A TAXING TIME…..

Well, my friends, it’s THAT time again…  time to enrich the coffers of our Uncle Sam and deal with the Infernal Revenue Service!  Which reminds me, what do you call 25 I.R.S. agents buried up to their chins in cement?  (Answer:  A cement shortage!)  Just in case you missed that one, here’s one more…  What’s brown and looks really good on an I.R.S. agent?  (Answer:  A Doberman!)  All right, enough jokes, lest I get audited.  (again)

Did you folks watch any of the NCAA Basketball Tournament?  I did, but none of my picks did very well.  Of course, I still did better than President Obama and Jeb Bush.  Obama’s mind must be elsewhere because his top two picks were Israel and Iran.  Bush’s picks for the Final Four were Iowa, Iowa, Iowa, and Iowa.

Since we’re on the subject of politics, did you hear that Ted Cruz was arrested at the Port of Galveston?  (The arresting officer told the press that he was just trying to “book a Cruz!”)  Ouch!  OK, how about this one…..  President Obama has announced that his family will move to N.Y.C. after his term is over.  Dang, that guy just can’t get enough gridlock!  Apparently, the Obamas chose N.Y.C. because they’ve gotten so used to people trying to break into their home!

So what else is new?  Well, in the field of “life imitating art,” the shooting incident in South Carolina comes on the heels of my recent visit.  Incredibly, I actually had a chat with the police chief about crime in North Charleston, as it plays an important role in my new mystery novel, A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  Kind of weird how these things keep happening to me.

By the way, several blog followers have inquired about my stop on St. Helena Island.  I was there, primarily, to visit the Penn Center (which, as you may recall, was one of the first schools created to educate freed slaves after the Civil War.) and if you look closely at the photograph of the brick building at the end of this post you will see a modest church.  Well, it was in this very church basement that MLK wrote his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

And speaking of writers…  the photo of me and another gentleman, standing near the marsh, is also quite interesting.  The other fellow is none other than Pierre McGowan, author of “The Gullah Mailman,” a book about his father, Sam, who delivered the mail to Gullah residents beginning in 1924. (On horseback!)  The book is quite fascinating and offers some remarkable stories of life on remote St. Helena Island.  (Which used to contain about 18 rice and indigo plantations, and is hauntingly beautiful, and connected to many ghost stories.)

Oh, and since we’re discussing stories, several curious blog followers have asked about my recent 5-STAR book review.  If you want to read the whole thing, and let’s face it, who wouldn’t, simply log onto ReaderReviews.com and follow the little icons to “THE SECOND MOURNING.”  You can also download the review, make a few thousand copies, and hand them out at your local mall.  This effort will be greatly appreciated (by me) and I am willing to chip in if your bail is set at a reasonable amount.  Think of it as a sacrifice for great literature.  Never mind, think of it as way to meet other felons.

Finally, I should like to mention that I was recently interviewed by Ms. Sarah Doolittle, a brilliant reporter from the Four Points News.  Her in-depth article about yours truly will be published shortly, and if my photograph is presentable, I will post the whole thing on my blog.  And speaking of brilliance, we had the pleasure of sharing a weekend reunion with the lovely and talented Holley Hendrickson, and her husband, Mike.  (Mike is talented, too, but not as lovely as his wife.)  We have known these rascals for 40 years!  They never change, and that’s a great thing, for they are great friends.  (I just wish I would have remembered to bring my wallet.  Oh well, maybe next time!)

Well, amigos y amigettes, have a safe and wonderful week.  I shall leave you with some more brilliance, this time from the mind of the great Asian philosopher, Confucius.  The great teacher said…..   “Guy who lose key to girl’s apartment get no new-key!”  (I’ve been down that road before!)

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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HOME SWEET HOME…

BE IT EVER SO HUMBLE… there is no place like home.  (Although the Caribbean is pretty damn close!)  I am happy to report that my month-long book tour was a huge success, and that my publicist (Blind Lemon Lefkowitz) tells me that many copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT and MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE have been ordered on Amazon.com, Kindle, etc.  I would like to thank my domesticated partner for arranging the book signing gigs and listening to the (semi) fictional account of my college love-life.  (For the fifth time!)

Our travels took us from Austin, Texas to St. John in the American Virgin Islands, and in-between there were book signing stops in Tupelo, Mississippi (To visit the birthplace of Elvis Presley), Birmingham (Alabama), Atlanta (Georgia), Charleston (South Carolina), Boca Raton (Florida), Tallahassee (Florida), and Baton Rouge (Louisiana).  All told, we logged about 4,000 miles, and saw some lovely spots in this gorgeous country of ours.

The highlight of our trip was spending a week with two other couples in a luxurious villa overlooking Cruz Bay on the island of St. John.  I would like to thank Dr. and Mrs. Max Talbott and Lee and Helena Bomblatus (world famous snorkel enthusiasts) for their company and invaluable guidance on the consumption of rum. I would also like to thank Johnny Depp for letting us use his home, but I suggest that he remove the mirrors on the ceiling.  (I saw some truly frightening things!)

