Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ten New Differences in My New Life

I recently moved from Los Angeles to a very small town in Tuolumne County. The last time I checked, L.A.'s current population is around 6 million people. My new town (which I am not naming for privacy purposes) has a population of around 2,500 people.

So far, this is my list of things that are different.

1. I can walk to everything that I need to survive, with the exception of the veterinarian, who is around 2 miles away. (Yes, I could walk that, but Annie, my 11 1/2 year old dog, couldn't. Kind of important that she be there.)

2. When I lived in L.A. (the San Pedro area) I had to have at least 4 fans going at night to drown out the traffic and the neighbor's barking dog. Here, it's so quiet at night that before I go to sleep I can hear my heart beat.

3. I have been here over three weeks, and several times a week I've been driving to Sonora (15 minute drive) for various errands. Not once have I been in a traffic jam. I LOVE being able to not to have to plan my life around traffic jams. I don't have to even think about it. Only those that live in L.A. can really appreciate how huge this is.

4. Now, this may sound politically incorrect, but I can't help but mention it: Every person I have come in contact with here, from clerks in the store, to fast food employees, to laborers, SPEAKS ENGLISH.

5. I received a call from the Tuolumne County Recorder today because the Grant Deed for my house was returned to them in the mail. (My mail doesn't get delivered to my house, so I have a P.O. Box, but I didn't have it when the deed was recorded - it's a long story). Anyway, when's the last time YOUR County called YOU to get your correct mailing address?

6. Speaking of the Post Office, it's a five minute walk from my house. Did I mention that I'm within walking distance to everything in town?

7. Unless the entire county experiences a complete catastrophe and the entire country gets infected, I don't have to worry about contracting Ebola.

8. Speaking of disasters, I don't have to worry about "The Big One" anymore. Yes, we get earthquakes here, but it's a pretty safe bet that they'll be of less magnitude than those in L.A. We might get some serious shaking if L.A. falls into the ocean. This, for me, is another huge one.

9. The tellers at the local bank aren't behind bullet proof glass.

10. I feel safe. Everywhere. Except this morning, when a female deer made menacing moves towards Annie and me on our walk. I kid you not. Protecting her fawn, I guess.

Now, it's not perfect. There are a few drawbacks:

1. Utilities are promising to be pretty pricey. I've got a wood pellet stove coming next week which should help.

2. I'm having trouble finding a doctor who's taking new patients. Could it be because a lot of retirees live up here?

3. Some people, like contractors and roofers, tend to live on Hawaiian time. Oh woops, that's pretty much everywhere.

4. Most of you know that I'm a Dodger fan. I am now officially in Giants territory.

5. There isn't an In-n-Out in the entire county.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Back from the Move

Well, another long absence is over. Again I have to apologize for being gone. I moved on September 30 to Tuolumne County in California to be closer to my family. The move went well, except my movers (this is what you get for hiring friends) had other things to take care of, and we were 3 hours late getting out of San Pedro. I was hysterical by the time we did leave, I wanted to get out of there so badly. But once we got on the road, everything went fine, even if we didn't get to the new place until 10 at night.

Twelve days later, I'm still unpacking. Every time I turn around, there's another box to unpack. How did I get so much crap....oh, that's right, I collect stuff. Besides LOVE STORY pulps, I collect old soda bottles, tea pots, tea cups, vintage linen, and BOOKS. I think I had at least 50 boxes of books alone. How did I become a collector? Oh, I know - it's all of you pulp collectors out there - IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT. :)

The house needs some work, but all in due time. One thing I've learned since the last house I bought is that it won't be the end of the world if the house doesn't get painted right away, the carpet doesn't get pulled up and replaced with laminate right away, and stuff like that. I know now that money pours out of your hands like water after you buy a house. If people don't like how the house looks like now, tough. See, there ARE good things about getting older, like not caring about what other people think.

Annie and Chloe, my dog and cat, handled the move fairly well, although Chloe showed signs of having a urinary tract infection a few days after I moved in. Being that she is at risk of getting these and she also has a defective kidney, I took her to the local vet. (Why is it that the VERY FIRST place I always find in a new town is the veterinarian?) After tests taken and $249 spent, it was determined that there was nothing wrong with her except.....stress. They prescribed her Prozac. But if you've ever tried to give a cat a pill, you know the ending to this story. I didn't get one pill down her, even one quarter of one pill, and she was FINE by the next day. Oh well. She was overdue for her bloodwork so I don't feel totally aggrieved over the money spent.

ANYway, I will be back soon. I already have company coming starting tomorrow. This is what happens when you live in a beautiful area. NO ONE wanted to visit me when I lived in South L.A. - Gee, I wonder why?

I do miss blogging and connecting with all of you. I want to know how you are all doing.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Think about Fostering a Senior Dog

Some of you might remember Ed, the wonderful 18 year old Dalmatian I fostered a few years ago. Ed was extraordinary. He was the kindest of dogs who, while he had hard time walking around, still managed to get up whenever someone came into the house and let people hug him.

