“One For All & All For One” – The Quest Begins

The Quest Begins
May04/ 2020

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May 4, 2020


“One For All & All For You” – The Quest Begins!


Before getting into “My Quest” ….

All is NOT Quiet on The Western Front… or any of the “Fronts” in Battleground America, but Daily Life in its socio-politically abridged format moves on for each of us.

I have spent 50+ years fine-tuning my social-distancing skills.  So Bre’r Rabbit BobLee is doin’ just fine in this briar patch.   I miss “dining out” on a whim, but other than that Life @ BLSays HQ is pretty much as it was in Pre-COVID-19 days.  MANY others are not so fortunate.

Everyone has decided Who to Blame – and Why… and is confident in your personal decision-making.  I won’t bore you with my assessment… or inquire about yours.

Prior to OMG A PANDEMIC!… my interest in “sports” as an entertainment option had shrunk down to MLB… PERIOD.  Even MLB has faded away now.  “Watching baseball” is not an option; but I honestly don’t think my interest in “Who do The Cardinals play tonight?” will be rekindled.  I’ve moved on.  Finding alternatives has been much easier than I would have anticipated back in February.  It is A Good Thing!

The immediate future of College Football is a subject of great concern across Battleground America. If not you – certainly many of your friends and neighbors will be befuddled without a means to declare “vicarious superiority” over rival neighbors and associates.  Resorting to alternative means to achieve vicarious superiority could get “interesting”.  Who has “the greenest lawn” … “the most outdoor Christmas decorations” … etc ???

The loss of Football Revenues WOULD be a major challenge to many institutions resulting in unpleasant belt-tightening once the deep pockets of Old Reliable Fat Cats have been emptied.

UNC Football just announced a HUGE MEGA $$$ Gift from The Eddie Smith Family of Greenville / Grady-White Boats. … So HUGE MEGA $$$$ that pretty much everything about UNC Football will now be named for various members of The Smith Family.   

Naming Stuff for People has been known to be “dicey” over at UNCCH.  Hopefully The Smith Family Tree was scrubbed clean back to The Jurassic Period.  Lets hope so …


A week or so ago, a Facebook Friend noted that his daily routine was now Reading – Binge-TV watching – and FaceTime with his grandkids.  Thats pretty much “me” too.

A popular 4th option is finally getting to that lengthy list of “Someday I’m Gonna …”.   For many of us that includes  – reducing CLUTTER around the house in all its insidious forms –  minor household repairs that require a screwdriver, hammer, or pliers and maybe one power tool – and, of course,

Resisting the urge to buy ANY sort of Home Exercise Equipment.

The innocent phrase – “I think I might actually use that” – haunts many a man’s (and woman’s) past.

Over the past decade or so my creative problem resolution skill has increased many-fold from what it was in earlier decades.  I don’t know why.  Recently,  I’ve made significant improvements to my Fortress of Solitude… as well as improvements to our primary and secondary Home Entertainment Centers.  I did so without temper tantrums and without “breaking anything”.  AND without buying a bunch pf new stuff … simply re-employing how we were utilizing existing stuff.


I’ve often mentioned one of my Simple Pleasures is a long walk on a Greenway listening to a good book.   For 5-6 years earlier in this millennium I was doing five miles/day at least six times a week… burning thru audiobooks like a Malibu wild fire.   The first exercise program of any duration I actually looked forward to each day.

My retina detachment several years ago got me out of the habit.  Getting back to the prior level with regularity has been more difficult than I anticipated due to nagging back soreness.  Last week I achieved a major breakthrough … 4.5 miles with no pain… and a Terrific final two hours of a Really Good book by a favorite author – Vince Milam.

My Quest

As fellow book aficionados know – when asked My Favorite Author – my immediate reply for 6-8 years has been C.J. Box and his Joe Pickett series.  I still binge every one of CJ’s book as soon as they come out.  But Vince Milam now shares that lofty pinnacle with CJ & Joe.

Vince has five books so far in his “Case Lee” series … they all have “Job” in the title.   “The Hawaii Job” is his latest.  Case Lee is a retired Spec Ops Marine who does “contract work” for a mysterious Swiss organization.  His “Jobs” invariably involve really bad guys and become quite perilous.  He calls on his fellow former Marine buddies – Bo, Marcus and “Catch” – each of whom bring unique combat skills.

There are a lot of authors in this genre and I’ve read many of them.  Vince Milam’s books are especially good.  He uses a lot of Eastern NC locations in his books which adds to my interest.  Vince Milam’s books are available in all the popular formats.  I recommend reading any series in order but its not required.

The Quest

THAT SAID … right after I finished the Very Exciting Conclusion to Case’s latest adventure, I went immediately to a brand new release – Savage Son by Jack Carr.  Some buddies of mine have a Book Review podcast and they were Ga-Ga about Savage Son.