Along the way, we met some remarkable folks and gained a large number of new blog followers.  I would like to welcome a few of them, including….. Miss Nina Holcomb (hostess at the Elvis Presley Birthplace), Miss Ashley at the Tupelo Starbucks location, Miss Connie (who works at the Tupelo Hardware Store and directed us to the grave of Elvis Presley’s twin brother), the mayors of Atlanta and Charleston, Tonya and Shannon (the lovely snorkeling sisters from Pennsylvania), and all of the kind and generous folks who listened to my bad jokes and bought some books.  You all made this a memorable trip.

At the request of my financial advisor (Jesse James Lipschitz) I will now spend the next week catching up on bills.  (Always fun)  I know that some of you folks have been trying to reach me by phone, so please do not be alarmed if your call is directly forwarded to the NSA in Washington.  (I am a Verizon customer.)  You know, I wish these folks would “mine their own business” and leave me alone.  I’m not saying I don’t like the feds, but I’m starting to agree with one of my literary idols, Mark Twain, who said…..  “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog!”

Well, you’ll have to excuse me now, I’m off to bankruptcyville .  If you would like to help me pay for my recent trip (or the upcoming jaunt to Belize) please send cash in a brown paper bag.  (No coins, please.)  I will send you a charitable donation receipt for the I.R.S.  (But don’t blame me if you get audited!)  We’d both be better off if you just ordered a copy of THE PRESLEY PLOT or MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE!

Have a safe and happy week…..   Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

P.S.  I almost forgot to welcome Ms. Maggie Baum-Wilson to my blog!  Welcome aboard, young lady.  I look forward to meeting you when you get home!

 

 

DRIVING MISS DAISY….. CRAZY!

WELL, YOU’D THINK THAT MISS PATTY WOULD BE HAPPY TO HEAR MY LIFE STORY ONCE MORE…. BUT NO, SHE WANTS TO READ!  No matter, I  have decided to keep talking anyway.  (She’ll thank me later, after I become a famous author.)  Speaking of driving, we decided to take the Natchez Trace Parkway up to Tupelo, and I am so glad we did!  OMG, what a majestic stretch of Americana.  Simply beautiful.  The Trace (which I wrote about in THE PRESLEY PLOT) is quite old (several thousand years) and quite long (44o miles).  It stretches from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, and it is quite a sight to behold.  Over the years, it’s been used by animal herds, Indians, Spanish explorers, white settlers, and one or two mystery novelists.

I’m not sure my friends Max and Lee would love it as much as I do.  The speed limit (for the entire 440 miles!) is 50 m.p.h., and with all the curves, you wouldn’t want to drive much faster.  I got Nellie Belle (our Lincoln) up to 48 or 49 miles per hour, but I was afraid to put the metal to the petal, so to speak.  If it were up to me, I’d drive that speed all the time.  (Most of the trucks on the Interstate are going well over 5o!)  Damn speed demons!

After a brief stop in Birmingham, Alabama, we drove onto Atlanta, which is quite large and very congested.  (Most of the residents drive over 50 mph, too!)  Both cities are impressive, but not near as nice as our present location….. Charleston, South Carolina.  Our lovely, historic hotel is right in the center of town, close to all of the good restaurants.  We had lunch at one of the best, a charming inn called the Hominy Grill.  Miss Daisy ordered the homemade biscuits and a bowl of the she-crab soup.  (To die for!)  Her chauffeur (me) ordered a “craft beer” and a marvelous dish called “shrimp and okra beignets.”  (Simply divine!)

We are now on our way to the Confederate Museum to view a special exhibition highlighting “The War of Northern Aggression.”  (As they call the skirmish is these parts!)  If you’ve been to Charleston, you know that almost all of the houses in the historic district are painted white, black, or gray.  (These are the only colors that the Union Army gave to the residents after the war.)  To this day, the owners must conform to these “historically accurate colors.”  You won’t see chartreuse or pink until you reach the Florida border.

Tomorrow is book signing day at a local church (Charleston has many houses of worship, and is actually known as “The City of Churches.”)  I regret not bringing more copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT, as we could have sold a few hundred copies at each stop!  I have been taking names, addresses, and email contacts, but I should have filled the darn trunk with books!  Ah well, next time.  Who knew that Elvis was so popular?

Tonight we have been invited to a seafood extravaganza, featuring oysters, shrimp, and mussels from local waters.  Hopefully, I will survive this latest round of gluttony, but if they have Abita beer I could be in trouble!  If you don’t hear from me in a day or two, that means I’m having my stomach pumped out!  (Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina…. in the morning, afternoon, and evening!)  Take care, my dear family and friends, and remember me in your prayers.  (Before AND after dinner!)   “Say Levee.”   (I think that’s French!  Greek to me!)

Col. Felonious T. Beauregard, C.S.A.  (and the Merry Miss Daisy)