There are angels living in our midst. My friend and neighbor Karen Goddard is such an angel. When Karen learned that my library of books went up in flames, she bought me my first book—“The King and Queen of Malibu.”

The book is a compelling read about how Frederick Rindge and his wife May purchased and protected what is now Malibu and environs back in the 1890s.

In some ways, I can relate to Frederick. Both of us had serious illness as children. We both attended Harvard, albeit I studied there almost a century after he did. My bride and May both came from large families—Joan was one of nine children and May one of a staggering 13. We both grew up on the East Coast, ultimately moved to Malibu and lost our homes to fire. There the comparisons end.

Frederick Rindge paid $10 an acre when he bought his ranch. I paid more than $1,000,000 for the same acre. Now, I know we are talking different times, but let’s face it, Frederick got a better deal than I did, although those who bought Manhattan for $24 and some beads make it look like Frederick got snookered. 

I thought I moved fast when I met my bride on New Year’s Eve and married her the following September, but I am slow as molasses compared to Mr. Rindge. Frederick heard about a friend’s niece back in Michigan, sight unseen, took a train from California to Michigan, met May and married her within a few days before taking her back to California. Now, that’s what I call moving fast.

Breaking news: Malibu’s own Jonathan Banks just bought me my second book, thus doubling the size of my library. Jonathan is a friend, but I dare not refer to him as an angel for fear that I might ruin his public persona. 

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