Me: “I like your outfit today. You are the only person I know that can pull off white pantyhose.”
RR: [Looking in my direction with a, “You are kidding me, right?!” expression on her face…] “I’m NOT wearing pantyhose! My legs are just this white, okay?!”
So, yeah, definitely not the reaction that I was looking for (not to mention the answer)! Her legs were the color of milk, people! Milk!
Anyway, later on in the afternoon (just after 5 PM), I got a phone call from a lady telling me that they were about to tear down the Arcadia Theater. The Arcadia has been around for decades, but the entire complex burned down Wednesday night. Very sad. Especially, for those of us interested in local history and preservation.
Anyhow, the building was still smoldering with hot spots and all. Therefore, despite the fact that the outer shell of the building still remained standing, they were being forced to tear down the entire structure (mainly in an effort to keep the fire from reemerging and putting nearby homes and businesses on lower Greenville in danger).
RR and I, being the good, little historians that we are, grabbed our cameras and made a beeline for the Arcadia. Once there, we proceeded to walk all the way around the complex taking as many “last images” of the historic theater as we could. We weren’t the only ones, either. Greenville Avenue was essentially a parking lot, as cars drove slowly by with passengers desperately trying to get one last glimpse of the building’s façade before it was gone forever. Similarly, various members of the press were scattered all around the smoldering site, waiting for the moment the wrecking ball (errrr...oil derrick) finally hit its mark. An historic site becomes history – very news worthy. They had the choppers out for this one.
Personally, I thought that someone should have been documenting the various levels of irony right in front of us. The bar behind the Arcadia is called the “Torch”, the electrician disconnecting the wires from the theater “pre-knockdown” was smoking a cigarette, etc. – it was unbelievable:
But the most awkward moment was when this guy approached us as we were finishing up with our “photo documenting,” and told us how he spent many evenings in the theater complex over the years before he moved to Denver (note: he just moved back from Denver…in June. Obviously, he forgot how oppressively hot Texas summers can be):
RR: “So, you must have a lot of great memories of this place. How sad for you that it’s about to be torn down.”
Random Guy: “Yeah, it is. My best friend was also murdered in there, though, so I guess it is more bittersweet than anything else. Kind like closure in a way, you know?”
RR: “Oooh…right. I guess it would be.”
Anyway, it wasn’t long until RR and I finally decided to head home. It was smoky and hot…
(“Smoky and hot” is an understatement, by the way. The smoke also smelled kind of weird – like a mixture of campfire and burning rubber. Of course, it all became clear when I saw the charred doorway of Condom Sense. Nothing quite like the odor of burning prophylactics in the late afternoon sun, let me tell you)
…and neither one of us could tell how long it would be until the workers got around to the actual demolishing. Plus, RR couldn’t remember if she had plans or not with JLR (if she did, JLR, it was entirely my fault – really! Blame me, not RR. I convinced her to go with me in the first place), and she didn’t want to get home any later than she already was/might be. So, we started heading in the direction of the cars – taking a few last minute pictures along the way...
...And THAT was when it happened. The exact moment RR got her revenge for my “pantyhose” comment earlier that afternoon. Let me set the stage:
A man in a purple shirt approached us. He was obviously a reporter – complete with cameraman. He wanted to interview us about what “young people” would like to see rise out of the ashes of the old Arcadia.
I tried to explain to him that I had an irrational fear of being on camera (to which he responded, “Well, it’s a good thing that we’re not live, then!”). However, it was no use, he was determined to interview us – or, at least, one of us. RR, being much older and more quick-on-her-feet than I am, recognized this “truth” immediately and - before I could react - announced, “I’m not interested in being interviewed on camera, but SHE might be.”
“Great! It’s all settled, then,” cried the reporter as he motioned for the cameraman to start recording before I could protest.
So, that’s how I ended up being interviewed for the local news last night.
My favorite part of the evening broadcast (and I’m being sarcastic here) - other than watching myself on TV - was definitely the good eight seconds of me “walking dramatically” towards the camera (I looked upset/pensive) before they cut to me talking about my concerns for the future of the soon-to-be-former site of the Arcadia Theater. They obviously got this footage before the purple-shirted reporter approached us wanting an interview. I, of course, had no idea that I was being filmed at this point (I don’t even recall seeing the camera), and was probably thinking about something stupid. Like, if RR could smell the chicken fajitas that I had had for lunch seeping out through my pores or something (it was that kind of “hot” outside, and I was – tragically – that kind of sweaty).
I haven’t laughed that hard (or been so embarrassed) in a long time.
Note to self: Never assume RR is wearing white pantyhose ever again.