07.07.13

Death By Mango

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:52 pm by Administrator

 

 

It was about ten of the clock and in the shade you felt a residual – well I shan’t say coolness, just not – hot-ness.  In the sun it was not cool, it was not pleasant, and nobody was to be seen out and about.  The dogs had been walked, and it was a Tuesday, the yard companies came only Wednesday and Friday, according to the rules and regulations of the subdivision.

This was a new subdivision.  All the houses had barrel-tile roofs, paver brick drives, lush landscaping.  When Atticus was a boy and he rode his bike through neighborhoods like this, he’d thought, since the houses were all pretty much the same, the people living in ‘em were cookie-cutter people.  All the husbands driving a sedan off to their jobs on Monday thru Friday.  Cookouts and yard work and football game watching.  Similar lives for similar homes.

 

Nothing could be further from truth.

 

You had Hmong Vietnamese refugees living next door to Canadian part-time residents next to bankrupt software developers from New York next door to decorated military vets, mentally deranged retired federal employees, dentists who hated teeth, lawyers who loved teeth, Russian ex-patriates, Columbian drug lords, and decent hard-working folk.  You had people who couldn’t sleep next to people who were so medicated they were never awake.  And you had killers.  The worst people of our world understand camouflage.  Few can flaunt their evil openly.  Dictators, Generals, drug lords, a few others.  Most shield their true selves from view. Subdivisions like this are the perfect subterfuge.

 

I was on a back porch peering as best I could into the house of a man I suspected was responsible for three murders in the last two weeks.  Cheed Bromley was the name on the mortgage.  I somehow doubt Cheed bought a house in Sarasota to go into the wholesale murder for hire business.  I was working on who it was rented to, but frankly, it didn’t matter.  I was more interested in how many people I was dealing with.  Only one, so far.  That has a way of changing as bridges are burned and the criminals have to consolidate on a safe house.

I’d see lights go on and off.  Bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, all made me think maybe he was going out.  And he did.  In a hurry, he almost backed his lexus into a Lincoln Navigator that was speeding by.  It was on of those little sporty Lexuses (Lexi?), black, and he liked to go fast.  I was out the porch side door and in Cheed Bromley’s back porch before you could say the Lord’s prayer backwards, which is just what a demon killer like the one who’d left probably did before bed each night.

 

Alarm system.  So I started by disconnecting the phone line, the broadband, and threw the main breaker to the house.  I hooked in a little thing to the phone line so that the phone would sound like it was ringing if the alarm company or anyone called.  Ray said it also set up an interference band that should keep any schooner from sending a message to Mister Lexus.  I have no idea what that means.

 

Sliding glass doors taken off the hinge, and I’m in.  Rush hurry.  Dresser drawers first.  Then desk, not much, I photograph some scribbled notes.  Then find laptop in briefcase.  Ray gave me this thing…I turn on the computer but it’s password protected.  Stick thing in USB port, wait five seconds, force shutdown computer and restart wait till thingy stops blinking, remove gadget and  force shutdown the laptop.

 

I put the sliding glass back on its track, throw back on main breaker, and rewire phone and cable.  Having one of those crimpers and all that stuff on my belt even if I don’t need it makes me look like I am doing something legit.  The Lexus pulls into the drive.  I wait till garage door opens and he pulls in before casually strolling to my rented hideout.

 

Day Two

 

Death By Mango

Saturday June 1, 2013

 

Water drips from flat-roofed eaves.  The mild humidity, the cool breeze is noticeably vanishing as hot liquid sun squeezes out the tolerableness of the day.

 

Drip, drip, drip.  I don’t recall the rain last night.  Everything is wet, you brush against the tree and a cascade of water befalls you.  I hear one mourning dove, I see two mockingbirds.  A man is climbing on the roof of the house next door.  Dressed like he’s there to fix something, but his pack opens and the gun he pulls out looks proficient, large calibered, and complexly rigged for aim and target recognition.

 

I miss the days when humans controlled the guns and the guns were inanimate tools.  Now they send technicians with weaponised computers.

 

Time expands, the drips slow.  They almost stop.  Everything is slow.  I feel my heartbeat.  I move.  I don’t want to be in the line of vision of this guy.  Porch door. Quiet open, carefully close.  Run, ooze over fence in one long body loop.  I’m beneath the guy, and somewhat behind him, though he’s moving around.  I creep out to the side yard and I watch. He must be planning on shooting the house, and not have seen me.  He slowly assembles the complex weapon, and takes a position.  No ladder on this side.  Must have come out a window.

