Yep, that’s me sitting on a rock in Griffith Park over there on the left. Pretty young to write a book, you say? Actually, the photo was taken a very long time ago, but that little girl with the over-sized boots and sunny smile will always be that age (no matter how many chronological years I accumulate). You see, once upon a time I was a “Little Orange” in the “Big Apple”------a little girl from sleepy Sherman Oaks, California who suddenly found herself (along with her brother, mother and father) living in the city that NEVER sleeps, New York City! That little girl pretty much ran wild and free through the streets of that great metropolis and had adventures that seem almost unbelievable in retrospect. Before the images fade of those times so long ago, as if in a dream that we try to hold onto upon awakening, I want to share her story with all of you.
I have long been a reader with a particular fondness for coming-of age books (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Catcher in the Rye being my personal favorites). I received a 3rd place writing award for an essay on fire prevention in 11th grade that consisted of a fireman holding a hose mounted on top of a block of wood with my name on it. It is still cherished as if it was an Oscar or Olympic medal because it was the first validation of my writing. Also, in no particular order, some of my favorite things are: a plastic container full of chewy Red Vines; a seagull named Ahab with only one webbed-foot that I visit and feed daily; toasted cinnamon muffins with nooks and crannies filled with butter; a tabby cat named MoMo who is missing most of his teeth; the classics of literature, music, and movies-----a shout out to Steinbeck, Vivaldi, and Ted Turner, respectively; and walking cemeteries in every season, honoring those now gone with brief vignettes of their lives and times.