Showing posts from August, 2022

#11 BEACH MUSIC: A time of tans, blonds and hot pants

IT WAS A TIME OF TANS, BLONDS AND HOT PANTS, WHEN THE ENDLESS SUMMER WAS JUST A SHORT WALK DOWN A HOT SIDEWALK Beach Music, originally published in the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, is really a tale of two cities: San Juan, Puerto Rico and Santa Monica, California. File it under On the Street Where I Live     Beach Music We came to California from Canada, with a detour to Puerto Rico that lasted one endless summer of a year. A year in which I turned 15, and my hair turned blond from living in the sun. “Psst,” the boys and men would call after me in the blue-cobbled streets of San Juan. “Psst! Hey, blondie. Psst! Hey, cutie pie.” I was devastated when my parents said we had to go, that it was time to leave the island so that my older brother, Russell, could get a first rate education. The plan was to drive cross country from Miami and settle in San Francisco so that my brother could finish high school before going on to UC Berkeley. B

Hello Mum, are you there? It's me Sim.

I couldn’t let Alzheimer’s Awareness Month pass without sharing something about my mother. I wrote this Throwback Thursday piece in 2010, my mother, once so full of life and fire, passed away in 2012. “ Hi Enid ”  I say, spotting her sitting by the window, calling my mother by her first name. Sometimes when I call her Mum, she just looks at me, confusion and accusation mixed in her eyes.  “ Why are you calling me Mum? I’m not sure I even know you, ”  she seems to say. Some days are better, she may not know who I am exactly but she ’ s cheerful enough for the company. A change from the caretakers with their pale turquoise uniforms, cheerful little bears or angels dancing across their chests. Today my softly whispered  “ Hi Enid ”  gets nothing but a blank look. I try again. “ Hi Mum. It’s me, Sim. ”   Her expression doesn’t change. Not a blink, not a flicker. Nothing. I notice a book in her lap. Next to Die or something. A mystery. She always loved mysteries; Elizab