BEIGNETS, BEACHES, AND BOOKS!

Bon jour, mon ami! Greetings from “The Big Easy,” which happens to be one of the nicknames for the city of New Orleans, as well as the nickname of my high school girlfriend. (Don’t ask!) We have actually had a marvelous time traveling back in time (New Orleans is one of the oldest cities in America) and enjoyed our stay at the Windsor Court Hotel, situated on the edge of the French Quarter. The other 3/4 of the city was also a treat, especially our gourmet feast at Mr. B’s Bistro on Bourbon Street. Due to my worldwide fame (and a modest bribe) we were treated like royalty and given a copious amount of gumbo and oysters, along with some magnificent Sazerac cocktails. I’ve always enjoyed this city, even though Bourbon Street can get a little rowdy at times. We only made one mistake. When some folks on a balcony tossed a strand of beads at us, Patty threw her Rolex watch at them. Oh well, c’est la vie!

While gouging ourselves on gumbo and oysters (deep fried) we found time to wander over to Cafe Du Monde for some chicory coffee and beignets. A messy treat, but well worth the effort! Beignets are very low-calorie (yeah, right) so we only consumed four of them. (Each!) Oddly enough, you really get your money’s worth when you eat those scrumptious balls of fried dough. How so? Well, according to my watch (the one we didn’t lose) it takes about eight hours to digest each beignet, so you get plenty of time to savor the experience.

One of the most fun things to do in New Orleans is taking cruise on the Mississippi River via steamboat. We managed to wrangle an invitation aboard the Delta Queen a/k/a “The Lusitania of Louisiana” for a charming trip up and down the river. The luncheon was actually pretty good (more gumbo, of course) and the Dixieland band sensational. I’ve never traveled via water south of the city, so I found the cruise quite interesting. Did you guys know that the Mississippi River is one of the longest rivers in the state? (I’m just being silly. The dang river is actually 2,350 miles long!) That’s longer than the Comal River in Texas!

After stuffing ourselves in New Orleans we drove east, via I-10, to one of my favorite spots in America, Rosemary Beach, Florida. We usually park ourselves at the Pearl Hotel, which remains one of my favorite hotels. Lovely rooms, overlooking the gulf, great staff, great food, and the cleanest water in the entire country. The beaches in this section of Florida are magnificent, and I was happy to see that folks were out and about enjoying the sand and surf. (I, of course, also enjoyed the surf & turf!) Yep, the food in Rosemary Beach is superb. We ate like kings (and queens) and had some truly memorable meals. If you don’t plan to return to the area, you don’t need to tip. Just saying.

The purpose of the trip (other than going bankrupt on seafood) was to spread the news that my next book, GONE BEFORE GLORY, is at the final stage of publication and should be available to the reading public sometime next week! As I mentioned in an earlier post, the pre-publication reviews have all been great, so I think my fans will really enjoy this book. As you might remember, this book is about the life and death of President William McKinley, one of the most intriguing figures in American history. His crazy assassin (Leon Czolgosz) is described in lurid detail and will be someone you will never forget, so get ready for another great read!

For those of you following my sordid life, please note that our next adventure (also a book tour event) will be a lengthy visit to the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado, followed by a week at Emerald Ranch, the cowboy venue up in the mountains. The last time I was at the ranch, a weathered cowboy taught me how to tell the temperature by listening to a cricket! (To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, just count the number of chirps in 14 seconds, then add 40 to get the temperature.) OR…. you can glance at your cell phone, whichever is easier!

By the way, I will NOT be riding bareback on this outing. The last time I did that, I got a terrible sunburn.

Well, my friends, that’s about it for now. Enjoy the upcoming week, keep those masks on, and be safe. If you have nothing else to do, please scroll down and enjoy the photographs I took in New Orleans and Rosemary Beach. Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

BACK FROM MUSIC ROW!

Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking… you thought I’d end up on death row instead of music row, but you were wrong! I have just returned from a rather successful trip to the lovely city of Nashville, Tennessee! (Which, as some of you know, it actually the city of my birth… although many of the current residents are reluctant to discuss that fact!) In any case, this was my second venture out and about the USA, and I am happy to report that my literary popularity has not diminished since the dreaded virus reared its ugly head. Nashville is known as “Music City,” and for good reason… there is live music everywhere, and most of it is quite good. I was surprised to find a country & western trio in my shower, but hey, when in Rome…

Aside from promoting myself (which is a full-time job) I had the great pleasure of visiting with my two lovely aunts, Gladys and Thelma, the ruling matriarchs of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Both of my adorable aunts have lived in Mt. Juliet for over 55 years! In the same houses! (But neither had a trio of musicians in their shower.) While endearing myself to the locals, I had plenty of time to catch up with two of my wonderful cousins, Jimmy Deatrick and Lane Wilson. Jimmy is an enormously successful real estate agent with Crye-Leike, the 3rd largest realtor in the nation. He is actually a Vice-President of the corporation and has earned several professional designations, including CRA, CRS, and GRI. (I don’t know what any of those letters mean, but I’m still impressed!)

Lane Wilson has also done pretty good for himself… The young lad is a partner at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and is responsible for negotiating major deals for many of the leading performers in the Nashville music scene. (He is also on the Board of Directors for the Academy of Country Music and Leadership Music.) Lane was kind enough to invite us to a live concert and record promotion party, but due to my advanced age (and Covid concerns) we had to pass. (That was the first time I had to pass on a free pass!)

Needless to say, I am quite proud of my cousins, and glad that someone in our family has finally made a success of themselves! Which reminds me, my new nonfiction history book, GONE BEFORE GLORY, is finally in the final stages of design and should be released shortly. I know it’s been a while, but as they say, good things are worth waiting for! In any case, the pre-publication reviews (from 2 major newspapers) have been wonderful, so get ready for another great summer read.

Incidentally, for those of you who are collecting material for my biography, I should mention that we stayed at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville. This is the grand dame of the city, and a truly lovely venue located downtown. Hopefully, you will scroll down and take a look at our room. (the shower musicians did not want to be photographed.) I have also included (hopefully) some photos of Music Row and our favorite stop, Andrew Jackson’s home. (which, oddly enough, is also called the Hermitage!)

By the way, the large red-brick building is Ryman Auditorium, the “cathedral of country music.” We were given a private tour of the music hall, and it is quite impressive. Every major country and western star (except for my shower musicians) has appeared on the Ryman stage over the last 50 years or so. If you intend to visit Nashville, I strongly suggest that you order tickets online before you go, because the city was packed with tourists.

Later this year I will be starting a funding drive to purchase my boyhood home, and hopefully, turn it into a major tourist attraction. Hey, if Elvis is in Memphis, why shouldn’t I be in Nashville? Fair is fair, right?

All right, you hound dogs, that’s about it for now. I have some exciting news to share on my next blog (something great about a MAJOR book-signing event) but you will just have to wait for the details! Until then, please continue to be safe and take care! Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

HAPPIER DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN!

So long sad times, Go long bad times, We are rid of you at last, Howdy gay times, Cloudy gray times, You are now a thing of the past….. Well, do you remember this 1929 song? It was written by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen, and served as the official campaign song for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1932 presidential campaign. Granted, we still have a way to go, but things are finally looking up here in the good old U.S.A. I got my second vaccine several weeks ago, but to tell you the truth, I thought I was going to qualify as a “first responder.” Not because I have an essential job (or any job for that matter) but because I am usually the first to respond when the dinner bell rings. Nonetheless, I had to wait my turn, but it was worth the wait…

After I was “cleared” for human contact, I agreed to fly to Miami to pick up a long-overdue book award and stretch out on a sandy beach. Despite what you may have read about South Beach in Miami, the place was clean and lovely and everyone was on their best behavior. (And, amazingly, almost everybody wore a mask!) We had the good fortune of staying at the W Hotel, which was exceedingly pleasant. Our suite was ginormous (I made up that word) and the food was simply divine. The hotel has its own private beach, so we did not have to mingle with any of the riff-raff from up north. (Why do folks from Vermont wear flannel bathing suits?)

