On a more somber note, our neighbor of 17 years, Al Lara
had passed away earlier that week, and we attended his funeral on Tuesday. It was a good service filled with haunting mariachi music. I've heard mariachi music pouring through my dominantly Hispanic neighborhood for years. It is always festive and upbeat. But I had never heard funeral mariachi music. It was a rich blend of happy sounding melodies countered by foreboding undertones of sad and melancholy bass swells. The band was very classy and talented. I had also never attended a military funeral before, and I was impressed by how dignified and noble the procession was. Al had been a cook in the army many years ago, and was given the same treatment and respect as any soldier of war or peace. My breath was taken when the captain presented the American flag to his widow. I know it sounds corny, but I actually felt a brief sensation of patriotism wave over me, and it tingled. I don't usually get choked up over such things, but it was a powerful moment.
The next day was Wednesday, and we had scheduled our annual junk pick-up with the city of Sac. It was a lot of effort for Erika and I to purge the house of so much unwanted junk, but it left me with a feeling of great satisfaction to see it all go. We made a massive pile in the street, and poof, it was all gone the next day.
Tomorrow night we are heading to the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountainview for a repeat performance of Cheap Trick and Joan Jett, but this time Heart will be squeezed into the bill. What a summer. We'll see how it goes.