Roger L. Simon

Southern California Fires Rage...

I can really smell it in front of my house tonight – the funky odor of hot cinders blown in by the Santa Anas. It happens almost every year. Sometimes houses go up, sometimes they don’t. One I lived in in Malibu burned to the ground the year after we sold it.

You all know who described this best – the poet laureate of Los Angeles

There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”

* “Red Wind” (short story, 1938)

So far I haven’t got the hose out. Just the old Chandler short stories.