After five glorious days of sunshine, we headed back to Austin, where spring awaited our arrival with open arms and air-borne pollen. Still, as they say, there is no place like home. Of course, this might be a good thing, since staying home seems to be in our future plans. Due to Covid-19, my European adventures have been cancelled until further notice. No Italy, no France, no England. All stops re-scheduled for next year. Oh well, I don’t really mind, as I LOVE to travel around America.

Thanks to my publicist, Myron “Mirthless” Mankowitz, we have been booked into some lovely venues all throughout the summer and into next fall. First comes Rosemary Beach, then its over to Fort Lauderdale, up to Nashville, and then down to New Orleans. The best part of these trips (other than the food!) will be visiting with old friends and family, and introducing America to my newest literary masterpiece, GONE BEFORE GLORY. (The Life and Tragic Death of William McKinley)

Finally, after months of wrangling with the folks at the National Archives, I have obtained the necessary photographs for the book, which will be published some time in April. Hallelujah! The folks in Washington were short-staffed due to the virus, so it took 6 months for them to respond to my initial request! Geez, no wonder those whackos stormed the Capitol! (Just a joke, do NOT report me to the F.B.I.) Come to think of it, maybe I should be reported. Heck, I could sell a lot of books down in D.C. (Do politicians read books?) Let me get back to you on this subject.

So what else is new? Well, since you asked, the book award that I previously referred to was received from the Florida Book Fest, which is a prestigious group composed of journalists and librarians from the Sunshine State. They were kind enough to choose my last Adam Gold Mystery (CAPONE ISLAND) as one of the best mystery novels of 2020. In fact, the book won the Silver Medal (second place), which was a remarkable achievement, considering that they had over 3,000 other entrants to consider! Some guy named Michael Connelly or Donnelly won the gold medal, but he probably bribed the judges. In any case, I’ve never heard of him. Probably an amateur who got lucky.

By the way, my marriage counseling is really going well. I went to a counselor because my wife kept asking me for sexual favors. (i.e., stop touching her, put your clothes back on, etc.) The counselor asked me if I felt dominated by my wife. (She told him, “No, he doesn’t.”) In our last session, she told me that she expected a lot more of me. I told her to lower her expectations. Whoever said “all you need is love” has clearly never had a great margarita. I’m drinking a little less these days. I started a “quarantine diet.” I don’t know about you, but I always find that the second day of a diet is the easiest. (Mainly because I’ve given up by then!)

In closing, I would like to welcome you back to the wonderful world of wit and wisdom, and remind you that there are some intriguing photographs at the bottom of this enchanting blog post. (Including a book award photo, a photo of our recent ice storm, and some shots of my delightful new grandson.) Stay healthy and try to wear those darn masks a little longer… as my kidney stone physician once said, “this too shall pass!”

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

THE LOVELY LADIES OF LOCKHART!

Well, as many of you know, I have started participating in some very interesting podcasts this year. (Due to that damn virus!) My first two were based in New York and Washington, D.C. and were basically a discussion of my first two history books. (THE SECOND MOURNING and TURBULENT TIMES.) Last week was more edifying, as the podcast was part of a fund-raising effort on behalf of the Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas. There is NOTHING I enjoy more than supporting a local library, and this event was simply wonderful.

Just a little background… Lockhart, as many Texans know, is the self-proclaimed “Barbecue Capital of Texas,” and as we say down here in the Lone Star State, “It ain’t bragging if it’s true!” (The town has at least 3 world-class barbecue joints!) The library is housed in a historically significant building, which was built with a $10,000 bequest from Dr. Eugene Clark, a native of New Orleans. According to the library website, “the library is a two-story, Greek cross plan and is a Classical Revival building of red brick with limestone trim.” (Inside you will discover a beautiful stained glass window!) In other words, the library is gorgeous, and the pride of the town.

