|The northeast Pleasant Hills Chimney|
At several locations two, or even three, chimneys broke and fell, tearing huge holes in the roofs. Within days, Hurricane Irene dumped torrents of water inside these historical treasures.
At Pleasant Hills, we were very lucky to have the chimneys stay up. Still, we have to take two of them them down brick-by-brick, cover the resulting hole, and then rebuild each structure. If we don’t, another production by Mother Nature may bring them down and break open our roof.
When the earthquake hit, Mr. Duval, a local religious man, was in the graveyard at St. Thomas Church in Croom. The belfry and tombstones shook so hard he thought Doomsday had finally arrived. Had I been there, I’d have kept a sharp lookout for Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer.
As an author, I see no use for the earthquake other than to write it into a novel.
In the meantime, former Baltimore Sun writer Ross Peddicord, who is now head of the Maryland Horse Industry Board, invited me to do a FULL MORTALITY book signing at the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s exhibit at the Maryland State Fair in conjunction with the Timonium’s horse races. I said yes!
In the 91 Degree heat of September 4, I arrived at the fairground’s Farm and Garden building, a block structure without air conditioning. The Department of Agriculture provided me with a hand-held paper-fan, but waving it only made me hotter. It was a sweatbox in there.
Any jockey who wanted to make racing weight that day, could simply walk across the midway, past the Ferris wheel, and into in the Farm and Garden Building. We even had an Equicizer in our booth, except it was supposed to be for the children.
In a daring display of bravery, I rode the fake exercise horse. A dangerous sport, as I was laughing so hard, I almost fell off.
After losing two pounds of water weight, selling a dozen books, and eating several fresh peaches, I took home a load of ripe red tomatoes, and first-blush farm apples.
When I got home, the chimneys were still standing and I decided life is pretty sweet.