I thought I'd tell you a little about my
life here in Frazer.
I get up at 4:30.
(Yesterday I got up at 10
minutes to 4:00 to deliver what was for me a very difficult lecture, synthesizing
ten years of hard academic study in one hour and 15 minute session.)
I read, study, and meditate until about
I cook myself breakfast, with a little
I dont like to get high.
Then I come down to my study, which is nicely
done up in the basement.
There are soft, bright rugs on the carpet on
Books line the walls.
(I have graduated from
cinder blocks to red brick.)
My desk is an old, but nice, library
desk. Oak. That I refinished.
It's got a little bar across the bottom that
I put my stocking feet on.
I rounded it off so it's nice and soft.
I stare at a lot of old relics from my past.
There is a large Eeyore stuffed animal on
the table next to the lamp by my Laz-E-Boy rocker/recliner.
There is a nice homemade checkered quilt draped
over that chair.
It is beautiful.
And very cozy.
To lie down and really relax.
And think. And not be afraid.
The Eeyore doll was given to me by my wife.
Another sits on my bookcase, given to
me by my students.
They represent a period of time when I got
into shrinkery, and needed a great deal of support from my wife and students.
And got it.
On the couch there is a beautiful Pendleton
Blanket from the Pendleton Woolen Mills in Pendleton, Oregon.
On one arm is a huge Beaver Skin,
tanned. Given to me by my good friend Tom Dimond.
Dimond hunts mountain lions.
And anything else that moves.
He's over in La Grande, Oregon now.
He makes pots for a
living. And blows
Dimond's C.B. "handle" is
Mine is "Brown Bear."
When we go hunting together.
Dimond made me the favorite piece of
"sculpture" that I own.
It's on my bookcase, right next to my desk.
It's a sculpture of a banana with a bare
naked woman gracefully arched across the end of it.
With gigantic breasts.
Pointing straight up.
Behind me, as I sit at my desk, I
have a large sign, a poster actually, that says, "Dr. G.
Brown Please Do
Not Walk On the Grass."
That has to do with something I used to
teach my students back in my Ethics course at Whitman.
I used to ask them, constantly, why they
should obey the signs in the grass that said not to walk on it.
When it was clearly in their interest
to walk on it.
And they wouldn't get caught.
And they wouldn't hurt the grass.
In fact, that was their Final Exam question.
It's a version of "Why should you be
Any defense of any logical,
rational answer to that question was incoherent and invalid I used to
Because there is no (what I now call
"third-dimensional") "reason" why you "should"
All third-dimensional views tell you
to be selfish.
I just wanted them to see that.
The only answer to the question
"Why be moral?" is spiritual.
And comes from Spiritual Sense.
As opposed to "material sense."
And it originates in that yearning for
something higher and better than what the "material world" has to offer.
But I didn't tell them that.
I knew I'd kill their interest.
I just asked them to answer
the question "Why Should I Be Moral?"
Or, Why Shouldn't I walk on the
grass, when I can get away with it, and it won't hurt anybody?
So, one of my students, a particularly
argumentative and obnoxious little Jewish guy, who was loyal to me to the end in
my fight to save my job at Whitman, put this sign up, right in front of the main
door leading out of my office building, right before classes, at the busiest
time of the day, just as I was about to leave for my big class of the day.
It was this big sign, a placard of
plasterboard, red, with black letters, that said: "Dr. G.
Please Do Not Walk On The Grass."
Right in the middle of my battle to get
I laughed so hard I took it down and brought
it into my office.
And kept it forever.
It's a real treasure.
As I look up, to the top of the
bookcase facing me, I see ten little plastic medicine bottles, each with a different
kind of medication in it. Thorazine. Haldol.
Lithium carbonate. Librium. Valium.
Mellaril. And Seconal.
And some dexadrine and
methadrine. And Coedine. From an ealier time
period. Of experimentation.
