Rainy day mix

  • Bergman

    Obituary Blues: My Facebook authors page contains a mix of arts and writing news and reviews. Today there are three obits on it and that’s enough to make one feel the blues strong and steady. Michael Lang, 77, Woodstock co-creator; Director Peter Bogdanovich, 82, “The Last Picture show” and other films; Marilyn Bergman, 93, Oscar-winning lyricist of “The Way We were”; and then, too, on my main news feed, Sidney Portier (“They call me Mr. Tibbs.”)

  • Book cover for WildKristin Hannah:  While the subject of Wild was compelling for anyone interested in psychology, I was disappointed in this early novel, believing that Hannah hadn’t really come into her own in nailing down her style and voice. The feel-good ending falls into the characters’ laps without insufficient foundation and the author discounted her own childhood disabilties specialist by having her look up autism on the Internet. As I said in my Depot Cafe Blog, I think Hannah did this as a means of telling her readers about autism without thinking about the fact that a specialist wouldn’t be looking for onfo online that she would already know.
  • Our 2006 Buick: Ever since the glovebox latch broke off, our challenge has been finding ways to keep the door closed tightly enough to keep the small light inside from draining the battery.  Apparently, one must take the glovebox door off to get the lightbulb out. Had the car on the trickle charger most of yesterday and last night to re-charge the battery. This is becoming a hassle.
  • 711 Ocean Drive Poster.jpg711 Ocean Drive: My wife and I watch a lot of noir movies on TV and this one fit the bill last night. I liked the big shoot-out ending at Hoover Dam (still called Boulder Dam in the film) because I visited the dam when I was young and the scenes in the movie matched my memories of the tour. Apparently, when the film came out, Columbia Pictures said that gangsters were so angry about the film giving away their secrets that the production company had to take out special insurance politices on the primary stars (Edmond O’Brien and Joanne Dru) to keep them safe. The Turner Classic Movies (TCM) host said that notion was probably a PR stunt.
  • 2022: I’m not yet convinced this is going to be a good year. The COVID arguments continue and more and more people are saying the U.S. is on the verge of another civil war. That’s rather unsettling. I feel sorry for today’s kids growing up with that idea hanging over their heads along with worrying about whether the schools are going to be open this week.


Malcolm R. Campbel is the author of the mystery/thriller “Conjure Woman’s Cat,” in which a conjure woman fights the KKK in a small Florida town.

What if all those younger than you are dead?

Once you get to my age, you notice obituaries for younger people who are said to have had a long and happy life. You also notice that people whom you worked with years ago–and would like to contact–are gone leaving, I guess, a séance as the only alternative since they no longer have e-mail or Facebook accounts.

As I research my novel in progress, I think of people who have the information I need–or, perhaps, the advice I need–and realize they’re long gone. My main character in Conjure Woman’s Cat claimed she was older than dirt. I am by no means ready to make such a claim.

So, where is everybody?

I find the loss of old colleagues and old friends more disturbing than the yearly lists of famous people who “were gone too soon.” Most of those people never returned my calls. Those who did are the ones I miss.

Basically, I think the people we love should never die. I guess that was one of the themes of the 1985 movie “Cocoon,” a film I happened to like. And the cast! (from Wikipedia): “Cocoon is a 1985 American science-fiction comedy-drama film directed by Ron Howard about a group of elderly people rejuvenated by aliens.[6][7] The film stars Don AmecheWilford BrimleyHume CronynBrian DennehyJack GilfordSteve GuttenbergMaureen StapletonJessica TandyGwen VerdonHerta WareTahnee Welch, and Linda Harrison. The screenplay was written by Tom Benedek, from David Saperstein’s story.”

I suppose the film did well with those who liked the idea that they would never die. I happen to think that notion is true. But while we are separated from each other, it would be nice to have a cosmic e-mail service as a way for keeping up.


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of magical realism novels and short stories including “Conjure Woman’s Cat.”