|Here's what we were doing 6/25/86|
Question: What do a Chatter the Clown performance and the delivery room in Chestnut Hill Hospital have in common?
Answer: Both were scenes of great excitement on Tuesday evening, June 25, 1986.
I was almost three weeks past my due date (that would never be allowed today). My mom was up from Atlanta for the birth of her second grandchild, but had to return to the South for the closing on her house, when young Master Ev still hadn’t made his debut.
While Steve wasn’t expecting ME to attend the opening night of the Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre Season Five, he certainly hoped to be there himself. But as the weeks passed with no sign of an infant, hubby realized he needed a Plan B (or C, for Clown, to be precise). An area clown who went by the stage name “Chatter” was hired to give a performance, so we’d have a fun production to offer our audience.
The morning of the 25th, I still felt no closer to active labor. However, around 2 PM the familiar pangs began. Sheridan had taken nine hours to be born, so when we arrived at the hospital around 4:30 we figured it’d be quite a while yet. My obstetrician, Doctor Woodruff, examined me and said, “Early stages. I’m going to get dinner. I’ll be back in a bit.”
As it turned out, the good doctor’s meal break seemed to young Evan the perfect moment to accelerate his arrival. Our son turned the saying “Hurry up and wait” upside down; we waited—then he hurried up. A nurse in the room saw me suddenly start to push, and ran to get the doctor who was on call. He raced into the room, mere seconds before our squalling little sweetheart shot out, and into the world. Good catch, Doc!
Steve called my parents—but then immediately called the box office at RSCT. Could someone please announce the glad tidings prior to the show? Of course! We learned later that there was a rousing round of applause for this news, and then the happy crowd of theatregoers settled down to watch the substitute show.
Chatter delighted the folks with his stunts and pratfalls. Now, as someone who really hates/fears clowns, this response seems inexplicable to me, but hey! To each his/her own! Things were going swimmingly, until the fire juggling part of the act. Yes. Fire juggling. On a small (carpeted) stage in a theatre filled with children. Oh, Chatter! You silly! Thankfully, no one was injured. But alas, the lovely carpeting was singed when things got slightly out of control.
33 years later, the memory of Evan’s pre-show birth announcement is still, I’m sure, overshadowed in the minds of those Rehoboth patrons in attendance by “hotter” stuff. After all, anyone can have a baby on opening night. But not everyone can almost burn the theatre down, right?
We went on to have several more children, but lesson learned. We never hired a fire-juggling clown again.
|33 years later...another opening night (sans flames)|