“A Road so crooked that it…”

Crooked Road
BobLee
June17/ 2019

BL LOGO

“A Road So Crooked that it…”

.

I was reading (listening to) this book last week – Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon … it’s one of those “Man becomes disillusioned with Life so he sets out by himself to discover America”and rediscover himself” books.

The book is his one-man Odyssey encountering all manner of “diner-people” on America’s backroads.   The title refers to the fact that “back roads” are in blue ink on most maps.   His Rule was to avoid Interstate highways.  He wrote it in the early 80s but much of it rings true today with a bit less “rage and rancor” than exists today.  It’s an OK book.  I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

BUT… in the first chapter he has a Killer Line describing a back road in Illinois…

.

“The road was so crooked… it oughta run for the legislature.”

.

That line coulda been plagiarized from Will Rogers or Mark Twain or H.L. Mencken, or maybe he made it up.  Regardless it was a YOWSA Line IMO.  Nothing else in the ensuing 15 hours matched it but that line alone was worth the $11.50.

I have reached a level of cynicism that I now believe 98.3% of ALL “elected politicians” at every level are “crooked” i.e. “corrupt”… either initially or eventually. 

RELAX… This is NOT a BobLee Political Rant.  I promised you I would avoid those on this page. … If you just gotta have some BL’s political thoughts… go to BL EN FUEGO … LINK.  A couple of “Can He Say THAT” Doozies posted this past week.

###

This is a Some Good Books I’ve Read Recently column.

I have, over the years, mentioned the Travis McGee series by (the late) John D. MacDonald.  If you consider yourself a serious aficionado of crime / mystery fiction and you are not familiar with “Travis McGee” you need to reassess your “seriousness”. Busted Flush

I’ve never read this anywhere but I believe the Magnum PI (Tom Selleck) series was modeled somewhat after “Travis McGee”.  Change the Hawaiian mansion for a houseboat (The Busted Flush) moored at Slip F-18 at Bahia Mar Marina in Ft Lauderdale…. next to Travis’ Rolls Royce pick-up truck (“Miss Agnes”).

Travis is “a salvage consultant” who helps people (often very attractive ladies) recover lost property.  He is a White Knight forever saving damsels in distress… but never ending up with the damsel.

Tom Selleck in his Magnum days would best describe Travis physically and his Dudley Do-Right nature.

All 20+ novels written in the 60-80s have “a color” in the title.  They are quintessential “beach reads”.  You don’t have to read them in any order but I always suggest doing so.

The best “like Travis McGee” series I know of is Spenser by (also late) Robert B. Parker set in Boston.  Except Spenser has a sidekick – the enigmatic “Hawk” – and a permanent girlfriend Susan Silverman.  If you enjoy one series you will enjoy both.  If you don’t enjoy either one … WHY do you bother visiting here?

There are numerous Travis McGee Wannabes in modern fiction.  Even more than “Reacher” wannabees.  All generously acknowledged that John D. MacDonald was their idol as aspiring authors.

Wayne Stinnett’s Jessie McDermitt series is one I recommend.  H. Terrill Griffin’s Matt Royal series is another one of the genre.

Remember folks… I “read” 100-120 books/year.  Over 1,000 in the past nine years.  My opinion HAS to matter at least a little bit.

We will discuss other BobLee Favorite literary genres and authors in future columns.  I have MANY…. CJ Box, Louis L’Amour, John Sandford, Angus Donald … … … … and I’m discovering new ones all the time.

If I can’t be reincarnated as a Major League Baseball Umpire… I would certainly settle for “the next John D. MacDonald” or “the next Robert B. Parker” … Yessir!

Theres More

.

BobLee… “The Teddy Bear Whisperer”….   In my 32 years as a “Father / Dad / Daddy” I have received all the traditional Father’s Day gifts from “hand-made somethings” by a kindergartener… to clothes… to a copy of A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving (Which is AWESOME by the way)… to power tools, et al.   With all due respect to each and every one of those precious gifts, this year’s mighta set the all-time bar for Kid’s Gift To Dad …

It was a simple text message waiting for me Sunday morning from Kid (also known as Twinkle & Scooter’s Mom… and Mrs Pastor Danny).

“…yesterday we were telling a friend about how all the girls stuffed animals had names and I said it was because my dad taught me that all stuffed animals had rich inner lives…”

No More Calls… We Have Our Winner – Game Set Match. 