On the right-hand side of my
"office" wall there are some pictures of my wife and myself, back when we were
first married and living out on our first little farm.
Our love had been "illegal,"
in a sense, because she had been my student.
And you don't do that in a small, liberal
arts college, modeled after the New England tradition.
My old reliable hunting dog, East
Rattlesnake Jake (from East Rattlesnake Gulch in Missoula).
There is a picture of the three of us
together. I am sitting cross-legged on an old wood kitchen chair, with my Winchester 101
(made for Sears) double-barrel over-and-under twelve gauge shotgun across my lap, looking
straight at the camera.
In the backyard.
With the screen door and the back porch with
the elk antlers clearly in sight.
Kathee is standing slightly behind me, and
on my right side, with her left hand on my shoulder.
Looking straight into the camera.
Jake is sitting faithfully at my side,
looking, however, sneakily off to the side to see whether there are any pheasants
to go after.
(I do have the shotgun in my
And we are all (successfully) trying to
project an image of what we are all about, as a happy, embattled little family.
Underneath the picture, on the paper board
that the picture is made on, Kathee has written, in her beautiful calligraphy,
"To Dr. and Mrs. Geoffrey Brown, from, Kathee and Geoff."
The pictures were taken, and mounted in that
old rustic brown color, by another loyal student of mine.
A guy named John Davis.
There are some others of that period,
grouped together on the wall that form a kind of "collage."
Our favorite is the one in the
kitchen, where I have my arm around her, and John took the picture across our kitchen
He had dropped in on us when we weren't
There were empty seven millimeter magnum
shells on the table, a pack of Marlboros open, a dish with warm butter out, a stray
pottery cup of Dimond's out on the table, and a still-wrapped-up warm six-pack of beer.
And an empty half-gallon jug of gin,
from the night before.
And these two bleary-eyed, somewhat
sheepishly embarrassed souls hugging each other from across the table.
Next to that is a picture of some the
of the older guard in our little faculty, giving a colloquium, or panel
discussion, on sexuality on the Whitman College Campus.
One of the panel members is clearly
The rest have wandered off into Plato, or
the drink they are going to have when they get home, or the little coed they have locked
up in an apartment somewhere.
It is a study in stasis and miasma.
Taken, again, by John Davis.
Directly under that is a (framed)
picture of me and Kathee getting married.
Because we had to.
Because we couldn't any longer keep living
And expect me to keep my job.
So the picture is taken in a Judge's office,
the local Justice of the Peace, with the full disarray of his desk and his office making
the statement about the obscenity we were participating in.
To become "legal."
To have our love relationship
sanctified by the government.
I handed the Judge a twenty dollar bill for
Up above that, closer to my desk, and
above the bookshelf on my right-hand side, is a picture, no, the
actual document, of my Baptism in the Episcopal Church.
Dated the 14th of February, 1964.
In Walla Walla.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
When I was a junior in college.
Apparently the good folks in the Episcopal
Church haven't yet discovered that "baptism" has nothing to do with
certificates and churches.
It has to do with completely turning away
from the material world for Truth, and Reality, and Love, and Principle,
and Soul, and Intelligence, and Life, and immersing ones self
in the world of Spirit.
And seeing where that leads you.
But, apparently, the joys of the Country
Club have to be shown for the thin gruel they are before one is willing to make the
Each at his own pace.
A sacred law.
One of my favorite things, sitting on the
bookshelf, right beside my desk, is a silly little figure of a happy, smiling ninny.
This was a present to me from my favorite
Bar Maid of all time.
Her name was Prudence Weber
And she worked at Little John's in
Her husband was a big shot at the Penitentiary
in Walla Walla.
and I used to go there every
afternoon at 4:30, when we weren't going to the Green Lantern down the road.
Jack was perhaps my best friend at
Whitman, in a special way.
He was an Irish Catholic, or so he acted.
But he knew a lot more about God than Irish
Catholicism can give you.
