Retired in the 80s, died 20 years later, kids selling all the books to the used book store. Film or TV work, but nothing too important, something like scheduling studio time or booking musicians. Still, part of the whole scene.
The title of the last chapter in the book is "The Tunnel at the End of the Tunnel". Phil was not a happy guy towards the end.
On my way to work this morning, I ran into the daughter-in-law of my former neighbor. They recently took my neighbor, in her late 80s, to an assisted living home. I asked how she was doing. "Not well, her health has declined and mentally she's not all there. She's so confused and cruel to the staff they're throwing her out. We haven't told her yet. It's not going to be easy."
I started to tear up a bit and so did she. She held a box of glass nicknacks. Neither one of us knew what to say. I said, "I'm sorry, it must be so hard."
She looked down into the box. "If I've learned anything from this, it's not to keep a lot of things around. Don't build up a lot of stuff. In the end, it's just something that other people will have to deal with..."
My old neighbor's husband, dead now for three years, used to book musicians for movie musicals and had a trailer on the lot next to Audrey Hepburn. He smiled a lot. He smuggled he and his wife out of Germany after the Nazis took power and wrote a letter a day to the head of Paramount studios until he hired him.
It was probably bad day to get the book in the mail.
It's on the other side of my office and I can still smell it.