Sunday, July 30, 2006


Well, The Angel Child is in town--seems there's birthdays afoot--so we set out for summertime fun and adventure in The 'Kan EWA.

We had breakfast out on the front porch; set the little table with a linen tea towel from Lago Como and the Portmerion dishes with the French cotton napkins. The hues were purples and pinks and periwinkle blues framed in black, suiting the morning exceptionally well. The orange and red geraniums in the annual bed bordering the porch provided a colorful moat as others from the neighborhood set out on their morning walks or passed by on their way to the weekend. We sat and watched them as we ate and drank, in one of the finest traditions of summertime civilization, the family breakfast, a eucharist when at Bellemaison.

We set out kiwis, homemade vanilla yogurt and blueberries, croissants, white cheese, proscuitto, and sliced tomatoes along with deeply steeped, rich, black coffee. A veritable feast. We talked and laughed about past, present and future. Pending high school reunion/cocktail party, new neighbors next door who turn out to be old neighbors from the Rockwood Childhood Series, and our next family vacation. We always have much to say to each other and much to listen about and these meals could last for hours. On this day, however, it couldn't be because we had an appointment with DESTINY. Well, the Irish member of the family was in residence. And these things ARE a miracle, as Irish people will readily tell you. (Go with a very small shrug here)

Yes, we jumped up at precisely 8:45 am and threw on our IDAHO sweats, hit the car, jammed it into low and raced, RACED, for the Garden Springs overpass across I-90, where the Orange County Chopper Motorcade would pass, on their way to the Fairgrounds, where they were doing the things you do for money at the fairgrounds on a weekend. I must confess, this part of it is a bit of a mystery to me. I don't get to the fairgrounds much.

We had scouted this overpass the night before on the way in from the airport and were quite satisfied that we had picked the very best perch to view Sr. , Paulie, and Michael as they rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, uh, The 'Kan! The 'Kan, AS THEY RODE TRIUMPHANTLY INTO THE 'KAN. They would be riding their magnificent chrome steeds, those custom choppers they make on their Discovery Channel series, Orange County Choppers; one of the two shows for which I will turn the television on. I love Orange County Choppers. For me, a frustrated general contractor/manufacturer, it's about the machines they use to fabricate, cut out, bend and manipulate the thick pieces of metal into the fully operational recreational sculptures they refer to as 'choppers'. I love those freaking things. I'm afraid of them; wouldn't get on one in this lifetime, but I love 'em. Truly. So we were completely confident we had the total 411 on how to see the bikes as they were ridden into town by this Germanic dynasty of upstate New York.

We cruised up I-90 to see that we were not the only people with the Garden Springs overpass opinion; nevertheless, we hit the offramp (going about 75 or 80) because we could see there was still plenty of room for us. As I started to take the curve, I glanced over at the opposite on ramp, where the Teutel boys would access I-90. Of course, with my keen (ha!) eye I knew IMMEDIATELY that this was our real spot and ours alone. I downshifted the Audi to a violent stop, backed her up on the weeds alongside the offramp (the people who live with me have now fainted in a dead heap), spraying a little of my own gravel around in the process, grabbed my camera and started running. As a second thought, I ran back to the car and snapped on the emergency flasher lights, to see my daughter now out of the car, but with her mouth wide open and her jaw on her chest. But she was on her own; I didn't have time to see to her needs. I sprinted across 5 lanes of I-90 onto the median and began to focus and frame the shot, frantically searching for the best vingette. I turned around at a point and motioned, commanded, that the Angel Child join me smack dab in the middle of I-90 and she, an athlete of All-American status, tentatively stopped-and-started her way across the lanes of traffic, filled with people who wondered what the hell was the problem with those women in the road. They could get killed out there.

I got my shot ready, started to absorb the reality of standing in the middle of traffic on one of the most heavily traveled freeways in ther US and began to need to breath a little more deeply when here came the cops, making way for the bikes, those two-wheeled baroque chariots of leather and steel. I got one weak shot off and then had to stop; as gorgeous as those bikes are , and I have seen them on display before, I was disabled at seeing them glitter and sparkle in their natural habitat. They are HUGE, as long as an Audi A8L, they are powerful, they are singularly magnificent. Paulie was in the lead, whizzed past us doing 80, doubled taked to see people in the middle of I-90 wildly waving and gave us a big wave back. We whooped loudly in response and turned to greet Sr., who almost stood up as he gave us a HUGE wave; he is the muscle man, you know. Then came Michael, blond hair crazy in the wind, come to think of it just like ours, who gave us a huge smile and as big a wave as a non-athletic man can give, when riding a 700 pound motorcycle 80 mph down the freeway.

We had just personally greeted American icons, people who are passionate about their work and their life; people who fail miserably everyday yet get up again every morning, ready to go at it once more. We welcomed them to our town, our passion, and waved them in with the best wishes and summertime solidarity we could summon and in doing so, reminded each other that life in its simplest form is unbelievably delicious.


JBelle
Bellemaison
The 'Kan EWA

7 comments:

Mommy Dearest said...

Since you're in the mood for celeb sightings, you better venture to my blog and check out my first celebrity portrait ...

JoeMontana said...

Those Orange County Chopper guys have nothing on the one JBelle calls the Angel Child....When I first met her, she was 5 years old. I had just pulled into JBelle's driveway and was getting out of my car when I had to jump out of the line of the blue streak coming down the driveway. She hit the brakes on that blue Schwinn and put it into a skid turn. Gravel flew everywhere. There was more gravel and dirt flying than a pack of modified stock car hitting turn #2 at the Mission Valley Speedway! She pulled out of the turn, jumped off the bike, wiped her nose on her sleeve and yelled to her mother that she was home for dinner.
Well she has traded that blue bike (which, by the way, is a family heirloom and has a special place in the garage) for a white car streaking up and down I-5 in the Portland area. She is still a tomboy of sorts and still rides a mean bike.
Happy Birthday Angela!

Ana Martin said...

Those are some serious machines. Gotta love 'em.

green libertarian said...

I don't get the fascination...

"one of the most heavily traveled freeways in ther US"

Oh, pishaw, Shirley you jest. Never been to so. cal., eh?

jb3ll3 said...

Actually my happiness is complete; I HAVE been to SoCal. I just don't think the sun rises and sets there.


Nope, I-90, like I-5 is a Great American Freeway, representing the broad scope of life in these United States. Travel I-90 to Boston and back, and forth and back again, and forth and back again and then we can have a freeway talk. Until then, hold those memories of the 710 close and dream on....

green libertarian said...

The 10 Fwy, I-10, the original Fwy, after the Pasadena Fwy, The San Bernardino Fwy, goes from the Peoples Republic of Santa Monica to Flor-eee-tha, now THERE'S a freeway.

CynM said...

(waiting for Curtcon to chime in about you and your young upstart freeways.) Don't you know the granddaddy of them all, the Post Road, is in New England?