Over and over I tell myself that writing a blog is much like sitting down in the newsroom at the newspaper where I worked for nine years, pounding out a column and/or an article on deadline. It doesn’t work. My mind goes blank when someone says blog.
Maybe I’m too old for this. Every day I write something in a book I’m working on, no sweat. I wanted to interview one of my characters in one of my latest books. Tried two or three times and it was plumb stupid. Think it’s cause doing interviews for articles and then writing the article is much different than the interviews I see on other folks blogs. You know, those Q & A things? I think I’ll just write the blog how I would write an article about someone I had interviewed, see how that works.
Cherokee lawman Dallas Starr moved to Cedarton, Arkansas not too long ago. He took a job with the Grace County Sheriff’s department. After working for eight years as an undercover narcotics officer on the mean streets of Dallas, Dal says he enjoys the laid-back lifestyle of this small Ozarks community. He likes to go over to the Red Bird Café on the square for breakfast and listen to all the latest gossip. Some of the men there have fun pulling his leg a bit about converting to a hillbilly, and they promise him some crazy experiences.
Theron asked him yesterday if he could answer this math question: A front porch is constructed of 2×8 pine on 24-inch centers with a field rock foundation. The span is 8 feet and the porch length is 16 feet. The porch floor is 1-inch rough sawn pine. When the porch collapses, how many dogs will be killed?
Dal was the first to admit he didn’t know the answer. Told them he never had been good with math.
Theron said this was easy. The old hound heard the creaking of boards and slithered out just in time, baying to warn three beagles and a stock dog, all of which managed to escape.
Eager to get in on the act, Fudge asked if Dal could calculate the smallest limb diameter on a persimmon tree that will support a 10 pound possum. Several men in the room reckoned that it all depended on how big a dog had the poor ole possum treed. Dal said he knew the answer to this one cause he’d been treed a few times, though not up a persimmon sprout, to which everyone laughed so hard he couldn’t finish.
Dal also told me he’d found a few things a bit different in Grace County than in Dallas. He’d actually been asked to include reporter Jessie West in on what was going on in the first case he had upon arriving. Never do reporters and lawmen work together where Dal comes from. He did allow, though, that Jessie was a fine looking country girl and he thought he might be getting better acquainted with her soon.
I asked Dal where he was born and how he got the name Dallas. He said he sure wasn’t born there, in fact his mama yearned so to see the big city that she named him Dallas. As it turned out, she was the only Dallas he ever saw.
It appeared I was the victim of some Texas leg pulling, cause that sounded an awful lot like country music lyrics.
The community, Sheriff Mac Richards in particular, are awfully happy to have Dal join the sheriff’s department, cause he has a special gift. Dal is reluctant to talk about it, but Sheriff Richards was quick to explain that his new deputy can get with the spirits of those involved in violent crimes, both the victim and the perpetrator, sometimes years after the crime. All he needs to do, it seems, is visit the crime scene and lay hands on something there to be transported back to the crime as it’s taking place.
“That’s gonna come in mighty handy if we ever have another violent crime like the first one he got in on soon as he flew in from Dallas,” Richards said.
Dal admitted that he could do what the sheriff said, but most of the time he expected to be helping other deputies patrol sections of this small mountain county and answer calls for assistance, or once in a while when some ole boy smacked his wife upside of the head.
“I’m sure I’m going to like it here a lot,” Deputy Starr said. “It’s so peaceful.”
Those are apt to be famous last words, cause some of the wildest things can happen around here. But looking at this big man, we’re sure he can handle anything that comes along.