Vacation, bittersweet

Posted By on June 25, 2008

It’s my last paid vacation. We’re in Stone Harbor on the Jersey shore for the second year in a row. The beach is beautiful, though the Atlantic is too cold for swimming; the weather has been mainly good, with enough sun. I’ve been doing a lot of work here, some of my last as a full-time editor for Lodging Hospitality. The key task is compressing my 10-day China trip into about four magazine pages. Glad to be doing it in a place where I can take a break and get some sun.

I’m looking forward to my last day of work Aug. 1. But I’m also apprehensive. I’ve been employed for nearly 40 years, so lacking an anchor is scary. I’m putting out feelers for part-time work now, though I have a salary cap my first year of retirement (a strange word; tell people about it and the association is ending, dying. No such plans for me). I’m looking to edit, write corporate PR, put together brochures, do travel journalism. Maybe even some serious consumer reporting; now that I’ll have time, my ambitions are beginning to reawaken.

I also am looking forward to the presidential campaign and plan to volunteer for Obama. What form that will take I’m not sureyet, but his campaign is engaging me like none has since Clinton 1, in 1992. Back in February, I said it was Obama time. Still is. I’ll do what I can to guarantee that.

Naturally, time is on my mind, with a big shift in how I spend it coming up. So is continuity; last week, I got a note and some writings from Jack Behar, former husband of Barbara Behar, a former student of my father’s. In the ‘90s, I recall coming across writings of my father’s—dirty writings, sexual fantasies , if not (I hope) factual accounts—involving Barbara, who died of cancer in 1993. Jack sent me a packet of his writings about that “affair,” apparently a matter of phone sex-plus. It made me squeamish; not only does it tarnish my father to me, it shines a light on my own secrets, obsessions, sexual fantasies. Tantalizing? Scary, too. I don’t know how I’ll respond to Jack yet, but I will. Business, it seems, is never finished.



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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: