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The blue mailbox.

A couple days ago, I dropped by Kate Jonez’s house in a remote, hilly part of Los Angeles. I had to sign off on some business with her; she’s one of my excellent writers. That was my second visit to her house.

The first visit was back in December when she joined my ghostwriting staff. That day, I drove up the hill and parked across the street near a church. A moment later I was at her door and hit the doorbell. Kate invited me in. I walked into the living room as she shut the door.

“You got a new mailbox,” I said. “I was looking for the old blue mailbox but you’ve got a new black one.” I was using it as a navigational aid, since her house was set back from the street, shielded by trees. And I knew that comment would likely confuse her.

“Yes, we did get a new…. Wait, how did you know we changed mailboxes?” She suddenly realized I should not have known about the change. So how did I know?

No, I don’t sneak around neighborhoods, making notes about mailboxes. And I’m not a stalker.

“Google Street View,” I answered. “When I’m going to some unfamiliar place, I’ll often pull up the address so I’ll know what to look for.”

Was there street parking? (No). What kind of traffic would there be? (Lots of speedy traffic, curves, two-lane road). Could I pull into her driveway? (Backing out would not be the safest thing to do, given the curves, hill, traffic, etc.).

It was a funny moment.

 

Michael McKown

Journalist and specialty magazine editor/publisher for 22 years and co-founder of Ghostwriters Central in 2002.

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