Carr is a retired SEAL with three books to his credit.  I had read the first two and they were OK … This one is OUTSTANDING!  Carr’s hero is James Reece and he is a Mitch Rapp / Scott Harvath-type.  This book – Savage Son – is every bit as good as the best Vince Flynn / Brad Thor stories.  Really!


NOW … To The Quest

You are thinking, based on those two strong Recommends above, that BobLee is stuck on knuckle-dragging – shoot-em up – high body count “Rambo” books.  Not so fast my friends.

My New Quest is to read /listen to 25+ “Classics Novels”.  Most of which I am familiar with in one form or another even if only thru Classic Illustrated comic books and/or movies based on the novels.  All of them are, of course, available on Audible.com

My List in no particular order and with no time limit to complete are …

Three Musketeers

Tale of Two Cities

Count of Monte Cristo

Les Miserables

Gullivers Travels

Robinson Crusoe

David Copperfield

Hunchback of Notre Dame

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Around The World In Eighty Days

The Iliad

The Odyssey

Sherlock Holmes

Last Of The Mohicans / Deerslayer

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Don Quixote

Treasure Island

Catch – 22

A Farewell To Arms

Gone With The Wind

The Red Badge of Courage

Tom Sawyer / Huckleberry Finn

Catcher In The Rye

Chronicles of Narnia

Moby Dick

The Quest

Your List will be different as all lists should be.  Before you say… What About Great Gatsby? … I “read” that last year.

In preparation I watched three Three Musketeers movies over the weekend.  I love “Buddy Stories” and this is The Quintessential Buddy Story … Porthos – Athos – Aramis … and one of literature’s most dashing heroes – D’Artagnan. …

“One For All & All For One”.

My Dad had this “game” he made up using characters in literature as players on a Football team based on their skill sets.  Robin Hood’s Little John was an Offensive Lineman, etc etc etc …. I wish I could remember all the other players and their positions.  Natty Bumpo / Hawkeye and Edmund Dante and Ishmael and, of course, Achilles and Ulysses were all on the team somewhere.

No siree … I’m not going to miss “watching sports” one little bit…


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Love your “reading/listening” list, but hate your walking with old catcher’s joints. . A “comic interlude” on Les Miserables. I recorded the 25th Anniversary of the stage show Les Miserables on UNC-TV which brought back all the key players for an encore. Truly wonderful!! Anytime I’m down or want to be lifted I play half an hour’s worth. Greatest musical ever made!! . Back in 1989 we moved our eldest daughter Phyllis from UNC-G to Charlotte to work in a hospital there. Shortly thereafter in September, Hurricane Hugo made a left turn at Charleston and ripped into the City of… Read more »

Coby Buck
Coby Buck

If I remember, your dad had Mercury at wide receiver — or maybe back then he would have been just an “end.”

Doug Grimes
Doug Grimes

For book lovers who don’t want to deal with another subscription, Audible has Stories which are free listening. Ages from little tikes to adults, including some classics. Simply click and listen. Nothing to download. https://stories.audible.com/discovery
Nice gift for UNC from the Smith’s. Even ECU board monkeys were mostly positive with comments about it. Mr Smith lost his wife in February and they have been generous philanthropists for years to UNC and in Greenville, including about $10 million for the Vidant Cancer Center. The Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Tower.

Ruth Miller
Ruth Miller

I am so fortunate to have read this little “story” so early in the day!!!!! I don’t come close to reading all you read in a year but read I do!!! Love the updated list including The Classics. No more than we converse I am always astonished to find many of the same books on my list. Great minds I guess but since mine seems to frequently get displaced it must just be your and Blondie ‘s influence. I will add Carr and Milam to my list. By the way I have been known to walk extra miles to finish… Read more »


During cleaning out days, I opened a box of “8 Track tapes! Hooked speakers up and inserted tape not knowing if it would still play/work. “Ya’All Comeback Saloon” blurted out and I’m mind riding in my Cutlass! Three weeks later and I’m still enjoying memories even though some tracks are a little grainy.
Have ever been a fan of Ken Follette?

Leroy Rogers
Leroy Rogers

To be truly educated one must have read (and presumably understood) the Harvard Classics. I myself am NOT educated having read perhaps a third. Unfortunately I have very little interest in poetry (for example) outside my struggles to get through English and American Lit, although I did find Alexander Pope and Dryden somewhat engaging. The Greeks are interesting and worth the effort, Machiavelli will tell you more about real-world politics than you probably care to know but Hume and Locke can be as boring as Cher’s Tweets. Anyway give a few a try and maybe the next time someone mentions… Read more »

Michael Weaver
Michael Weaver

I had a similar thought and downloaded The Last of the Mohicans and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, from Audible, a few months ago. I listen to them after I complete my “go to” author’s latest audiobook. In my case, David Baldacci. The Last of the Mohicans is even hard to listen to. Hard to believe I read that book in high school.

Mark Twain’s “The Innocents Abroad” is entertaining, since you have others of his on your list.


You forgot Blind Your Ponies….sorry but couldn’t help it!