 

I remember. I remember Barnes and Noble café. Phone calls, “My Mom is out of town, so I’ve…”  The machines beep, the blenders blend, blending out the phone call.

“They have like, Me Cheap concert tickets, uhm…”

Another kid shuffles his papers five feet away, nervously but blankly staring. Must be some test, AP, or PSAT, or such.  There are a lot of tests for kids these days.  If we ever need a highly trained cadre of youth, proficient at filling in bubbles with a number two pencil, to save us from the Eschaton, we are set.

 

This guy, he’s there, coffee in a porcelain cup, like me, so I notice.  He does not look back.  Everybody has a phone they check every few moments.  It used to be cigarettes constantly stoked, lit, fondled. Now it’s phones.  What was it two hundred years ago?  Well they drank a goodly bit of alcohol.  Maybe they toyed with tumblers.  What about dry countries, and counties?  Toothpicks?  Dice?  Have we always whiled the time with some object?  Maybe whittling, or chewing plant stalks would make sense, or gnawing on bones, and chunks of fat.  Other multi-cellular organisms seem free of this obsessive behavior.

 

This guy checks no phone.  This guy drinks his coffee slowly, never looks at me.  Now he’s on the roof next-door to my rented cottage.

 

The coffee shop, what was it?  Left-handed.  And?  Strabismus, one eye wandered.  And?  Oh yeah.  Scars.  Scar tissue on left ear, and on right hand.  So maybe not born left-handed.  Okay.  Run to other side of the house, climb mango tree and work my way out a spindly branch that lowers me gently to the roof.  I tuck as a bullet whizzes by and explodes in the mango tree.  Pity because it’s mango season and the tree is well stocked.  I’m rolling to get under the second floor eave when the next bullet/missile blows up in front of me, I have jumped, rolled, jumped, rolled, at last I am on the backside of second floor, which he promptly and shoots.  The windows explode.  It is evidence of my archaic status that I have never seen a gun/ rocket launcher like this.  But this guy lacks any finesse.  What happened to subtlety?  Where is the graceful killer?  They send savages now.  I bend and pick up two rotten mangos off the roof.  A few bites out of each reveal the work of a wasteful squirrel.  They take a bite or two, bring down the mango then move on.  When I had mangos I spent a lot of time shooting squirrels.  They do not taste like chicken, but I have a rule if I’m gonna kill a creature I’m gonna eat it.  Except humans, and that rule may change with Mister porcelain coffee cup here if he fires one more of those, whatever they are.  So I take the corner, hurl my first mango hard, and turn around running counter-clockwise about the now burning second floor bedroom.  Death by mango? It seems doubtful, but I didn’t have a better idea, yet.

 

When I expose myself (not expose myself, but show myself, you sick person ), he’s almost locked on me, but my mango of death is already coming his way.  High velocity to the face.  It was a rotting mess and coated his eyes, nose, mouth.  He took the one step back, and was off the roof.  He took the one step and his face was the next thing to contact the roof.  His jaw snapped hard on the way down and the gun was now on its own.  The last bullet went straight up, up, up.  Then down, down, I guess the guy came in the gray Mulligan’s Aluminum van parked out front.  The engine took the hit, and the van erupted.  I strode to the edge and peered over at my porcelain coffee cup friend.  He was moving so I kneeled, dropped, hung off the fascia and dropped to the ground.  Even the two-foot drop hurt my knees.  This is why old people spend their time looking in the rear-view mirror of life.  Youth. You feel good, look, well as good as you’re gonna.  Top form, by which all later abilities shall be judged.  I do wonder though, about the whole remembering thing.  Maybe it is my own creeping decrepitude, but I suspect we remember our physical and mental attributes as…maybe better than they were, really.  My missile-mad buddy is crawling toward the launcher.

“That is quite the weapon, what do you call it?”  He isn’t answering, focusing his eyes intently on the gun, his upper face a stringy and orange, mango coated mess.  Then I see his mandible is…well I don’t know, dislocated at the least but probably broken and more.  I have never seen a lower jaw torqued like that in a living person.

“Well I guess conversation is out of the question.”  I hear sirens coming down the street.

He reaches the gun and I step on his hand.  “Arraagh!”

The worst part is I think it was supposed to be intelligible.  Watching his mouth move was awful.  The lower jaw seemed unattached and moved freely about as he tried to fashion words.  I kept my foot on his hand, pulled his wallet, and checked his pockets.  The siren was at the house.  More sirens now.  Voices.  I pocketed the wallet and some papers from his front pocket, and after looking at his keys, let them drop.  I ran, rolled the fence like I’d been trained thirty some years ago.  I could hear the cops running into the backyard.