The fund-raising podcast was called “Evening With The Authors,” and featured three prominent Texas authors of great acclaim. (Well, actually two authors and me, but you get the point!) The internet event was hosted by an incredible woman named Tammy Peplinski Francis, and as her middle name suggests, she was full of “pep.” Ms. Francis is not only a great interviewer (smart, charming, and highly entertaining) but also the author of several fascinating books. (If you want a great read, start with her book titled, THE GIRL IN THE JITTERBUG DRESS. I won’t spoil the plot, but the book contains some great detail about nostalgic fashion, classic cocktails, and dancing.

By the way, since we’re on the subject of charming women, allow me to publicly thank Juanita McBride and Jody King for all of their hard work in putting the podcast together. A successful event always requires some hard-working volunteers, and Juanita and Jody are two of the best. (I’m happy to report that the ladies met their fund-raising goal! Congratulations!)

And since we’re still chatting about books, it is my pleasure to inform you that my next non-fiction masterpiece is now in the capable hands of Sarah Welch of Inkdroplit Editing. Sarah is busy editing GONE BEFORE GLORY, which will no doubt win the Pulitzer Prize for History next year. (If I can find a way to bribe the judges!)

Well, since I won’t have a chance to write another blog until after the election, allow me to wish all of you boys and ghouls a pleasant Halloween. Did you know that the origin of Halloween can be traced to Samhain, an ancient pagan Celtic festival? (The Boston Celtics played basketball during the festival. I think.) Anyway, those wild and crazy Celtics believed that the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest during Samhain, thereby making it the ideal time to communicate with the deceased and to divine the future. (I might be wrong, but I’m guessing that bourbon was somehow involved in this event!)

In any case, have fun trick or treating and don’t forget to keep your mask on. By the way, do you know what they call a ghost that can’t have children? (“Hallow-weenie!”) Wait, I’ve got a worse joke… What is a witch’s favorite subject? (Spelling!) These jokes are courtesy of my neighbors two juvenile delinquents, who insist on amusing me when we meet. (Both lads belong behind bars… and I don’t mean candy bars!) But I still adore them.

Well, time to take my leaves. (I have a full bag of them in the garage!) If you’re wondering about my private jet adventure to Malibu two weeks ago, please stay tuned, as I will share the amusing details during our next meeting. (Let’s just say that things did not go exactly as planned!) Have a frighteningly good Halloween and we shall spook, I mean speak, again shortly!

***BONUS PHOTO ATTACHED*** (A photograph of the Texas Ranger who provided security during my trip!)

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

A WORTHY CAUSE!

GOOD MORNING, POSSUMS! HAS 2020 WORN YOU OUT? HAVE YOU FELT YOUR ESSENCE BEING DIMINISHED? HAVE YOU BEEN DRAINED OF YOUR PRECIOUS BODILY FLUIDS? (DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT I’M RAMBLING ON ABOUT?) WELL, I’M SUGGESTING THAT YOU MIGHT WANT TO REJUVENATE YOURSELF BY DOING A GOOD DEED!

LATER THIS EVENING, AT 7 P.M. TO BE EXACT YOU ARE HEREBY INVITED TO LISTEN TO A HIGHLY INFORMATIVE (AND NO DOUBT AMUSING) PODCAST FEATURING YOURS TRULY AND TWO OTHER RATHER FAMOUS TEXAS AUTHORS.

THE INTERNET EVENT, KNOWN THROUGHOUT THE FREE WORLD (AND MOST OF ARKANSAS) IS BEING BILLED AS “LOCKHART’S EVENING WITH THE AUTHORS.” THIS MARVELOUS EVENT WILL BENEFIT THE LOCKHART PUBLIC LIBRARY, AND IS SPONSORED BY BARNES AND NOBLE. (THE LOVELY SOUTH AUSTIN LOCATION)

ALL OF THE AUTHORS WILL BE DISCUSSING THEIR LATEST BOOKS AND FIELDING QUESTIONS FROM THE MODERATOR (CHRIS WALLACE?) AND THE AUDIENCE. YOU MAY ASK ANYTHING! (EXCEPT FOR MY P.I.N. INFORMATION!)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO VIEW THE EVENT, SIMPLY GO TO THE FOLLOWING LINK: WWW.EVENINGWITHTHEAUTHORS.COM

THE PODCAST WILL BEGIN AT 7 P.M. THIS EVENING, SO BE THERE OR BE SQUARE! I HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE INTERNET!

