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Volume 1357
The Burroughs Biblio-Pro-Phile Series
The Legend of
Ronald E. Prindle
Travelin' Down That Lonesome Highway II


I was born on a windswept moor next to a swamp in Saginaw, Michigan.  Almost immediately a high wind swept me off the moor into the swamp.  The story of my life is how I braved the wind and made it out of the swamp.  The story is epic.

But that's not the story I'm going to tell.  Why should it interest you  Instead I'll tell you this one.  Neither story is more or less true than the other.  They're like facets on a diamond.  It all depends on which facet you're looking at when the light shines.

The consolation of the first facet is that I was born in May which is the best time to be born since it leads into summer rather than winter.  The ancient astrologers realized this which is why they made its sign Gemini.  One hand coming from winter, the other pointing to summer.  You see that?  Two facets.  God, it's fate.

In the merry month of May
A skinny little hobo come a hikin'
He was travelin' down that lonsome road
A lookin' for his likin'...

I feel an affinity with that hobo.  Like him I've been trying to find my way up the slopes of the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

'Lord, you gave me a mountain to climb this time...'

Here's some pictures of me at the age when everyone stands around saying- 'That boy's going to go far.'

They were right.  Sixty-six years later and I'm still hikin' down that lonesome road.

But I wasn't traveling alone.  At an early age I learned to like music, or what sounded like music to my ears.

One of my earliest memories is of myself trying to hoist myself up on the table so I could get into the radio where Judy Garland was singing 'The Trolley Song.'  My favorite part was where she sang 'clang, clang, clang' and somebody beat lustily on a gong of some kind.

This is an aside but my musical tastes progressed.  I heard the song 'The Syncopated Clock.'  My favorite part of that was when it went 'tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.'.  After those two songs I like songs with whistling in them.  Here would be my favorite song:  Clang, clang, clang, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock with somebody whistling Rose Marie, I love you over the syncopated rhythm.  Perhaps Slim Whitman himself.

Well, we'll get back to my musical tastes later.  They're important but to go back to the beginning.

So there I was in this swamp trying to get out with this high wind whistling in my ears.  Maybe that's why I like whistling; it reminds me of my little old home in the swamp.

Time for another picture as I know you love pictures.

This is my favorite picture of myself.  I was telling the photographer how to do his job.  This is the first example I can remember of myself assuming my proper role in life- telling other people what to do.  Notice me pointing the imperious finger.  The kid next to me was the one who ruined my life as an only child.  You guessed it, my brother.

Right after this photo my life bent around a corner or two.  Mother had divorced father.  I don't know about the incompatibility, but I thought they were two peas in a pod.  Even though I pointed imperiously they disregarded my imperial finger.

Shortly thereafter I was placed in a succession of foster homes and then the Municipal Orphanage euphemistically styled the Children's Home.  They were so ashamed of it, and with great merit, that they tore it down sometime after I passed out of its portals the last time.  It is today a hole in the ground.  Maybe they'll make a shrine of it like Auschwitz.

As you may guess these circumstances affected my life more than somewhat as the late great Damon Runyon would say.

Kind of cast a pall over everything until I was forty-two, but we won't dwell on this facet as you may find it as depressing as I do.

The only good thing about the Children's Home was I had enough dimes to go to the movies without supervision. Supervision is for those who can't get along on their own.  At the movies I found Bob Steele, Johnny Mack Brown and Johnny Weissmuller.  The cowboys were OK but a little cowboy goes a long way especially astride Champion, Silver or Trigger.

Weissmuller was playing a guy named Tarzan who lived in a jungle somewhere.  It looked a lot like the swamp I came from so I related.  Tarzan seemed to have the same clue I had.

As they say, this too shall pass and it did, but the tread marks still show.  My mother remarried and I came out of the Children's Home.  I hope they didn't miss me because I didn't miss them.

At this time I came into contact with the most important musical influences of my life.  They cover the years from 1948 to 1956.  Roy Acuff and Bill Monroe. The Carter Family.  Floyd Tillman.  Anyone who has heard 'I'll Never Slip Around Again.' knows what it means to make a bad mistake.  Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkings, Merle Travis, Webb Pierce, Hank Snow, Ferlin Husky, Bob Wills, Elvis 'Battle Cry Of Freedom' Presley, Gene Vincent; it would grieve my heart to have missed these guys.  'There Stands The Glass'.  It always made me want to be a drunk.  I tried, but I didn't like it as much as Webb did.  Maybe he had more incentive.  Poor bastard.

