03. Bits and Pieces

Last week I reconnected with a high school chum, Manny Kaplan.    Manny remembers visiting me in Puerto Rico.  That would have to be more than 35 years ago.  His amazing mother is 102.

I also found a college pal, Bill Davidov.  It would be 50 years ago since we last talked.

I am still looking for Mary Hutchinson, a college sweetie.

My friend, Faye Sibbring, has a birthday coming up on Dec 19th.  She will be 100 years old.  Can you help me do something special for her?  I am asking everyone to send a birthday card to her.  Please send yours to Faye Sibbring, c/o box 6183, Alameda, Ca. 94501.

I will be happy to do the same for you on your 100th birthday.

Among those who follow this blog are hundreds of people who enjoy a good read.  Here is something I posted this to Goodreads today:

“A Page from a Tennessee Journal is Francine Howard’s debut novel.  Set in 1913 rural Tennessee, where racial, class, and gender roles are fixed in the context of that time and place, The author has woven a solid story at the intersection of four people’s lives.  Their expectations are entitlements or the absence of them, their hopes are few in a sea of hopelessness. The tragic turns are inevitable and this reader took satisfaction from the final spoonful of redemption. The characters are well-drawn; voices, authentic; pace, steady; and narrative arcs, undulant.  I look forward to Howard’s next work.”

If you had a particularly good read lately that you’d like to give a Shout Out to, feel free to post it to the Comments below.

There are no ghost towns in Alameda County. If you live in the East Bay and want to see a ghost town, you can visit one of the three in Contra Costa or the one in Marin.  Cf. Ghosttowns.com.  (Since posting this, my friend, Jim Sibbring informs me of the Alameda County ghost town of Driftwood.  It is near Fremont.

Many years ago I stumbled upon Oatman, AZ., listed officially as a ghost town.  At the time it had a permanent population of nine burros.  They are descendents of the burros that were abandoned when the mine closed.  There is a daytime population of craftsmen who sell their wares in the town’s remainder buildings.

Watch this space for an update about the latest news from Oatman.

The Dec 2, 2010, Word of the Day at Dictionary. Com was tristful (sadness).  It cant be too common since MS Word’s built-in dictionary “corrected” it to trustful.  It is a tristful commentary on our times that our spell-check in untrustful.

A search on the word, Trystful, came up empty.  😦

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19 Responses to 03. Bits and Pieces

  1. “I will be happy to do the same for you on your 100th birthday.”

    Mmmm . . . AL, got a funny feeling both of us are no-shows for that one.

    Thomas Burchfield
    Author of the supernatural thriller Dragon’s Ark, due March 15, 2011, from Ambler House
    Author of the comic screenplay Whackers, available at Smashwords.com.
    Follow me at Blogger, the Red Room, Facebook, and Twitter
    For editing services, see my page at the Bay Area Editors’ Forum
    (510) 547-1092

  2. Al,

    We are enjoying the blog. Hope you are driving safely. Patty and I are just returning from the Bahamas, we spent 10 days cruising with Larry and Debby on MINDY, the Cheoy Lee 80 we built for him. What a great time, good friends, lots of laughs, clear water, and fabulous food, (Patty cooks). Glad to hear you are doing well, come by the ranch and I will take you fly fishing. Speaking of reading, I read the Federalist Papers, really good.

    • allevenson says:

      Michael and Patty. What could be better than a week in the Bahamas on an 80′ Cheoy Lee?

      I am moving slowly. My 2-3 week stopover in Alameda has stretched in to four and still has a few days to run. I will probably shove off this weekend or Monday latest. When do you get to the Bay Area?

  3. Just your young buddy from inHomeMAC saying hello. Thanks for the blog. Do you want me to send a birthday card to Faye? “Friend of a friend, happy birthday!”

    Looking forward to hearing about this college sweetie.

    • allevenson says:

      F Y’all I. Matt is a new pal who seems to be a very sharp Mac Doctor. Based in Alameda, he makes house calls in the East Bay.

      Y’all have complete poetic license how you sign your cards for Faye. As for the college sweetie, last I heard (30 years ago) she became a blonde and had moved to Florida.

  4. tanya grove says:

    I’m holding you to that promise of sending me a card on my 100th.

    I want to second your praise for Francine’s book. I loved it. Your review was so artfully crafted that I have no more to add to it. I just encourage everyone to read A Page from a Tennessee Journal!

  5. AL Levenson says:

    Tanya, since I would be about 125-130 years old when your odometer rolls over, my promise may require a seance. LOL

  6. Al, a thousand thanks for your kind words for PAGE. Of course I’ll send Faye a birthday card, AND I expect to receive one from you on my 100th. But we don’t have to wait quite that long to celebrate. I’ve just signed with AmazonEncore for Book#2–Paris Noire. Due out in September 2011.
    Hope to see you Saturday.

