So, 83 in the Shade eventually went out of print. You couldn't get it on Amazon. I, meanwhile, was busily penning a sequel that I hadn't really planned on writing; but it insisted on being written. In fact, it was practically automatic writing. So while I was doing that, I was halfheartedly sending out the first book to publishing world people for shits and giggles. I knew nothing would come of it; but just mailing the book to Manhattan, knowing it was floating around in some glass skyscraper in New York City was a thrill all by itself.
That's when I came across Carolyn Reidy. Wait a second. The head honcho of freakin' Simon and Schuster has my last name? Were we related? Did I have some long lost aunt in the publishing business? Not just in the publishing business but running one of the shows? Visions of sugarplums and fancies of unquestioned nepotism danced in my head. I would send the book to Auntie Carolyn! I mean, yeah, she probably wouldn't even respond; but maybe seeing her own name on the mailer would catch her attention...get her to open it...maybe read it...maybe...
And then she died.
By all accounts she was beloved. Not just a powerhouse but a nice lady. One of the good ones. Well of course she was one of the good ones; her last name was Reidy. My grandfather always used to joke about how people would mispronounce our last name or ask the proper was to say it: "Ree-dee or Rye-dee?" A family in-joke (it's Ree-dee by the way). When I looked at her pictures, I assumed for some reason Ms. Reidy was single. I also thought she was a lesbian. I know that's probably not right; but that's what I thought. And the gay gene really seems to run in my family. But we shared the last name, so we had to be related. I felt like I'd just missed out on knowing her. Maybe would've invited her to a family reunion.
And then, just today, dawn broke over Marblehead. Wait another second. If she had married a Reidy then we wouldn't have been related through blood. Sure enough, she'd married a Reidy. Her maiden name was Kroll. Kroll, interestingly is from German and means "renown" or "victory." It's also Jewish. And most interestingly to me, it means "one with curly hair." I had incredibly kinky, curly hair when I was young (still miss it). I'm also 1% Jewish according to Ancestry.com. So I feel there's a connection beyond her marrying in.
Ms. Kroll, I'm so glad you married a Reidy. And I'm sorry I won't have the chance to meet you.