by Paul D. Marks
What I’d like to do here is quote from Casablanca, where Rick (Bogart) is talking to his former girlfriend, Yvonne (Madeleine Lebeau):
Yvonne: Will I see you tonight?
Rick: I never make plans that far ahead. ₸
And even though summer’s not really over, whatever happened already seems so long ago that I barely remember it. And what I do remember, well, I hope this won’t be too much of a downer:
A few weeks ago we almost got evacuated—again (this was our 3rd close call, and we’ve actually had to leave twice) because of one of So Cal’s ubiquitous fires. Luckily it didn’t come to that this time. I think we were just on the border of the mandatory evac area. That didn’t stop it from being a very tense few days. I work at home and Amy stayed home from work in case we did have to get out. Watching a traffic jam of horse trailers removing horses from our area really brought home how close it was.
No sooner did that situation settle down than my dad fell and ended up in the ER. While there they discovered that he had a heart valve that needed replacing. After 17 days in the hospital he’s back home recuperating slowly in a sort of two-steps-forward-one-step back routine. Though lately it seems more like five steps back.
On the good news front, Amy got to go home to see her family. But I stayed here to tend to business and take care of the critters. So, I didn’t go anywhere this summer, which is fine with me. Mostly, I got to hang with the dogs and Amy (not putting them all in the same category ;) ). And get some writing done (not enough—it’s never enough!).
|From Amy's vacation|
And there were some good things on the writing front. I sold my first story to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and got the news that Ghosts of Bunker Hill will be in the December issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, the last issue of Ellery Queen’s 75th year anniversary celebration. And both of those are reason for celebration in our house!
But summers aren’t like the summers when I was a kid when all you had to do was head down the California Incline to the beach. No worries. No bills to pay. No appointments to keep or places to be. Not much Responsibility with a capital R. Just Sun, Sea, Sand and Surfer Girls. In fact, I met my first real girlfriend at the beach on one of those lazy summer days. A California Girl on a California Beach. Like the Beach Boys sang in Surfer Girl:
While our love would grow
In my Woody I would take you everywhere I go*
All I needed was a Woody, which I never managed to get – and when I met her I wasn’t quite old enough to drive yet. Though at one point I did have a Ford station wagon with fake wood on the side. Does that count?
And now that summer’s almost gone, a few lines about that from the Doors:
Summer's almost gone
Summer's almost gone
Yeah, it's almost gone
Where will we be
When the summer's gone?**
Where will we be when summer’s gone? Well, we were supposed to be at Bouchercon in New Orleans. Unfortunately due to the usual circumstances beyond our control it looks like we’re going to have to bow out of that, which is a major bummer!
So maybe next summer will be better but for now I’m looking forward to autumn and winter, such as it is in SoCal. And maybe we’ll get enough rain to fill the creek again. Now that would be something!
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₸ Written by: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch, Murray Burnett, Joan Alison, Casey Robinson
* “Surfer Girl,” written by Brian Wilson. Performed by the Beach Boys.
** “Summer’s Almost Gone,” written by Jim Morrison. Performed by the Doors.