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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, December 7

Miracle on 34th St. & Natalie Wood

Last night we went to the Arizona Broadway Theatre to see Miracle on 34th Street, music and lyrics by Meredith Wilson. Right from the overture I could hear Wilson’s signature music, way too similar to that of Music Man, same cadences, same kind of schmaltzy “76 Trombones” effects. And early in Act Two, we had a song called “She Hadda Go Back” that was a carbon copy of what we heard in “Trouble” from Music Man. Not that it wasn’t good—it was—but it was way too similar. The set designs and costuming were excellent, the story and music not so good. Susan Walker, the little girl who believed in Kris Kringle, reminded me of that other little girl who starred in the 1947 film version of Miracle, Natalie Wood. Most of us oldsters remember her for her roles in Rebel Without a Cause, with James Dean; Splendor in the Grass, with Warren Beatty; and West Side Story, in which she played Maria. Controversy then, controversy now. Thirty years ago, she drowned, either falling or jumping or being pushed off their yacht anchored off Santa Catalina. Her death was ruled an accident. Now the case has been reopened with some questions about a fight between Robert Wagner, Christopher Walken, and Natalie Wood, questions about whether her husband, Robert Wagner, may have “allowed” her to drown, seemingly unconcerned when he and the boat’s captain couldn’t find her on board, both assuming she had taken a dinghy and gone to shore. I can’t for the life of me understand what the authorities hope to accomplish by reexamining this case. Nothing can be proven one way or the other, and all the innuendo can be unfairly damaging to those involved. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what develops.

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