where the writers are
Sunday, July 6, 2008 -- In the Time of Fire.

On this day in San Francisco, I woke once again feeling it hard to breathe from smoke in the air. The weekend had been a happy one.  I spent the 4th calling family and old friends, and in the evening, I went over to a party at  the home of Gary, a friend of Larry French, the distinguished editor of wellesnet.org.  We sat, drinking wine, beer, and soft drinks, eating hot dogs, in his enclosed  almost tropical back garden, typical of homes in the City.

   The group, which has been meeting on this day for nearly 30 years, was joined by my son Jason and myself, and we had a very pleasant time, but a  pall continues to curtail this famous "air conditioned" town of ours, from the fires to the north, east and south of us. 

  Gary had a small arsenal of fireworks, but of course, this year the Police had promised that arrests would be made, and the landlord had posted warnings.  Nevertheless, around 9 p.m., a great cannonade erupted all around us, and our host lit a off a few modest "legal" magnesium devices in small return salute.

   Later, Jason and I took a cab downtown to "Fireman Rick" Fugari's famous Ha-Ra Club on Geary Street at Larkin, where we were joined by friends for a nightcap.  The place's infamously irasible barkeep, Carl Kickery, was in top form, yelling at customers, and doing things which have made him known across the nation.  We, of course, insisted on playing from the glorious CD's, WHITE HEAT and BODY HEAT by the Jazz at the Movies Band, on the Ha-Ra Club's superb juke box. Carl ranted against our choices, "Laura, "Body Heat," etc, even though he is an authority on Film Noir, in his own right.  Finally, as rockets began to land closer to us, we slipped out into the night for home.

  I could not but reflect that with nearly half of Americans worried about wily Middle Easterners slipping into the country to bomb us, we should insist on setting off our own bombs this 4th of July, which threatened to add new fires to 1700 already burning on the West Coast.

   Are we demented, or what?  In this year of 2008, when evidence of Global Warming was rising all around us.  

   It was certainly contributing to  my coming death.  That is a sort of native-born terror, in itself.

    Call it the Timothy McVey Effect!