I got this email today from a reader of my MONK books. I’ve changed the names, but otherwise I haven’t edited it:
I can’t help but recognize your name. Of course Goldberg is rather common in L.A. Do you recognize the last name of Sandstrom? Howard or Betty or Steve? They lived on Sherbourne in B.H. Then, after Papa Bob died Grandma moved to a "blue" apartment at (I think Rodeo and Olympic), after that on Palm Drive near "little" Santa Monica and Doheny. Steve was my father. Grandma also mentioned a Joe Swanson and Mike Berger several times. I brought lox and bagels to Esther Berger (his mom) when she was in a nursing home in Reseda, but never had any reason to meet Mike. Grandma was just getting up in years and I lived in the Valley at the time. I am estranged from my used-to-be immediate family so when a name rings a bell I so try to connect. I know so little about my father. I have no idea how well Mike knew him.
I wrote back and said that I don’t know any Sandstroms…or any of the other people she’s talking about even though I, like them, am one of the millions who live in Southern California.