Wednesday, February 20, 2008

five o'clock shadows

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of my favorite writers was columnist Herb Caen, who probably isn't much known outside the region. He was a practitioner of what he called "three dot journalism." His columns were a whole series of small nuggets and occasional gems of observations about "The City," "Baghdad by the Bay," its places, people, and events all strung together with three dots.

I thought of Herb Caen's three dot journalism as I replayed my first 24 hours of comments on the little tape recorder Betti sent me. Observations of a frosted paper-cut moon in the pale blue sky...the price of gasoline ($3.09 yesterday, and $3.14 today in the same places...the move of local gas stations from the old fashion plastic numbers, to high tech LED readouts to cope with the rapidly changing prices of the last few years...a particularly large, gleaming white sycamore leaping out of the five o'clock shadows behind the new Dollar General store ...the disappearance of a nice trailer from its hilltop location of the last five years, the deck and porches missing too...what message does the disappearing home communicate about the economy...Gladys (a 40 something student with grown children) has fuzzy dice in her battered van, utterly out of character.

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