Friday, December 13, 2013


“Get thee behind me, Satan,” was a common, not to mention, frequent, admonition of my childhood. Cheryl’s request that I participate in her “Friday Five” blog session posed a real issue of how intensely personal to get in answer to what are simply seven fun questions. I suspect all Westerners don’t feel comfortable standing out all that much, even if they do choose to be writers. Yet all Westerners worth their salt live up to their promises. And I promised. So, “Get thee behind me, Satan,” here goes.

1. Most exciting day of your life was??? I hope, someday, you all meet my wife, Anne. The day I met her, I was at an Elizabeth Kubler Ross workshop on “Life, Death, and Transition.” The heavy title and the subject matter did not deter someone from saying something very funny. I laughed, perhaps a little exuberantly. Anne turned around and smiled. We married sixteen years later. (Since this is being published on December 13th, in five days, that will be ten glorious years ago!) (You may notice, those are not mountains or prairies behind her. She’s a Mainer.)

2. My favorite food is??? This is not an advertisement and I am not a proselytizer, but I am vegan. Once, my ambition was to eat in all of the Michelin Guide’s Three Star Restaurants in France – and I did. I asked Anne, whom you met in the answer above, to marry me at Lucas Carton, in the Place Madelaine, in Paris. I told you what I am coming up to in five days, so you know it worked. A little over two years ago, I concluded I had to bite the bullet (a minor Western analogy) and I became vegan. Let me assure you, however, one can still eat very well – and, rest assured, wine is a plant based extract!

3. My favorite car I ever owned was??? Once upon a time, like October 16, 1987, a young man who worked very hard at his business finished a third day of helplessly watching the Dow decline first 95, then 58, and, on Friday, 108 points, in all an 11.6% decline in those sickening three days. He decided the amount of money he lost would have bought a Porsche 930 Turbo. He would have had a lot more fun and that investment in a little black rocket ship would never have lost as much money as the Dow. First thing, Saturday, he bought one. Monday, October 19, Blackest of Black Mondays, he put his theory to the test. Despite the 162 promised in the owner’s manual, he could not get it to top 155 mph. It didn’t bother him at all. The Dow lost 508 points, 22.6% (equivalent to a 3,525 point decline in today’s terms). It took him more than ten years to work up the confidence to sell the best investment he ever made.

4. The best book I ever read is...??? an impossible question to answer, but I can tell you about a conversation that had the most impact on my thinking about writing in the past year. In a much abbreviated form and relying on the kind permission of John Nesbitt it went something like:
“My book’s about a sheriff and his posse in 1948,” I say in answer to John’s gentle inquiry.
“Have you read, Montana, 1948,” asks John.
“No, I haven’t.”
“Well, you might want to read it, just in case someone asks.”
And I did. And wow! There isn’t room in this blog to say all the reasons it was important, but it is a classic example of when you need a teacher, the universe gives you one. Thanks, John.

5. An interesting fact about my genealogy is...??? that my great- grandmother was the second and, we were always told, the least preferred of my great-grandfather’s two wives. She arrived in town, soon to be an orphan, as the entire company of Saints had foundered in the snows in Wyoming. After burying her parents, the Bishop grabbed my great-grandfather and explained in terms that were either persuasive or tones that were not to be ignored that he owed an obligation to take this orphan to wife and provide for her a roof and children. I remember seeing the roof as I grew up. I guess I am proof that he provided children.


  1. Thanks for stepping up to the plate for today's FRIDAY FIVE, Edward! I enjoyed reading these little tidbits about you and getting to know you better. I'm sorry I couldn't get your pictures to show up without the borders--not sure what was up with that, and as anyone will tell you, I'm not a computer guru. LOL My daughter is vegetarian, and the older I get, the more I think about doing that. Wine, huh? That is a definite "added perk"!

  2. Love the Porsche, and a good investment? What was the ROI? Just kidding. What a fun Friday Five. Thanks Doris.

    (Have been considering at least Vegetarian but not quite there. It doesn't help that wheat and soy are off the list for me)


  3. Edward, being new to Western Fictioneers, I really enjoyed learning a little about you. Thanks for a great blog. Phyliss Miranda

  4. I like your investment strategy! It's fun to read your Friday Five and get to know you a little. Thanks!

  5. What a fun interview. Edward, I knew some of these things about you from spending time talking outside of class at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival last summer but this interview added so much dimension. Ever since that week, you've had me thinking about aging gracefully. Not ready to go vegan yet, but the inclusion of wine makes me think of it!

  6. Edward, whom I have known for roughly five decades, is living proof of the Buddhist admonition that no one is all one thing or all another. By his accounting, it took him sixteen years to recognize the evident merit in asking Anne to marry him but only two days following the stock market collapse to decide to buy a Porsche. Personally, I believe Anne has worn the intervening years better than the Porsche did. And she is still here and the Porsche is ..... gone. So, Edward, keep loving and writing and, damn it, man, don't drive so fast!!

  7. Inspiring, i'm gona get out and do more of the things I always wanted to do. You've brought out the devil may care hedonist buy that convertible in me.

    Was that the idea?? Say YES !!