Monday, May 30 will be Memorial Day. What do I say? My father came home from his war (World War II), so I can’t speak to the loss felt by those our bravest and best left behind when they died protecting our country.

I’ve never been in combat (thank God), so I never felt the loss veterans who lost friends on foreign soil. Nor can I say I understand the sacrifice our fallen heroes made, because I wasn’t there to witness it.

All I can say is this:

Friends, warriors, I wish you could have lived. You offered up all you had so others might not lose what was most precious to them and we thank you for that. I doubt you’ll read my words, but I hope somehow you know that your sacrifice was not in vain. America is still here. Your families and hometowns have continued and will continue. You did good. You did more than you have been asked to do.

America misses you.

You can be at ease now. We won’t forget you. We take a day every year to remember you.

Rest.

More than one third the population of Seal Beach lives within the walls of Leisure World. The retirement community covers two City Council district. Those two facts give Leisure World tremendous political power within Seal Beach.

Despite these facts, Leisure World remains something of a mystery. Getting news stories out of the gated, private owned retirement community can be difficult. Only residents may attend Golden Rain Foundation meetings. My editor and I are too young and, being journalists, too poor to qualify for residency.

That makes us extremely dependent upon Leisure World residents to let us know what’s happening in their community. If two residents hadn’t sent the Sun e-mails about Leisure World’s delinquent property taxes, we might not have known for a long time.

As it stands, the residents/shareholders of Leisure World didn’t know about the delinquent property taxes until very recently. The taxes were supposed to be paid on April 11 of this year. While a few residents learned about the late tax payments on or after April 12, many did not learn about the delinquency until the Sun broke the story on May 12—a month later. The Golden Rain Foundation house organ reported the issue on May 19, coincidentally the day that officials knew the Sun would report the penalty imposed on Leisure World by Orange County: $272,948.32.

This raises an important question, though it is one I am unable to answer to my own satisfaction.

How can the Sun improve its coverage of Leisure World? There are two editors covering Seal Beach, Belmont Shore, Rossmoor, Los Alamitos, Sunset Beach and Huntington Harbor.

I respectfully ask that Leisure World residents let us know what is going on in their mutuals. With your help, we can find and share important news about this important part of the Seal Beach community.

A few months before he died, my father said: “Study history, boy–the human race is beautiful.”

I loved that old man and will always regret that I am not half as wise nor one fifth as efficient as he was.

Yet I wonder sometimes where he saw the beauty in mankind. At the end of the day, my father believed most people were basically good. Certainly a good many of the people I’ve met in Seal Beach and the neighboring communities of Rossmoor and Los Alamitos fit that description.

Yet, as I wrote last week, crime reporting distorts your perspective. Indeed, all reporting distorts your perspective. People lie to me–and get mighty grumpy with me if I call them on it. So I catch myself wondering far more often than I’d like to if, on this point, my all time favorite human being might have been wrong.

Are people basically good?

I must confess, I have my doubts.

What do you think?

Robert B. Parker died last year. Well, despite being dead–a condition that seriously restricts a writer’s output–he has a new novel out: Sixkill. It’s a Spenser novel, the last one he had completed before his death.

That’s good news for fans of entertaining crime fiction.

The bad news: the Parker family has apparently arranged for another author to take over the franchise and write more Spencer books. I’m pessimistic about how those will turn out.

I guess we’ll wait and see.

See you next week.