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Night of the Living Organ Donors

I'm going to try my hand at the horror genre. My friend Scott McClung at The TV Guide Channel will be so happy, he'll probably burst into a spontaneous eruption of his famous Ned Hockman impersonation. Although, aside from the title of this story, I suppose the only horror involved was my mom's expression when she discovered that Alan and I had come up to Sapulpa from Tecumseh, were proceeding on to Tulsa to extract my Hammond Organ from my second floor apartment, and then driving back to Tecumseh in Alan's old beater, one-door Ford van...in the middle of the night.

It happened like this; Alan had helped me install a sound system in a new church auditorium in Tecumseh back in about 1987. We finished the installation around dinner time on Saturday. Then we noticed that they had no organ in this church, and as the next day was Sunday, and as the brand new pastor would be kicking things off that day, and as a church without an organ is...well, it's probably just as well off, but as we were feeling benevolent and adventuresome, we decided to go to Tulsa, fetch my organ, and bring it back that evening, so they would come in the next morning and find an organ in their midst.

I'm not an organist, but I am a friend of Alan's, and Alan loves Hammond organs. He is currently on his third one - a C3 - and has taken it apart and is putting it all back together, capacitor by capacitor. He really likes these things, and at one point he had aquired this little one and given it to me. We put a nifty Neon Salamander grill cloth on the back side and used it in our tragic Neon Salamander concert in the park, which I can't bear to elaborate on any further.

So back to the story. We had us a plan, and we hopped into the old beater Ford van with only one operational door, and headed off to Tulsa. Tulsa is about two hours northeast of Tecumseh, and Sapulpa, where my parents lived at the time, is right on the way, about five miles away from Tulsa. So we decided to pop in and say hi to Mom and Dad. Well, this was undoubtedly a mistake. My parents hit the sack at about 8:30 on late nights, so I'm sure they were already in bed when we got there.

I've already mentioned my mom's terror-stricken expression after being enlightened as to our plan. But we went ahead with it anyway. We were young and strong of back and weak of mind. We still are, except for the young part...and I'm not so sure about the back part. Actually, Alan was already advancing in age by then. I'd say he was about 32, but as I was still in the prime of my youth at about 22, I was all for it. Of course, being the product of my parents, I tend to go to sleep about sunset myself, but I didn't let that stop me, because I knew that Alan was a late night kind of guy, and he was driving after all. The fact that Alan can't see anything in the dark never swayed me one bit.

The highlight of this adventure was, of course, moving the Hammond down the stairs. It was a small one - an E100 - I believe, but still, any Hammond weighs at least 649 pounds just out of principle. Also, I lived on the second floor, but somehow it required around six flights of stairs with four landings apiece to get there. So the hoisting of the Hammond down the stairs and into the beater van was a thorough back-wrenching experience without question.

By this time it was probably 11:00. We drove back to Tecumseh, arriving in the wee hours of the morning. We walked inside the church. We looked at the organ that someone else had delivered after we had left the church and gone on our trek. We looked at each other with that feeling of having wasted a valuable portion of one's life.

We eventually took the organ back to my apartment, because I specifically remember having it at the next place I lived. But we didn't do it that night.

4/10/01

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