Now, some credentials.  About 1950 somebody told me that there were Tarzan books.  This took me by surprise.  I hadn't yet learned that movies were usually based on booksd.  Unable to point one finger at the other quickly adding up book-bookstore I stupidly asked where you could get them.  'At a bookstore.'  Well, OK, I knew where one was.  I checked this advice out and found it was true.

At the time there were only eight titles available. Grosset and Dunlap were sold in bookstores; the Whitman's being cheap were sold in drugstores.  I got those too but only as gifts from relatives too dumb and cheap to know the real thing.

So there I was, twelve years old immersed in the Jewels Of Opar, Golden Lion, Ant Men, Return and Lord Of The Jungle.

Although I didn't know it those were the days when C.R. Rothmund was dueling it out with McClurg's and G&D.  What an epic battle that was.  I know about it.  George McWhorter, the Wizard of Louisville, tells me I am the only guy that went through those particular papers.  I believe it, they were very pristine looking.  After reading them, I knew why they were.

Where was I?  Still in Saginaw reading my Tarzan books.  Twelve to fourteen, maybe, then I didn't look at them again until I was, gosh, sixty.  A lot of water went under the BRIDGE (wink, wink) in that time.

I passed through puberty milking the most out of my voice change and got into high school from which I graduated #427 out of 627.  That's two thirds from the top, my friends, second in my class.  A long way from the bottom.  I was unhappy; didn't apply myself as would befit a person of my intelligence.  Sometimes you have to make some sacrifices to get where you're going.

Take a look at this picture.

Must have been about seventeen.  Hide your smile.  What do you think?  If you thought that I didn't think I was cool you'd be wrong.  Forlorn, maybe, but cool.  I had my Lonnie Donegan records to prove it.

All good things come to an end.  This one did in 1956.  Well, anyway it was good compared to what came next.

Official Navy PictureThis was actually taken when I was seventeen.  I was in the Navy Reserve before I went active.  It's always best to be quiet.  Joined the Reserves to make ten dollars a quarter.  Did I tell you how poor we were?  Well, we weren't.  Just that there wasn't any money.  I've never been poor and I'm pretty defensive about it.  I think it was Nero Wolfe who told Archie:  We are not broke; we are temporarily out of funds.

I left the swamp of Saginaw and fell into the morass of the Navy.  This is where I learned where and what Hell could truly be.  I've already dwelt on the subject for three thousand pages, literally, so I won't dwell on it here.   See my monumental volumes on the Peace Time Navy: 'Our Lady Of The Blues' and 'On The Knees Of  The Gods.'

This too shall pass and it did but three long years and more deep tread marks later.  I served my country and in its own way it served me.  I was a cheap lay too.  We swabbies didn't have to pay to be served but it was close.  I have a lot to be thankful for for living in these great United States Of America but the Navy isn't it.

I was angry with my Uncle Sam.  At the time I just believed it.  After forty years of unraveling things I understand why.  I was hot under the collar at the time.  They had a rule that when you were discharged you had to wear your uniform off base.

I did.

Once I stepped past the sentry I walked over to the smoldering trash bareel that stood to one side of the gate, stripped off that cursed uniform, changed into civvies on the spot and dumped my uniform, seabag and all into the fire.  One of the most satisfying things I have done.  The sentry dropped his jaw.  Je ne regrette rien.  One, it is that I looked back as the bus pulled awayd for the climb up Yerba Buena.  Never look back.  It shows the enemy that he hurt you worse than you hurt him.  Don't walk away in a huuff, stroll.  The only thing I can say in my defense is that my subconscious swamped my conscious mind.  'Sides I was inexperienced.

As I left the gate it closed on the first twenty-one years of my existence.  The damage had been done.  It was now my task to eliminate the psychological damage.

She walks these hills in a long black veil,
She  visits my grave when the night winds wail,
Nobody knows, nobody sees,
Nobody knows but me.

U.S.S. Wiseman  DE667
Picture of the Wiseman DE667
Part II
Up From The Swamp

Psychology became the most important study of my life.  If in the language of an American game I had an Ace in the hole it could only have been my indomitable spirit.

I had now to find the thread that would lead me from the swamp.  As in the quote from the Long Black Veil which, if memery serves, was by the late great Lefty Frizzel, I was buried six feet deep.  A walking dead man.  My Anima paced over my grave separated by a mass of earth.  One goal would be to reunite my Anima with my Animus.  The other would be to reunite my Ego or Animus.

