“If you can meet with Triumph and
Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same...” Rudyard Kipling
His name was Joe. At least that is what he told us when we first
met him that Saturday morning many years ago.
His voice drifted up the stairwell from the living room to our bedroom
and woke us at our house at 1636 E Street in Napa, California. Although I had never met him before, there was
something telling in his voice. He was a
confederate, a noble Southern gentleman, and a rebel who had lost the Civil
War. It was almost like being in the
lobby of a theater featuring Gone With The Wind
where you could hear the actors’ voices but not see the picture. And yet the voice was so vivid you could
almost envision the picture and anticipate the thunderous theme music breaking
in at any moment and blending with this strong but gentle Southern accent we heard.
All of this was going through my mind as
I descended the stairs from our bedroom with my brothers. I liked this guy before ever I laid my eyes on
him. I was nine years old. He was in his thirties and as far as I knew
this was his first date with my mother.
The above is an excerpt from Roubidoux,
true tales of the Huckleberry Finn type adventures of a boy who journeys from
delinquency in California to Southern culture in the Missouri Ozarks. Although told
through the eyes of a twelve year old who never grows old, much of the real life
adventure is emotionally timeless with appeal to all ages. Brutally honest at
times but never off colored.
The book may be ordered here.