Start Me Up!
On a Friday night, late September, Warren tore out the walls of his attic as part of a remodeling project for his house. He started stoking the fire chamber early on Saturday morning and kept it burning for a few hours, waiting for Fran and Fred to arrive for baking day. The realization of the backyard bread oven – from Marcel's grocery sack sketch, the scrounging of materials, the careful construction and masonry work – now was ready to be tested.
If you start me up, If you start me up; I'll never stop. If you start me up, If you start me up; I'll never stop. I've been running hot; You got me ticking, gonna blow my top. If you start me up, If you start me up; I'll never stop.
By 10am, the furnace chamber glowed a fiery orange but the oven temperature was only at 110° – far below the heat needed for baking. The layer of sand that surrounded the furnace had done an excellent job of trapping the heat and preventing it from rising to the baking chamber. Glowing, glowing, gone! Ah but to quote the Scottish bard, Bobby Burns:
The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley, An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, For promis'd joy!
The stove-piped chimney worked very well. After several hours of furnace flames, the bread oven spewed a column of white smoke visible one mile down East Colfax, emanating from Warren's backyard. When the Denver squad cars showed up, uniformed police and firemen confronted Warren in his living room. "I don't have to show you my driver's license. I live here and I'm not driving a car." "Is your house on fire? Where's that smoke coming from?" Warren explained about the building permit and Fred just wondered, 'What's the problem? The Stones rock, man. Hey you, get off of my cloud.' As Warren and Fred extinguished the flames, the authorities got back into their squad cars and fire trucks, disappearing as quickly as they had arrived.