Magnanimous Magazine.

Mystery solved. At least partly.

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve had comments about our “ad” or “article” from folks who have come in for lunch.

Huh?

Today, the gentleman making the reference trotted out to his car and grabbed his copy of the magazine, which he had brought as a guide to our location. Wow! A full-page article, complete with photographs, hours, phone number, and website address.

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Not only that, but it was a nicely written, flattering article, that was pleasing enough to me that I read it twice.

Lindsay Morris is the author, and I owe a debt of gratitude for the kind press, however surreptitiously researched. Guerilla journalism, in a way, because – you would assume that someone would be noticed as they moved about a shop taking pictures.

Not the case.

In the immortal words of Sgt. Schultz (Hogan’s Heroes, Google it…) “I see NOTHING! I know NOTHING!” Granted, the photographs were taken during the lunch hour, when I was more than likely trotting around from table to table, old man style.

Reading the article, I did recall a brief exchange with a lunch guest – specifically, a book title mentioned in the article and the specifics of a shepherd’s pie presentation. Didn’t know I was being interviewed for a magazine article though.

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Having done a number of Q and A sessions (on both sides of the reporter’s notepad), I’m guessing that was among the most painless ever, with about as pleasing a result as could be expected.

Obviously, the magazine has a readership, since it has been mentioned here in the shop several times already, with its January 2018 date.

Our thanks to the author and editors for honoring us with an inclusion!

Cold day. Hot car.

Test-drove a Corvette this afternoon… We took a day off at the shop and there I am at the car lot, having a set of keys dropped into my palm. Idle hands are the devil’s playground, they say – and, as proof – I miss one lunch hour carrying plates and I’m behind the wheel and firing up a 350 cubic inch V-8.

The salesman was a nice gentleman who was filling in over the holiday weekend. He asked me if my interest in the car was one of those mid-life things, and of course I had to correct him.

“Late life thing,” I pointed out.

Turning the key, I had to suppress a grin when the engine fired. The ‘Vette certainly had that muscle car throaty growl.

“Take it out,” said the salesman. “Drive it like you own it.”

So I did.

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As my buddy-since-school-days Mark will attest, that doesn’t mean I spun the tires as I whipped onto 71st Street. (He told me once that I drove ‘like the oldest 18-year-old’ he had ever seen. I figured if I wore the tires from spinning them, I’d be the one paying for the replacements.)

My bucket-list thing (which is what I figure it is) is to have a car that will snap my head back when I punch the accelerator. I’m not trying to give myself whiplash and I’m not feeling the need to break speed limits. It’s a little hard to understand and even harder to explain.

Sort of like wanting to have the artistic talent to paint a ceiling mural, but having no desire to climb a scaffold to spend a month on my back dabbing with a brush. Sort of.

The car eased out onto 71st, which was jammed with traffic in both directions. I punched it and – sure enough – I merged into the flow with ease. No head snapping though. Automatic transmission. Cold, cold, day. The salesman had said the car had been parked, unstarted, for several days.

I dropped the shift lever from Overdrive to third-gear and goosed it a little, to a better response.

Decided not to take it out on the expressway, although he suggested I go air it out. I’ve still got that overriding caution. Don’t want to smack into something in a borrowed car. More probably – don’t want something smacking into me in a borrowed car.

It’s hard to keep emotions tamped down, once that car-bug bites. After I backed it into its space at the lot and took the keys inside, he quickly pointed out that the year was ending and the owner would like to have it out of the year-end inventory.

Good deal on it, he said. Today.

Well, I wasn’t going to pull the trigger after a single test drive. There was a time I might have (admitting here that I have been known to be impulsive).

This is the era of Google and the internet. Car forums. Parts listings. Comparative pricing. A lot of things to be learned from researching at the computer.

None as fun as taking the Corvette out for a drive.

True Grit from the Wichita Lineman.

I didn’t remember it, but one of the stars of the 1969 film True Grit – was Glen Campbell, who played La Boeuf, a Texas Ranger. I probably didn’t remember it because I’m pretty certain I never saw the movie.

The BIG star, of course, was John Wayne. And that may be the reason that I never saw it. (I was never that big a fan of Mr Wayne, an admission I put in parenthesis to keep it on the down-low.)

After reading the Wiki listing, I now know that Glen Campbell also sang the theme song, which made the music charts back then. That’s Back Then, as in – back when movies began with a fixed camera shot while the opening credits rolled up the screen.

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That was also Back When I didn’t ever listen to country music (a practice I have since changed). Back When I didn’t watch Westerns – movies or TV shows – or read Old West fiction. Times do change.

I still don’t read a lot of western books, but True Grit is a genuine classic, in my opinion. It’s also fun to read, in that it takes place in this general area, with specific references to McAlester, Oklahoma, where I graduated high school. (…and where someone who REALLY liked John Wayne also attended, thus the above down-low admission.)

All of that makes the book that came in today all the more special.

I’ve written about True Grit before, about how author Charles Portis was able to weave authentic western Arkansas colloquial phrases into stretches of dialogue that are almost poetic. The book was an instant hit when it was released in 1968, and Mr Wayne won his only Academy Award for his performance just a year later.

The First Edition hardback that arrived today features an inscription on the title page, hand-written by Glen Campbell that reads “You’re gentle on my mind, always.” Gentle on My Mind, of course, was the name of the theme song for the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, his popular variety show. (Variety shows used to be popular. That was before they invented Reality.)

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I’m sure the book would be more valuable if signed by Charles Portis. Probably John Wayne’s signature is more collectible than that of Glen Campbell. As it is, I’m happy to have in the shop a copy of one of the most memorable western stories ever to be made into a couple of movies.

The movie opening is available on YouTube, and was an instant reminder of the singing abilities of Glen Campbell, regardless of his acting skills.

Now, if I can just get the book to talk I’ll learn all about how it went from the hands of Glen Campbell – circa 1969 – all the way to Broken Arrow, OK, 2017.

Might be a great story right there!