The “month that will not end!” has ended but my chronic cold has not. Like a lot of colds, it seems to move around inside me from day to day. Yesterday, bronchial tubes. Today, nostrils. Tomorrow, toes. Who knows? At any rate, enough!, begone my complaining at such mild complaints!
(Oh my Lord! It’s five in the morning and I’m so out of it I haven’t even made coffee. Just a moment please… There, that’s a bit better.)
Sick or not my editor will not let my seething cranium be and I find myself remembering odd bits of Paradise from my boyhood and my dotage. I’m also still bumping into people who, a month removed from the burning, struggle with their changed situation much more than I am. I still hear the stories as we all try to reassemble, not the lives we had in Paradise, but the lives we have now in this and other small cities in the north state.
My readers and many other kind souls have returned me to life and I, with my small gift, would like to return the favor.
Paradise, as it was, is not dead it is gone. There will be another town named Paradise but it will never again be Paradise because, as noted right above, Paradise is gone. But I had a boyhood once in Paradise and, if memory serve, I can recall my own days in the gone world and some of them should be told. So memory shall serve. Here, because I have no place else to put them.
For now, I’ve decided to let others concern themselves with the heat death of liberty and/or the saving of the Republic. I’ve put my shoulder to that wheel long enough. And I am heartily sick of our political sickness.
Instead, for a bit, I’ll be writing about the life and the death of this one small town. Somebody’s got to and it might as well be me. After all, I had a boyhood once in Paradise.
Here’s my list of working titles so it can stop being scribbled on the outside of all these envelopes.
- The Rage of This Road: “Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I’d strike the sun if it insulted me!”
- Logistical Saviors: How the Salvation Army Invades a Catastrophe
- Riebes and the RVs: Companies That Step Up and Step In and Find Enduring Customer Loyalty in the Ashes
- The Craptacular Costco and Other Companies That, Frankly My Dear Scaret, Just Don’t Give a Damn
The Woman Who Drove Her Schoolbus Through the Tunnel of Fire
- Grandpa’s Lake and the Rattlesnake
- The Laughing Man and His 300 Keys to the Ashes
- My Three Homes In Paradise
- Just a Half Case of Damp Dynamite, What Could Go Wrong?
- The Apple “Gleaners”
- Saturdays at Stratton’s Feed Store
- Seen Behind the First Snowflakes of Paradise
- “X”: Sekrit Klubhouse No Gurlz Aloud
- The Brother Room, the Walnut Tree, and the Manzanita Maze
- The Uncle Who Came from Korea to Paradise
- Of Rowboats and Bullfrogs
- The Haunting House
- Ghost Towns of the Canyon
- Poor Butterfly and the Paradise Drive-In in the Pines
- The Boulders of the Wildwood and the Cozy Diner
- Hit ‘Em and You Get ‘Em: Running the Fifth Grade Casino
- Olive the Rescue Cat or “Into the Carrier Again, Boss?”
- “Little Van Says”
- Camp Doon Slop
- Mr. Roberts, Stories for Men, and The Most Dangerous Game
- The Back Road to Paradise