J’s Star Turn . . . UPDATED

October 24, 2009 at 9:56 am (By Amba)

As “elderly man in wheelchair rescued from apartment blaze.” Even in this brief clip he looks too robust for the role. But he is definitely upstaged by the blaze. (Very sorry to upstage Whitey, a much happier sight.  And sorry for the clunky, patience-trying video.  That’s “NO sprinkler system” at the bottom.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

UPDATE: This newspaper photo explains a lot.  It explains why the news video confusingly showed you a building swathed in flames, and then a relatively intact façade with a ruined roof:  these were back and front views, of course.  It explains why, after we were awakened by the pounding and yelling, I looked out our bedroom window and saw the trees and grass bathed in a horrific Halloween-orange light.  It explains why I looked over our back porch railing and saw a dark window directly to the left of us and then a burning railing beyond that.  And it explains why we had time to get out.  The white arrow points to our bedroom window.


The intact window between ours and the devastation is that of our neighbors directly across the entryway, whose apartment, probably the mirror image of ours, was almost gutted — except for the bedroom.  Our back porch, leading off our living room, was to the left of our bedroom from this perspective and is out of the frame of this picture; theirs — the one I saw burning — would have been to the right of their bedroom, and is gone.  The indentation between the two upper stories above our respective bedrooms corresponds to the entryway and stairwell in front, which acted as a firebreak.  The fire had leapt it and was going to work on the top floor directly above us when it was put out.

more about “J’s Star Turn . . . “, posted with vodpod


  1. Ron said,

    I see J in “Strangelove II: Still lovin’ that bomb!”

  2. Charlie (Colorado) said,

    Does SAG know about this?

  3. Theo Boehm said,

    Hell of a way to get yourself on TV.

  4. amba said,

    Charlie: NC’s a right-to-work state.

    Theo: I think of it as a hell of a way to get hardwood floors.

    I’ll explain later.

  5. amba said,

    I’m about to collect the cats and then take J “home” to a temporary apartment in our complex. I may not have internet access (or a land-line phone) for an undetermined amount of time. (We’ll see if I have a neighbor with unprotected wireless or one who’s willing to share their password with a refugee.)

  6. Danny said,

    Oh, Jesus, thank God you’re all okay! Maybe you should move back to New York where it’s more safe…

  7. pathmv said,

    Annie, do you guys need anything? Blankets, replacement clothes, replacement anything? Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.

  8. amba said,

    Danny! LOL!

    Pat — thank you! (My internet access is gonna be intermittent for a little bit — so there may be long delays in responding.) You know what it is to be a DP (Displaced Person). Much or even most of our stuff has survived! We’re just going to be schlepping for a while . . .

  9. Ron said,

    good to see you, Amba!

  10. amba12 said,

    Jesus, I wrote a long comment about how and why a wonderful thing people could do is give me small amounts of GoPhone minutes (long story short, having your cellphone on 25 cents a minute can actually be a huge saving when you hardly ever use it, but then when the stuff hits the fan and there’s no time to switch to a Plan, yikes! you have to refill it every time you turn around). Then I lost the comment because the internet service keeps going in and out. That’ll teach me to be long-winded. This thing might — might — give me time for a tweet.

    I probably will switch temporarily to a cellphone plan because we’re moving again in late November, and there’s no point setting up any kind of land line account for just three or four weeks. But it will probably be a few days before I get my head together and find time to do that little bit of administrative hassle, so some minutes would be a tide-over!

    Don’t want to publish my number, though it’s not unlisted (I want only high-class stalkers, the kind determined enough to find it for themselves, so e-mail me if you want to play, and I’ll send out the number. If it’s a bunch of you, a tiny, Christmas-stocking amount each will be ample.

    And thanks, friends, for your warm support.

  11. amba12 said,

    Oh, so both comments posted after all. *sigh*

  12. Melinda said,

    Can’t find your e-mail for some strange reason, but e-mail me with the details.

  13. amba12 said,

    Sorry — it doesn’t tell you that till you actually try to give minutes. Paypal is perfect — the last thing I want to do is make my hassles contagious! The simplest way, and THANK YOU. This means I can focus on moving essential stuff tomorrow and talk to the people I need to talk to.

  14. Randy said,

    UPDATE: I accidentally deleted this comment instead of editing it. Annie’s comment above (#12) was responding to this:

    Annie thought the GoPhone link had a lower minimum than $15. Another way to contribute is via Annie’s PayPal account. (If that link doesn’t work, there is a link on the left side of Ambivablog. Click on the “Like my song? Toss in a few coins” graphic.

  15. pathmv said,

    Thanks for that timely reminder, Randy!

  16. amba said,

    Ron said,
    good to see you, Amba!

    See me? Where? I didn’t see me. I thought I was behind the fireman.

    (and now I haven’t got enough internet connection to look)

    Will probably get connected on Wednesday, though. There’s an actual person from TW cable who works with the apartment complex.

  17. michael reynolds said,

    I just found out about this and have helped in a small way. So I want to move on to the funny part:

    “. . . confined to a wheelchair and his wife.” No comma.

  18. Randy said,

    LOL! Thanks for pointing that out, Michael. IIRC, someone used to write columns about unintended lines that. Or was that Carson on the Tonight Show? CRS is here for me, I fear.

  19. amba said,

    “. . . confined to a wheelchair and his wife.” No comma.

    No comma or no comment?

    From my viewing of the video, it looked like he was married to the firefighter.

  20. jason said,

    Oh my, Annie… That was much closer than I thought. Too close.

  21. amba said,

    So near, and yet so far.

  22. pathmv said,

    What’s the old saying? Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons…

  23. Maxwell said,

    Whoa. That really brings it home…

  24. Horace Jeffery Hodges said,

    I just saw this news. I’m glad that you’re both safe. I’ll get back to you.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  25. amba12 said,

    Yes, we are fine. Really fortunate to have had the time we needed to get out. Some people had large material losses; we didn’t (we didn’t have much to lose and didn’t lose much of it), but NO ONE was hurt. Owing largely to a college student who quickly and forcefully woke everyone up. It was before 5 AM.

    Jeffery, when J’s hospice volunteer Googled him, your writing about J was the first thing that came up!

  26. Horace Jeffery Hodges said,

    What a surprise that my blog would be the top item in a Google search. I’m really just small fry.

    I’m glad that you didn’t lose much — though I wish that you had more in this world to lose . . . but wouldn’t lose it. You ought to have a little bit more now, though, since I’ve just talked with my wife and sent something.

    Also, my apologies for being so mute over the past months. My life online has gotten curtailed as other duties press against it. I blog my daily entry and read the news . . . and that’s about it.

    But send me your new phone number by email, and I’ll call you and Jacques again for Christmas.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  27. Phylliss said,

    Dear Annie,
    Thank you for filling us in….sometimes we don’t get things quick in Costa Rica! Glad you’re the survivor you are and have a good network close to you. Lucky J!

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