Some very astute psychlogical truths find expression in popular music if you analyze it correctly.  A song or story emerges from the subconscious embodying truths beyond analysis.  The conscious mind then shapes these truths into a coherent story.  Lefty undoubtedly was unaware of the psychological meaning of his song but at the same time the expression of his truth came from an innate understanding of the organization of the psyche.

Songs are not the only place where psychological insights are common.  Comic books can ixpress subtle truths.  At one time I had a substantial collection of comics.  1947-1950, are you kidding.  A favorite of mine was a minor character called The Heap.  The Heap never rated his own book; there were few of us that understood him.  Of course my understanding was on the subliminal level.  The Heap's situation sumbolized my situation.  Let's face it; that how favorites are chosen; you can relate the favorite to your own psychological needs.

The heap had nothing to do with the Anima but a damaged ego or Animus. The Heap's sumbolism also reflects Burroughs' situation.

There were twin brothers. One stayed hom, one became an aviator in the Great War.  When they parted a coin was cut in two each taking half so that whatever happened they would be able to identify each other.  Each placed one half on each other's neck where it was worn as a necklance.

The halves of the Ego, or brothers, then separated.  The pilot (swear to God this was the story) was shot down over a garbage dump in Poland.  Still alive he crawled from the wreckage onto a garbage heap.  Too weak to move further he lay in the garbage for weeks drawing sustenance, one assumes, by osmosis.  Slowly the garbage frew over him.  When he finally rose weeks later he was, in fact, an animated heap of garbage.  Hence he was called The Heap.

You see why this story apealed to a limited audience.  Standing in the muck of my swamp I perceived an analogous situation to my own.  The Heap tramped all over Europe identified by his smell until one day he found his twin brother.  Still handsom, the undamaged half of the animus recognized the Heap as his brother by the curiously cut coin which he dug out of the garbage on The Heap's chest.

Now, at twenty-one, turned out on a friendless world in Oakland, California, I, seriously psychologically damaged was turned out into life as a species of the The Heap to find my formerly handsome self.  Remember how Burroughs in 'Lion Man' described the deformed God as a formerly handsome Englishman?  Close, possibly a cigar.

'Long Black Veil' which was popular about this time was always on my mind while I thought of The Heap on a daily basis.  On a conscious basis a favorite song was 'Jimmie Brown, The Newsboy Of The Town.' which was also popular at the time.  On a conscious level I thought of myself as Jimmie Brown.

Redemption was a long way off but I picked up my bundle and set off down that long lonesome highway.  Heigh ho.

I had obtained an early discharge to attend college.  With grim determination I began.  My intent was to go to school days and work swing or nights.  I got the swing shift job but couldn't organize myself to pursue a full time schedule so I cut back to two courses a semester.  You can see how grimly determined I really was.

Afater two semesters of bookkeeping I thought myself qualified to be an expert accountant.  Unlike Burroughs I didn't have the bluff to pull it off.  I did make it to the mailroom however.  It was a start from which I worked up to better jobs actually getting a job subsequently as a Jr. Accountant.

Love came along.  I met my wife.  We were married in '63.

My colleges go like this:  Oakland City College>Marin Jr. College>Chabot Jr. College>Cal. State At Hayward and out with a BA in history.  Not much of an education but I was well indoctrinated, conditioned and got the degree which was the only thing of value.

We newlyweds first lived in Marin County then moved back to Alameda County when kind relatives provided the means for me to attend Cal. State full time.  Bless them.  Without their help I would still be ekeing out a course or two a semester.

I think Burroughs' poem 'Poverty' should be interpreted in this light.  Not want or real hardship but less than four years at Harvard with a several thousand dollar a year allowance.

It didn't take me long to realize that my degree was nothing more than First Class citizenship papers.  As I hadn't entered college from high school, completing the curriculm in four years employers were not interested.  Class thing.

Knowing there were no jobs and having a real interest in learning I opted for graduate school.  A summer at UC Berkely then to the University Of Oregon.

ERB took Emma to Idaho at twenty-eight, at the same age I and Jeannie trekked to Oregon.  I quickly realized that by the time I got through the Phd program my age would make me unemployable.

My spychological progress was slow but my ship was coming in.  The Free Speech Movement at Berkeley coincided with the transition from the Beat to the Hippy.  I was too young to have more than sympathy with the Beats, they were all older gentlemen by the this time, but I had been lurking on the fringes of the Hippies.

