Let’s start by remembering the men who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to reject a government they considered oppressive. The nation they spawned continues, and while we’ve made wrong turns along the way, we’ve still done more to advance the liberty that is necessary for human flourishing than any nation in history. Thanks, gentlemen. And for the rest of us — could we try not to screw things up any further?
As part of our observance of same, Clan Mondo will likely head to the local high school football stadium for the annual fireworks display. The Spawn will probably pull her usual disappearing act and catch the fireworks with a high school friend who is home for the summer, and Mrs. M and I will swelter in the grandstand before the explosions and Lee Greenwood music begin. It’s a very small town sort of thing, but there’s a lot to be said for that — at least, I think so.
Mrs. M and I have been on the road for the past few days, rolling back into Mondoville last night. We spent Friday and Saturday nights in Knoxville with the Mads, where we ate (too much), shopped (about enough), and spent time with our friends (too little, as ever). I picked up a half-dozen paperbacks — a couple of Bosches from Connelly, another of Christopher Stasheff’s Wizard in Rhyme series, Peter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing, a Louis L’Amour, and Donald Westlake’s 361. Mrs. M chose to squander her money on silly things like attractive clothing, rather than the necessities I purchased, but chacun a son gout. We also filled a pop culture gap for Mrs. M, as she saw Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time. She seemed to enjoy it.
On Sunday afternoon, the two of us drove halfway home, deciding to stay overnight in Asheville. We spent the night at a Holiday Inn near Biltmore, a cut above our typical choice in lodging, but it was a nice splurge, as the hotel has just been renovated (and has a very nice breakfast buffet). We drove through the funky downtown area after dinner, and we found enough cool places that we’re already planning a return trip. Yesterday we had planned to visit Biltmore, but the weather was iffy so we contented ourselves with a visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway’s visitor center and some more shopping, where I got — surprise! — another book, along with the latest copy of Shindig magazine. We got home around five, a little tired but pleased with the trip, our friends, and ourselves. I’ll call that a success.
I registered for Bouchercon last week, and hope to let you know about things like readings, panels and such in the coming weeks. A bonus this time is that all this is happening in my favorite city, which I haven’t visited in several years, so I’m hoping this will prove to be an embarrassment of riches. Add to that the reissue of Broken Glass Waltzes this fall, the new story that will come out later this year, and some additional writer news I hope to drop on you before long, and with luck, my Pinocchio story will continue.
The Berries had their first rehearsal in a while last week, as we begin to get ready for three shows over the next couple of months. Details will follow.
And I’ll close with a bit of music — a very little bit. Those who know me know that Bob Seger is not one of my favorite musicians, and those who know me well recognize the litotes in that statement. While there are a few songs of his I like (generally from early in his career), they’re more than offset by his overplayed classic rawk stuff from the 70s, including my all-time least favorite song, “Turn the Page.” Tired of being a rock star, Bob? Taco Bell is hiring smiling faces.
This song is a lesser known track, and includes a pre-fame Seger. It’s a 1969 parody of Barry Sadler’s hit, and was released under the name “The Beach Bums.” Much more of an intro would be breaking a butterfly — or perhaps a stinkbug — on the wheel, so here’s “The Ballad of the Yellow Beret.”
See you soon.