Tour: The Worst-Air-Quality-on-the-Planet Walk

I would have thought the Age of Legendary Tours was over, but how was I to know that one day Frisco would be blanketed in smoke from Mike Humbert’s smoldering house in Paradise?

Per all the news sources, the air quality yesterday was the absolute worst on the planet, including India. Jeez.

Well, the walk was scheduled. I stood ready in my gumshoes.

Mario Ruiz rolled down again from Portland — and confirmed that he was the guy who hopped in his car back in 2014 and drove straight down to do the tour.

A little group showed up, who had emailed about their impulse to take the hike: “We had been chatting about the actress Mabel Normand, and that led to a discussion of famous people who had TB, and that led to Dashiell Hammett. . . .”

To which I replied: “And Hammett leads to Fatty Arbuckle, which leads back to Mabel, right?”

All sharp minds on the hoof, no allusion was missed — I even revived my story about meeting Elisha Cook Jr. to amuse and dismay the crowd.

And here’s something I can’t remember happening before, where people showed up from different places: everyone on the walk had read all of the Continental Op tales.

Yeah, it’s easier now that the Big Book of the Op is out, but still. . . .

I’m thinking it might be like the end of The Magnificent Seven, where after forty years of plugging the Op series on the mean streets that my work here might be done.

Guess I could manage to do a few more walks, though.

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