Jack knew because he broke the
He was the most Spiritual man I knew.
He knew God better than anyone I knew
We never talked about God, except toward the
When I found out how much he really knew.
But he lived God.
He was God.
When I needed him.
In the crunch.
What, then, is the "Christ?"
You hear so much these days about the
"born again" Christian.
People who are supposed to have accepted the
"person" of Jesus Christ into their hearts.
And let "him" guide their lives.
They are supposed to be 50,000,000
strong. By their own calculations.
But I find it hard to believe that
50,000,000 Americans could be that wrong. About something that important.
If living in the belief that there is life
in matter (that there is more than One God) is the "dream" that composes
"human life," the Christ is what comes to deliver us from the
bondage of that dream.
It's as simple as that.
It happens in all kinds of ways.
This is what the "Savior"
At different times, and different ages, the
"form" that the Christ Idea will take will be exactly appropriate for
It depends on how literate or how literal
an age is.
The kind of metaphor, or "still small
voice" that is needed.
To the receptive thought.
Of that age.
This, contrary to appearances, is
an age of thinkers.
It is not an age of or for the literal-minded.
(Those who would have their thinking dictated
to them through recipes, formulae, or media.)
This is an age of the iconoclast.
The independent, rebellious, tough-minded
This is not an age for sheep.
People would rather be cold, and alone,
and true to themselves, than buy the lies they have to eat to become a
Now I have to qualify that in one special
way, in one special sense.
Tied in with being independent,
and tough, and thinking, is the idea that you are true to your "self,"
i.e., true to what you know and believe is good.
That is your little star.
Wherever it leads you.
And that, if you are a thinker, is your
That is the Christ.
Or, the "Christ idea."
Leading you in your life.
Up and out of the dream of
life in matter, or material sense.
Up and out of the hypnotic dream that there is
evil. That there is a material man.
That there are other "powers"
besides The One. God.
That there are, in fact, even such things as
"other minds," besides the One Mind, that function independently, and
occasionally, in opposition to the One Mind.
This is not possible in a perfectly
constructed Universe; and part of what we are being led out of is this false
belief that causes so much misery.
Until we let it go.
The belief that we are "persons,"
acting independently, and sometimes in opposition to, God's Law.
And "let that Mind be in us which was
in Christ Jesus."
That is, the knowledge, the understanding
that all there is to me is the Mind that is God.
Bringing me to a realization of that
By way of the "Christ."
Wherever and however it
operates in my life.
It may be slow, or painful, depending on how
faithful and true you are to what you know is good.
But you can watch this, and see it
happen in your life, and learn to ride with it as it happens: that is really
Letting the Christ live you.
Not fighting it.
Human will, of course, would want
everything its own way.
It would want the belief that it is a
power, and an independent force or presence for either good or
But, you have to realize, that the so-called
"human will" is "built" out of fear, and fear alone.
That is why it is a myth.
A lie, with no foundation.
Because it is built on the lie that
the Presence of God, the Love of God, is not sufficient for our
complete happiness, fullness, and well-being.
That's all there is to the so-called
"belief" that there "is" a so-called "human will."
This lie is the "great whore"
in the Book of Revelation.
It gives rise to what is called the
Today we call it the "personal" or
Freud and Sartre and Nietzsche have the best
"understanding" of it that I have ever found.
But you understand it perfectly well.
You know what that fear is based on.
The blackness of the night.
Fear of the dark.
Fear of your own "greed."
Fear of your own "hate."
Other people's "hate."
And all the rest of it, including the fear
of "disease," as a power apart from God, that is going to get me!
You know what I am talking about perfectly
And it is just these fears, that
"form" the "carnal mind" that the New Testament is
talking about, that the "Christ" comes to "redeem" us, or
"save" us from.
Bring us out of.
Lead us out of.
By showing us, in no uncertain
terms, that they have no power, no basis in anything but lies,
misapprehensions, and fear.
