, we start taking things out of the car and putting them in the truck. The fire truck arrived; hooked up the hose and....the spray suddenly turned into a trickle. Truck was out of water.

Meanwhile, the fire reaches the front seat of the car. The firemen called for another truck.

The absurdity of the situation hit me, and I called a friend of mine whose husband was on our local fire department, wondering if he and the crew could get here any faster. But while we were commiserating over the phone, the other truck arrived and put out the fire. By the time it was out, everything was burnt except the contents of the trunk.

As it turned out, my mother had at last decided to part with her 1989 Lincoln Town Car, a car I really didn't want because the thing was HUGE. But the day we got the title, we clipped a deer with the hood ornament. we have to keep the damn thing! No damage; just a little ding in the hood.

I promptly christened the trunk 'The Warehouse'. It held EVERYTHING.

Next month: Opening Cafe Eminence!


Unknown said...

That doesn't sound like fun! Glad no one was hurt.

Molly Daniels said...

God was definitely with us that night! I just found it humorous the fire truck was out of water...gotta find your humor where you can:) And didn't want to cry at the time; I think I was too stunned. Plus, the spouse and I had been fighting but the thought of losing me or S in a car fire shook him up a bit, and he saw it wasn't my fault.

Sandra Cox said...

Oh my gosh.

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