Early March 2022
Little did I know that the writing of my first Western, SHADOW, would lead to writing another one!
I am busily fitting into my work schedule many activities, other than the methodical act of penning the final version of THE SILENT HEART.
There’s the requisite re-recording of my cell phone voicemail message. The old one from circa 2015 has been changed from “Howdy” to much more honest verbiage:
“Hello. You have reached somebody who may or may not wish to speak to you. Please leave a message and hope for the best.”
It’s the right attitude!
After the February 2022 police-state government crackdown on civil liberties in Canada, I re-examined my already paranoid and often contentious relationship with my cell phone. I considered wrapping some heavy-duty aluminum foil around the contraption to try to escape the clutches of the Nanny State in California. I opted to simply leave the device in one distant part of my house, and charge it only just before it is about to go brain-dead.
Driving in the vehicle without the portable GPS-tracker is another decision. Rotary-Dial Living is my goal for the foreseeable, and unforeseeable, future.
Often, whilst working on a chapter for a novel, I wander back through Music-World of my past lives. With the collapse of these Carter-redux years into the uncharted territory of Continuous Swamp Cannibalism, I’ve reviewed the lists of top-charted country songs from those hellacious months of 1978 — when Americans were being held hostage by Iran. Now, all of America is held hostage by who knows what nation — and how many of them?
“Softly As I Leave You”, recorded by Elvis, obviously before his death, and then released in 1978, was not funny. On the other hand, Crystal Gayle’s “Ready for the Times to Get Better” was always a rhythmic favorite of mine. I think it’s due to make a huge comeback for a fantastic songstress who owned the air waves of the late 1970s and most of the 1980s. I do not consider a “cover” by any of the NashVega$ hypocrites to be legit country singing, or even legit singing.
Larry Gatlin’s “I Just Wish You Were Someone I Love” might have profound implications for the Millennials and their quests for romance without risk.
Waylon Jennings musically asked “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Thing’s Got Out of Hand” cause, I guess, someone else moved in on it and made a bunch of money.
Among my all-time treasured songs from this era were ones performed by a father-daughter duo named the Kendalls. They hit it big that year of 1978 with “Sweet Desire,” and “It Don’t Feel Like Sinnin’ to Me.”
Their No.1 smash hit of the previous year, 1977, was called “Heaven’s Just A Sin Away.” I always got a big kick out this song, especially in the work environment. A co-worker, known to all on that floor of the building as a card-carrying member of the Moral Majority, used to come to my desk after lunch, after he’d jogged a mile or two, and had showered, shaved, and slapped on men’s after shave (Hai Karate). He’d stand at my typewriter and, with an opened collar and a couple of liberated buttons on his shirt, hand me an assignment.
One afternoon, he invited me to the Billy Graham meeting that was upcoming that week. He assured me that he’d be bringing his wife.
I declined the invitation. My co-worker engineer friend had overheard his entire monologue, and then my polite refusal. When this very handsome, black-haired man, with graying sideburns, and with impeccable ethical motives, left my work space, I glanced over at this woman and said:
“Heaven’s just a sin away.”
We all need to lighten up on the morals clauses in this up-tight country of the holier-than-thous who, in their current incarnation, are atheists. The intolerance of the flubs and failures in our midst shall only get louder, more intolerant, amoral and atonal as these psychos live out the future they deserve.
We, the Patriots, can scale back our lives to survive. I’m well-practiced in that art, although I did hope, and pray, and hope against the hopelessness of their dead-ender soullessness that this nation called America would not have to re-experience Carter redux x 10.
But, as Crystal sang in 1979, “Don’t take me half the way.”
This time, the job’s gonna get done 100% — all the way — by the citizens of a supreme nation who love God, the U.S. of A, and pure country music.
Everything happens for a reason, and the good Lord knows those reasons. In time, if we play our cards right, we, the loud majority, will come to know that amazing grace too.
What I do know, with certainty, is that a four-letter word, formerly forbidden by the Moral Majority in the America of the Carter Era, has become a valiant, even virtuous, word of patriotism — for the truly moral majority in America of 2022.