Fritchman Thompson Diary
of 3 September 2007
Latest Update: Sunday, 9 September 2007 1:30 p.m.
No update. Happy Labor Day!
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
Having been off since Friday it would have
been hard enough to go back to work today as it is. I hate
Monday/Tuesdays. The Bilbrey's arrived late afternoon Friday. We had
wonderful visit as usual. With two adults and two dogs gone the house
seems empty tonight.
Marcia and I spend a fun Saturday. First we drove down to the fabric
store, Mary Jo's in Gastonia, NC, about an hour and half drive. On the
way back we stayed on I-85 through Charlotte making a lunch stop at
Cracker Barrel in Concord before driving on to Lexington, NC. What a
nice little town to explore. We hit every antique store along the three
block town along with a very nice Army/Navy store that sells the
Carhart brand of clothing and of course the pastry and candy store. We
arrived back home around 4pm.
Since I too was on vacation we either ate out or ordered delivery the
Friday - Sunday meals. Sunday afternoon I did get in some yard work. I
mowed the lawn and edged. While a great deal of the lawn is brown and
suffering from the drought the grass in the shade and the Bermuda
continues to grow.
Monday we lazed around watching U.S. Open Tennis and the fourth round
of a PGA golf event before leaving to go over to Frances and Al's for a
cookout. Frances always makes a terrific host. Al was away on a trip so
I had the grilling honors. We had lovely visit arriving back home
I had gone to bed at my usual 9pm to read it being a school night when
the phone rang about 11pm. Al was on his cell phone on the way over to
my folks house. My dad's car caught fire sitting under the metal
carport. Thankfully their neighbor heard the bang when the car windows
blew out or the tires blew up, not sure which. Dad called 911 then
grabbed a garden hose to try and contain the fire. The firemen said it
was good thing he did or it most likely would have caught the shed on
fire. I spend half an hour on the phone with Al, Frances, and dad
making sure they were physically okay and no damage to the house. I
still did not want them to stay there. Al said he had everything under
control so I went back to bed.
Some after midnight they called back to way a wrecker had arrived to
tow the car down to a lot by the Texaco. The firemen were afraid since
it continue to smolder it might catch the gas tank on fire and blow
everything up. Mom and dad went home with Frances and Al.
I had maybe three hours, four max of sleep. This morning I met Frances
in the parking lot of her work, right down the street from us, to pick
up mom and dad. We drove over to the Texaco "wreck lot" where they had
just arrived with dad's car. The front of the car was a burnt shell.
The hood would not open keeping me from getting pictures of what was
left under the hood. The sun visors and front seats were charred. Stuff
in the glove box was singed, soaked, and/or covered in soot as well as
the stuff in the trunk. The front and side windows were blown out, etc.
Dad loved his car. It was a 1985 Chevrolet Classic limited edition. If
you remember, he just had it worked on two weeks ago in order to try
and make it hang on a few more years until he gave up driving
After I took some pictures of the car I took them home. The driveway
was covered in burnt car parts, the car port was singed black and
buckled in the front, and glass shards were everywhere. Thankfully, the
propane tank on the grill was far enough away it did not catch fire and
blow up. I took pictures of the that mess then took off for work
arriving clocking in at 10am. By late afternoon dad had a rental car.
Now we wait to hear from the auto and homeowners investigators to see
if they can determine what the hell happened.
I was doing fine on very little sleep until about 3pm this afternoon
before I hit the wall. I could barely keep my eyes open in my chair but
managed to stay upright until 5pm. After work I bravely went to the gym
getting in 40 minutes of a fairly light workout but a workout non
the less. Needless to say, it will be early to bed tonight.
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
Thursday, 6 September 2007
Last night I met Frances and her friend
Marcie for dinner up town. We had this planned before dad's car went up
in flames so we decided to go ahead with our plans. Marcie wanted to
try the Thai restaurant. I have eaten there for lunch but not dinner.
The menu is much larger with a wider choice of dishes. The food is very
good. When we finished we walked back uptown a couple of blocks for
dessert at Cat's Cradle. Again, I have had lunch there but not dinner.
I gave them a little tour of where things are on Fourth Street and
showed them the buildings which have been renovated into apartments or
It was just about 8 when I got home, I had a call from the State Farm
Home Insurance. They wanted to schedule an inspection this morning. I
called dad to let him know. We have made some progress though we still
do not know the cause of the fire.
Dad will be getting a check tomorrow for the book value of the car.
Home owners will be replacing the car port, burnt bushes and grass,
etc. If they cannot clean the driveway they will jack hammer it up and
replace the concrete. I am handling most of the phone calls since dad
has a hard time hearing on the phone and sometimes gets a little
confuses. But, mom and dad are real troopers holding up well.