At this time I saw my ship steam up to the dock.  I had only to recognize my ship, catch the tice which when caught tec. and step aboard.  Did I do it?  You bet I did.  It was headed for the gold fields.

I loved the oster work coming from San Francisco, Peter Max and others.  I was intranced I thought Eugene would be too.  Paris by Christmas, you know, success unimagined.  It should have remained unimagined.  I was a little bit ahead of Eugene on that score.  Few feet other than mine beat a path to my door.  Thinking on those same feet I switched strategies.  Remembered how engaged I was by Judy Garland and her clang, clang, clang.  I decided to put my musical expertise to work and sell records.  Vinyl, remember that stuff?

Pernard Malamud would have been enraptured by me; I was a natural.  I had caught the burgeoning record industry at the crest of the wave.  From '67 to '81 I sold more records per capita than any other record chain in the country.  I was hot.  I liked it.  But all good things must come to an end.

In '79-'80 there was a major sea change.  A lot of people called it Disco but that wasn't it.  It went deeper, to diapers.  It was the passing of a generation.  M-m-m-my generation. I wasn't especially interested in transiting to the new conditions.  I hung up my Rock 'n' Roll shoes.  But as Robert W. Service wrote:

I wanted the gold - and I got it -
Came out with a fortune last fall.
Yet life's not what I thought it,
And, somehow, the gold isn't all.

No, it wasn't.  It was 90% though.  I could make up the other 10% with a small change of attitude.  I made it.  Here's another interesting thing.  I changed ships.  My other ship came in.  I guess the first ship was just a ferry to the second.

At the same time I left the record business my psychological efforts bore fruit.  I exorcised my central childhood fixation integrating my peronality.  Wasn't that nifty?

I had made my way out of the swamp.  Got rid of those things that were growing on me. The Heap melded with his handsome twin with the latter sunny side up.  Hallelujah, I was no longer a bum.

There were still some details to work out.  With a light jaunty step I set about it.

The integration of my personality removed the mental block that had prevented my being able to express myself in writing just as Jack Johnson's victory over Jim Jeffries released Burroughs'.

Since '82 I have been reading 150-200 pages a day.

I was able to plumb the depths of Freud, who with the possession of a couple keys (I mean, you know, likethe metal kind), proved to be not that deep.

And there you have it.  My little profile.

As I have completed the integration of my personality I have been able to reunite myself with my unspoiled child with the imperious finger.  The Heap had intervened between us but he has graciously withdrawn. Nice chap, a little heavily on the aromatic side, but nice chap.

Just as I did as a child I tell people what to do which is as much proof as you need that the child is father to the man.

I thought I was alone
But the past was just behind.

Bob Dylan:  Tangled Up In Blue

As the skinny little hobo said as he passed the jungle camp:  I won't turn in, boys, but I'll see you all this coming fall up on the Big Rock Candy Mountain.






Traveling Down The ERB Highway
With R.E. Prindle

 The Webmaster has asked me to write a cover sheet for my various essays.  Writing something personal is much more difficult than writing on other subjects.  Somehow my objectivity goes out the fenesters.  My first two efforts have been rejected.  This is understandable.  I spoke too directly and I know it.  Camouflage, discretion, persiflage, evasion of facts, whatever name you wish to give it was missing.  Simply put, I spoke too directly. I'm at fault and I know it.  I wish to correct my error.

The problem you see, is that I can't disguise my influences; I can't hide the facts away.  They happened. If things have been done to other people which they can't forget the same applies to me.  See, I'm getting circumspect I didn't mention any names.  This history of our times is that of Emasculation Games.  It is necessary to paint the other fellow black.  He isn't anymore innocent of guilty than yourself which is probably the reason that he has to be painted black. (That is not a racial comment.)  This too is understandable; what isn't understandable, if you're in an understanding mood.  I'm in an understanding mood if you get my meaning, I mean, you do understand.

Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud and the Communists have a lot in common.  You don't understand why I have to bring them up?  Well, because they are the substratum of our intellects whether we like it or not.  When you weren't watching they stole your mind; you probably don't know it's missing yet.  Here it is right here; I've got it in my pocket.

You see, regardless of cosmetic differences between the races or even real differences between sub-species, the sub-species are not yet so differentiated that the brains of all of us don't function in any very different manner.  Oh, I mean, our cousins the chimp and gorilla have minds that are less well developed and so they can't do things we can, I mean, try to teach a chimp to write this sentence; it can't be done.  Yet, as Freud discovered, if he didn't discover it he should have, on the subconscious or unconscious level the chimp or gorilla brain functions just exactly like ours.  If  you prick a gorilla will he not bleed?