And there is nothing to be afraid
Because all there is is God and His
Idea, or Reflection, Man.
And He certainly isn't going to do anything
to "harm" his precious, beloved Son.
"How," you may ask, with
considerable exasperation in your face, "do you explain all the evil that
is so demonstrably present in our lives today then!"
I reply thus.
Are you really more interested in explaining
evil or destroying it.
Take your pick.
They are absolutely mutually exclusive.
If you explain evil, as the academic
world and the "Churches" of our day seem to feel it is their God-given
obligation to do, then you are stuck with it.
You have given evil an identity: a person,
a place, a name, a reason for being.
This is, in fact, the very last thing you
want to do with evil.
It is the arrogance of the "intellectual"
mind that causes you to feel that this kind of "explanation" must
somehow be legitimate.
But, the intellectual, while a gift of God,
an angel, if you will, to help you up the ladder of Self-understanding, if taken
as a law in itself, becomes based on the fear,
the same fear that causes us to believe that God's ways will be insufficient for
Including His information.
Intellectual arrogance, based on the fear
of God's insufficiency, that He will let down His Beloved Child, is
All it asks for is a reason!
One dinky little old reason to explain
why or what on earth could be causing these terrible things to be
That's all it asks for.
And, of course, once you let the legitimacy
of that (seemingly humble) kind of reasoning in the door, you have literally opened
Pandora's Box Wide to the World!
The point here is that just exactly the opposite
kind of reasoning and kind of mentality from the intellectual's (or the
academic's) is required.
The mentality, or "reasoning" of a
"Except ye shall become as little
children shall ye in no wise inherit the Kingdom of Heaven."
The knowledge, the understanding,
this AWARENESS is the power to heal and save from any of the frightening
evils that the intellectual and theological communities set out to "explain."
Because, once you have destroyed the belief
that such things are possible in the Kingdom of the Perfect Universe, constructed by
the Perfect, Adorable Being, you have destroyed the only basis or "cause"
for the presence of seemingly so-called evil in the first place.
The only basis.
That such things are possible,
or present, here and now as actual realities.
They are all a dream.
That is being destroyed by its own
Let me continue a bit with my life in
My home cost me $12,000.
It's a tight little bugger, well built, by a
guy from this area.
I think of it more as a sailboat than a
A couple of bedrooms, bath, upstairs.
A tight, functional little kitchen,
with lots of windows.
A breezeway made into a back porch.
Two car garage, that functions partly as a
I sleep downstairs, next to the washroom and
the study; because the guy next door regularly has his buddies over to rehearse for
They get around in a circle and sing,
beating the Drum in the middle with sticks.
We keep different hours though.
So it doesn't bother my writing.
"Oliver," my neighbor's name,
always has some dogs.
One of these dogs, "Truckie,"
is my best friend, my only real friend, here in town.
Every night we go on walks
up to see the graveyard. Or down the railroad tracks.
Last year it got down to -40°. Without a
Truckie used to have a friend--another
doggie pal--named "Wylie," but Wylie got run over by a car last winter.
I was coming back from our little post
office one day, and there he was.
I reached down to pet him, but his tongue
was hanging out of his mouth and was sticking, frozen to the ground.
He was still warm.
So I rubbed his head.
And went on.
Truckie has fleas.
The worst case I've ever seen.
He scratches all the time.
He didn't know what it meant to be petted
until he met me.
Oliver, and the Indians, generally, have a
little different attitude toward dogs.
When the winter ends they go around town shooting
all the dogs they don't want, that made it through the winter.
Truckie's been shot a few times.
Well, stripped of "normal" human
companionship and love as we both are, we have both learned a great deal about love from
I remember the day he first gave me a
"lick" on the face.
He was quite surprised.
He had evidently never done it before.
He's a big dog.
And really quite homely.
With a tongue like a bears.
I mean, this dog is ugly.
