Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

7/22/19 RMB Treasured Friend

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

That winter night was cool as we leaned against her white ‘78 Chevrolet Camaro with the two pin stripes of black and maroon reaching from headlight to taillight. The shiny pavement glistened with recently fallen rain. Trees stood tall, full of leaves shiny with moisture. They waved in the wind, sparkling from the glow of the streetlights.

She tossed a coin over her head and a second later we heard it drop in the dark. “What are you doing?” I asked.

She shrugged, “I don’t know.” And tossed another coin.

“Don’t do that. You’re going to hit someone’s car and break a window or something.”

She laughed, “I hadn’t thought of that.” The fall of the next coin made more of a chinking sound.

“Seeee. Why are you throwing coins?”

“Well, look at this?” she said and showed me another coin before tossing it. “I won’t miss that coin. But tomorrow,” she shook a finger for emphasis, “some kid will find it and it will be like, ‘Wow! Look what I found!’”

Nearly 40 years have passed since that night. Yesterday we sat at a small table with another old friend on the third floor of the Marriott Hotel and talked about who had made it to the 50th reunion of the San Diego Comic Convention. She, a past Treasurer of the Con with her husband, a past President of the event, were flown here for the anniversary.

I could recall most of the people she mentioned. We three shared photos of family and took new ones of each other. That long-ago winter’s night comes to mind as I consider the whirlwind of our Comic Con weekend with its sprinkling of short visits, time between panels she was scheduled to attend and the parking meters or other obligations calling my name. 

Yes, there were treasures to be found on that street nearly four decades ago and mine was standing right beside me all the while.



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