Ya see, my baby was delivered yesterday.
Wanta see the cute little tyke? Whattayathink? I think he has my smile...
Here, let's move that blanket out of the way, and let you see his... MY... heart.
Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod, is it? Is it? YES, it is. It's a bouncing baby... BOOK!!!
Delivered naturally, too. (Okay, so I may have had a glass of wine... or two... to celebrate his arrival.)
Psst! Know what happiness is? Hearing my man Smarticus laugh last night... while he was reading MY BOOK!
Okay, I had a whole 'nother post ready for today, but since
That's a suburb of Balmer. (Or Baltimore, to the uninitiated.) Where I grew up.Where Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade takes place.
That's Dundalk shopping center in the picture. The picture was taken much more recently than when we lived there, but even though the occupants of those stores have changed many times over, the buildings are pretty much the same. A picture taken in the '30s would show that same string of buildings. However, it's entirely possible the cars would look somewhat different.
In the prologue, Pearl remembers going to Arundel's Ice Cream Parlor with her father. At one time, the parlor was located about halfway down... in that first corner building, if I remember right. Doesn't matter, but I'll bet you can remember a place just like it from your home town. The BEST ice cream sodas, shakes, and sundaes in town. A great place for teenagers and families to hang out. Rich frothy root beer floats, and strawberry shakes so thick with strawberries, they kept getting stuck in the straw. BIG shakes, big enough for two to share. The fella would sit on one side of the table, and the gal on the other. With their knees barely touching under the table, they slurped on their straws at the same time, while making eyes at each other, and listening to the popular music playing in the background. Do you remember a place like that?
The Strand movie theater used to be located at the far corner of the street. For fifty cents, you could escape into the air conditioning, watch a double feature, cartoon, coming attractions, newsreel AND have popcorn and candy. On Saturday afternoons, the place would always be jam-packed with kids. Rambunctious kids. It wasn't at all unusual to get whopped in the head with popcorn or worse... sticky candy. From my experience, I'd have to say wet jujubes and milk duds had the most sticking power, but I'll plead the fifth as to whether or not I ever engaged in such shenanigans. However, I will admit to making obnoxious noises by blowing into my empty milk duds box. (Hey! That's circumstantial evidence!)
Enjoyed many a date at that theater, and quite a few of them were with Smarticus. And very often... the evening would be topped off down the street with a root beer float or strawberry shake.
Now, the movie theater is no more. For a while, it was some sort of sports center, but now, I think it's a Dollar Store. (sigh) Just like the other local theaters. The old Carlton is now a funeral parlor, and the Abbey Lane is a Salvation Army store. Time marches on. Are any of the old movie theaters in your home town still movie theaters?
It was built in 1922, and is one of the few constants in the area. Which is one of the reasons Pearl loves it so much. Like her, it spits in the face of change.
How about your town? Is there anything left that's been able to hang tough through the years? And you? Is it easy for you to accept change?
Okay, enough. I know what y'all reeeeally want to know. You want to know who the heck won Dianne's book, doggone it!
Inside of that cap (AF4FO is my amateur radio call sign) are little slips of paper. One for each of you who commented on the last post. (Except for those who opted out.) It was my intention to procure some able feline assistance in drawing one of those slips, but as you can see, Dot was a little dubious about the whole thing. Dash? She was busy taking a nap.
No problem. I procured the able assistance of my better half Smarticus.
So without further ado, (insert drum roll here) the winner of the Kindle version of Dianne Salerni's book The Caged Graves IS... (ta-DA!)
Sorry, all you guys and gals who were hoping to win this terrific book. But, hey! You can still BUY it. PLUS, you still have a shot at winning MY baby. (Um, not one of the two-legged ones... the BOOK. Signed, even.)
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
[Images courtesy of Wikipedia, Morguefile, and the Dundalk Public Library.] [Oh, yeah! And ME!]