Vol 1 Issue 14
Happy Fourth of July!
I’m at the beach with my dog and a friend of many years and ten thousand Fourth of July vacationers. Walking the beach at the Fourth of July brings out the smiles we forget most of the year.
D and I maintain an older beach house that sits on a high bluff. Nothing fancy, nothing new except for the siding, the deck, the windows… Beach houses need easily twice as much maintenance as other houses not so exposed to big Atlantic storms and the ever-present salt air. So this trip is a maintenance inspection. Otherwise, wild horses couldn’t make me want to drive on I-95 on a holiday weekend.
If we hadn’t let the pine trees grow up around the house, we’d now have a better view of the ocean, but I like the isolation from the adjacent mombo house that a local developer built, complete with home theater, elevator, too many bedrooms and a golf cart to carry folks to the beach. He knocked down a perfectly fine four-bedroom place to build it just before the 2007-2009 crash. Only months after the developer completed it, the bank foreclosed on the loan. We watched the whole sad story unfold from our deck, a morality story if ever there was one.
The housing crash of 2007-2009 was especially hard on the Outer Banks. Everyone was building on thin margins, and as soon as the mortgage market blew up, the Outer Banks’ economy went with it.
I wrote a first draft of Unfavorable Turn of Wind the week the bank’s for sale sign went up. The poem’s point of view is from one of the Hispanic construction workers. It was included in Not to Touch published in 2014.
Left over from last week’s short story, Saint-Tropez Sketch, this week’s blog is about Gloria Vanderbilt and the coincidences of a life.
Here’s another poem… related to this week’s blog, sorta.