Winston tell me

“So Winston, tell me more stories about Mom when she was a little girl like me…”

.

Really?… I always thought EVERYONE “talked to” and “were talked to by” Teddy Bears and other species of stuffed animals… as well as cats, of course.  Apparently not.  Our late family cat – Annabelle – is still one of the Top Six most interesting “conversationalists” that I’ve ever known.

Twinkle (“Ruthie”) has Jennie Bunny. … and Ruthie and Scout share Eunice The Penguin.

Kid has always been a voracious reader and Twinkle seems destined to be equally voracious…Scooter not so much, yet.  For multi-decades I have wanted Kid to read Watership Down by Richard Adams.  It is a wonderful adventure allegory about rabbits.  She has resisted so far… not realizing I have recently added “doing so” as a condition to her inheriting the family fortune.

Anyhooo… that 30+ years of my being a Teddy Bear Whisperer had not only NOT gone unnoticed but was cherished… what can I say?  Excuse me… I must have something in my eye…

.

A Lot More BobLeeSays Columns … LINK

.

BobLee

20
Leave a Reply

avatar
10 Comment threads
10 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
BobLeePaschal DobbinsFan of The Great UnpleasantnessFayettewufMayberry Jim Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Paschal Dobbins
Guest

I enjoyed the Dave Robicheaux books by James Lee Burke.

Fan of The Great Unpleasantness
Guest
Fan of The Great Unpleasantness

Can’t believe you didn’t mention any of the Hiaasen books, the Serge Storms series by Tim Dorsey, the Thorn series by James W. Hall or the Doc Ford series – all set in Florida. IMO (humble left the building long ago), worthy successors to Travis McGee. Stumbled across Travis McGee about 20 years ago and went on a mission frequenting used book sales to fill out my set. Have you tried the Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian? First one is a bit of a tough slog, but the other 20 or so are excellent. The abomination that was adapted for… Read more »

Fayettewuf
Guest
Fayettewuf

I read John McDonald so long ago that I could probably re-read and enjoy. Have you ever read Ross McDonald’s Lew Archer books? Couple of movies were made from his books, but they changed the name because of Paul Newman’s run of protagonists whose name started with H to Harper. Speaking of McDonalds, Gregory McDonald wrote Fletch and Chevy Chase made IMHO a crappy movie base on the story.

Mayberry Jim
Guest
Mayberry Jim

I also travel the “blue line roads” often due to the nature of my work, and many times by choice to avoid the interstates. Takes a little longer but MUCH less stressful. I’m always amused when a really crooked road is named after a politician. Makes me wonder if there is some retribution involved, and similarly when they name a waste treatment plant.

Wolfdon
Guest
Wolfdon

Just finished “Rocket Men “ By Robert Kurson . A revisit to the space race between the US and USSR to the moon and the three men in Apollo 8 who played such a vital role in the effort to win. Nostalgic and very enlightening.
Recommend this very much.

Jay Colognori
Guest
Jay Colognori

I can’t tell if you are giving the Jack Reacher novels props or not. I’ve read them all and some are great, others not so much. What is the name of the first Travis McGee (what an awful name) novel? If I am, as you recommend, to begin at the beginning, I need to know. 😉 My first dog, a promise kept to my 8 year old son, was a golden retriever we named “Beamer”. He cried all the way home after being separated from his mother and siblings. I should have known then he would be a communicative fellow… Read more »

Former96Heel
Guest
Former96Heel

You’re the man to ask. An author like Robert Parker, or Louis L’Amour, or James Patterson, the list goes on, How do they turn out such volume of work? I realize there is a sort of formula to a series, but repeating the same thing will lead you to lose your audience, I would think. Do they have ghosts (that is while they are living, not the post-mortem series authors)? There are dozens of fiction authors who put out over a book a year, and still seem to hold their audience, probably even gather more readers with each new book.… Read more »

Jim Wilkins
Guest
Jim Wilkins

You need to try, Blind your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West . Told you one before. Sue ( KHS) ’65 says it’s the best book she ever read. J W

Ruthless
Guest
Ruthless

My kinda column! Picture takes the number 1 position. Love my teddy bear and my dolls. Always talked to them. Keep up great job here. Was in need of more reading. Thanks to you I just might hit 75 books this year

Babs.N.Derm
Guest
Babs.N.Derm

Adorable Picture !