“Put down the gun, get your hands away from the gun!  Two shots followed, and I kept walking for the porch, guessing a man was dead ten feet away.   Death by mango.

 

 

 

060813

 

It was about ten

 

It was about ten of the clock and in the shade you felt a residual – well I shan’t say coolness, just not – hot-ness.  In the sun it was not cool, it was not pleasant, and nobody was to be seen out and about.  The dogs had been walked, and it was a Tuesday, the yard companies came only Wednesday and Friday, according to the rules and regulations of the subdivision.

This was a new subdivision.  All the houses had barrel-tile roofs, paver brick drives, lush landscaping.  When Atticus was a boy and he rode his bike through neighborhoods like this, he’d thought, since the houses were all pretty much the same, the people living in ‘em were cookie-cutter people.  All the husbands driving a sedan off to their jobs on Monday thru Friday.  Cookouts and yard work and football game watching.  Similar lives for similar homes.

 

Nothing could be further from truth.

 

You had Hmong Vietnamese refugees living next door to Canadian part-time residents next to bankrupt software developers from New York next door to decorated military vets, mentally deranged retired federal employees, dentists who hated teeth, lawyers who loved teeth, Russian ex-patriates, Columbian drug lords, and decent hard-working folk.  You had people who couldn’t sleep next to people who were so medicated they were never awake.  And you had killers.  The worst people of our world understand camouflage.  Few can flaunt their evil openly.  Dictators, Generals, drug lords, a few others.  Most shield their true selves from view. Subdivisions like this are the perfect subterfuge.

 

I was on a back porch peering as best I could into the house of a man I suspected was responsible for three murders in the last two weeks.  Cheed Bromley was the name on the mortgage.  I somehow doubt Cheed bought a house in Sarasota to go into the wholesale murder for hire business.  I was working on who it was rented to, but frankly, it didn’t matter.  I was more interested in how many people I was dealing with.  Only one, so far.  That has a way of changing as bridges are burned and the criminals have to consolidate on a safe house.

I’d see lights go on and off.  Bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, all made me think maybe he was going out.  And he did.  In a hurry, he almost backed his lexus into a Lincoln Navigator that was speeding by.  It was on of those little sporty Lexuses (Lexi?), black, and he liked to go fast.  I was out the porch side door and in Cheed Bromley’s back porch before you could say the Lord’s prayer backwards, which is just what a demon killer like the one who’d left probably did before bed each night.

 

Alarm system.  So I started by disconnecting the phone line, the broadband, and threw the main breaker to the house.  I hooked in a little thing to the phone line so that the phone would sound like it was ringing if the alarm company or anyone called.  Ray said it also set up an interference band that should keep any schooner from sending a message to Mister Lexus.  I have no idea what that means.

 

Sliding glass doors taken off the hinge, and I’m in.  Rush hurry.  Dresser drawers first.  Then desk, not much, I photograph some scribbled notes.  Then find laptop in briefcase.  Ray gave me this thing…I turn on the computer but it’s password protected.  Stick thing in USB port, wait five seconds, force shutdown computer and restart wait till thingy stops blinking, remove gadget and  force shutdown the laptop.

 

I put the sliding glass back on its track, throw back on main breaker, and rewire phone and cable.  Having one of those crimpers and all that stuff on my belt even if I don’t need it makes me look like I am doing something legit.  The Lexus pulls into the drive.  I wait till garage door opens and he pulls in before casually strolling to my rented hideout.

 

Day Two

 

Death By Mango

Saturday June 1, 2013

 

Water drips from flat-roofed eaves.  The mild humidity, the cool breeze is noticeably vanishing as hot liquid sun squeezes out the tolerableness of the day.

 

Drip, drip, drip.  I don’t recall the rain last night.  Everything is wet, you brush against the tree and a cascade of water befalls you.  I hear one mourning dove, I see two mockingbirds.  A man is climbing on the roof of the house next door.  Dressed like he’s there to fix something, but his pack opens and the gun he pulls out looks proficient, large calibered, and complexly rigged for aim and target recognition.

 

I miss the days when humans controlled the guns and the guns were inanimate tools.  Now they send technicians with weaponised computers.