    Francine

  7. Dave LaRoche says:

    I feel terribly guilty as I read your plea for a friend reaching her one-hundreth in that I completely forgot yours …. though, I have to say you are pretty active for someone your age and don’t look a day over ninety.

  8. linda enis says:

    Al, I loved Half Broke Horses by the same woman who wrote Glass Castle. Also Love in the Dry Season about adopting in Africa. Happy Travels!

  9. JSib says:

    Ha! I get to show off. There is too a ghost town in Alameda county. It is called “Drawbridge” and is in Fremont right along the bay in the water next to a train track. The houses are built on stilts. When the tide comes in there is water right under each house. It is called Drawbridge because it has one at each end of town. They are actually not drawbridges but rather the kind that accomplish the same thing by rotating around allowing the boat to pass along the bridges side. Some approprate govenment agency has taken it over and conducts tours. There is no access except by walking down the train tracks.

  10. Christine Thomas says:

    Of course, I’ll send your friend a b’day card.
    I get a sense that in that part of TN, much most likely remains the same…I’ve seen too much of the “old” South…as I remember it from first seeing it, then living in it in 1950…..shocked me then, still shocks me now…
    Have a good (2nd) voyage….
    Chris

  11. Colleen Rae says:

    I’ll send your friend a 100th year BD card. I”ll sign it, ‘from a friend of Al’s.’ You should be around when I reach 100. You can send me one then…
    Oatman had a prominient scene in my novel, Mohave Mambo. The ‘girls’ were traveling down from Oatman after just having bought a lb. of weed, and have an accident with a truck. I have been to Oatman often. They have a western-type shoot out every Sunday for the tourists.
    BTW, I have an agent who is shopping MM around to Hollywood independent filmmakers. I’m not excited until I have some definite details. Will let you know if MM becomes a film.
    Just finished reading Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson. Wondeful book. Could hardly put it down.
    And I have to toot mine – Mohave Mambo, available online at http://www.colleenraesnovels.com. A suspenseful read – a page turner – It is my debut novel. The sequel – Chihuahua Enchilada is due out next spring. Lola’s continuing adventures in Mexico.

    • allevenson says:

      Colleen, I remember reading Mohave Mambo and enjoying it. It was a good yarn perfect for a 2000-mile flight. Good luck interesting a film-maker. I recall writing a little review for the book and posting it somewhere. I tried to find the review on Amazon, B&N, Shelfari, and Goodreads and couldn’t find it—nor could I see a way to buy the book.

      Did you ever post the book to Kindle? I am told it is easy. Because of the electronic delivery, the sale price can be very low, yet the royalties are high. A book priced at $2.99 on Kindle pays the author a higher royalty than a $15.00 paperback. Worth investigating?

  12. David Bauer says:

    For a carefully researched and enlightening biography of Marie Antoinette from a feminine perspective, I highly recommend Antonia Fraser’s Marie Antoinette: The Journey. The book provides a sympathetic view of the France’ famous queen as well as insights into life in the 18th Century Court of Versailles. Antonia Fraser offers a colorful, fluently narrated treatise in the context of a touching, psychologically believable portrait

  13. AL PEDERSEN says:

    HI, OL’ BUDDY,
    YOU CAN ALWAYS MAKE ME FEEL LIKE SHIT BY RELATING YOUR MOST-INTERESTING TRAVELS. I’M SOOO ENVIOUS and YOUR METHOD OF RELATING OBSERVATIONS AND FEELINGS ARE, OF COURSE, EXEMPLARY. I CERTAINLY HOPE THAT I SEE YOUR BUS INCH UP MY DRIVEWAY AND PARK. I CAN’T ACCURATELY PORTRAY MY FEELINGS (ENVY) FOR YOUR LIBERTY. THANKS FOR KEEPING US UPDATED. WHEN YOU ARRIVE HERE I WILL DYNAMITE A COUPLE OF CARS HERE TO MAKE AMPLE ROOM

  14. At my hair shop today I met a gentleman who was waiting for his wife to get done. I was returning some books to the shop’s informal library and we started chatting. By his white hair and the walker parked by his chair, I deemed he was interested in/remembered wars dating ‘way back and which make up the background for some of my novels. Our chat lasted 10 minutes. His kind face lit up with interest and enthusiasm and he kept saying “Oh, yes. I remember. I know.” He didn’t know, though, that the bombing of Pearl Harbor continued through to Shanghai’s waterfront and owing to the International Dateline that day was December 8th. I liked him so much, and wished we could be friends. He might have been 100 years old, bless his soul.

  15. Colleen Rae says:

    Al – glad you enjoyed the reading of MM. You did write a very nice review and I have saved it on my website: http://www.colleenraesnovels.com. Click on reviews. The book can also be purchased through my website.
    Thanks for the advice on Kindle. I’ll look into it.

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