Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste

Prologue

Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

Sign up and read my novel for free.

All Blog Posts


Celebrations

June 30, 2014

June is a time of celebration at Casa Chatterbox. Thursday would have been my dad’s 88th birthday, Friday was our son’s birthday, and yesterday Mrs. Chatterbox and I celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary.

    

This picture shows us shortly after our honeymoon when we’d moved into an old duplex in West Los Angeles. I’d inherited the apartment from my college chum Ray, who over the next few months popped in at inconvenient times to use the shower.

    

It’s easy to look at old pictures of yourself or loved ones and wonder what became of the strangely familiar faces staring back at you, seemingly from across the years. My perky young bride looks like a New Christy Minstrels singer ready to belt out a rousing rendition of America the Beautiful while I look like a bespectacled Soviet dissident. I have no idea why she set her sights on me so long ago but I’m awfully glad she did. I’m among the fortunate ones who, at a tender age, met their soul mate. I smile when I see this picture with her hand on my arm, just as it was last night at Red Lobster where we celebrated our son’s thirty-fourth birthday.

     

We married when we were both twenty-one, an age when many of our friends were already married with children. Fast forward to our twenty-first anniversary and I can recall how strange it felt to have been married as long as we’d been alive before tying the knot. These days it’s difficult remembering a time when I wasn’t married, and that’s fine with me.

    

We’ve had so many marvelous adventures during the course of our marriage, raising our son and exploring the world, yet no marriage is without dust ups. There have been a few along the way, but we’ve always been able to settle our differences and moved on. I’ve been particularly blessed to have a life partner who is forgiving and has supported me through several careers, someone who has stood by me when I had no career at all. If I’ve succeeded at anything in life it’s because of her. If I’ve failed I have only myself to blame because I’ve had more than my fair share of love and support along the way.

 

 

 

Life isn’t always fair, and I’m the beneficiary of a great inequity because I don’t deserve my wife. I hope I tell her often but I’m a guy so you know it isn’t enough—I love you, Sweetheart, and can’t imagine life without you.

 

HAPPY FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY

 



Comments

29 Comments
And a very Happy Anniversary to both of you! Thanks for sharing your loving words with all of us- brought tears to my eyes as it took me many years to finally find my soul mate- and aren't we all lucky when we do! Have a wonderful day!
By: Kathe W. on June 30, 2014
Happy anniversary!!
By: The Bug on June 30, 2014
Happy anniversary! There is a lot of 70s happening in that first picture. Today is my niece's 2nd birthday and Friday would have been my dad's 73rd birthday so we had reason to celebrate this weekend.
By: PT Dilloway on June 30, 2014
Congratulations to you both. In a relationship there is 'you', 'I' and 'Us'. All three need to be nurtured. I have a strong sense you do!
By: Daniel LaFrance on June 30, 2014
You do have that Soviet dissident look. Love your shirt and bell bottoms. Happy Anniversary! Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on June 30, 2014
my gosh, bless you both! loved the 'soviet dissident' remark! LOL!
By: TexWisGirl on June 30, 2014
Happy, happy anniversary!!
By: fishducky on June 30, 2014
Congrats to you both- my dh and I are pulling up right behind y'all at 38 years this Dec.
By: Coloring Outside the Lines on June 30, 2014
Happy Anniversary to you! Mrs. Penwasser and I celebrated our 28th on May 31st. I've always wondered why she consented to marry me and why she stayed married to me. I think the woman has brain damage. She definitely has lousy taste in men.
By: Al Penwasser on June 30, 2014
Happy Anniversary!!!
By: mimi on June 30, 2014
Congrats on your long-term union! We're coming up on our 25th anniversary in November. Look at you in your mod 1970s shirt!
By: Val on June 30, 2014
What an adorable couple and how aptly you described the two of you. She does have the clean fresh beauty of a NCM singer and you do have a faint dissident look:)). Congrats big time on the huge success of a wonderful, lasting marriage.Not easy to do these days.
By: Akansas Patti on June 30, 2014
Very well said. To be lucky, you have to work at it. I'm sure you worked at this relationship and that's why it turned out as it did.
By: red on June 30, 2014
Happy anniversary! LOL at the "Soviet dissident" remark... Really, when you look past the 70's filter, you and Mrs. Chatterbox haven't changed all that much.
By: Pixel Peeper on June 30, 2014
I love this post. Beautiful. What a blessed woman she is to have you. Happy happy anniversary and here's to many more!
By: Carrie on June 30, 2014
How wonderful! Congratulations to you both. :)
By: Scott Park on June 30, 2014
happy anniversary to such a cute and lovely couple. i hope you enjoy many more happy years together. such cute photos Stephen
By: Fran on June 30, 2014
Well done my friend! I'm looking forward to my 40th...I'll be 105.
By: Cranky Old Man on June 30, 2014
Many congratulations to you both.
By: Brian Slater on July 1, 2014
Many congratulations to you both, A wonderful milestone and may there be many more years of happines . . . Eddie
By: Eddie on July 1, 2014
Okay you "bespectacled Soviet dissident" congrats on a wonderful life and a happy wife. There are no greater accomplishments. Many more...Mindy
By: mindy on July 1, 2014
Sincere congratulations to you both on your 40 years of marriage. I've been with my good lady/soul-mate for 33 years so I'm trailing in your slipstream.
By: Bryan Jones on July 1, 2014
Wonderful tribute to your wife ... some of us aren't kidding when we refer to our "better half"!
By: Tom Sightings on July 1, 2014
My wife balances all of the miseries I have put her through the last 20 years with thoughts of how many jewels I have put in her Heavenly crown. Congrats on 40 years!
By: Jerry E. Beuterbaugh on July 1, 2014
Stephen: What an amazing celebration post! I always get a kick when a television celebrity says they are celebrating their second wedding anniversary and the audience claps, almost to indicate an achievement of epic proportions. I howled at your description of the "Soviet dissident" and a member of "The New Christy Minstrels"! That has to be the funniest thing I've read all day. Congratulations again and do Celebrate!
By: Michael Manning on July 1, 2014
Happy anniversary to you two!! :) :)
By: Rita McGregor on July 1, 2014
Happy belated anniversary to you both! This is such a lovely tribute to your wife, and after getting all choked up reading this, I can say that she's very lucky to have you too! Julie
By: Julie Kemp Pick on July 2, 2014
Blessed!
By: John on July 2, 2014
This is so beautifully written. I think you DO deserve Mrs. C! Your description of you two in the first photo is hilarious and, oddly, perfect. And I love the recent photo. Happy anniversary, belatedly. Wishing you many more happy years together.
By: Mitchell is Moving on July 15, 2014

Leave a Comment

Name:
Email:
Comment:

Return to All Blog Posts Main Page


RSS 2.0   Atom