He is so dumb that he lies on his back with
all four feet straight up--his favorite posture--and can't figure out how to scratch.
He did figure out how to kill
He went into the yard of these old folks,
who live on the few vegetables and animals they own, and killed every one of their
precious geese. One by one.
And just left them.
Just to give you a flavor of the
normal violence...when my neighbor down the street decided to divorce his wife,
he not only walked out, but he burned the house down after him.
Truckie has mange, by the way, from his
They feed him nothing but venison all the
The Indians go out "jacklighting,"
spotting deer at night with spotlights on the trucks.
They usually have them on top of the cab.
The deer stares right at the lights, which
makes his eyes glow in the dark.
So you just aim right between them.
There is one beautiful little girl here,
about fifteen years old I think. It's hard to tell because they're old by the time they're
Her name is Jodi Howard.
It's impossible to tell what the
specific situation is on any of these kids because their family situations are so totally
screwed up that you can't remember all of the details. Or find them out.
Incest is very common.
It's not uncommon for a kid's folks to be drunk
before he goes to school.
Girls have one purpose in life: and
they know it, and the boys know it.
Consequently, they get as ugly and as fat as
they can as quickly as they can to avoid that purpose.
You often see children, who are the
parents of other children, walking by the house.
Nobody knows anything about
You often hear of a court case where
a girl is accused of assaulting a boy.
Girl cat fights are normal at school.
The kids form a circle and urge the two
"combatants" on each other.
The little kids are constantly begging
So they can go buy sweet stuff.
At the little one-horse store.
And there is nothing so desperately
lonely as the Prairie.
With the wind.
And the cold.
They ask me, "Aren't you afraid?"
when they see me on the edge of town about to walk out into the night.
On one of my long slow peaceful precious
visits with the Presence that is the Life and Source and Truth of my being.
It was on one of my walks down the railroad
tracks, about a mile out of town, next to the little lake that inhabits this spot on the
map, that I first saw Jodi's name.
She had written it with a rock on the
concrete bridge, that permitted a little creek to flow into the lake.
It said, "Dear God, Help me
please. Signed, Jodi H."
I want you to know that I do permit
myself certain vices.
I recognize them as vices.
I accept that they are preoccupations to be
worked out of.
But, for the time being, they are nice, and
help me to work on the really hard disciplines of the moment.
Each step is a step that you must
take; and you must decide for yourself what the best balance is.
Yes, you "give up" certain
material things, that you thought you fancied, for treasures that you are setting
up in "heaven," that you really do fancy.
Freedom, peace, and happiness.
It's an exchange, of sorts, where you
"trade in" the objects of material sense for the Beauty of Soul.
At your own pace.
It's a steep climb.
Whatever suits you.
Just keep your eye on the trail and don't
worry about the mountain peaks ahead.
I can remember when I "gave up"
smoking, a year and a half ago.
And drinking two months after that.
I put the cigarettes out in the garage, so
if I needed them I could go out and get them. But I would have to walk all the way
out there, and think about it all the way.
Well, when I turned from them, that was it.
I had no impulse to go out to the
Not an impulse.
Same with booze.
Not a sip.
Not a puff.
But, it happened that way because
I let myself set my own pace.
Now I look back on that particular little
peak, with some pride, at how simple and graceful it was.
I love to hike.
I love the refreshing mental
discipline, and the knowledge, the absolute certainty, that I am
accomplishing something worth accomplishing by my efforts.
No matter what comes; and no matter how
much I would try to restrain and change what comes.
My job is to get myself out of the
way: and listen.
That is the struggle.
To have the humility to let,
to Let His Will Be Done.
Very, very hard.
Because I always think I have a better
But I have learned, through many a
hard and sore experience, to listen and let.
So. That is what I do.
That is my struggle.
To Let it be done His Way.
Indeed, that is what we are all doing.
Each in our own way.
Whether we know it or not.
That was the lesson set for us by the
example in the Garden of Gethsemane.
