And now for a slightly more morbid thought, something that's really struck me only in the past couple of days.
The little shop at Seaside Heights where bunny_hugger bought her carousel calendar every year, and where we'd pick up the occasional volume of music or some trinket or whatnot, closed, I believe, late last September. (rapidtrabbit could probably give the exact date but it doesn't matter.) My sister and her husband moved out of New Jersey. Great Adventure closed down the drive-through Safari that was part of the park's original defining features. At the end of October came Superstorm Sandy, smashing Casino Pier where bunny_hugger and I had our first real date, and destroying FunTown Pier. Shortly after, my parents made the decision to move out, for good and all, and while their exact destination isn't set yet, odds are it's going to be out of New Jersey.
In late winter of this year the Regent Diner where bunny_hugger and I first ate burned down. And then my brother, the one who hadn't moved to Massachusetts, got a new job, and he and his family moved out of state with dizzying speed. (They got really lucky in finding a homebuyer who wanted exactly their model home, and who had a pre-approved mortgage, and had a similar deal fall apart just days before.) And the storage locker I'd had since leaving grad school my parents have taken over, and swapped out for some reason with another locker, so that thread of continuity is snapped.
Then, Great Adventure decided to tear out Rolling Thunder, the roller coaster that dominated my youth as the roller coaster. And then FunTown Pier caught fire again, destroying everything remaining, including the first carousel bunny_hugger and I rode together that perfect day, and the sweet shop where we always got salt water taffy.
It feels like in the past twelve months nearly all the tangible links to my past have shriveled up and have either burned away or are being scattered.
It's not all that dire and certainly I'm more bound to where I grew up than just this, but, the sense of life not gradually changing but instead shaking itself out from under me makes more clear to me the melancholy river underneath the house of my personality.
Trivia: Fred Allen's first radio appearance, presumably, was in January 1923 on radio station WGM, in a transmission featuring the touring company of The Passing Show Of 1922. (William McKinley Randle found the listing of this.) Source: Fred Allen's Radio Comedy, Alan Havig.
Currently Reading: Where The Evil Dwells, Clifford Simak. ... Seriously, another alternate-history novel where a big swath of aliens-or-spirits-or-demons-or-something has left humanity trapped in medieval times? The heck, Cliff? (Though it's interesting still.)