Some things work out well
Sunday evening, July 3. Gail tells me the ice maker isn’t working. I open the freezer to see what I can see, and notice that the light isn’t working. I look in the refrigerator side, and that light isn’t on, either. This isn’t good.
I poke, I prod, I check the circuit breakers. Nothing. The fridge is dead. I’ll have to figure it out in the morning.
Monday, July 4. This isn’t the best day to try to get a repairman out, but I don’t have a choice.
The first guy I talk to says I’ll need to get the factory guys out. The factory guys tell me the first appointment is July 14. I don’t quite see myself explaining to Gail that we’re keeping our food in an ice chest for 11 days.
The next name that pops up on Google is for Same Day Appliance Repair. He answers the phone himself, which is a pretty good sign on a holiday. Then he says he’ll be here between 1 and 2. Today. I can handle this.
Five minutes early, he shows up.
Ten minutes later, he has the problem diagnosed. A switch burned out, it’s easy to replace. The machine hasn’t had any real service in the 20 years it’s been here, so we should clean, service, lube and re-fill with new freon. The tab for the whole works? $500. Not bad for 20 years of service, and a pittance compared to the $3000 a new icebox costs.
The thing that makes this special on Independence today is Fidel Cerrato, the repairman. He’s from Guatamala, where he worked for United Fruit (parent of Chiquita Banana) and learned his trade, after seeing the world as a merchant seaman for many years.
Fidel does a great job. He sings along with our music, when Cielito Lindo comes on. He recognized Placido Domingo, which is more than I am likely to do. His wife was travelling with him, waiting patiently in the truck for him to finish.
There is a lot of negative talk about immigration these days, by people who forget that this entire nation is founded on immigration. My grandparent or great-grandparents immigrated from Italy and Germany and Ireland. The odds are that your family has been here fewer than 4 generations, too.
I often think that anti-immigration fever is nothing more than the “I got mine, Jack” attitude, and I don’t have much respect for it. My grandfather came here at age 7, speaking no English. He became a barber, and raised a family of 12. My father was the first to graduate college in the family. My brothers and I all have graduate degrees. Immigration has been good to my family, and millions of others. To try to deny that opportunity to new generations seems both childish and churlish.
Happy Independence Day, and thanks, Fidel.