No matter what
appearances say is going to happen..... Let.
Thy Will be Done.
So the main vice and distraction I permit
myself these days is cooking.
My dearly beloved wife, wonderful cook that
she is, gave me one secret to follow, which goes fundamentally against my
idolatrous and iconoclastic nature: follow the recipe!
Which I now humbly obey.
In the interest of sensuality.
I went out and bagged my limit in ducks last
Last Sunday night I had a perfectly cooked
mallard duck in sherry.
Apple Pie with perfect crust.
Artichoke, with mayonnaise cut with a little
salad vinegar, and salt, pepper, and paprika.
A little scabetti squash, from a neighbor's
And steamed rice.
Fit for a King.
While I watched 60 Minutes.
I have only one problem with food: I once
weighed 275 pounds.
When I was going through the terror of
trying to keep my job, while pretending to recover from a nervous breakdown, and seeing a
shrink once a week for three years, and eating lithium carbonate twice a day, I found that
the only way to relax, besides eating the valium and mellaril and drinking gallons
and gallons and gallons of sherry, was to eat.
Chicken and french fries, were my favorite.
And Chinese Food.
And mashed potatoes and gravy.
And Pot Roast.
And Turkey Dinners.
275 lbs., at my peak.
Of fun and games with sensuality.
So now, I have a gentlemen's agreement with
myself to stay under 200.
Which, at 6' 2", is about right.
For a fat, and aging, and balding
But I do love that chow.
I sneak out to the garage at night and cut
myself a sliver of the cherry pie I made for myself last week.
The best Cherry Pie
I have ever eaten. (Sorry
Kathee. But true.)
And I drink tonic now, instead of Gin
Still with a lime.
And, what used to happen thirty
seconds after I took a hit off it now fails to happen.
And I get to walk away from it with a clear
Hell of a deal.
Eat, drink, and make merry, and don't pay.
The next morning.
When it is time for me to turn from
all that crap, I will.
With gladness in my heart.
Because it is all, all, each
and every mouthful, a burden.
And I know it.
And I am waiting.
And be freed from the bondage.
Of my belief that relaxation and happiness
comes from that kind of sensuality.
But, while it is here, I will
Just as I enjoy everything in life as
a gift, from Love, to help on the trek upward.
Lifting thought upward.
"Jesus understood that what
consciousness entertains, what you think and feel, and what you admit from the world's
thinking about you externalizes itself in your body and experience.
Jesus healed, not by treating the externals
but by establishing every man's Christliness in his thought."
This is a quote from something hanging on my
wall, just behind my desk, right next to the sign that says, "Dr.G.Brown Please
Do Not Walk On The Grass."
It is a quote, from the Spring of 1973, that
my beloved wife Kathee took down.
She was scrupulously careful about
She was a Chemistry major in college.
The hardest major in our school.
I made that statement at the height of my
so-called manic depressive psychotic episode.
It was not a breakdown.
It was a breakthrough.
It was then.
It remains so today.
I risked all to get a glimpse of that
And, I lost all.
And, gained all.
Because, contained in that statement, and
what it implies about the nature of God, Man, and the Universe,
is the heart of Christian Science.
The truth about the nature of God,
Man, and the Universe.
Yet, at that time, I knew nothing
whatsoever about Christian Science.
For very good reason.
Christian Science has been in my family.
My mother's side.
And was held by some of the most hateful,
awful, contemptible, evil, ugly, malicious, anal-sadistic assholes I have ever, or will
ever, lay eyes on.
My grandmother in particular.
My brother and I had a standing joke whenever
we got around her. Which was as infrequently as humanly possible.
One or the other of us, whichever one
she wasn't lecturing, with her evil, ugly, malicious, gossiping, foul, judgmental mouth,
would try to get the other one to laugh.
Mainly by giving Granny the finger behind
her back, and pretending to bash her brains out with a baseball bat.
