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,