Archive for July, 2012

The Outlaw Gypsy

Monday, July 30th, 2012


I remembered her face immediately.  Lisa walked into our high school and our lives after having disappeared many years before.  She had made a brief appearance in grammar school.  Just a few years at Beverly Vista, then vanished.

We looked at each other as our nearly grown-up selves, knowing instantly we had once been close.  And we started up again.

I introduced her around.  She was now a beautiful flower child and stepped into life at our school so easily.  Lisa Saunders wore white peasant shirts and the oh so ubiquitous bell-bottoms of our time.   Chris Head, a wild musician type, became her boyfriend.  And now Lisa adopted a new name and we were all on board to call her by her new moniker, Gypsy.  In fact, coming and going as she had, in and out of our lives, she was a gypsy.  I usually hate when people change their names, but this one suited her. (more…)

Beaver Shot Girl

Friday, July 20th, 2012


My least favorite subject is toxic mold.  But somehow, mold lead me to a summer in Malibu.  My house was under reconstruction for nearly two years to get rid of the stachybotrys.   My health had been compromised, my spirit was low and my husband and I rented a little house on the water to change it up.  Start fresh.

Anyone who knows me can tell you my favorite place to live is on Old Malibu Road.  It feels like home, even though I was only a renter for a few years a lifetime ago.  I long for it, I dream of it.  And for this one particular summer, eight summers ago, I lived the dream.

Be careful what you wish for.  I wished for crashing waves to lull me into slumber.  Well, this house was SO close to the water – in it, during high tide — that it sounded more like a tsunami, not that I really know what one sounds like.   My husband could barely stand it.  So, he kind of gave up and only visited on weekends.  When those waves struck the pilings the house shook.  It almost felt like the next one might carry the house out to sea.  I invited the world and no one came.  Seriously.  The Mogull girls came that first weekend and promised they would be visiting all summer.  Never again.  All my other friends, same story.  Usually when I’ve lived on the water, you have to keep it on the down low because too many people just show up.  Not this time.  So, it was just me and my kids. (more…)

Talent Show, Summer of ’64

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

I wish I could tell you exactly how many yards it was for me to get to Roxbury Park to give you the visual.    A hop.   Not even a skip and a jump.  I walked two houses up, crossed Olympic and I was there.

That is where I spent my summers.  Basically, doing absolutely nothing.  Kind of like a Seinfeld episode.  No sunblock.  No checking in with my mother.  I didn’t excel at anything in Roxbury Park.  Not at caroms.  Not the monkey bars.  And certainly not the rings.

At the rings, I watched other kids adept at swinging quickly back and forth from one to the next.  I stood high up one day, grabbed ahold and leapt off, but unable to catch the next ring, which seemed to move further and further away, I landed back where I started.  I spent long days trying to push myself further until I did finally grab onto that second one, which was such a victory.   Then I kept swinging back and forth, trying to gain the momentum I would need to get to the next, but failed and dropped to the ground.  Again I tried, over and over, all summer until I was finally able to go back and forth, leaving the other kids waiting in line, drumming their fingers.  And like a monkey, I would copy what the other ring junkies would do just before taking over the set for their performance.  They would dig their hands into the sand and rub some of it between their palms for better friction.  Or use chalk.   It never seemed to work for me, but I did it to look cool, like them.  Inevitably all us monkeys ended up with blisters. (more…)