School is not cancelled. Football practice is not cancelled, either. At school there is no announcement over the loudspeakers regarding Mike.
Mom wants the school to discontinue afternoon football practice. Dad is against this idea.
Soccer practice includes a goalless scrimmage game. Paul is bored. He thinks that there are only two good players besides himself. They are Gino and Tommy. While in the goal doing nothing, Paul wonders how he would react if what happened to Mike happened to his brother, Erik. He would be relieved. But, he would also be frustrated if it happens before he figures out the mystery surrounding the eclipse story.
Mom's telephone campaign against afternoon football practice begins. It is successful. Dad calls her to let her know that, in response to a call from the Principal, he has set up a meeting at their home tonight to discuss the problem because the school has been receiving complaints about afternoon practice.
By the time Mr. Bridges and Coach Warner arrive there are twelve parents in the Fishers' great room. The Principal is the first to speak. When he mentions the loss of Mike, Mom interrupts, hoping that he is the last player that they lose. But, Mom cannot get a commitment to stop afternoon practices out of him.
Coach Warner speaks next. He says that Mike would not want the team destroyed because of what happened to him. He brings up the importance of football in the college plans of some students.
Mom is ready for him. She tells him that more people are killed in Tangerine County by lightning than are killed by lightning in any other county in the United States. She counters the coach's statement that no other player has been killed by lightning with the fact that there have been lightning-related deaths at other Tangerine County schools. Paul wonders what Dad will do. But, Dad does not join the discussion. Mom suggests that they hold practice before school instead of in the afternoon. When the coach says that would cause problems for some students, Bill Donnelly says that he will help transport students. The decision to put the idea to a vote is welcomed.
After the group leaves, Mom and Dad are still not reconciled.
At soccer practice, Coach Walski tells Paul that he won't be allowed to be on the soccer team because he has an IEP that says he is visually handicapped. Paul gets angry. He says that he can see. The coach tries to explain about the insurance that the school must carry on all the players. Paul's response is to cry. Then he walks to the bus shelter and waits until his mother comes to pick him up at five o'clock. As he explains to his mother what happened, he pointedly mentions the fact that she told the school that he is handicapped. Mom tells Dad what happened and he goes to talk to Coach Walski. Coach Walski tells Dad that Paul can be the team manager. He can still be on the bus. Paul does not want that position. Mom offers to go to the school and tell Mr. Murrow that he can see better now. Paul does not accept the offer. Mom tells him that she will never again mention his eyesight to anyone. Those words help.
Tonight is the time scheduled for Mike Costello's public viewing at O'Sullivan's Funeral Home. As Paul and his parents travel to the viewing on Route 89, he draws their attention to the osprey nests on the high-tension wires along the highway.
At the funeral home there are many football players and seniors. This is a new experience for Paul. He follows his parents' lead. When it is their turn to express their condolences to the Costellos, Mrs. Costello tells Paul that Joey wants to ask him something. Paul locates Joey and Joey asks him about the soccer team. Joey finds it hard to believe that Paul cannot be on the team. The arrival of the priest interrupts their conversation. Joey tells Paul that he wants to know more about Paul's departure from the team. And, he has a question. After the departure of the priest, some people leave and some stay to talk for a while. Kerri Gardner tells Paul that she has heard of his reputation as a great soccer player. Paul cannot think of a response. The Costellos stand near the exit. As mourners leave, they stop once again to talk to them. As the Fishers stop to say goodbye to the Costellos, they ask them questions about the meeting that took place in the Fisher great room.
Joey asks Paul for more information about why he is no longer on the team. Then he asks the question that he brought with him. He asks Paul whether he will go to a carnival tomorrow afternoon after the funeral. His parents want him to do something after the funeral to take his mind off his loss. Paul agrees to go. On the trip home, he tries to think of a good response that he could have given to Kerri.
High-tension wires, like those on which Paul saw the osprey nests, are high-voltage wires.
Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on Tangerine".
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