For those who made it all of the way through The Secret of Cawley’s Skull, I truly hope you enjoyed the read. For me, it was like visiting an old and dear friend after years away.
Next Wednesday, I’m starting a new series—Annie In My Life. Like The Secret of Cawley’s Skull, it’s a book that never quite made it into a real book, largely because any attempt I made to turn it into a real book was feeble and petered out almost as soon as it started. (I have learned that, as much as I love the writing, I hate the briar patch one must wrestle through to turn writing into a successful commercial venture. Or even an unsuccessful commercial venture.)
Still, in my mind, Annie In My Life is a book, whether or not it looks like one. Years ago, it was recommended to me that I should gather all of the columns from Boise Weekly that dealt with my daughter and my adventures—and misadventures—in being her father. And that is what I have here—a compilation of 55 columns spanning from early 1996 to late 2008, or from her sixth year to the day she left for college. Sometime later, I added an Introduction explaining why I decided to gather these pieces under one umbrella. Hopefully, that intro will answer any other questions you may have as to why I’m running Annie In My Life here in Mr. Cope’s Cave.
I will be posting them in the order they appeared in BW (except for the intro, which never appeared in BW), but I’ve yet to decide whether I will run all 55 columns. Some of them include Annie only peripherally, usually as a device to get into another subject. And many of those other subjects are old, old news. Guess I’ll have to decide week to week whether to include the next one in order.
I should also warn readers ahead of time that many of those columns were written with no attempt to filter out the slushy sentiment. Normally, I don’t go for maudlin and mawkish any more than the next crabby old crank. But at the time I wrote these columns, I did my damnedest to express exactly what I was experiencing because, as a late-in-life papa, I knew whatever was happening was a one-time thing. As rare and fleeting as a solar eclipse in Weiser.
Besides, I figure if there is any place for sentimentality, it is in the relationship between a parent and a child. And I don’t believe I ever went as far as what I see on Facebook everyday, what with baby goats in pajamas and puppies licking kitties. Awwwwwwww.