SUMMERTIME

JULY 10, 2011

 

So anyway, it's been cooling down a bit after the recent heat wave here, but still keeping sunny and warm in the afternoons along the coast, while the inland has been toasty in the high eighties. The upcoming week will see a gradual cooling trend with late fog.

Some folks, generally those some folks from SoCal, are grumbling the place is starting to look like Minnesota with all the cold weather. Of course they don't know anything about Minnesota. Mendacino is about as far north any self-respecting Southern Californian will venture, and they only come that far on promise there will be a roaring fireplace available when the temperature drops to the unholy temperature of 62 degrees. No they know nothing of Minnesota at all. San Franciscans now gallop around in all weather wearing sandals and shorts regardless to prove they still have the hardy pioneer spirit, sitting there sipping their lattes at an outside cafe table in dense fog or a howling gale with sensible folks looking at them as they scurry by wearing sou-easters and boots. Just try that during one Winnipeg winter and you will know something about serious cold.

the only American who left California because he didn't like the weather.

Mark Twain came here one summer, and is locally famous for having said the coldest winter he ever endured was a summer in San Francisco. He was a notable crank who was made even more notable for being the only American who left California because he didn't like the weather.

Just think about that for a while.

But its summer and school is out and all the little monsters have gone off to scout camp, little Adam along with them. Adam, if you remember, was the sudden orphan tossed from a moving car and adopted by Marlene and Andre's Household.

He was well on the way to showing them how to make a small bomb

There in cub scout camp the kids learn the useful skills in life, such as how to tie half hitches, how to build a fire with one single match, and how to short sheet the bed of somebody in the next tent. Adam, who came from a rather rough background, proves to be a versatile resource there and before long he has taught some survival skills of his own, including but not exclusive to making a defense weapon out of a toothbrush and how to disable an attacker who is six times bigger than you. He was well on the way to showing how to make a small bomb out of a 9 volt battery and some flammable incidentals before he got redirected by Scoutmaster Jeff.

Don't teach them that, Adam.

O, but they might need it, Mister Jeff.

Adam, go to the kayak class.

What they gonna do when they gets hard time, dude!?

What they gonna do when they gets hard time, dude!?

I am kinda hoping for a little higher destiny for these Scouts, Adam.

What they gonna do if'n they get sent to Calpatria or Pelican Bay? They be like fresh meat not knowing nothing!

Adam, none of these kids are going to jail. Not for a while anyrate. That's the idea of Scouting; turn them into people with some hope in life. Go take out the kayak.

Awwwww, mannnnnn . . . .

On Sunday, Father Danyluk went for his customary clockwise stroll on a broader circuit now that he was getting his land legs from this weekly walk. For Sale signs posted in front of neat cottages now interspersed with bank auctions and forclosures -- signs of the continuing Great Recession which continues unabated regardless of how much money already wealthy stockbrokers are making at the Borse. Yes, even here. Yes, now even on the Island, the boney hand of the lean solicitor is finally being felt. The old former mortuary where the fellow had run a tiny nine seat cinema vacant now for two years after the former landlord had raised the rent to force out the cinema in hopes of better prospects. Instead of higher rent, the landlord had gotten nothing at all, and so had lost the building to the bank. Turns out no one wanted to rent a former mortuary no matter how nice the stained glass windows.

Father Danyluk nodded to Pastor Nyquist, who was walking as was his nature, anticlockwise over the same beat. The men were good friends for all that.

A glorious day, praise the lord, etc.

Down the way, Toni the Witch stepped out of the First Island Coven of Wicca to remark to her companion there, Praise the spirit in all things, its a wonderful summer's day.

Next door, in the Sacred Grotto of the Sanctified Elvis, Minister Robert Backbeat put on an LP in celebration, while Reverend Freethought swept the porch of the First Unitarian Church of the Sacred Petition. The earth continued her revolve as roses burst into bloom all over the Island, pea and bean vines drooped with late abundance, and the mother opossum appeared on the old fence, laden with the fruits of her own labors, some 10 or 12 little marsupials.

In the Old Same Place Bar, folks bellied up to the rail for their own celebrations of the spirits, each in his and her own way.

Suzie stepped out during her break to see Jodet and Ozzie heading over to Littlejohn Park. There the teenage couple lay out their blanket to hold hands and look up at the stars. Because of the budget crunch, all the park lights had been shut off after ten-thirty. They looked up at Ursas Major and Minor and Orion with his questionable belt/sword/whatever. Music drifted from the open window of one of the houses that borders the park; Janice Joplin singing a slow, bluesy tune about summer.

Look! said Jodet. A shooting star!

Look! said Jodet. A shooting star!

A summer evening, two teens on a blanket, warmth of the body next to you, the Pollock splattering of stars, the earth's revolve. It's been said by at least one wiser man, there is no better place than this, there is no better time than now, this very moment.

Two teenagers with blankets headed off to the park to canoodle, pretty much as she and S---- had done so long ago. As teens have done since time immemorial, under the falling stars.

she put a feather in her hair . . .

There, beneath the full moon and beside the chuckling waters of the estuary she put a feather in her hair. The way the Ohlone girls do. She asked him with her eyes to ask again. Then he asked her, yes, and she put her arms around him, yes. And drew him down there so he could feel all perfume, yes. And all the time his heart going like mad, and .... Yes, she said. Yes I will. Yes, yes, yes ....

The long howl of the throughpassing train ululated across the summer wildflowers blooming passionately among the starlit grasses of the Buena Vista flats as the locomotive wended its way past the dark and shuttered doors of the Jack London Waterfront, headed off on its romantic journey to parts unknown.

 

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