Fostering Ed was one of the most gratifying experiences I've had since I've been involved in dog rescue. Ed was rescued by Grand-Paws Senior Sanctuary in Acton, California, and they are always looking for foster homes for senior dogs. Many of these seniors have been left at animal shelters by their owners for a various number of reasons, some of which are inexplicable. Many times these senior dogs can't be rescued unless there is a foster home ready to take them in immediately and there is very little hope that they will be adopted. We've even seen people dump their senior dog at a shelter and then, in the same trip, adopt a puppy to replace it.

Another fantastic rescue group is the Thulani Program in Northern California, which is affiliated with the German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California. There is a terrific article on the Grey Muzzle Organization web site on how the Thulani Program started and some of the experiences of some of the fosters.

"We fully expected that we would save these most vulnerable dogs and that our volunteers would feel good about that, but what came as a huge surprise was the way the Thulani dogs brightened their new homes and how much shear joy they brought to the hospice family. The moving and inspiring testimonials we continually receive show the two-way nature of this work, helping both dogs and people."

Fostering a senior dog isn't sad. It's rewarding and gratifying. Yes, there may be some tears when the dog you've grown to love goes to the Rainbow Bridge, but you'll also know that you gave that dog a loving, warm home for the last few months or years of her life, which otherwise would have been cut short by being euthanized on a cold floor of a shelter with no one there to care.

When you foster, you'll always have the group there to support you if you have questions or need help. Medical costs are covered, and if the group doesn't cover your dog food expenses, it is tax deductible if the rescue group is a registered non-profit. Please contact a senior dog rescue group in your area to learn more. You won't regret it.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Checking in quickly

Yes I'm still alive and kicking. Just overwhelmed right now. I'm moving the end of this month back to Northern California near the Sonora area to be closer to my family. And, because I never do half-measures on anything, I bought a house there. So adrenalin has taken over as I deal with inspections and appraisals and loan applications and negotiating with sellers and packing and finding out professional movers won't go to the area to which I'm moving unless I pay them outrageous amounts - in gold - because it's not a 'standard route.' So I've had to go out and find friends who will help me move.

Plus the house I'm living in now is also for sale, and they're showing the house practically every day.

Plus finding out that many major fire insurance companies won't insurance houses in this area I'm moving to because of the fire risk. Thank you, Rim Fire of 2013. But I found a company who would: Hartford, who, by the way, has a great plan if you're an AARP member.

Plus having to say good-bye to everyone here, which is the worst part. I do have to say, however, that this is an example of how Facebook has made my life better. Because I see friends on Facebook almost every day, it makes saying good-bye a lot less painful. Yes, "seeing" them on Facebook is only virtual, but it's better than only hearing from someone occasionally by email or a phone call.

So the blog has to take a back seat. It was either the blog or writing a few minutes on the Daisy Bacon book, and writing the book won out.

I'll be back intermittently until this is over. Thank you for your patience!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

My PulpFest Report

PulpFest was fantastic this year. I'm not going to write a report other than my presentation at Ohio State University on Thursday afternoon. Everybody else writes such good reports that I can't write anything better. If you'd like to read others' reports, the links are below to where ThePulp.Net has collected them and you can find them on one page.

If you're interested in viewing recordings of the programs held during the convention, go here.

For reports on PulpFest, go here.

On Thursday afternoon, I spoke at the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Ohio State University. Every year the Library invites various representatives in the pulp community to come and give a talk. My topic this year was about my grandfather's personal papers, which were donated to the Library the end of last year. I spoke on how I discovered my grandfather's career as a pulp fiction writer and his personal papers. The talk was well-attended with around 30 people; I've done this presentation many times in the past at local libraries and 30 is a good crowd.

Before the presentation, Eric Johnson, curator at the library, showed me where my grandfather's papers were stored and how they have cataloged and stored them. The cataloging is a major undertaking, and Rex Hughes who was in charge of the cataloging did a great job. There is an extensive on-line directory now of how to find what's in the papers. I will post those links when I get them.

One of the great treats was seeing the great display that Eric and his staff did with the Paul Powers papers. They take up two display cases in the lobby of the library. Here are some photos of the display.

Here's some photos from the presentation. The first photo is of me holding the recording of the Sonny Tabor Radio Show. Finding the manuscripts from the show online was the first clue that got me down the path to finding the career of Paul Powers.

Another great moment was in the auction on Saturday night. We (my aunt and I) auctioned off a few items, and the proceeds went to Grand Paws Senior Sanctuary in Acton, California. We figured that because my grandfather was such a big lover of dogs that it was very fitting. We auctioned off two copies of his novel DOC DILLAHAY, as well as two promotional prints that Street & Smith gave away; one was of Kid Wolf, and one was of Sonny Tabor. The total proceeds from those four pieces was $225, and Grand-Paws was very, very appreciative.