YOUR DEAR BLOGSTER,

STEPHEN G. YANOFF

LIFE’S A BEACH!

GREETINGS…  from lovely Port Aransas, “the coast with the most!”  I am (rapidly) packing most of my unearthly possessions into our pickup truck in an effort to avoid meeting HURRICANES Laura and Marco.  Nothing personal, but I’ve already seen “Gone With The Wind,” so I think it’s time to head back to Austin.  (Where we only have to deal with 7 more days of 100+ temperatures!)  Ah, summer in Texas.  Nothing like it.  (Except for northern California!)  Yikes, those poor folks out west.  Thoughts and prayers heading your way.

Due to the horrendous fires, my discussions with Netflix have been put on hold, and I’m glad they were.  Los Angeles is not the most pleasant city to visit right now, and besides, I’ve also been contacted by Fox Films, so there’s no rush.  (I don’t expect either company will start making a bunch of “Adam Gold Mysteries,” but I still have to go through the motions.  Just in case… )

My beautiful and loving Aunt Gladys was greatly dismayed by the possibility of Ben Affleck playing the part of Adam Gold (instead of yours truly) so I’d like to take a moment to reassure her that Affleck will never fill my shoes!  He’s not man enough!  (Besides, the producers are looking at Pee Wee Herman.)  NOT!  Just forget I ever mentioned Affleck’s name.  (The key to happiness is a bad memory!)

Well, even in the midst of daily protests by the U.B.D. crowd, (Unemployed Basement Dwellers) there is much good news to report on the home front.  First, I have been invited to be one of three “Distinguished Texas Authors” to speak (and sign books) at the prestigious event known as “EVENING WITH THE AUTHORS” in Lockhart, Texas, in October.  In case you’re not familiar with this event, the evening features several prominent authors and helps to generate funds for a VERY worthy cause…..  the Lockhart Public Library.

If you’ve been anxious to purchase one of my brilliant masterpieces, now would be a good time, as ALL royalties will be donated to the Library Fund.  You will be helping the children of Lockhart maintain a very vital source of knowledge and entertainment, so give it some thought.  I don’t know who the other two featured authors are, but they might be folks like James Patterson or John Grisham, so purchase your tickets early!  (I’ve never heard of Patterson or Grisham, but I’m sure they’ve sold a few books.)

Incidentally, due to the damn Corona virus, the entire event might become a nationally broadcast pod-cast, but I will keep you informed if that should occur.  Either way, you’ll be able to listen to me make up, I mean, speak about, American history, as my new history book, GONE BEFORE GLORY, will be the subject of the first hour.

By the way, since I’ve been going back and forth to the coast this summer, I’ve spent a great deal of time in a golf cart.  (No, not playing golf, but driving from our condo unit to the beach.)  Believe it or not, I actually got “pulled over” by the beach patrol for… are you ready for this…  speeding!  The speed limit is 15 miles per hour, and apparently, I was doing close to 20!  I’m such a speed freak!  What can I say?

The patrolman who pulled me over gave me a friendly warning, and then he reminded me to drink responsibly.  I was quite polite, but I did tell the young lad that to me, “drink responsibly” means “don’t spill it!”    (He reached for his taser, but I drove off!)

My Aunt Gladys has requested that I add more photos to my blogs, so if you’ll scroll down, you’ll find some photographs of my recent outing.  (Poor choice of words, right there!)  Anyways, most of the shots feature one of my grand-children, the youngest being Little Leo, and the beauty with the doll-house, my precious Goldie, with her Mom and adopted dog.  I hope everyone in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, enjoys them!

I wish you all a most safe and sensational week, and look forward to our next chat, which will be sometime in September.  Until then, keep those masks on, and love to all…

Doc Yanoff

 

 

SOME LIKE IT HOT!

