In the meantime, I've kept a cursory glance on Mitt "Richy Rich" Romney and Rick "I LIKE the 14th Century" Santorum as they careen madly around Michigan. Arizona has its Republican primary today but virtually everyone including the candidates are ignoring it. Most folks who were inclined to pick among the yahoos voted weeks ago, thanks to early voting. I caught a glimpse of CNN today and their anchor/reporter was reduced to walking around with Joe Arpaio. He's self-billed as the toughest sheriff around. Locals think of him as either the most loved or most loathed public official. There is no middle ground on Sheriff Joe.
SWMBO must have foreseen this political season and its affect on me as she gave me this book for Christmas.
She knew of my past affection for the good doctor so it couldn't have been a more perfect gift. I'm reading it slowly so as to extract maximum satisfaction from it. He was a joy.
Oh, on another front, I was nominated by my "brother", Tom, for a singular award the other day. I accept.
In return for this honor I am instructed to tell you seven things about myself. All right, here goes.
1. I began life as a child. Growing up in snowbound North Dakota made me a man by the age of six, when I was turned out (on ice skates) to make something of myself.
2. My first writing triumph came in the first grade when we were assigned to write a (very) short story. Mine concerned a rabbit escaping from a coyote and exclaiming "Whew! What a relief!" My teacher was impressed.
3. In high school I discovered the dramatic arts and acted in two class plays. This I carried into my abbreviated college career where I was in several plays, including "Hedda Gabler" and, less classicly, playing the lead in "The Gazebo". In the latter theatrical gem, one of my fellow players was a young man named Dick Armey. I am appalled to say he later went on to politics and became Majority Leader of Newt Gingrich's Republican House of Representatives.
4. My interest in politics came when I was working at a radio and television station in Bismarck, North Dakota. My boss had sent me to cover a tax conference. I understood nothing but I came back and wrote a story for him to read. He asked a couple of questions, to which I gave wavering and uncertain answers before exploding, "Damn it, Taylor, you're a good crime reporter but you don't know (expletive deleted) about politics!" I figured my job was lost but later my boss took me for drinks and explained that I would just have to learn politics since our station was in the state capitol and the bulk of our news would be politics and government. I learned.
5. During my career, I attended (as a reporter or producer) six national political conventions and one mid-term national convention, as well as the 1969 inauguration of Richard Nixon. Other than the first two - the 1968 Republican meeting in Miami Beach and the Democratic gathering in Chicago - the rest were all just long hours, a lot of work and exhaustion.
6. I interviewed many politicians in my career, including a number of presidential candidates. I believe I shook hands with all three of the Kennedy brothers (John, Robert, Ted) but my favorite interview of all was with an actor, John Wayne. We went to his waterside home in southern California and he couldn't have been nicer to us, even allowing us to hold his Oscar for "True Grit." He was dressed in seersucker trousers and a camelhair jacket but the thing that stood out the most to me? He sounded exactly like John Wayne.
7. I have been married to SWMBO (Judy) for about six weeks shy of 41 years now and, with some bumps in the road, it's been great.
Now, I am supposed to name several people to pass this award onto.
And so, after careful thought, I name:
Warren at Touch the Wind
Jerry at Gently Said and
Dana (Bug) at Bug's Eye View
And with that, I'm going to join my pal, Jazz, for a little rest.