Shifting gears

Posted By on June 7, 2008

We’re starting a week’s vacation June 21, returning to Stone Harbor, New Jersey for a sophomore sojourn. The place will be great; time for sand and sun and seafood—and tightening up. We’re driving; bought a luggage rack/box for Karen’s Scion xB, and expect to spend a few hundred on gas to and from. But it’s cheaper than flying. It’ll be my last paid vacation.

There’s some finality to what I’ll do in August: quit my full-time job. That’s known as deciding to retire, but “retire” has a false finality, because I’m not ending, just shifting. Because Lylah and Katy are less than 18  years old, I can collect Social Security for them for a few years; combined with my Social Security income, the household should do OK. If prices begin to level off.

Anyhow, I’m looking forward to more time for myself. I still hope to travel, and to write. Though there’ll be an income cap in my first year, I’ll be able to make as much as I want after that, and I hope to do a lot more freelance work in corporate communications and hotel public relations.

On three other fronts: A 2004 BMW rammed into my own month-old Scion xB 10 days ago, wrecking the bumper and jamming the rear of the frame a bit, for $3,200 and change in repairs. The Beemer was totaled. We’ve been having some major auto issues, obviously, and the repair shop is doing well by us. The accident showed me how tough a little car my Scion is. The other front: Susan Green, whom I haven’t seen in at least 25 years, sent me a collection of essays/stories she and Susan Connell-Mettauer wrote. It’s way personal; it includes a few pieces about my relationship with the latter Susan, who died in late March. Weird reading my Susan’s writing about us 45 years ago. The narratives show me how I became such a flaming liberal; happens when punitive relatives frame you for fornication, a Massachusetts blue law of medieval, toxic cast.

Finally, the Obama-McCain campaign is on.  I’m writing this the day Hillary finally conceded and rediscovered her grace. About time; now it’s time for Obama, for the country to regain its balance—at least. Who knows? If he’s elected, the U.S. may even stumble upon a colorblind, positive groove. Here’s hoping.





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I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: