Basically the rest of the month and on into March was a big jumble of meeting with this person and that person and just dealing with the mess. The house was condemned so they cut off the water and electricity. The windows were all boarded up so you had to run the generator to get light, even during the day. The restoration company loaned us the lights and the generator and cleaned up the house enough so that the insurance people could make their way through it safely. They got us a dumpster. We cleaned up the yard, but not much in the house because the personal property adjustor wanted to be able to verify our claim.
Meanwhile John was removing all of the many layers of ashes from his room, one Hefty bag at a time. He was there constantly when he wasn’t at work. At night he slept at his old house where he grew up. There had been tons of magazines and books in his room and most of it was in ashes now. But he found out that if the ashes get deep enough during a fire what is under them becomes somewhat protected and stays intact. He found a number of things that were very meaningful to him under the huge piles of ashes.
I guess we knew that eventually John might find Seymour up there. He did find him, about a week later. Seymour must have died either from smoke inhalation or from the heat. He looked like he had just gone to sleep. His fur wasn’t really burned very much. It was nice to be able to pet him one last time. We buried him in our back yard out by the holly tree. It was another sad day but at least we finally knew where he was.
We moved into a little rental house on the same property as Doug’s mouthpiece shop. It just happened to be vacant and available. It was very convenient for that reason and was only about 15 minutes from our real house. It was small, but since we had very few of our previous possessions it was okay.
My parents helped to get the place ready by doing some cleaning and painting for us. Ted was absolutely miserable there. He had finally gotten somewhat accustomed to our room at Gerry and Larry’s and now all of a sudden he had to move again. He stayed under the covers for two days straight. I think he really missed Seymour, even though he had acted like Seymour was a total nuisance when he was alive. It was very difficult to cheer him up now.
I lost all of my clothing except for what I was wearing, and Doug just had a suitcase worth of clothes from his tour. We both needed all of the basic stuff as well as clothes for all of the different kinds of gigs we played. We needed new sheets and towels and dishes and household items – just about everything you can imagine had to be replaced.
We spent a lot of time shopping. It might seem like fun to go out and buy all new stuff, but it is really a pain, and it took a pretty long time to get reimbursed so our credit cards were often totally maxed out. For this reason we had to be extra careful not to buy things that we didn’t desperately need.