So Freud demonstrated that on one level all mankind is indeed one.  The Communists seized on this idea and acted on it.  They said:  You will disregard differences racial, ethnic, religious and national and get in lock step.  No kidding.  You didn't know that?  Read the literature.

In fact it is considered impolite or even criminal to not accept Freudian and Communist findings.  If you don't, and if you don't know this you're extremely negligent, you will be called a bigot and may be haled into court on charges of potential crimes against humanity.  Thought control actually, but as we publicly condemn censorship and 'insensitivity' we never call Thought Control by that name.  In its own way it's undemocratic, you see what I mean.  I mean, officially we're democratic and it is undemocratic to not be.  So we can't be.  If this doesn't make sense to you read it again.  The logic is impeccable.

The overruling Fantasy Sex we use is 'we gotta be free.'  Free.  Free as the breeze, free as time of which there is plenty.  Free from all restraints except the restraint to say 'Are you for real?  Don't you know you're speaking nonsense?' You aren't free enough to say that.  It might be a crime against humanity.  There are inherent conflicts in the concept of freedom.  So the question is who is going to define freedom for whom?

I hope you're beginning to understand this here problem.

Like the 'sex partner' said:  'Who's going to be on top?' This is important because the one on top controls the action.

Even though, as Freud proved, that on one level our brains all function alike and as the Communists shouted:  You will all be one.  in practice there are a number of constraints on one's freedom.  Who is going to be the Fuhrer?  What race, what sex, what ethnicity, what people?  You know someone's going to be running the show.  I'd rather it be me, whether that's racist, hateful or not.  If not me, who?  Nobody of whom I'm going to approve.

Here's where crimes against humanity aren't crimes against humanity.  If you're on top.  Stalin knew this all along while Hitler learned it to his cost.

We can't allow crimes like that anymore, even though we can't stop them, so what we practice are emasculation games.  The group that winds up most emasculated is at the bottom; they have to perform the objectionable sexual acts.  Nasty stuff, who needs it, paint it black.  But somebody is going to be on the bottom.

This leads us back to Freud and psychological manipulation.  Who's fooling who?

This is as far as I can take you without committing verbal crimes against humanity.  In other words, if I went any further I would have to start naming names.  Freedom slams its door right here.  The end of free.  Watch out!  Anyway, you all know who you are.

So my essays and stories all talk around these basic facts of life without getting too close to the bone.  As we all know it is permissible to offend some people but not others.  I hope I haven't offended the unoffendable in these freest of free times and If I have offended the offendable as the schoolyard bully says:  What are you going to do about it?

Life is like a mountain railway,
Keep your hand upon the throttle
And your eyes upon the road.

I'm looking over
A four leaf clover
That I overlooked before...
That from a popular song of about 1948.  I hated it at the time.  It was a standing insult to the way my life had gone but, here, some fifty odd years later, I'm quoting it to begin this little autobiographical sketch.  What I'm demonstrating is the power of ephemera.  By a man's ephemera shall ye know him.  Ephemera is the ground rock on which one's psyche is built.  When you look at the finished product all the ephemera has disappeared.

Open The Door, Richard!

                                                                                                         ~ Louis Jordan

Another little bit from then.  Forget that door.

I've looked at life from both sides now...

                                                                                                                 ~ Joni Mitchell

Most of the ephemera that's counted most in my life has come from comic books and records.  Some people think records have something to do with music.  They don't They're records.  A bulky material like books.  On these records men and women have recorded their thoughts accompanied by various bangings and scrapings in a rhythmic manner to get your attention.  My attention was gotten.

Let's take the comics first.  Some people have almost made a career out of cataloguing comic books.  An absolute waste of time; comics have no value except to the person who read them. Comics are ephemeral.  Who now remembers Flattop's boy.  Pruneface. 'The nation that controls gravity rules the earth.'  Ring any bells.  Dick Tracy, Chester Gould.  See what I mean.

The Blackhawks. Plastic Man.  The Daredevil.  The Heap. Batman and Robin. Tales From The Crypt.   Crime Does Not Pay.

I took that last comic quite seriously.  I believed it.  In fact, crime does not pay.  I don't care what Freud says; crime does not pay.  While that may be true it's also true that  virtue is its own reward which may equate to the same numerical value as that of crime.

