In my humble opinion, the 1989 Civil War movie Glory contains one of the greatest movie scenes ever filmed. The men of the 54th Regiment, an African-American regiment, are gathered around a campfire contemplating the next days battle.
One of the soldiers is portrayed by Morgan Freeman. The gist of the speech he gave has stuck with me for the past 30 years.
“If tomorrow is our great gettin’ up mornin’, if tomorrow we have to meet the Judgement Day . . . let our folks know we went down standin’ up!”
Those words were in my mind the night before two neighbors and I planned to scale three tiers of scaffolding and re-attach a 50-lb chandelier to a 21-foot ceiling. For good measure we planned to replace two 25-year-old ceiling fans and add a new beam at the same time. Though that was pretty much routine for my neighbors, I was nervous enough for all three of us.
Thus my flashback to the inspirational scene from Glory and my own personal recreation of the campfire prayer meeting the night before our attempt.
If you have five minutes, sit back, watch this video clip, and reflect on the bravery of the men of the 54th Regiment.
My neighbors arrived at 8 am sharp.
:Here is proof I helped. That me in the middle. Though I am supposed to be holding up the beam so it can be firmly secured by Tom & Bill, I appear to be holding on instead.
When the fixture was firmly in place, it was time for the moment of truth.
We held our breath as the switch was flipped to turn on the 24 twinkling lights.
“Turn the dimmer switch up” suggested my wife.
12 hours shy of three weeks since the fixture fell, it was back in place.
Thank God & Tom & Bill! It turned out to be the chandelier’s great gettin’ up morning (afternoon, actually, by then) instead of mine.
Though the large fixture is now, I guess you could say, “well hung”, the grandkids, who used to sit under the light doing homework or coloring, now make sure now to avoid what turned out to be ground zero when the light came crashing down.