Showing posts from March, 2018

What to do about Harry

An old hippie type, Harry could be someone I dated in high school or college. He’s tall, quite a bit over six feet. Like me, he came of age in the 1960’s, his hair is now a silvery grey, long, pulled back into a ponytail, much like my husband’s. He has wire-rimmed glasses, a mustache, a short beard. A brown plaid shirt, dark jeans, hiking boots, he looks like he could be the owner of a record store, maybe a bookshop.  We see him sitting on the tree-shaded steps of an apartment building near ours. In summer it’s cool and comfortable, in the California usually mild-wintertime, his spot is sheltered from the wind. He’s usually reading, novels by the same kind of writers my husband likes, John Sandford, Lee Childs, Tom Clancy. Sometimes he’s listening to the radio, an honest to God transistor radio, a wire leading to his ear. What did they call earbuds before they were earbuds? If it’s fall, it’s football, his favorite. If it’s summertime, a baseball game might be on. Otherwise it could

Coffee & Kodachrome: A Photographic Memory

It was the top of the 80’s when Max Factor Cosmetics was still based in Hollywood, and I was working as their in-house copy writer. The job meant coming up with promotional shade theme events, nail polish color names, package copy, brochures for the sales department and the like. While I once wrote a radio ad for Jaclyn Smith  to record, it was mostly the less than glamorous creative work too lowly for our ad agency, Wells Rich Greene, to bother  their big apple heads over .  When my boss was assigned to the company’s London office for six months we were both thrilled. She got to go to London —LONDON!— and while my new business cards said Associate Creative Director, I essentially jumped from in-house copywriter straight into her Creative Director shoes. Suddenly I was in everybody’s Rolodex; the girl to call if you were working the freelance beauty market in L.A. in the very early 80’s. Along with other writers who came out of their introverted shells to offer their services

Some Sunny Day

Enid Maude Good (nee Hayden) 7/30/1925—4/22/2012 My parents both had birthdays this week. I suppose would have had is more grammatically correct. My mother would have been ninety if Alzheimer's hadn't taken its final toll in 2012. My dad might have made it to one hundred but for the liver disease that took him out over twenty years ago. My mother was born in London; she was fourteen when World War II broke out. Accompanying her two younger brothers, she was one of the millions of British children the government sent to the English countryside to shield them from the blitz. Miserable, she returned home and went to work as a clippie on the iconic red double-decker buses. She loved running up and down those stairs, taking money, making change. Making it home before curfew, diving under the Morrison bed when the bomb sirens squealed. Dating Yank soldiers stationed in the UK. Later, working at a munitions factor, she had to wrap up her hair so it didn't get caught in

It Was a Hard Day's Fall [#9, Cherrygrove Road]

I was eleven the summer I broke my arm. I know because it was the summer that the movie  A Hard Day’s Night  came out and that was 1964. My best friend Trixie had brought her cousin over to my house and the three of us were playing in my backyard, taking  turns hitching ourselves atop a green pole and pushing each other off. The pole, about three foot high, ten inches around, dark green, smooth and shiny, was sunk into the earth to mark where the neighborhood’s power or phone lines were located. The pole’s rounded dome-like top resulted in a downward curve that we made a game of slipping and sliding off. While it didn’t occur to me at the time, the overgrown cucumber-like shape resembled nothing so much as a large penis worthy of the Jolly Green Giant.  After taking turn after turn of shoving each other off, I finally fell too hard and fast, landing face down in the middle of my mother’s staked tomato plants. I felt foolish and clumsy, like a little kid, especially in front of the

The Name of the Game is Nostalgia #ThrowbackThursday

I can get a little nostalgic writing memoir—you might say it ’ s the nature of the beast—but there ’ s probably no place or time I get more soppy about than growing up in Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls was  where I spent most of my elementary school years; it was where I learned to swim in the pool at the Cyanamid plant; it was where I broke my arm when I was ten; it was where my period came for the first time in the girls room at Princess Elizabeth Middle School and Niagara Falls was where I cried serious tears when we moved away when I was fourteen. But before that, Niagara Falls was where I had my first boyfriend, a boy named Randy Tuck. I was eleven and it was the same year the Name Game song came out. Remember? The name game!  Shirley!  Shirley, Shirley bo Birley Banana fanna fo Firley  Fee fy mo Mirley, Shirley!  It was a huge hit all over the world but no place more so than in our schoolyard. We stood in our little clique circles and sang and clapped all our names

Peter Panned: The Peter Pan Statue in Kensington Park

Before my husband and I visited London in May of last year (2017) I spent Fridays taking a virtual walk of the city, sharing what I learned via my friend google in a weekly post called Above Ground on the London Underground. That’s when I first visited Peter Pan in Kensington Garden . At the time Joy, fellow blogger and host of British Isles Friday commented that she found the Peter Pan statue difficult to photograph. After visiting the statue for myself, I can only say, No kidding! I couldn’t get a really good shot either. But I wonder, does the fault rest with the photographer or the subject? J.M. Barrie commissioned the statue from Sir George Frampton and secretly had it installed in Kensington Park—without permission—in the middle of the night, as if Tinkerbell herself had flown it into place.  According to the announcement J.M. Barrie himself had published in the Times  ... “There is a surprise in store for the children who go to Kensington Gardens t