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Friday, May 26

The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille

Memorial Day Weekend – summer has begun! Wishing you all a safe and memorable long weekend. I’ll be taking the kids to a ceremony at the local Iwo Jima Memorial. Then we have the parade. Don’t you just love a parade! Nothing like a LOUD marching band. The fife and drums, the fire engines, the Shriners circling around in their little go-carts. For me, it’s quite the emotional experience.

THEN…my favorite part of the weekend – taking that ‘good book’ and my sand chair to the beach.

Oh so many good books on my must read list – too many choices – I’m on overload lately and can’t make a decision to save my life. I really don’t have the extra $ this week to buy one (I’m a book snob - only read hard covers) so off to the library. I just HAD to get one of my all time favorites-- The Gold Coast. DeMille’s character Mr. John Sutter is, well….he just DOES ME IN! He is the master snark! DeMille’s story is “Compellingly told with its relentless sense of impending tragedy, yet with an underlying gift for irrepressible, redeeming humor….”(cover)

I had been thinking back to when I first read the book. There was something Mr. Sutter had said about his wealthy “Gold Coast” mother when he compared her to his own son Edward. I just had to check it out again. Sometimes you miss something the first time around, maybe it’s the mood you were in at the time, or maybe you just have a different perspective on life years later.

I thumbed through and found the words he wrote. John and wife Susan (remember Lady Stanhope and her naked horseback rides!) were at a Southhampton club for dinner with their children Edward and Carolyn and John’s ‘aristocrat’ parents. He’s about ready to disown them:

…..and so we passed the time, my parents not inquiring after Susan’s parents or any of her family. They also did not ask about anyone. And while they were at it, they made a special point of not asking Carolyn or Edward about school. THERE ARE CERTAIN TYPES OF PERSONS, as I have discovered, who have a GREAT LOVE OF HUMANITY, like my parents, but don’t particularly like people……..As I addressed my parents upon leaving, “we have almost nothing in common and never did, so I would like to end these meaningless dinners if it’s all the same to you.” My mother snapped, “What a hateful thing to say,” but my father actually looked saddened and mumbled, “All right.” On the way home Susan asked me, “Will you regret that?” “No.” Carolyn spoke up from the backseat, “Did you mean it?” “Yes.” Edward said, “I kinda feel sorry for them.” EDWARD DOES NOT LOVE ALL OF HUMANITY, BUT HE LIKES PEOPLE, and he feels sorry for everyone. Carolyn feels sorry for no one, Susan doesn’t know what sorrow is, and I…well, sometimes I feel sorry for myself. But I’m working on that.

Have you ever thought about what kind of person you are. Do you love all of humanity but don’t particularly like people? Do you love people, but not all of humanity? I always considered myself a people-person. Lately though, I am disliking a lot of people. I need to work on that. I wonder if it makes a difference if you have a lot of money. Most people in power have a lot of money. Wouldn’t it be nice if all the people in power were the ones with the great love of humanity, and all the ones without a lot of money were the ones who cared for all the people? Do people with a lot of money feel sorry for other people? Is it easier to feel sorry for someone if you don’t have a lot of money?

Well, that’s what is going on in my head this morning.

I can’t wait to sit in that sand chair Sunday.....

Enjoy your weekend.

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