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And so, the FBI removed him/her from our midst, the media followed them back to Texas for the upcoming trial and our tiny little piece of the California coast returned to normal.

Sort of.

Monarch Beach doesn’t even rate a dot on the map. An extreme closeup on Google Earth will net you about half a pixel on the southern edge of Jade Beach, the fishing port on Jade Bay, just over the ridge from our pixel.

The loss of the men in black, the media vans and the evening news highlights left us in a void.

We had quickly become news junkies, savoring and recording every news clip that showed one of us in the background. 

A pool posted at Kelly’s Diner kept track of the most viewed resident.

If you care, it was a tie between Cletus Howard, retired, and Sally Kelly, waitress and local encyclopedia.

As the first cooling clouds of autumn drifted across our coast and canyons, the residents returned to their normal pursuits.

The men’s senior section returned to holding up the counter at Kelly’s in the morning, now that they didn’t have to contend with pushy reporters on a caffeine hunt.

The parking spaces on Main Street opened up.

The traffic dwindled to an occasional car, driven by someone we knew, who waved as they passed.

Our days of fame were gone but not forgotten.