December 31st, 2019

carole lombard 02
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Adieu to the tumultuous '10s

Carole Lombard and James Stewart, playing young marrieds, prepare to ring in 1939 in a scene from "Made For Each Other." We're ringing not only a new year tonight, but a new decade, assuming you believe (as most do) that a decade begins in "0."

So as we prepare to enter the 2020s, let me look back on the 2010s -- 10 years that resulted in all sorts of changes, both for myself and this site. We ended the previous decade like this (

...and began the new one like this (

As 2009 became 2010, I was living in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., working as a newspaper copy editor, driving a car. Before the year was out, I'd be transferred to Lynchburg, Va., then lose my ability to drive (problems with peripheral vision; thankfully, my new apartment was a short walk to the newspaper).

Another job move, north to Charlottesville, occurred in 2012; that November, I tore a ligament in my right knee and couldn't access Carole & Co. for several weeks. (Some thought I had died.)

In December 2013, my mother passed on at age 93, and the following spring I decided to move to Los Angeles, expecting money from my new job as an online proofreader would supplement my 401(k). But at roughly the time I moved west, the firm ran out of clients, and I thus ran out of work.

While I loved LA (and still do), the second half of the decade proved far tougher than I expected. Work was impossible to find, my funds rapidly diminished, and I lost my apartment in early 2016. After moving to Jacksonville, Fla., to stay with my brother for three weeks, I decided to return to the City of Angels, gambling I could survive a brief stay on Skid Row and get back on my feet.


I lost the bet. I was on Skid Row for nearly 1 1/2 years (although thankfully I was always in shelters and never had to spend a night on the street). It was a time when entries to Carole & Co. understandably were few and far between.

In July 2017, I got a break when I found transitional housing in South LA, where I've been ever since (though I moved to my current group home in September 2018). My life has somewhat stabilized, though I haven't found work since early 2017; I can thank Social Security for helping me compensate.

That added self-confidence has also aided my work at Carole & Co. I am proud to say that today's entry gives me one for every day of the year (in all, 21 straight months of daily entries) -- the first time I've achieved that since 2008. (During my Skid Row period, I published as few as one or two entries a month.) Today's entry is the 4,078th since the site was launched on June 13, 2007, and I like to think I've contributed to Lombard research. (I aided Michelle Morgan on her 2016 biography "Carole Lombard: Twentieth-Century Star," and was one of two people the book was dedicated to.)

I'm trying to start a new career as a screenwriter, specializing in romantic comedies. I've completed two feature scripts, "Stand Tall!"...

...and "Fugitive Sweetheart":

I should soon finish a third feature and have collaborated on a fourth.

And as both a Washington sports fan and a University of Maryland alumnus, it's been a pretty exciting decade. Maryland left the Atlantic Coast Conference for the more prestigious Big Ten in 2014, a move I had long suggested (; the Washington Capitals ended decades of frustration with their first-ever Stanley Cup in June 2018 (; and this past October, the Nationals -- who'd never advanced past the first round -- had a magical month, capturing D.C.'s first World Series title in 95 years (

Onward to the (20)'20s! (And if you're driving, please do so safely; you'll want to be around for all we have in store next year.)
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