25 Years Went Bye


Dear Family and Friends

This past Tuesday, the 18th of August, was my 25th anniversary. As I am spending this summer alone, I decided it would be a good idea make the week into an end of summer vacation for myself. After all, the 25th of August is the beginning of that “one thing leads to another” phase and routine will once again take over all our lives. Summertime…and the living is easy…

Now, I did have the little matter of a speeding violation that required a trip down to the courthouse in Mojave. Some people just don’t appreciate the beauty of a fine tuned machine – what a bunch of spoilsports! A whole enormous desert – just the place to run a car through its paces – and mine? – nice and smooth, easy sailing – all the way over on the right hand side of my little ol’ speedometer. Not so smart to get caught, tho. Oh well. Live and learn. I have promised to be better behaved in future. But they wanted to see the scofflaw in the flesh at 8am Monday morning.

To that end I left home Sunday (the 16th) around five. By ten pm I was passing the Correctional Facility they have out there, thinking how much I prefer my Alameda address. But I was going nice and slow, as I felt it would be poor form to get a speeding ticket on the way to court for a speeding ticket, if you know what I mean. A few miles later I see this beautiful, brand-new Motel 6 right on the highway. So I check in and get settled in my room. Shortly before midnight I decide to turn in, and have just started to drift off to sleepyland when I am jolted awake by train whistles cutting thru the still and starry desert night. Though they are probably at least 500 yards from my room, they sound as if they are right outside the door. And that was how the night was – every half hour or so another train came by and blew its whistle. As you might imagine, I was up bright and early – actually by two I had given up on sleeping, trying to make believe it was five already, but the sun wouldn’t cooperate. Henry told me later that Mojave is actually a switching station. NOW he tells me.

But I was the first one waiting at court, pleading guilty, and asking for mercy (read: traffic school) – no dice. Criminals like me have to pay. Ouch! But it wasn’t actually as bad as I had thought it MIGHT be. My angels must be watching out for me again. Thank you, powers-that-be. I was out of there and on the road again, heading for good old LA, in no time. Amazing how built up those little desert towns have gotten in the years since I’ve driven by. Lancaster is HUGE and the home of an ENORMOUS outlet mall, so what else is new? I guess they are good, as they bring development dollars, jobs, commerce and traffic to these self-contained communities.

It was a pleasant day, filled with driving, shopping, museums that are all closed on Mondays, and finally, the descent of the exhaustion from the previous nights lack of sleep. Tuesday held more promise, and I managed to get in the Huntington Library and Museum before I picked up my big date for the day – my old friend Linda Mallah – at noon. We had lunch, visited Melco, and then headed down to Anaheim to catch up on old times and play at being kids. We got a great room at the Sheraton and as dusk descended Henry and Wendy showed up to play w/us and we headed over to Disneyland. I haven’t been there for ten years, but its been eons since I was there without children in tow. It was fun. Linda and I were geared up to be silly and act like kids – not a hard stretch to make, and did it rather well, if I do say so myself. We closed down the park and came back to the room where we talked some more – and Linda promised to come soaring with me in the morning.

Except for the fact that the 5 is undergoing serious renovations and it was impossible to find a way to get on heading north, which gave me about 40 minutes of feeling like I was stuck inside a paper bag, the drive out to Lake Elsinore was uneventful. The soaring club regulars were all there, and by one o’clock I had relinquished my hold on Mother Earth and was once again at the whim of the wind. It was beautiful and the thermals were better than last time – although rather narrow, so although we were climbing beautifully, we kept “falling off the edges” of the column with each turn. The pilot was a really nice fellow who kept talking the whole time, as he was worried that I would get scared or something. He explained that if I just said the word he would make larger circles to keep the turbulence down, but I thought that feeling the power of the wind like that was rather amazing, and got used to the feeling of falling off the edge. The only problem was how hot a day it was, and it kept getting hotter inside the glider. In order to provide more airflow, he began to make little nosedives, going in excess of 115 mph, then swooping up to regain, at least partly, the altitude. It did help cool off the plane somewhat, but it did not change into “cool”. So the hour was up and we came back in – I felt kind of weird from the heat already. On the way he demonstrated some of the more “acrobatic” moves the plane was capable of – even showing me how to begin a loop. Too bad I’m such a chicken, as he was ready to make a proper demonstration. But now I know what a stall and a wingover is, and how they both feel – kind of scary, but not too bad.

Linda had been entertaining the other regulars on the field, who were all quite interested in helping her buckle up in the plane. Fascinating how that works, I think. She thought so too. Oh my… GUYS…they never ever change… silly fellows. We got back into the valley and I spent Wednesday night in Calabasas – the Country Inn is really a very nice place. Thursday, after a nice lunch and chat w/my sweet cousin Julie (I usually spell it Jewelie, tho) I headed my chariot back to the north and returned home. What a nice vacation I had. Hard to imagine how much time has passed.

Life is such a mystery – it flies by while we are engrossed in so many activities that by the time we look up we are amazed to see the distance we have traveled. I looked at some photos – the time has sure flown by – I wasn’t much older than Daniel then. Thought maybe you’d enjoy seeing a couple of photos yourself – so have fun.

Love to you all