 

Time expands, the drips slow.  They almost stop.  Everything is slow.  I feel my heartbeat.  I move.  I don’t want to be in the line of vision of this guy.  Porch door. Quiet open, carefully close.  Run, ooze over fence in one long body loop.  I’m beneath the guy, and somewhat behind him, though he’s moving around.  I creep out to the side yard and I watch. He must be planning on shooting the house, and not have seen me.  He slowly assembles the complex weapon, and takes a position.  No ladder on this side.  Must have come out a window.

 

I remember. I remember Barnes and Noble café. Phone calls, “My Mom is out of town, so I’ve…”  The machines beep, the blenders blend, blending out the phone call.

“They have like, Me Cheap concert tickets, uhm…”

Another kid shuffles his papers five feet away, nervously but blankly staring. Must be some test, AP, or PSAT, or such.  There are a lot of tests for kids these days.  If we ever need a highly trained cadre of youth, proficient at filling in bubbles with a number two pencil, to save us from the Eschaton, we are set.

 

This guy, he’s there, coffee in a porcelain cup, like me, so I notice.  He does not look back.  Everybody has a phone they check every few moments.  It used to be cigarettes constantly stoked, lit, fondled. Now it’s phones.  What was it two hundred years ago?  Well they drank a goodly bit of alcohol.  Maybe they toyed with tumblers.  What about dry countries, and counties?  Toothpicks?  Dice?  Have we always whiled the time with some object?  Maybe whittling, or chewing plant stalks would make sense, or gnawing on bones, and chunks of fat.  Other multi-cellular organisms seem free of this obsessive behavior.

 

This guy checks no phone.  This guy drinks his coffee slowly, never looks at me.  Now he’s on the roof next-door to my rented cottage.

 

The coffee shop, what was it?  Left-handed.  And?  Strabismus, one eye wandered.  And?  Oh yeah.  Scars.  Scar tissue on left ear, and on right hand.  So maybe not born left-handed.  Okay.  Run to other side of the house, climb mango tree and work my way out a spindly branch that lowers me gently to the roof.  I tuck as a bullet whizzes by and explodes in the mango tree.  Pity because it’s mango season and the tree is well stocked.  I’m rolling to get under the second floor eave when the next bullet/missile blows up in front of me, I have jumped, rolled, jumped, rolled, at last I am on the backside of second floor, which he promptly and shoots.  The windows explode.  It is evidence of my archaic status that I have never seen a gun/ rocket launcher like this.  But this guy lacks any finesse.  What happened to subtlety?  Where is the graceful killer?  They send savages now.  I bend and pick up two rotten mangos off the roof.  A few bites out of each reveal the work of a wasteful squirrel.  They take a bite or two, bring down the mango then move on.  When I had mangos I spent a lot of time shooting squirrels.  They do not taste like chicken, but I have a rule if I’m gonna kill a creature I’m gonna eat it.  Except humans, and that rule may change with Mister porcelain coffee cup here if he fires one more of those, whatever they are.  So I take the corner, hurl my first mango hard, and turn around running counter-clockwise about the now burning second floor bedroom.  Death by mango? It seems doubtful, but I didn’t have a better idea, yet.

 

When I expose myself (not expose myself, but show myself, you sick person ), he’s almost locked on me, but my mango of death is already coming his way.  High velocity to the face.  It was a rotting mess and coated his eyes, nose, mouth.  He took the one step back, and was off the roof.  He took the one step and his face was the next thing to contact the roof.  His jaw snapped hard on the way down and the gun was now on its own.  The last bullet went straight up, up, up.  Then down, down, I guess the guy came in the gray Mulligan’s Aluminum van parked out front.  The engine took the hit, and the van erupted.  I strode to the edge and peered over at my porcelain coffee cup friend.  He was moving so I kneeled, dropped, hung off the fascia and dropped to the ground.  Even the two-foot drop hurt my knees.  This is why old people spend their time looking in the rear-view mirror of life.  Youth. You feel good, look, well as good as you’re gonna.  Top form, by which all later abilities shall be judged.  I do wonder though, about the whole remembering thing.  Maybe it is my own creeping decrepitude, but I suspect we remember our physical and mental attributes as…maybe better than they were, really.  My missile-mad buddy is crawling toward the launcher.

“That is quite the weapon, what do you call it?”  He isn’t answering, focusing his eyes intently on the gun, his upper face a stringy and orange, mango coated mess.  Then I see his mandible is…well I don’t know, dislocated at the least but probably broken and more.  I have never seen a lower jaw torqued like that in a living person.

“Well I guess conversation is out of the question.”  I hear sirens coming down the street.

He reaches the gun and I step on his hand.  “Arraagh!”

