Lionel gave all Edith’s belongings to her sister and found a nice, quiet apartment block a short distance from the university. On many days the professor would not even take the bus. He would walk to work if it was not raining out. He rented a two bedroom apartment mostly because he had accumulated lots of stuff over the years. What he liked most about his new apartment was the hardwood floors and the rather old fashioned, historical feel of the place. Many of the things that Lionel owned blended in well with the general ambiance of the apartment.
Lionel loved music. He grew up listening to the early recordings of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Eventually he came to prefer The Rolling Stones especially their early albums, Aftermath, Out of Our Heads and December’s Children. Lionel especially liked the exotic, eclectic flavor that Brian Jones brought to these recordings.
When he was in grade eleven Lionel discovered the music of Led Zeppelin. He listened to Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin III and Led Zeppelin IV until he almost wore out these records. There were other artists that Lionel was also a fan of such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young and The Guess Who. Now that he was in his sixties Lionel found that he really enjoyed the heavy metal, straight ahead rock and roll music of Motorhead. The professor had spent a lot of time finding space in his new apartment and eventually organizing his vast collection of LPs, CDs and cassette tapes. Lionel even found a few old eight tracks in his collection.
The professor had to use a good portion of his second bedroom for his bookcases and boxes and stacks of books. Lionel had enjoyed reading books by Stephen King since his own days as a university student. His favorite works included The Dark Half , The Tommy Knockers and a collection of King’s short stories called Nightmares and Dreamscapes. Recently Lionel had read and enjoyed one of Stephen King’s new releases called 22-11-63. This novel centered around the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Lionel was very grateful for all the book cases that his son had built for him. Eric was a carpenter and possessed many skills that Lionel lacked.
The other author that Lionel loved was J.R.R. Tolkien. He had read The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings several times and also owned the DVD trilogy pack of Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King.
It was early July and it was summer vacation for Stephanie and Ryan. Both of John’s kids worked odd jobs during the summer months so that they would have some spending money and to help pay for tuition . Stephanie and Ryan both had paper routes and also did chores for some of the people in their neighborhood.
Stephanie was the first to arrive home. She had been doing some dog walking for a couple that lived on their street.
Stephanie had medium length natural blond hair streaked with bright, red hair coloring. She had a gold nose ring and a piercing in one eyebrow. Stephanie wore a black and gold Nirvana tee shirt that had a few holes in it. She wore stone washed blue jeans with a tear in one knee. Stephanie was part nineties Seattle grunge and part punk rocker. Her favorite band was Nirvana. Her other favorites, in no particular order, were Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Hole, The Plasmatics and Motorhead. Stephanie also liked The Ramones and The Sex Pistols. She owned a large collection of CDs.
Like her brother, Ryan, Stephanie lived with her mother during the majority of the year. She had a strained relationship with her mother. Stephanie’s mother did not approve of her daughter’s style of dress, her friends or her lifestyle. Stephanie’s mom, Susan, was very concerned that her daughter might be using street drugs. Her brother Ryan got along much better with his mother and often smoothed things over when Stephanie and Susan got into intense verbal disagreements. Both kids were very upset by their parents’ break up but had their own ways of dealing with it.
Prologue To Lake Mariposa:
I have recently re-read my novella, Lake Mariposa. I was delightfully surprised by how much I still enjoyed it several years after writing the original draft.
If the reader grew up in the mid to late nineteen sixties this story will likely be very nostalgic. I believe that most of us tend to glamorize our youth as we grow older. We often tend to romanticize those years as being almost a golden age. The nineteen sixties are still glamorized by the media today.
There can be little doubt that the sixties were a very unique time in which creativity, art and self- expression flourished. What many people forget was that it was also a potentially dangerous time period in which experimental, psychedelic drugs were easily accessible. Lake Mariposa takes a look at the dark side of the sixties as well as its positive attributes.
On the positive side of the ledger the music of the sixties was more experimental and creative than the music of any other decade. Most people in my age group find it difficult to get interested in the music of the seventies, eighties, nineties and two thousands to the present. Much of the creative spark appears to have been lost somewhere along the line.
There are exceptions, of course, such as nineties Seattle grunge bands like Nirvana and the punk genre/heavy metal stylings of The Ramones and Motorhead.
I lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada during my adolescent years. We were very fortunate to have a very strong local music scene that featured some great home grown bands and musicians. During one summer, several local rock festivals took place in Manitoba. If one had easy access to a car or was not afraid to hitch hike, one could attend one or even all of these local, outdoor rock festivals featuring a dynamic collection of Canadian talent.
As this was the ‘hippie era’, it was not difficult to connect with a diverse group of strangers as there appeared to be a shared, almost communal philosophy of life. Young people went to these rock festivals not only to hear some great music but also in the hope of making some new friends preferably of the opposite sex.
Lake Mariposa also deals with the different segments of youth such as the straights, the jocks and the stoners.
One of the themes of Lake Mariposa is the burning desire that young men of that era had for female companionship and hopefully, a girlfriend. The novella deals with the intense challenge that this posed for many young men of that era. Lake Mariposa is concerned with young, romantic and immature love. It is also about how to make sense of a changing society and the difficulties involved in making the necessary adjustments.
I hope you enjoy reading my novella, Lake Mariposa. It can be read for free at Wattpad.com, WordPress.com, Typepad.com and on my own web site, kendavidstewart.com
Thank for your time spent reading this prologue.
Ken David Stewart