Not only was this the title of Billy Wilder’s classic 1959 comedy film, but also an apt description of last week’s weather down here in Austin, Texas!  Granted, 7 days of intense heat was less funny than watching Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in drag.  However, except for Monday (which saw a temperature of 108 degrees!) there was some humor in our scorching week.  So, how hot was it?  Well, I saw some fire ants crawling around with canteens on their necks!  Two vultures opened a Kool-aid stand in front of our house!  I spotted a chicken with only its capon!  (Get it, “cape on?”)  All right, maybe it wasn’t so funny.  (I think the heat has melted my brain!)

In order to escape our lovely summertime weather, I packed up my gear (and a few family members) and headed down to the gorgeous Texas coast.  We rented a house down in Port Aransas and spent a week at the beach, which offered some enchanting views of the gulf.  (and even better, some views of a wet-bikini contest, which I was asked NOT to photograph!)  I don’t understand why some young ladies are so modest.  Just saying.

If you’re from a cold climate, you might want to scroll down and take a look at my beach photos.  (sans the bikinis!)  The weather was perfect, and the water quite inviting.  We’ve rented the house again in August, and if the temps climb close to 108 again, I might start living on a house boat.  The only good thing about the heat is that it kept the riff raff off the golf course.  (except me!)

Good news from my web-site provider!  Our blog has now reached a new plateau!  (We’re getting “up” in the world!)  We now have 125,000 confirmed blog followers in over 75 different countries!  I have no idea why folks in South America are interested in my thoughts, but that continent has the second-highest number of followers.  (North America, as you might imagine, is numero uno.)  All I can say, is “gracias amigos and amigettes.”  You are most welcome!  (Incidentally, all of my mysteries and histories are available in Spanish & Portuguese on Amazon.com)  Just saying.

And while we are on the subject of influencing folks, allow me to mention the names of two amazing Social Media Influencers that I had the pleasure of talking to this past week.  (For you old fogies, an “Influencer” is someone who has acquired or developed fame and notability due to their marketing skills, advertising prowess, or knowledge of certain products.)  You MUST take a look at Ms. Kelly Wonderlin (a former model and brilliant businesswoman) and Ms. Rebecca Barlin, the owner of Cove Boutique in central Austin.  These two ladies are extremely smart and talented, and you can easily find them on the World Wide Web.  (a/k/a the Internet!)

Now, as far as publishing goes, most authors (including me) have decided to postpone the publication of their new book until the fall.  (or early next year)  As you might imagine, most of us feel uneasy about asking the public to buy our books in the midst of a global pandemic.  (and with so many good folks out of work)  So, if you’re anxious to read my next masterpiece (GONE BEFORE GLORY) you’ll have to be patient.  (I was once a thoughtful patient.  Well, actually I was a mental patient, but I digress… )   The book is completely finished, and will be available as soon as the world returns to normal, or whatever state it used to be in!

Finally, as an added showbiz tidbit, I would like to announce that I have been contacted by a representative of Netflix!  The firm is (somewhat) interested in acquiring the film rights to my entire mystery series, starring the suave insurance investigator, Adam Gold.  So far, we’ve discussed two of the books, RANSOM ON THE RHONE and CAPONE ISLAND.  These Hollywood deals usually fall flat, but as they say, you gotta be in it to win it.  (I’m hoping that I get to play the part of Adam Gold, but I think Ben Affleck would get the nod.  Those tinseltown types prefer a pretty face!)

Well, for all of my fellow organic gardeners, I am including some rare photographs of my out-of-control vegetable garden.  (I’ve never eaten so many veggies in my life!)  Please note that I am semi-nude, so do not share these photos with any underage persons or your mother-in-laws.  Thank you.

Have a safe and sugary week and don’t forget to wear your masks!  (If nothing else, you will be more comfortable this Halloween.)  Speak to you later, so be safe!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

THE RETURN OF THE PORTUGUESE SUN!

