|WE HAD TO SEE some fireworks last night. Had to. Big ones. The LAFD-sponsored site, SafeJuly4th.org, listed Altadena Town & Country Club as one of eight hot spots for July 3. Great! Fireworks and a chance to find out where the hell Altadena is.|
The streets of this suburb of a suburb were packed. Parked cars, lawn chairs, bands of roving teens, all drawn like metal shavings to the country club magnet. Should we resign ourselves to a darkened curb? Or try to get closer?
We were in. Before us, a smorgasbord of American independence. Literally: the country club put out rows of buffet food, a hosted pie table, freezers of ice cream, a live band and a bar.Country Club Parking Lot Guard: You members?
Little did we know "friends" of members were expected to pay $55.95 each. No one asked us for money. (And we didn't eat.)
After a while, one guy gave us the parking guard interrogation. He wanted to who we came with. Mrs. Newbie smartly, vaguely pointed toward the crowded tennis courts, lined with dozens of banquet tables. The Pattersons, she said. (Good thing she didn't say Martinez. Or Chang.) He bought it.
We settled on a grassy knoll near the swimming pool. The fireworks started late, well past the promised 9:30 launch. (Or so we overheard from the key party couples on the next blanket.) And the giant tree seemed even more giant this year (or so we heard) and blocked part of the show.
Next year, we'll ask the Pattersons to say something about that tree.