Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Righteous Kwanzaa! Etc., etc. The Sedona Uptown Mall Plaza looks like the North Pole today -- minus snow and reindeer. Last Friday, the ladies in charge of decorating our plaza brought out a team of employees to transform the plaza into a holiday scene. They did an excellent job: Glittery balls the size of small pumpkins hang from the trees; plastic candy canes are placed in strategic locations throughout the prickly shrubbery. I took inspiration from their work, and I've spent the last few days decorating Sedona Green. I've strung dozens of silver, green and black ornaments from the ceiling beams inside the store, placed wreaths outside the front door -- even tried to fit the house elf with a red-and-green suit, but he bit me.
Today, the temperature is 70 degrees in Sedona. The sky is ocean blue. High-desert sunshine is beaming the silver-foil garland on my balcony railing. Yeah, several of my friends have told me it's way too early to decorate for Christmas; but, hey, the box stores stocked their Christmas aisles the week before Halloween. The "folks" are doing their gift shopping, and we Sedona shopkeepers need to make a living, too. Trust me, nobody's getting rich in Sedona retail this year.
Been to the Arizona ghost town of Jerome twice since I last blogged. Once with my friend, Greg Lilly, author of Under A Copper Moon, a fictional novel set in Jerome during it's wild west days. Former Sedona resident, Lilly, who now resides in VA, was visiting town for the Jane Seymour art event at El Prado Gallery here in Sedona, and he took the opportunity to sign some copies of Under A Copper Moon at the various souvenir shops in Jerome. I'm usually only in Jerome after dark, so it was a treat for me to browse the galleries and gift shops with my pal. Lots of arts-and-crafts style art in Jerome, but not much on par with Sedona Green Gallery. :)
My favorite quote about Jerome was made by a Sedona friend who wishes to remain anonymous. In speaking about his dislike for the historic, hillside Jerome, he said: "The whole town smells like funky, old beer." I respectfully disagree, but admit the town does have a certain ... spicy-dust smell, similar to what you find in used book stores. But that's the smell of history ... or the rotting skins of unhappy endings.
My second journey to Jerome this week was for karaoke at the Mile High Restaurant with some of my local friends. That's always a good time, usually followed by getting my butt kicked in eight ball at Paul & Jerry's Saloon. No difference this time. I lost five games in a row to my buddies, Dennis and Matthew. Also ran into another local writer: Joel M. Andre, nationally known for his off-beat horror novels, such as Death At The North Pole.