by Bob Smylie of Santa Rosa, CA
The weather was warm and sunny. The beaches were full of sun worshippers baking on the sand. It was another Christmas in Los Angeles. Me? Yeah, I knew it was Christmas because of the mounting bills marked urgent and past due in bright red letters. Im a private detective in the City of Angels.
I was working on finishing a bottle of gin one night when there she was. She was a tall blonde with vermilion lips and blue eyes that could pierce right through you. To some an angel, to others a goddess but to meshe only meant a paycheck.
She offered some small-talk and batting eyes but I wasnt buying it. Whats your game, doll? I asked.
A house, she said.
A house? I repeated.
Yeah, a house, she replied. Its calling to me. I had a meaningful weekend there once. You know what I mean by meaningful, handsome? She was toying with me now.
Yeah, doll. I know, I said.
Then you know a house can call to you? she asked.
Shes goofy, I thought. Then my mind remembered my meaningful weekend. Warm weather, wine tasting, whale watching, great food and a special someone. Now center these things around a special house like the MacCallum House in Mendocino and youve got magic. Sipping wine on the front porch and listening to the lilting tones of a jazz singer performing live, not ten feet from you. The warm appreciative looks from your special one. Yeah, thats living the good life.
After a moment I snapped back. Yeah, I guess a house can call to you. Ever been to Mendocino, doll?
The MacCallum House, we said in unison.
Sure, she said with a wink, I know it well.
Okay, she wasnt nuts or maybe we both were. Schweetheart, Ill take your case. I guess a house can call to you. You got yourself a gumshoe. I raised my dirty gin glass and said, Heres looking at you, kid.