Currently in the middle of writing the second Vincent Malone book; Blue Flower Red Thorns. Vincent is still in Santa Fe and involved in the big time art business. You may not be familiar with the thriving art market that exist in Santa Fe. Many people think the art is exclusive Native American or southwest art but the city also has many contemporary galleries selling art world wide. According to the Santa Fe chamber of commerce "Santa Fe is recognized worldwide for its rich culture and diverse art community. The city hosts over 250 art galleries as well as a variety of museums and performing arts." And also, "In terms of dollar sales, Santa Fe is among the largest art markets in the U.S. according to a study by the University of New Mexico's Bureau of Business and Economic Research."
But of course even in the rarefied air of fine art there is lust and greed; which leads to murder and mystery; and another book!
Note: pre-order on the first Vincent Malone book; Santa Fe Mojo, should be up on Amazon on May 7th. Notice I said should be--scheduling glitches do happen, but that date is the target.
A Christmas Tradition
Part Two of Four
There had been two big incidents in the neighborhood for as long as anyone could remember. One was when the bootlegger, who lived one street over, was arrested. Everyone knew where the bootlegger lived but it was shocking when the police arrested the man. While selling booze was obviously illegal most fathers thought he hadn’t harmed anyone and “don’t the police have better things to do than hassle our neighbors” was often said by various dads, some of whom were customers. The other was a suicide.
Across the street from my house two houses down was a family who no one really knew. They had a grown son who lived with them but he never spoke to anyone or even waved. The parents were retired military and seemed very old. Not much was known, but gossip had speculated that the son was staying with his parents because he had legal problems. That bit of gossip was based on absolutely nothing other than the willful and unfounded claims of Mrs. Peters. According to my mother, she read way too many books and had extreme ideas. I heard my mother whisper to my father that she had a whole bookcase full of romance novels. Sin did exist in Midwest City.
One day the grown son parked his almost new Chevrolet in the one-car garage and started the engine. His mother found him many hours later and emitted a blood curdling scream before she collapsed. Within a very short amount of time the police arrived and set-up a blockade with their patrol cars and uniform officers stationed around the small house. No one saw the father that day, but the mother was taken away in an ambulance. Soon other vehicles arrived and while observed by everyone in the neighborhood the son’s body was removed. Shortly after the incident the parents moved out. It was said the father had been put in a nursing home. The house stayed vacant for many years and was still vacant when my parents moved to a larger house.
My journey on Christmas morning was first to Bills. Start with the most difficult and work towards the easiest, a philosophy that served me well long after Christmas Day gift auditing duties. Bill was prepared. He had made a list with estimated value points. He had definitely hit the Christmas gift jack-pot with a Giant Erector Set, the one with a functioning elevator. On top of that he got a new baseball glove. He was sitting pretty. We argued some and debated, but he won me over and we agreed his score was a whopping forty-two. A record.
Next up was Ernie. I hadn’t been inside his house all that much, but when I was it was always a warm feeling. His mother was very small and polite, more like a grandma than a mom. His dad stayed outside in their garage where he had a wood working shop. He made things, like tables and book cases and sold them at a small flea market near the fair grounds. Not sure he had a job. He had never said anything to me. Ernie stepped outside wearing a new stocking cap and sporting some impressive gloves. This was going to be a very competitive year. Ernie was grinning like he was about to explode, he had something hidden behind his back. “It is a miracle. I finally got one.” He seemed in awe, I had no idea what he was talking about. He brought it forward and showed me. I still didn’t know what it was. “It’s a slide-rule.” This was something different, never had it been listed on the kids scale of gifts. But, no doubt, even I knew this was on the same scale as an erector set. After some thought I offered my opinion on value, Ernie looked offended. He began a dissertation that covered more words than I had ever heard him say. He talked about adding, subtracting, division, most of which I sort of understood; but then he mentioned logarithms, roots and powers, trigonometry. The words lost meaning. This was in another league. Just based on the look on Ernie’s face this had to be the best genius boy gift of all-time, without further hesitation I declare the gift score, including the gloves and hat at an astronomical seventy-five. Contest over, no one could beat this—except for maybe a motor scooter. Congratulations were due to Ernie and his poor parents, they had reached the highest gift score of all time. Ernie was beaming as I left.
Next Post --Part Three
Next Post --Part Three