Guest Post: Dabs of Darkness by Burt Weissbourd

BlogTourWeissbourdInsidePassageEveryone, please welcome Burt Weissbourd, author of Inside Passage.

Dabs of Darkness

We used to take our children to a beach hotel in Santa Barbara, CA.  The train ran along the coast between the ocean and the road.  Children used to put pennies on the track and collect them after the train passed. I chose this location for the prologue of Inside Passage.  It’s the source for the lines, “The declining hotel was between the beach and the tracks. Kids liked to put coins on the tracks. Lester liked to knock them off with his cane.”

I heard someone tell a joke about the “Chicago political machine.” It occurred to me that in Seattle, a different kind of political city, a machine was something you washed clothes with. That line found it’s way into Nick Season’s mouth when he’s describing Seattle to Fran, an LA political operative.l  He says, “Seattle isn’t Chicago, not even Baltimore. We sail, we chop wood when we’re upset, a “machine” is something we wash laundry with.”

I heard an anecdote about an angry waiter who spit in the soup at a fancy French restaurant. I used that story to describe Nick Season’s world view.  As a young immigrant, Nick worked in his uncle’s Nikos’ restaurant.  The restaurant was known for it[‘s fish soup. Nick reflects, “What he had learned, his first summer, was that just when Herminia’s soup was simmering…just when the broth was rich, the fish tender, and the smell perfect…just when Nikos sat back with his morning ouzo, that’s exactly when some pissed-off waiter, or an ungrateful dishwasher who couldn’t even speak English, snuck over and spit in the soup pot. He had seen it done, and he had learned vigilance.”

Places to Stalk Burt

1 thought on “Guest Post: Dabs of Darkness by Burt Weissbourd”

Comments are always appreciated, so don't be shy!