2020: THE YEAR OF W.T.H. (PG VERSION)

It goes without saying that 2020 has been quite the year.  Regardless of which side of the political fence you sit on – and anyone who knows me knows where I stand –  you really need to wear a mask, stay six feet away and wash your hands.  Also try to avoid large gatherings and/or being with people you haven’t seen in a while, which is easier said than done. It’s a slippery slope and except for the first three precautions, everyone must deal with it in their own way, depending upon their needs and life choices.  Here is a short video of my cat Peabody playing with a toy, because well, cats and the internet and he’s just so darned cute despite sometimes being an a-hole.

On a more personal level, I have moved to Florida.  Lakewood Ranch to be exact, which is somewhere between Bradenton (or Bradentucky, which some locals call it) and Sarasota. It’s like Ohio, only with more monster trucks and palm trees. And no snow. And an ocean. And a bunch of older people, who like me, are pretty independent. I really love it here, although I miss my family and some of my friends (you know who you are).  If this is indeed God’s waiting room, I’ll take it, although my immediate neighborhood represents quite a mix of races and ages. And most people are friendly and I find myself considerably less grumpy.  How can you stay pissed if you’re driving past a body of gorgeous water sparkling in the sunshine?

I will also get to know my new home more journalistically, having just signed a book contract from Pineapple Press/Rowman to write THREE RING(LING) CIRCUS:  THE CIRCUS, THE RINGLING BROTHERS AND SARASOTA.  Fortunately, it doesn’t come out until 2023, so hopefully the worst of the pandemic/political freakshow will be in the rear-view mirror so I can concentrate on writing about this one.  Also, while I attempt to dodge the ‘rona, I’m working on a new novel, DOING HARD TIMES IN GEEZERVILLE which will (obviously) keep me closer to home. It’s actually a satire on The Villages and represents a total stretch and challenge, as unlike my last two novels, the setting and characters are pretty unfamiliar. But, given these grim times, we need more fun and humor, so I will do my best to represent. At some point I’ll also return to LIFE DURING WARTIME, a memoir about my late son Alex’s addiction and possibly my book on Presidential Libraries, the first 44, anyway.

To quote Looney Tunes (and this certainly does place me in a particular age bracket):  “That’s All, Folks!”  Let’s hope for a more placid rest of 2020, although my winning the lottery’s not likely to happen, either.

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