Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Day Without Parades

It was a long spiral. The downfall started ten years ago and ended today. You could say he was a victim of Katrina, or a victim of bad decisions, or a victim of too many empty vodka bottles, or that he wasn't a victim of anything at all. No matter how thin you slice it, without Katrina he would still be among us.

A friend told me he didn't do anything untoward to himself, but he did. He didn't chew on a 12-gauge or cut himself, but he pulled the trigger on a vodka bottle everyday and, well, that's a hard way to go, too.

There won't be any parades for him, or national days of mourning, or candlelight vigils. But there will be sons and friends and moms and dads and sisters that have a void in them that he used to fill. Perhaps his legacy is that terrible monument of broken lives and lost dreams. Perhaps his legacy is a wonderful conviviality of good friends, good times, and camaraderie. It's too soon to tell and I'm uncertain if I'll ever know.

I hadn't seen him in twenty years. And I'll never see him again.

There is a place you can go where there are no troubles, no worries, no hurricanes, no ex-wives, no addictions. I hear there is only ebullience, laughter, and cheers. Save me a seat. Safe travels, Whitson. CEF

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Roman Coins

We've been busy on this. Here are a few recent additions.

Antoninus Pius

Trajan Decius
Philip II

These are not pics of the actual coins, but the condition is close. Let me know of you're interested in the attributions. More to come.....

The Hunter by Richard Stark (A Parker novel)

"When a fresh-faced guy in a Chevy offered him a lift, Parker told him to go to hell."

Not a bad line to start a novel, much less the first novel of a twenty-four book series.

Parker is the hero of the series, sometimes called the anti-hero and sometimes the non-hero. Regardless, he's the main character. And he's a bad guy. A very bad guy, but he's tinged with underworld justice, the kind that the police can't offer, so maybe he is just not as bad as the other malefactors in the book.

Richard Stark is Donald Westlake, author of numerous other books and series. Parker (I'm not sure we know his first name) began in the early sixties and continued until Westlake's death in 2008.

The series has also spawned several movies, most recently Parker (2013, with Jennifer Lopez, which I haven't seen) and Payback (~2001, with Mel Gibson, which I have seen). Payback holds pretty true to the book.

Here's the thing with Parker: he doesn't give a crap. He may accidentally kill an innocent, but you won't get any sobs. Maybe a kernel of remorse, then he's back to the mission, which tends to make him money.

All of the Parkers are on Kindle (at $9.99 each!), but I'm looking forward to the next twenty-three. Well done, Ricardo!

Monday, April 27, 2015

William G. Tapply / Death at Charity's Point

I started collecting this guy by chance - a bookseller had a lot of his books in first edition for a good price, and many of them were signed. Of late, I've been buying books that I know I won't read, whether to complete a series or just because they were a good deal. I decided to give Tapply a spin, since I now own several of his books and all.

There are twenty-five in the Brady Coyne series, Death at Charity's Point being the first. He started this series in 1984 and pounded out one a year for the next twenty-five years. Unfortunately, there won't be any more: Tapply died in 2009.

I'm up to the fourth installment, The Marine Corpse, and they have all been pretty good. They run about 220 pages, so you can get through them quickly. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read a lot of the backlist at no cost. Give him a spin.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Avett Brothers / Another Is Waiting

These guys keep on churning out good tunes. I prefer blondes to beards, but this is the best of both worlds. And skeletons, too.

The Avett Brothers / Kick Drum Heart

These guys are great. New and improved with a roving cello!