Wait a minute.  I think that’s supposed to be “Prodigal Son.”  Well, in any case, I’m back!  Yea, though I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, I have feared no evil…  but enough about Minneapolis.  Let’s discuss my last book tour, which was (fortunately) cancelled due to popular demand.  (By the CDC)  My new literary agent, Irving “Jellyroll” Rabinowitz, had suggested a bus tour through a third world country, where I might be able to visit a dangerous jungle filled with wild animals.  I’d never been to Seattle, so I agreed to check out the itinerary…

The bus company insisted that all passengers wear black clothing and black ski masks, so I assumed we were going to see some mountains.  Not a chance.  We drove straight to Dick’s Sporting Goods and picked up some bats, which I thought we’d use at the Seattle Mariner’s Stadium, but I was wrong.  After Dick’s, we were going to stop at some sort of construction site to pick up some bricks, but this was an optional stop.  Due to the prevailing mood of the city, there would then be a complimentary “Unhappy Hour,” where specialty drinks would be served.  (Mostly Molotov cocktails!)

I’m starting to think I will never be old enough to know better.

Still, if you’re interested in learning about the origins of American anarchy, then you’re in luck.  All you have to do is purchase a copy of my soon-to-be-released history book, titled, GONE BEFORE GLORY.  (The Life and Death of William McKinley)  As you might know, Mr. McKinley was assassinated by a deranged anarchist (is there another kind?) named Leon Czolgosz.  Leon was a willing dupe of Emma Goldman, the “High Priestess of Anarchy.”  Red Emma, as she was unaffectionately called, was an advocate of “propaganda of the deed.”  (The use of violence to instigate change.)  Needless to say, my timing is almost perfect, but the book won’t be available until early 2021.  I shall, as they say, keep you informed of the exact publishing date.

In the meantime…  I am very proud to announce that my newest “Adam Gold Mystery,” titled, CAPONE ISLAND, has recently won a major literary award!  CAPONE ISLAND was chosen as one of the “Best Mysteries of 2020” by the prestigious literary organization known as READER’S VIEWS MAGAZINE.  There was, of course, a substantial cash prize, which was donated to one of our local Austin charities.  The book is still selling quite well, and if you haven’t read it yet, you can order a copy just about anywhere they sell books.  (Or you can steal a copy from your local library.)

Many of my super-loyal blog followers have been asking about my schedule during quarantine.  Well, to be perfectly honest, I’ve been enjoying the absence of traffic and traveling, and have used my time wisely.  I’ve started a new history book, covering the life and times of John C. Fremont.  I’ve also built myself a modest “victory garden,” in anticipation of our victory over Covid-19.  (Photos attached)

BUT…  most importantly, I’ve been enjoying the newest addition to our ever-growing family…  my adorable new grandson, Mr. Leo Oliver Barlin!  (Photos attached)  I’m supposed to travel up to New York City in late fall to receive my gold medal (for CAPONE ISLAND) and I’ve hired Leo to serve as my bodyguard.  His mom agreed to send the little tike for police training, so since he graduated at the top of his class, I have attached a photo of him in full riot gear.

Let me take a moment to wish all of you dads out there a very happy and healthy FATHER’S DAY!  Harvard studies have revealed that almost every person born in America had a father, which is simply incredible.  (You have to wake up pretty early in the afternoon to fool those Harvard folks!)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, dear friends, and if you’re feeling blue about our present lockdown, just remember these words, uttered by the extremely tan actor, George Hamilton…..  “We all have to age, but we don’t have to get old!”   Amen.

Be safe and wear your mask!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

HAPPY (BELATED) VALENTINE’S DAY!

Ola, amigos y amigettes, and before you ask, the answer is “yes,” I realize that today is Saturday, not Sunday.  However, since I just returned from a lengthy Caribbean voyage, I thought you might like to hear from me….. since you might be under the impression that I was quarantined aboard ship.  (No such luck!)  I don’t know about you, but as long as they didn’t run out of rum, I’d be happy to remain in my cozy suite.  (Assuming that my fellow passengers weren’t sick, which is no joke aboard ship.)  Anyways, we’re back safe and sound, but I do miss the conveniences of being treated like a king.  (Or in my case, the court jester!)

