My time arrived in mid-June. At the first sight of consistent warmth, I pulled off the windows and peeled back the soft top. I’ll never forget the first time I drove it to work:
The morning air was a little crisp but I didn’t care. The loud wind drowned out my car stereo, but I didn’t care. My nicely polished dashboard was getting dirty, but I didn’t care.
Then I noticed my beloved Angels baseball car seat covers being exposed to the fading effects of the sun, and I did care. After a couple of weeks, I noticed a darkening farmer’s tan on my arms and the uncomfortable heat on the top of my shaved head, and I did care.
I must have thought that the dreaded fireball in the sky wouldn’t be able to catch me in my convertible.
Apparently I was wrong.
Which was why yesterday I was in my driveway installing a “bikini top” on my Jeep.
Still no windows or other side obstructions to impede my enjoyment, but just enough of a cover to protect my head and the emblems of my favorite baseball team.
You can’t blame a guy for getting a little over-excited. My brain just got a little mushy upon thawing out after the long winter. And if it wasn’t thoroughly thawed out before, it is now after I spent eight hours at the Sparks Marina for the Fourth of July.
My girlfriend is starting a small business selling homemade candles made of soy wax (she calls it Soy It Isn’t So! — a pun I wish I had thought of) and so I helped her with a booth at the annual Independence Day event put on by the Northern Nevada Chamber of Commerce. I knew the event draws a good crowd, so I suggested she give it a try. She sold a few items and lots of people stopped to enjoy the scents, so it was worth the effort.
And when I say effort, I mean effort not to melt in the heat. We were sitting in the shade and still were both dripping with sweat. The candles were sweating, too. I’m amazed they all didn’t turn into puddles of liquid wax and ooze back home in protest. The one consolation we had was that our booth smelled really good.
There was plenty of activity to watch, especially once the Sparks’ Got Talent competition started. For many of the performers, the title of the show was very appropriate. Some of the folks could really sing and dance. Some of them, however, need to work a little harder on the “talent” part. I give all of the participants credit, seeing as I’d never have the guts to get up on a stage and perform regardless of my level of ability. I don’t mean to play Simon Cowell for anyone, but perhaps next year’s contest needs to require the winners to give free lessons to the rest of the entrants.
As for the overall event, I give praise to the Northern Nevada Chamber of Commerce for hosting a great day that is free to area residents. There must have been several thousand people who took advantage of free balloon rides, the milk carton boat regatta, the swimming and the performances. Then there was a great fireworks show put on by John Ascuaga’s Nugget at night. The display looked great – well, it looked great when I saw it the day before in the form of little boxes and tubes on the roof of the hotel’s west tower.
Cut me some slack! After roasting in the heat all day the last thing I wanted to do was get back in the car and drive back into town. Not even my convertible Jeep could convince me to do that.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go for a drive before it gets too hot.
Nathan Orme is the editor of the Sparks Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com.