Tonight I was supposed to go to the gym. I was heading down the street
toward home when I realized I had turned off into our neighborhood and
forgot about going. I think the stress of worrying about and helping
them handle this plus working has taken a lot more out of me than I
realized. So, I came on home.
Last night I finished up the J.P. Beaumont. Today at lunch I started the 13th book in the Stephanie Plum series by Evanovitch.
Friday, 7 September 2007
I left home at 7:30 this morning to run by
the house to pick up the spare tire that goes in the dad's car. When
they unloaded all the stuff from the trunk for some reason they removed
the tire. I got to the lot to find it locked so I went on to work. I
had also planned to get some pictures of under the hood if the
insurance investigator had left it so I could get the hood up. It was
jammed shut when we were there on Tuesday.
I called dad mid-morning to see how things were going. There was still
a mix-up with the City getting his yard waste cart replaced. I called
the guy and left him a message. He finally called me back. I got that
squared away. Frances called around noon to tell me she had talked to
dad and he was not doing too well dealing with all this stuff. I
finally decided to work through lunch and leave work at 2 to see if I
could get into the car lot then go on to the house. Mom had to get to
her hair appointment and dad needed to go over to State Farm to sign
some papers and pick up a check for his car. Mom's regular beautician
was sick so she made an appointment at the J.C. Penny's hair salon at
When I called the car lot owner they told me the car had been towed
that morning. News to me. State Farm towed the car without letting us
know it was being taken and where it had gone. I picked up the folks
dropping mom off for her hair appointment and dad I headed out to State
Farm. On the way home we stopped by the credit union to find out about
their auto buying program. At State Farm, John gave me number of the
fire cleanup company to call to set up an appointment.
Back home, I enough time to talk to the restoration folks and the
credit union before we needed to go back to the mall. Frances was
picking up dad and mom at the mall to take them to dinner after she got
off from work around 5:20. I hung around until she got there then
decided I might as well eat dinner with them instead of trying to head
back across town in rush hour traffic. From there I headed for home and
the grocery store.
It's about time for my food rep from Southern Foods to call so I guess I better wrap this up.
Saturday, 8 September 2007
I drove dad over the Credit Union Car Bank
lot this morning. They had a nice but not over whelming selection of
cars in dad's size and price range. For people looking for an SUV or
truck, they had a lot of nice looking vehicles to choose from.
We quickly narrowed it down to three cars. He decided to test drive a
2005 Toyota Corolla. Nice looking little car with only 14,000 miles. We
drove over to Frances' house to let he look at it then back to the car
lot which is less than a mile from her house. We had them put a hold
sticker on it. On Monday we talk with the lady from Allegacy who
handles everything from there. They clean up the car and deliver it
which will hopefully happen sometime Monday afternoon.
After lunch at the house I followed dad over to drop off the rental
car. He did not need the car the remainder of the weekend so there was
no need in have State Farm pay to have it parked in the driveway.
Frances will be around this afternoon to take them to the store.
Dad still seems a little rattle today but I think he is mentally
flustered with all the details and problems to be sorted out. I told
him I would come over Monday morning and talk with Allegacy, the fire
clean up folks, etc to get those details nailed down. Once he gets a
car and they start the driveway clean up I think he will be doing much
I have computer work, etc to do this afternoon and then just rest and
relax. All this has taken somewhat of a toll on me as well. We are
having dinner with Paul and Mary tonight. It will fun to see Mary again
and hear first hand about some of her adventures during the run.
Still hot and dry. I have abandoned watering the plants. As busy as I
am during the week I was not able to keep them watered. Watering plants
works fine between short bouts of drought but they really need rain
which we have not had any substantial amount in the last four to six
weeks and none in sight. They tropical depression off the coast of NC
will skirt the coast they head north or back out to sea. It would have
been nice for it come ashore and dump three or four inches of rain on
the entire state.
Sunday, 9 September 2007
Well, things are getting pretty serious. Last night I dreamed it rain and filled all the ponds back up.
No golf today. Dad needs to spend a quiet day at home resting and I had
things to do. After getting the weekly house keeping chores completed
Bob and I took off for a Costco run. This afternoon I have several
things to do here at my desk plus finish putting away the stock goods
we bought. Bob is holding off doing the laundry until the middle of the
week in order for me to have plenty of clean stuff to pack for my trip.
I need to wash a load of work clothes and a load of towels.
Bob is going to change the blade on my lawnmower from mulching to
catching. Until we get rain I will not need to mow anything now. Even
the Bermuda grass is dying. If do get rain this week or while I am gone
it will not matter how high it gets now that I am catching it. With all
the dry weather the leaves are also falling a lot earlier.
We had a nice dinner with Paul and Mary last night at the Mexican
restaurant. It was good to see and talk with Mary in person after three
months. What an experience she had with memories to last a life time. I
applaud her and her fellow runners for what they did.
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