Many of my loyal blog followers have requested a blow by blow description of my recent voyage, but before we get into that, a word about Valentine’s Day…..   Did you know that Valentine’s Day has a rather dark but lovely origin?  Back in the 3rd Century A.D., Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage for soldiers because he felt married men made poor soldiers.  (The lads were always thinking about their wives and children.)  A priest (named Valentine) secretly performed marriages for soldiers, but when the Emperor discovered what he was up to, he was jailed and ultimately put to death.  Now for the romantic part ….. while he was behind bars, old Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter, and just before he was executed,  on the 14th of February, he sent her a thank you note that said, “from your Valentine.”  And the rest, as they say, is history!

Well, let’s get back to the Caribbean, shall we?  Our latest 10-day voyage and tax deductible book tour was a HUGE success.  We met many wonderful people and gained a large number of new blog followers.  (and the ship library held a special book signing event in my honor!)  Before the book signing began, I circulated a rumor that my new mystery novel, CAPONE ISLAND, was also capable of being used as a life preserver in case of an emergency.  Some of the more gullible passengers fell for that lame routine and purchased a book for themselves and their spouse.  (Fortunately, the book cover was bright orange, the same color as a life preserver!)

After we left the port of Miami, we spent a day at sea, so I decided to go to the spa.  I signed up for a “couple’s massage,” which didn’t work out as I had hoped.  Apparently, you’re supposed to also bring your wife, which seemed a little odd to me.  The woman on the other massage bed was willing to let me stay, but she insisted on seeing my body before the session began.  I had just gotten out of a cold shower, so let’s just say that I did not make a memorable impression.  She wasn’t offended, but she ran out laughing, and then I heard her tell someone that it was “no big thing.”  (God, I hope she wasn’t referring to me!)

Anyway, our first port of call was Nassau, in the Bahamas.  I was just there in November, but someone had put my beach chair away, so I had to ask for another chair and umbrella.  (What’s up with that?)  We spent the entire day at a lovely resort called RIU Beach Club, which is on Paradise Island.  (Right next to the Atlantis Resort.)  The day pass included beach access, chairs and umbrellas, a wonderful buffet lunch, and all the alcohol concoctions you wished to consume.  I would highly recommend this place, which is only a seven dollar cab ride from the cruise ship port.

By the way, we dropped anchor on Wednesday, February 5th, and the temperature was a balmy 80 degrees.  (Some of you folks have been asking for specific details for your future trips, so here you are!)  The water temperature was good enough for a dip, but too cold for a long swim.  However, the water quality was superb.  So if you bring a wetsuit, like I did, you can stay in the water until you turn into a prune.  Or should I say, mango?

In all honesty, there ain’t much to do in Nassau but swim and drink.  (Luckily for me, I am adept at both!)  The food is somewhat interesting, and you should seek out some good conch (pronounced “konk”) which tastes wonderful when prepared raw with lime juice, or rolled into deep-fried conch fritters.  Either way, be sure to fritter away a few hours with a cold Bahamian beer, and if you’re feeling flush, order a rock lobster and a sweet guava dessert.

Do you realize that the meaning of “opaque” is unclear?

Where was I?  Oh yeah, Bahamian food and drink…  Have fun in Nassau, but remember that the place was once home to a large colony of pirates.  (Some of their descendants still operate tourists shops!)  If you take a stroll downtown, watch for pickpockets and purse-snatchers, and don’t buy any substance that looks like oregano.  One final piece of advice, do NOT eat any of their “famous” pirate soup, which is a combination of alphabet soup and a strong laxative.  (I don’t know what it’s called, but I call it, “Letter Rip!”)

Did you hear that someone stole the toilet from the Nassau Police Station?  (The cops are trying to find the culprit, but “they have nothing to go on!”)  All right, no more potty jokes!

They say that trying to eat your watch can be time consuming.

Well, I know you must be getting ill by now, so I shall say farewell.  The next blog post will be sent from St. Martin.  (No relation to St. Valentine)  Until we meet again, please keep smiling and keep those cards and letters coming.  I shall try to add some photos at the end of this comical endeavor…

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff