My friend Dean Koontz has been doing podcasts on his website lately. Dean is a very witty and talented reader and actor so they're well worth listening to.
One of the podcasts concerns the time Dean and Gerda decided to stop by ole Cedar Rapids and visit the Gormans. Carol always says she knows when I'm talking to Dean because no matter where I am in the house she can hear me laughing.
Here's the podcast (scroll down):
The other night Mystery*File ran a review of a movie based on a book by one of the finest western novelists in history, Steve Frazee. His crime story--it'll knock your socks off--My Brother Down There, won the Edgar.
Anyway, when I was starting out thirty years ago I wrote a lot of western stories because I love the genre. An editor asked me if I;d like to edit an anthology of my favorite stories and I said of course. One of them was by Steve Frazee. I started gathering permissions for the various stories. I asked around about Mr. Frazee and was told he was deceased and that I needed to talk to his son, who was handling the estate.
So I call this number and a very polite gentleman answers and I said that I wanted to talk to Steve Frazee's son to get a story clearance. And then I said, quite respectfully, that I was sorry that Mr. Frazee had passed on and would this gentleman be nice enough to have the son call when he got back home.
And then the man said, "Well, looks like I'll have to do. I don't know who told you I was dead but I guess they haven't told me yet."
I was talking, of course, to Steve Frazee.
My post about the Chemo room and the self-styled tough guy keeps on garnerig mail. Two people wrote me and said that I was wrong to stereotype hunters and that just because he wore a PROUD HUNTER ballcap didn't automatically make him a jerk.
I'm a Midwestern boy. For a year I lived on a farm and went hunting with my uncle. My grandfather hunted and now my son hunts. I'm against hunting unless you're starving and really need the food. I'm a vegan and have been for twenty six years. Back then Carol was diagnosed with MS and our world came crashing down. I found a copy of the controversial Dr. Swank MS diet book and by God it worked for us. She had two years of terrible symptoms but has since been symptom free. The first thing Dr. Swank said was give up all meat. I knew it would be tough for Carol to do that so I did it myself.
The irony is that she's gone back to eating chicken and the occasional piece of beef. Not me. I'm PETA all the way.
I didn't mean to stereotype hunters, I simply meant to describe a belligerent, swaggering tool who did a Clint Eastwood walk getting to his Chemo lounger.
And swaggering is something I know about having spent more time than I care to remember drinking in taverns and bars where the parking lot was there for two reasons--to puke in and to watch two guys damned near kill each other over ladies or chance remarks. This was David Goodis territory and there were swaggering fools all lver the place. Hell I did my share of swaggering myself, though it was probably pretty embarassing to watch.
The only time I have disagreements with hunters is when they tie their pleasures into all the NRA bullshit. I have a moral disagreement with hunting but since I don't run the world I guess I'll just have to live with it.