Walking in Manhattan Beach I chanced upon a group of kids headed up the road. Nice shot. Gotta have your camera ready. I was walking the dog with Jules. There they were and moment later they separated and went over the hill. Buddies. Girls and guys, innocent, and I hope, happy. Life looked like it did not weigh heavily on this day. Soon enough work and worries intrude. Love. Life and death. For now the worst is social media and the report card and SAT and college and….
Sunny California. There’s a drought on. So yes, it’s sunny. We were on a tight schedule. No time to dawdle. So we got to the beach and had to get a move on. The reason is that we had to get to the drive-in movie by dark. Wow! So I got a couple pictures. Hey, I live on the Red Sea. So the lack of time at the beach was not too terrible. Of course you don’t see artwork on the beach where I am.
From abaya to nude art, that’s a pretty big leap from where I am. Ah, there’s plenty of sand in the dessert but no naked mermaids in the sand. They have to be here already, right?
Everyone knows this place. Jules did not mention it. Have I been under a rock. No. It”s a funny and very twisty winding road to the top. And Jules was prepared. She brought some non alcoholic ginger beer to calm her stomach because she got dizzy. She was the driver! We shared the beer. No alcohol for me either.
No. I am not going to show you the canyon. I missed all the shots. My camera was not ready. This was a chance encounter when Jules headed up the twisting winding canyon road to avoid traffic. I missed all the hippie artwork and village. I got some very straight evergreens. And finally we made the 101. Up the road and she had smartphone in hand. Right? Jules refused to go back down on the way back.
By it’s proximity to the WTC site this chapel was used for many things in the days after 9/11. Now it is open for visitor.
A cellist plays and it is about as mournful as it can be. Silence and solemnity are all around you. I was choked up. This many years later…I visited last year. My last. I’m out of NYC for now. I don’t plan to return anytime soon. Been there done that… All around are tributes – stuffed animals, firemen’s hats, pictures, and mementos left for the dead. …remembrance of a very sad sudden shocking event that still invokes the deep pain, I did not personally know any of the victims. It’s a miracle. But there were many whom I did know who lost loved ones. So in a first degree of separation relationship I knew someone who… Profound loss… It did not help a whit that they found and killed Bin Laden. It was not closure. I don’t think that retribution can ever be considered the same.
Colleen admired and remembered a teapot that Jean owned. Jean in turn had received it as a gift from another friend. Not so much a gift as it was given to her when the friend’s mother passed away. I could be wrong. But this is my story and I’m sticking to it. Anyway the nice thing is that there is a place to put a candle in order to keep your tea warm. Ok. There are people who are passionate about their tea. Colleen asked about the maker in order to try to find another. Jean gave it to Colleen. It’s one of life’s moments, an act of friendship followed by an act of kindness.
Jean moved to the top of the hill overlooking Elkins. It was Danny’s old house. I remember him and I don’t. This is a view worth having. That tall building is the courthouse. If you have to move this is the place you’d want to be.
The guest bedroom overlooks this view. I must make it a point to come and stay. But it might be fifty more years before I go back.
Jean was another childhood friend. She spent time as a correspondent in London before returning to West Virginia. London turned her hair white. Her uncle removed my tonsils a second time and for my brother John the first. Tonsils stay in nowadays. Her house was this brick place I remember well. It was one of the first venues in 7th grade where I discovered it was so lovely to hold a girl and slow dance. Jean swears she remembers I asked her to dance.
She was my neighbor at the end of the block where the stockyard cornfield used to be. Her dad was a florist. The other gal is Colleen. Lorraine, Ricky, Anne and I were known as the Southgate Road gang and we were invited to all the parties in the 7th and 8th grade together. We car-pooled. She was on my short list of people to see when I returned. We tried to remember old times, which is always fun as your memory fades. Well, I certain none of us had grey hair last we met.
It’s been here forever. Well, at least it’s been around since I was a kid many many decades ago. If you look closely there’s a fourteen year old mowing the lawn. I don’t know how old she is but fourteen was the number that popped in my head when I shot this image. No one lives here? It is an event venue. So you can have your next party. I like the house but an event does not appeal.
I am the worst at remembering birthdays. Carol, Susan, Amy, you know who you are. Every year on my birthday I receive a greeting. It’s nice. And when the time comes I am clueless as to when your birthday might be. Yes, I could ask once again and write it down on one of any devices that are designed to keep me in touch. So to all you ladies, I apologize. Belated or not, I am just remiss and will ever be. So happy birthday to all of you. You know who you are! I remember Ginny and Colleen for some reason. And yes the kids – my kids.