Sep 9, 2022


A final word or two on vacation venues

By Ed Goldman

something I meant to mention about resort towns in my column a week ago was how, when the economy is good, there always seems to be construction going on.

On my recent trip to the state and town whose names I’ve sworn to preserve as state secrets, I was reminded of the nearly 40 years I lived in East Sacramento, the last half in the non-gated enclave that refers to itself modestly as the Fabulous Forties (or just “Fab Forties” if you’re an insider). Because the area’s property values stayed steady—even in the worst days of the Great Recession, the initial two-year onslaught of the COVID Era and countless Halloweens that take on the smooth transition of the fall of Hanoi—people were always remodeling, razing and building homes.

Edgy Cartoon

Photo by Edgy

A dear friend of mine, Daniel Farley, longtime neighborhood resident and owner of Hamilton Jewelers, once told me that having a temporary dumpster in front of your house contributed significantly to your social status.

On this recent trip the sounds of sawing, hammering and construction crews bellowing at each other over the very din they were creating mixed with the vrooming of motor boats in the nearby lake and laughing bicyclists, traveling either in pairs or entourages, to provide an endless-loop symphony of lives in progress.

None of it was unpleasant. None of it interrupted sleep because even though one sleeps well away from a city, that’s really not what you come here to do.

It became easy to differentiate the tourists from the homies, as it often is no matter where your atlas takes you.

In restaurants and mom ‘n’ pop coffee shops, in local art galleries and kitsch emporia, even at the gas pumps and the grocery store, the visitors’ faces are more tense and almost bracing for disappointment. The locals are comparatively laid back; they live with the people serving them. Throughout generations or over just a few years they’ve formed friendships or fond acquaintanceships. They seem cognizant of the fact that once the fanny-packed aliens head back to their mother ships, they’ll still be here, relying on each other’s general cheer.

It reminds me of what my Dad once said to me when I was an adolescent and having some difficulties with my mercurial Mom. “Why do you always take her side?!” I demanded to know.

“Because I plan to live with her a lot longer than with you,” he said. I didn’t have to wait years for the luxury of retrospect to fully comprehend his message.

I thought about this brief exchange one morning as I watched a tourist become irritated with a barista because it was taking too long for her to deliver his coffee. It may have seemed too long for the customer; but for the barista, it was just an isolated moment in the world she inhabits year-round, a world in which constant sawing, hammering and construction crews bellowing at each other are guaranteeing her future. And that she had all the time in the world.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).