The worst part is I think it was supposed to be intelligible.  Watching his mouth move was awful.  The lower jaw seemed unattached and moved freely about as he tried to fashion words.  I kept my foot on his hand, pulled his wallet, and checked his pockets.  The siren was at the house.  More sirens now.  Voices.  I pocketed the wallet and some papers from his front pocket, and after looking at his keys, let them drop.  I ran, rolled the fence like I’d been trained thirty some years ago.  I could hear the cops running into the backyard.

“Put down the gun, get your hands away from the gun!  Two shots followed, and I kept walking for the porch, guessing a man was dead ten feet away.   Death by mango.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

08.11.11

Jeff LaHurd

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:23 am by Administrator

If you drive east on Bahia Vista Street until you can go no further – just after crossing Cattlemen Road, then take a right on Packinghouse Road, you will see a one story, nondescript building at 6062 Porter Way.  Ironically inside this mundane building you will find some of the greatest historical treasures in our community.

In fact on many days, one of them will greet you when you walk in.  His name is Jeff LaHurd, and his title is Sarasota County History Specialist.  Mr. LaHurd has written thirteen books on the history of this area.  He is working on number fourteen.  The building in which he works is the Sarasota County History Center, a perfect setting for a man who has maintained a passion for local history that started in his childhood, and if anything has only grown stronger over the years.

Mr. LaHurd has been called a stand-up historian, a local treasure, and a walking encyclopedia of Sarasota history.  His knowledge, and eagerness to impart it make him a favorite choice on the local speaker circuit.  When you meet him, his modest manner conceals a man with a lifetime of information, and a willingness to share it.

The History Center and its archives contain a panoply of Sarasota history – obituaries, bound newspapers, historic photographs, government records, and archaeological treasures.  They currently have on display a room devoted to books and items from the library of Pulitzer-prize winner and long-time local MacKinlay Kantor.  Mr. LaHurd is surrounded by history and loving every minute of it.  “It’s like getting paid to play golf.” he said

I asked about the large number of books he has written.  “I started in 1990 and they just kept coming.“ he stated with a casual shrug that belied the significance of his contribution to local history.  His first book was “Quintessential Sarasota”.  Since then he has written books about this area, from the old Lido Casino to baseball spring training.  His most recent publication is “Owen Burns – The Man Who Bought and Built Sarasota”  Burns was a contemporary of John Ringling and the two were responsible for much of the construction and development of the area in the 1920’s.  Jeff is not much for publicity, or promotion.  He likes to do research and write.  His books are available at local bookstores, and if you visit him at the history center he will happily sign them.

His next book is scheduled for a fall 2011 publication.  The title is “John Hamilton Gillespie – The Scot who saved Sarasota” and the release is scheduled to coincide with the City of Sarasota’s John Hamilton Gillespie Week, October 24-30.  The local Owen Burns Committee is involved in the events planned for this week of historical celebration.

Gillespie came to the area back in 1886.  He cleared and defined Main Street, built a wharf on the bay, and was our first mayor.  He died on the golf course he created, playing the game he introduced to Sarasota.

Jeff LaHurd seemed unsure of what was next.  “I have to finish this one before I can think about it.” said this humble man whose passion for the history of this area has benefited Sarasota perhaps even more than some of the people he has written about.

 

08.10.11

Interview with Jeff LaHurd

Posted in Local Stories at 6:07 am by Administrator

If you drive east on Bahia Vista Street until you can go no further – just after crossing Cattlemen Road, then take a right on Packinghouse Road, you will see a one story, nondescript building at 6062 Porter Way.  Ironically inside this mundane building you will find some of the greatest historical treasures in our community.

In fact on many days, one of them will greet you when you walk in.  His name is Jeff LaHurd, and his title is Sarasota County History Specialist.  Mr. LaHurd has written thirteen books on the history of this area.  He is working on number fourteen.  The building in which he works is the Sarasota County History Center, a perfect setting for a man who has maintained a passion for local history that started in his childhood, and if anything has only grown stronger over the years. Read the rest of this entry »

11.18.10

How to use wordpress

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:35 am by Administrator

Hey Scott,

At the bottom right under Meta, click login and enter the user name that i text you and our four letter – four number pass.  Once in the Admin page, hover over the buttons on the right and their function will pop up.  You can cut and past from word into your blog.

05.08.10

About

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:19 am by Administrator

This is an example of a WordPress page, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many pages like this one or sub-pages as you like and manage all of your content inside of WordPress.