My First Full Day in Florida, and The Tall Dark Man From PulpFest

I did not realize just how tired I was until I fell onto the air mattress in the front room.  I barely had the dexterity and the awareness to put on my CPAP mask and turn the machine on before falling completely asleep.  Susie had stayed up late with me for awhile–both of us on our respective laptops–but I stayed up a little later than she did, and almost fell asleep in the chair where I had been sitting.

Susie, Steph, and Mike gave me the $.10 tour of Brevard County after we stopped at a produce farm to buy mangoes.  The growers sold Steph and Mike some unripe mangoes, and said they had none available that were ready to eat.

The mango farm was just across the road from the Indian River, which separates Merritt Island from the mainland.  I saw the exterior of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cocoa, and from a distance saw the launch pads of the Kennedy Space Center.  We went onto the beach by Cherie Down Park in Cape Canaveral and I could barely see the launch towers in the distance.  I took some pictures of the Atlantic.

I realized that I did not blog about PulpFest after it happened, and I attribute that to a serious lack of mental and emotional energy.  I did not spend all that much money.  I think my single biggest expense was the admission fee.  For $650, I could have come away the proud owner of an electric typewriter used by Walter E. Gibson, the author of many novels and short stories featuring The Shadow.  And for $10 thousand, I would have owned a first edition of Dracula, copyright 1897 by Archibald Constable and Company.

Instead, I reigned in my spending.  I bought a DVD of Three Into Two Won’t Go, a 1969 British love triangle movie starring Rod Steiger and Claire Bloom.  I barely remember seeing it on the late, late show on Channel 3 (from Huntington) when I was a teenager.  The title intrigued me, and I remembered it instantly when the Yammering Magpie had it for sale among many hundreds of DVDs at PulpFest.

At a table full of vintage paperbacks, I spent $8 on a Dell paperback of The Tall Dark Man, by Anne Chamberlain.  Those blog readers who are not from Marietta probably have never heard of it, but The Tall Dark Man is a mystery novel written by a Marietta native.  The story is about a teenage girl who has a penchant for making up tall tales and improbable scenarios.  One day in study hall, she is looking out the window and sees two men on a hill.  One man kills the other, and then sees that she witnessed it.  The novel describes her attempt to escape him, and her often futile attempts to enlist the aid of people who know about her history of exaggeration.

I attended Marietta Junior High School for one year, and have not set foot in the building since 1978, but reading the description of the interior, and then of walking down the steps to Seventh St., bring vivid images to mind.

I mention it now because I had planned to bring the book on this trip, since I haven’t reread it for quite a few years, but while the bus was heading down Interstate 75, I looked in my knapsack and discovered that I had forgotten to pack it.

I’m starting to droop here.  We had a late meal at Steak ‘n Shake, and Susie and I are the only ones awake right now.  It’s getting hard for me to hit the right keys here.

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