I didn't buy that many pulps this year. A few LOVE STORY issues, and a BLACK MASK with a Rex Sackler story for my collection, a few more. I bought more books - anthologies and biographies - more than anything.

The only downer for me, and it's one that I haven't quite gotten over, is that I wasn't able to meet Lisa Scott, the granddaughter of H.W. Scott, who was one of the prolific cover artists for WILD WEST WEEKLY. He did so many covers of Kid Wolf that I haven't even counted them. For some reason, I read somewhere that she would be at PulpFest on Friday or Saturday. Instead, she was there on Thursday and I missed her completely. It was totally my fault. Total bummer.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Pulp News for August 1, 2014

Sorry for being so absent, but what else is new??

Lots of things to discuss, but before I start, here's an update on the house-hunting in the Sonora area. I don't have anything yet. If I can't find a good place to buy soon, I'll be happy to rent something for a while. I might have mentioned before that the biggest obstacle is finding something that doesn't have a lot of stairs. I still have time, however, but I do want to move sooner rather than later. The stress is starting to get to me, but I'm one of these that can't stand to have anything unsettled. But I need to learn to live with it...I went to the doctor today and my blood pressure is through the roof. Aye....

Anyway, more fun stuff!

PulpFest is around the corner!! I think we're ALL getting very excited. There will be at least fifty dealers at PulpFest, filling over 100 tables. If you're interested in seeing who will be there, go here for a complete list and description of all the dealers.

The auction on Saturday night is going to be a whopper. There will be a substantial accumulation of pulp magazines at this year’s auction, acquired by auctioneer Joseph F. Saine, with over seventy lots almost entirely devoted to pulp magazines.Featuring over 150 pulps as well as digests and dime novels. A wide variety of titles will be offered.

Another highlight of the auction will be a selection of books, fanzines, manuscripts, and ephemera from the collection of Everil Worrell, author of nineteen stories for Weird Tales. There will be twenty-five lots of collectibles from the Worrell estate, left to a small church in Washington, DC after the passing of the author’s only child, Eileen Murphy.

AND, if that doesn't float your boat, a few minor items from my grandfather's estate will be in the auction. No pulps, but there will be two prints of Kid Wolf and Sonny Tabor that were handed out as promotions during the 1930s. Here's the one of Sonny Tabor, a painting by Tom Lovell. This ended up being the cover of the August 7, 1937 cover of WILD WEST WEEKLY.

There will also be a copy of the US edition of DOC DILLAHAY, my grandfather's full length novel published in 1949, and also a scarce UK edition that was published the next year. The UK edition even has a dustjacket.

All of the proceeds from these items from my grandfather's estate will be donated to Grand-Paws Senior Sanctuary, in honor of his love of dogs and passion to help dogs that were abused or neglected. Grand-Paws is a sanctuary here in northern Los Angeles County that saves senior large breed dogs from shelters and gives them a safe, happy place to spend their golden years. Some of you might remember Ed, the 18 year old Dalmatian I fostered a few years ago. Ed was rescued by Grand-Paws.

I'm also speaking at Ohio State University Thursday, the 7th, at 4:30 PM, about my grandfather's career and the collection that we donated to the University. If you're interested in attending, here's the write up from their Facebook page:

"Please join the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library and the Aldus Society for our 4th Annual Pulp Fiction lecture on 7 August 2014, 4:30 p.m., in Thompson Library Rm. 150 A/B. This year we’ll hear from Laurie Powers, who will present a lecture entitled “Riding the Pulp Trail: The Career of Paul S. Powers.” Laurie will provide us with an overview of the vibrant world of one of the most popular fields of pulp fiction, the Western story, with particular emphasis on the life and career of one the genre’s most prolific writer, her grandfather, Paul S. Powers, who published hundreds of stories starring the likes of Freckles Malone, Sonny Tabor, and Kid Wolf in the Western pulps between 1925-1950. Laurie will also provide an overview of the Paul S. Powers Western and Pulp Fiction Writing Collection, an impressive array of pulp magazines, manuscripts, editorial and fan correspondence, books, photos, and art that she and her aunt and uncle, Pat and Ted Binkley, donated to OSU’s Rare Books & Manuscripts Library in December 2013. Numerous items from the collection will be on display at the lecture, as well as in the Thompson Special Collections display area for lecture attendees to examine."

I'll also have a table at PulpFest and will be selling all of my grandfather's books, including PULP WRITER, HIDDEN GHOSTS, and RIDING THE PULP TRAIL. If you haven't bought any of these and will be at PulpFest, I'll be offering a special deal if you buy all three!

Speaking of Riding the Pulp Trail, remember that it's now an audiobook, and it will soon be available on Amazon and Audible. I'm still looking for the links, though, so I'll post an update as soon as I get them.

Everyone have a great weekend!

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