Good morning, Netizens…
See? In all the fury and cry you missed out completely when one of my personal mentors, M. Hibbs, left town for one of my favorite places, Cody, Wyoming, and then tiptoed back into town all without so much as a how-de-doo by anyone. Readers of lowly Community Comment assume that I am the sole captain of this barge or that I have the temerity to steer it myself, but no. Not one day goes by but what I do not sense his presence watching from behind the curtain, watching my every keystroke, until he goes out of town to someplace from whence he would rather not connect to the Internet for business and/or recreation.
We often sneak off, when he is in town, to quiet meals at one or another of our favorite eateries, and talk over food with the candor that one only accords to two trusted old friends who have been testing the waters of their friendship for several decades and not finding it wanting. That isn’t to say we agree on every testy issue. Oh, God no. That would simply be too predictable, too accommodating, that we would agree on some of the most-contentious issues that rise to the surface of the boiling pot.
As a late and honored writer who once taught me a great deal about the craft of journalism said, “I had very few close personal friends when I started this job, and each time I write my column, I lose a few more.” She probably would howl with derision if she could read this, as the sentences are too wordy, which would most certainly bring out her red pen. Snick snick. One whole column into the bit bucket. She, too, was one of my mentors, albeit one who also taught me about having trust among friends.
I have written before, perhaps too many times, about M. Hibbs’ barometric bushy eyebrows, by which I can best judge which way the winds are blowing. One eyebrow is slightly elevated? That indicates polite skepticism. Neither elevated? Hibbs is simply waiting for the next bomb to fall. Both eyebrows, in their elegance at the top of his forehead? Oh, Lord. I’ve gone and done it now. If the gaffe is really a dandy, he may even take his glasses off to better consider how much of my skin to remove.
As I said at the beginning of this missive, I trust his judgment, much the same as I trust Jeanie Buchanan, who stands tall in my mind as a woman of courage and humor. But the list of other trusted friends is short. I always listen to my wife, who like all other friends, sometimes disagrees with my opinion, but I listen nonetheless.
Recently I watched my wife depart for week’s sojourn in Nebraska, and with witnesses, I am here to admit the time she was gone I was miserable. I just received a phone call from Northern Idaho, and it is snowing there. Both Hibbs and my wife are back home, and I am still miserable. This is supposed to be the Month of June. Oh, dear.