home page table of contents writings paintings Venice in print other media poets nobody leaves Venice Venice music virtual boardwalk visual arts

The Author:
Pat Hartman

A Venice Wedding

The File Cabinet:
available writings

Venice Festival at the Fox Venice

Reviews of Call Someplace Paradise

Ghost Town: a Venice California Life

Readers' comments
on Ghost Town

Kinney's Folly

30 Years Ago in Venice

List of Topics in Ghost Town

Bent Out of Shape

Spirit of Truth (fiction)

Michael Ventura:
an appreciation

Murder of
Sarai Ribicoff

Visions of Venice

To See Venice
Is To Live

Venice's True Sister City



After the Burglary

The story of our burglary is told in Ghost Town: a Venice California Life. This is an outtake.

I'm pissed about the jewelry, if I may dignify my collection with that term. It was mostly handcrafted stuff with sentimental value.

Glass and wooden bead bracelets made by Carla; totemic objects on leather thongs; some pieces with polished rocks made by a friend in his lapidary phase; costume jewelry rings; Hindu prayer beads; earrings broken or orphaned. Two necklaces and a couple pairs of earrings that were the last of the shark-tooth jewelry I made in Texas. Earrings made to look like old Greek coins with owls on them, bought from a dimestore a long time ago. My Sunday-school pin symbolizing six years of perfect attendance. First you'd get the round central pin, then a gold wreath around it, then each year a little bar hung from the bottom with tiny fastenings.

There were some things my grandmother gave me in my teens: a silver ring from India made of two twisted strands with a cluster of round bells on it, and a hollowed-out, polished bean with an ivory stopper that contained a herd of miniscule carved ivory elephants. She also gave me some very old ivory pendant earrings, made long before people thought about conserving elephants. Each one was a sphere of lacy carving, with a smaller carved ball inside, like a sculpture I saw once in the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum.

There were only two things might think valuable at a glance, one a National Junior Honor Society ring my parents gave me. Probably the only thing with resale value was a round locket on a chain that Carla's dad gave me before we were married. Inside it was the only picture we had of him as a little boy. There was also a nut and bolt my boyfriend gave me when I was fourteen, which I carried for years in my purse as a good-luck charm. I get a certain amount of satisfaction from imagining the reaction of the thieves when they found that, not to mention the human teeth and a used IUD.

Quite frankly, they got a bunch of junk with a total market value of maybe five dollars. Such a worthless haul, in fact, that I'd always figured my few pitiful adornments were immune to ripoffs, since no self-respecting thief would touch them. In fact I keep having this fantasy where I find all the stuff in a paper bag on the lawn, flung back at me like a fish that's to small to eat. But the only thing worse than a thief is a stupid thief who doesn't even know worthless shit when he sees it. The painful irony is that there were things in the same room they could have taken and gotten actual money for, and that I could have replaced with mere money - while the things they did take were without value and can never be replaced. The reason this loss makes me feel so bad is, even though I never wore any of these things, they did have sentimental value and use. Carla and I would open the jewelry box and I'd tell her stories about the friends and relatives who gave me the various trinkets. It was something we both enjoyed a lot.

© 2004 - 2012 Pat Hartman
Put "subscribe" in the subject line, send a blank email to info (at) virtualvenice.info

"Table of Contents" or site map here it is

WWW Virtual Venice