Granny couldn't figure out why she
was so funny.
Mark and I regularly used to muse
about what it would cost to put a contract out on her.
The last thing she said to Kathee, my sweet
and beloved wife, who has the purest mind and a heart of gold, was, "Don't become an
It was implied.
Then there was the matter of her brother,
the most ruthless, power-hungry, land-grabbing baron in the history of the
of the State of Montana.
At least that was my opinion.
And, since we are dealing here with my impressions,
or reality as I perceived it, (not as it might have been perceived by other
people, like his gracious and wonderful wife), I am only trying to establish
how I was protected from any knowledge of Christian Science.
Because I hated these people.
I really did.
Wellington D. Rankin was the name of this
arrogant greedy asshole, pretentious, pompous bastard that he was; and I can clearly recall
his so infuriating me at the ripe old age of five that I spit in his face!
Wellington had a policy of hiring convicts,
whom he would pay a dollar a day, at the end of three months, if they didn't go
Because if they went to town, they would get
Wellington was possibly the most powerful
man in the State.
At one time he was one of the largest
individual landowners, not just in the State of Montana, but in the United States.
He was a fanatic about Land.
I recall one kind of story that represented how
he acquired his huge land holdings, ranches, he dreamed, that would extend side by
side, contiguously, from one end of the state to the other. The story that represents his
exact kind of cunning brutality was this: a guy would kill another guy in a
barroom fight, and would come to Wellington for help, knowing that he was the
"best" lawyer in the state. Wellington lived in an old dilapidated office
building in downtown Helena, the State Capitol, so that guys who were really down and out
wouldn't feel intimidated by the environment. Wellington would offer to get him off on the
following condition: the guy would give him nothing if he lost; and he would give
him his whole ranch if he won.
C'est la guerre.
I remember the absolutely funniest
confrontation I have ever seen in my entire life: my old man meets Wellington.
They are having dinner with a large group of
people (Wellington liked audiences) and, as usual, an argument develops.
Somewhere out of the haze of bickering and
razor-sharp cutthroat remarks, which was the Rankins' favorite conversational milieu,
Wellington's voice triumphs: "You can't argue with me: I am the Child
of God; when you argue with me you are arguing with God!"
The old man says he just about fell
off his chair.
One time later, the old man got his revenge:
Wellington came to our house for Christmas Eve. And when he saw Walter pour himself a drink
he marched all the way downtown to get some horseshit book on the evils of booze.
The old man promptly threw him out of the
Never to return.
I was impressed.
Of the Old Man.
I hated that prima donna son-of-a-bitch.
He was a "Christian Scientist," so
he didn't "smoke or drink."
But he had a storeroom, a veritable warehouse,
full of candy.
Cases and cases and cases and cases of
They were for "the men" out on the
Those poor starving bastards.
One time I picked up one of
his "men" out on a far-a-way ranch, who was walking down the road, and looking
It was a young kid who told me that
Wellington owed him money for a few days work, and asked if he could borrow some scratch
from me to get some food, which Wellington would surely repay me when I saw him.
He was going to hop a freight when we got to
I was driving my '51 Chevy.
Third year in college.
I gave him three bucks, and wished him well.
And continued on to the Placer Hotel,
in downtown Helena, which Wellington owned, and where I would have dinner with him.
He railed and ranted and raved at me for three
solid hours about the evils of supporting that kind of vice: of course the kid
would use it to buy booze and not food.
He laughed and laughed and laughed at the
prospect of giving me back my three bones.
I looked at him, as the conversation
degenerated into his usual lecture about "Christian Science" and asked him one,
direct, simple question, since I was a Philosophy Major at Whitman, and knew
about such things: "What do you do about the problem of evil?"
That was all I asked.
I looked at him directly, simply,
in the eye.
He said absolutely nothing.
He just looked at me, for the longest time.
And stopped talking.
That was the last time I ever saw him.
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