Thursday, October 05, 2006

Day33. Los Angeles

When I woke up, Nancy dangled my keys as she said good morning. She had called the AAA guys and they had already come and retrieved my keys. So I went out to the car to get all my stuff and realized as I was about to go into the house that I had a little gift in the car for Nancy. So I returned to the car, opened the back hatch and dug out the little “dream box” from my bag of souvenirs. Then I closed he hatch and started back to the house when it dawned on me that I had probably just locked the keys in the car, again. Which I did. I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t seen Nancy in 5 or 6 years and I thought this was a bad way to get reacquainted.

Anyway, we called the AAA guys again and waited and waited. I had a hunch they might see the new call and think it was a mistake so I called back and that’s exactly what had happened so I made yet another request and waited some more. While we waited, some of the neighbors came out and wanted to ring the bell. I explained that the clapper was locked in the back of the car and that they could ring it as soon as the AAA guy came back. They couldn’t wait so one of them went into the garage and came back out with two strikers: a rubber mallet and a brass hammer. They tried hitting the bell with each of the hammers and seemed to agree that the soft one was the nicer of the two. The noise caused the woman from across the street to lean out of her second story window to get a better look and she too approved of the bell.

Then the AAA man pulled up and had the door opened in no time. He rang the bell before he left, and nice as he was, I hoped that was the last we’d see of him.

Eventually, we got to Gelson’s Market at the bottom of the hill and two former Bard students were there to meet us and to ring the bell. Gabe had rung it in NY almost a month ago. Except for Norman and me- for what it’s worth, Gabe is the only person to ring it on both coasts.

Joe was also there and he took me to get a hard drive to back up all the movies I had made on the trip. I couldn’t make any more movies because I had run out of memory, and I can’t say that I was sorry about it. I am about finished here and am limping home.

Anyway, a few other people came walking by and rang it. One woman said she ad been listening to the radio in her car and as the piece was finishing she heard a bell ringing and thought it was a lovely was for the piece to end. Then she switched off her car and was startled when the bell kept going.

Later that evening, I said goodbye to Nancy and went to get Norman at the airport. He is returning for the final leg of the journey. And just in time as far as the trailer is concerned, too. It bounced all the way to the airport. It was pretty frightening, not to mention a little sickening. I stopped near the airport to get some gas and wait until Norman got to the baggage claim since there was NO WAITING at the airport. While I was in the gas station, a few of the other patrons became interested in the bell and wanted to ring it. Since the clapper was unattached, I handed it to the first guy and he wanted to know how hard he could hit it. I said it didn’t seem to matter as far as the bell was concerned so he declined the hearing protection and whacked the hell out of the bell. He really loved it.

I had to go get Norman so I said goodbye but he was still there 10 minutes later when we came back there to check out the wheels on the trailer, Norman was concerned about the bearings, but the guy said that the bouncing wasn’t due to some problem with the trailer. It was the roads. They were grooved a certain way for the rain so that cars could get traction. And that was the problem. Then he asked if he could hit the bell again. He had a friend in the car with him and he told his friend to get out and hit the bell, too. His friend wanted to wear the hearing protection when I offered it to him, but the first guy told him not to be a wimp. So they each hit it a few times and then asked me to take their picture and a picture of their truck to put on the blog. (This is LA…)

As I was putting the clapper away, I noticed several yellow marks on it. It was the paint from the bell. Those guys had hit it so hard; it took the paint off the bell. You could kill somebody with that thing.


Jackson said...


Two sets of car keys:
When you have locked yourself out,
Spare set in pocket.


Anonymous said...

Awesome photos of these 2 NRC fellas. Great advertisement for NRC. Keep the bell ringin!