But then:

How many times have
You heard someone say:
If I had his money
I could do things my way.

But little they know
How hard it is to find
One rich man in ten
With a satisfied mind.

                                                                                                          ~ Porter Wagoner

A satisfied mind is important so when I heard Porter whine his way through that one I determined that what I wanted more than anything in this godamighty world was a satisfied mind.

I lost my big pile of comic books but I kept most of my old records.  Floyd Tillman, Webb Pierce, Hank Snow, Ferlin Husky, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee, Mickey Newberry, Johnny Horton, Lefty Frizzell...lots more.  I say this in all seriousness, these were the great minds of our times.

Don't matter how they lived their lives.  Doesn't matter if they were drunks or teetotalers.  They didn't get paid for living their lives they got paid for putting their thoughts on vinyl.  At least they got paid.  I haven't gotten a cent yet for writing a lot more words than they did for which they got millions.  Of course I'm trying to write deathless prose for the ages and all these guys were writing was ephemera.  Goes to show which pays better doesn't it?

Furthermore, every word I write is based on that ephemera.

True.  But it is also written:  Man does not live by ephemera alone.  Too true.

There goes that Mainliner,
A hawk with silver wings.

                                                                                                              ~ Hank Snow

Life has its serious side which I've had to pay attention to too.  Funny though, the serious side seems more like a joke than that humorous ephemera.

In times like that you need 'Something Of Value' to have and to hold.  Tarzan gave me that.  Tarzan was a steadying influence.  I carried that ephemera around from my childhood.  In 1958 there wasn't much available because the intellectual legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs had been grossly mismanaged.  It wasn't until about 1963 that people discovered that the copyrights had never been renewed.  Been laying around for twenty years or so.  The legacy was actually in the public domain.  It was common property.

ERB, Inc in fact had lost title to it.  When others, out of reverence, picked up on the titles ERB, Inc. came alive again demanding their 'rights' back.  Out of reverence they were given back.

Meanwhile my life, like most lives, was caught up in the coils of trying to stay alive.  I have succeeded for quite some time now although the skein may be running out.

Way back, I think it was '82 after a lifetime of struggles, the ball took a bounce in my favor;  I like to think I was at the appointed place at the appointed time appropriately prepared.

At any rate I had the time and means to take up my studies in the way I'd always wanted to.

                                         I'm free as the wind,
                                                My chains are gone,
                                                      The duty chains I bore so long,
                                                             Anyplace I stop is home,
                                                                   Untied, untied.
                                                                                                         ~ Tommy Collins

A little blast from the past.  Anybody here ever heard of Tommy Collins?  Raise your hand.  Bakersfield boy.

My studies led up to 1960, when trying to put things in order I was stymied without going back to...well, I wouldn't call it the beginning or even the origins... I don't know, roots, yes, perhaps that's it, going back to my roots.  Naw, that doesn't get it either.  I was at an impasse, there, that's it, when up popped Tarzan showing me Something Of Value.  It was kind of distant so I had to come up closer to see it.

The essays which make up my contribution to the Erbzine are all part of getting up closer to read that tablet Tarzan was holding called Something Of Value.

'Waiting For A train.'  The story of Ma Perkins, Stella Dallas, Lamont Cranston, Edgar Rice Burroughs and the rest of us.  We were all standing around the watertank swapping stories when this one came up.

'Only A Hobo.'  That's what we all were.  Out on the road again.  Fancy talking tinkers without a home looking for some long lost friend.  Sorting through our decks of been. Some of the details came out like this.

'Men Like Gods.'  That was us but it took a fairly subjective eye to see it.  It didn't matter, we all knew who we were.

'The Magic Shop.'  We all knew our tricks.

                                        She said:  Everyone must give something
                                                        For something they get.
                                        I reached in my pockets
                                                        And felt with my thumbs
                                        Then I offered her my very last piece of gum.
                                                                                                               ~ Bob Dylan

Not much I suppose but still Something Of Value.

Some people think 'Something Of Value' is controversial.  Some have even objected because they think it bigotry.  Well, you know, bigotry is in the eye of the beholder.

I had to live with it when that bulldozer pushing those naked dead bodies was jammed in my eye, which was called the truth about me, so, if you can't take the truth about yourself when it gets jammed in your eye, don't call me names.

Just add some more string to your kite and go fly it.

So here I am coasting down the home stretch and if I say so myself I've got a pretty satisfied mind.  I might have attained my life's goal.   Only a hobo, but I've got a satisfied mind.

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