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May 28, 2023

OK - I don’t do this often - maybe only twice before? - but occasionally one of my monthly emails seems worthy of being captured in posterity in the corresponding blog. So Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone - I’m doing it again!


Hello again, everyone!


Seems like only yesterday I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of Spring, and now here we are, in the midst of a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend, where our sights are more keenly directed towards summer. Time has been moving so fast that I’m starting to think I must be at least three or four monthly-emails behind… But no - I’ve been trying my best to keep up. Hope you’ve all been hanging in there, too!

Well, usually I save the more personal stuff for the monthly blogs - to be written soon, I promise - check it out here!


But some of you may remember how my most recent message briefly gave a glimpse of the pros and mostly-cons of owning a car here in NYC. In fact, I wistfully posted a picture in the sincere hopes the worst of this transition might be over…



And in support of the alleged benefits of positive thinking, the following couple of weeks were almost too good to be true! I’d scored a beautiful parking space - exactly in front of my Upper West Side apartment building!



Ah, yes - this was so perfectly situated... I’d simply have to take care of alternate-side-of-the-street NYC nonsense once or twice more and then I’d be free to load up and take off for another Martha’s Vineyard season - which is the only reason I needed a car in the first place!


But then, well - a small wire could be detected hanging down from the undercarriage…



And maybe some of you know this, but likely many of you do not. In the year 2023, the catalytic converter has now become the most sought-after and easily-stolen item in automobiles everywhere. This has definitely replaced the go-to prize of car stereos, the definitive favorite back in the day when I first purchased cars (in a year I’m no longer comfortable disclosing).


Anyway - in a display of what should be the true gift of any short-story writer, I’ll make the long story short. Here’s the most recent photo of my 2013 VW Jetta Sportswagen:



Those of you with good detective sensibilities will see I’m still technically in front of my Upper West Side apartment. But the damn automobile is in Queens right now.


Oh, well… It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and obviously there are so many stories that dwarf this one in terms of tragic content. And a recent walk towards the Hudson River gave me a nice omen that better times await. (This was taken only about seven hours later on the same day!)



While this Holiday Weekend has us honoring all men and women who have died while serving the US military, I’m hoping some of you might spare a few seconds to offer good thoughts to the honorable working people amongst us who service our cars. Especially those who happen, in this moment, to be in Queens, NY.


The song I’m offering is called “Sunday Morning”, even though tomorrow’s actual Holiday falls on a Monday. But this happens to be my sister Tricia’s and brother Tom’s favorite song from last year’s “Thank You For Your Letter” collection. Slight weariness can’t overwhelm the optimism of this one, I believe. The narrator (me?) seems to think good things might be right around the corner…



Next month’s emails will hopefully come directly from Martha’s Vineyard. Whether or not my car will survive the ferry trip is, at this point, anybody’s guess.


Thanks to all the continued support for michaelaba.com! Those good thoughts DO have a positive effect!


And —


HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!!

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