For what its worth, Fred reminds me of Mark Twain without any of the pizazz and paparazzi. Ok so Mark Twain didn't have any of that stuff either. They both smoke cigars, drink whisky and speak with a southern draw so we know that they are decent human beings. I could have said that Fred reminds me of Mike Royko but being compared to a Pollock from Chicago might be offensive to a southerner. Besides Fred is one of the few people still alive that might remember who Royko was. Both men had a way with humor that makes sense to me. Humor is after all just a way to look at life and laugh instead of cry.
From a recent Fred on Everything:
A Childhood in Athens
It is common for aging men, worn by the long years of drink and skirt-chasing and strenuous dissolution in the fleshpots of Asia, or any available fleshpots, to remember their youth in roseate hues that never were. But, dammit, we really did go barefoot. And had BB guns. And the dog could go anywhere it damned well pleased, and come back when it chose.
And nobody cared. Oh sweet age of nobody cared. Child Protective Services didn’t show up, officious passive-aggressive snots, to carry my parents away.
BB guns, I said. We all had them.
Today children of six years are led from classrooms in handcuffs for merely drawing a rifle (curious in the world's most militarily aggressive country).
Such was America, when it was America. It was a helluva country, warts and all, and Athens was a helluva childhood. These never will be again, but they were, and for those who knew them, it was enough.I hate to disagree with Fred. It was not enough. It was nothing like enough. Prior to moving to the big city my childhood was much like Fred's. That's the way it should be. Boys should be boys. Girls should do whatever girls do. I have no idea what that is because I was boy and couldn't be bothered with girls until I had a job and drivers license. It's not "enough" that this is the way it once was. Part of what' s wrong with America is that this isn't how its been for the last 30 years.
I don't suspect that Fred is a religious man. "Oh sweet age of nobody cared.", is as woeful a prayer of lament that ever crossed human lips. I fervently wish we could return to the sweet age of nobody cared. Today we live in an age of "everyone should care". The result of which is socially autistic busybodies running around pitching continual tantrums and making everyone as miserable as they are.