While I was selling my murder mysteries, Evil in the Mirror and Day Stalker, at Reader's Oasis Books in Quartzsite, Arizona, yesterday, I met a fellow author who is 83 years old. He is a spry gentleman, very opinionated, and still tough as nails. As a WWII vet, which is becoming a rare species indeed, he has seen and heard just about everything under the sun.
We started talking about the weather and soon we hit on politics. I mentioned in passing that we shouldn’t talk about politics or religion. We then proceeded to talk about both in earnest. Of course, he thought the world had gone to hell in a hand basket, which it has, and that the Holy Bible was his co-pilot, which is OK with me.
Our conversation finally rested on John Wayne and Ronald Reagan. “If those two men were president and vice president we could get something done in Washington,” my new friend declared. I nodded in agreement while pondering the possibilities. I wondered outloud which one would be president. “Why that’s simple,” he said. “They would arm wrestle for the honor!” I’m seeing both men, in my mind’s eye, arm wrestling on national TV for the honor of being President of the United States of America. “Who do you think would win?” I asked. “The Duke would, hands down,” was the answer. I let the subject go for fear of having to arm wrestle my author friend right then and there to settle the question. It would be embarrassing to be whipped by an 83 year old in front of everyone and their mothers.
The conversation then turned to the young people of America. My friend spoke up loudly, “Damn kids today are lazy. They need to get off their fat butts and 'saddle up' just like the Duke would have.” I immediately thought of the “old man” on Pawn Stars telling Chumlee to get to work. No sense saying anything to my new friend; I was sure he didn’t watch the program, so I nodded in agreement.
We both sat at our tables feeling the warm sun hit our faces while looking up at a beautiful blue sky. I had no way of really knowing what my friend was thinking during our silence, but I am sure he was thinking about how things used to be. Personally, I was thinking about how I would vote for my new author friend to be president in a heart beat!
I’m just saying,