Saturday, January 10, 2004

January 10, 2004
Had a speech at the downtown Phoenix Rotary yesterday at noon. Huge crowd, maybe 250, big dining room overlooking the golf course. Many distinguished guests, including ex-State Supreme Court Justice Frank X. Gordon, who, like me, is from Kingman (except he went to Stanford and got good grades and actually studied). Got kind of nervous as we sat through the business meeting, wasn’t expecting such a big whig crowd. Speech came off fine, I gave Frank a bit of grief, going off on Kingman anecdotes and tall tales (“Hey Frank, you winged Evan Mecham in the arm didn’t you?” Gordon was the judge at Governor Mecham’s impeachment trial). I don’t think he really enjoyed it (he looked kind of pained like he was sorry he ever knew me). In spite of this, I got a strong ovation at the end and sold about ten books. One old guy came up to me and said, “You don’t remember me do you?” (I hate this and get it all the time) When I admitted I didn’t have a clue who he was he told me I bought my wedding ring from him (1979!) and without even looking he told me I had a century plant around the band, which I do. Amazing. When I asked him how he could remember such an insignificant thing like that he said, “I never forget a ring.” That old time craftsmanship and attention to detail, are we losing that? Or do you think 25 years from now someone will come up to me and say, “You don’t remember me do you? You rented Buttman 4 from my video Store back in 2002!”


Finally got my stack of Christmas cards out (Kathy did hers last weekend). Here is the card and picture, which was taken on the balcony of the Alfonzo VI Hotel in Toledo, Spain. We ordered two bocadillos (Spanish sandwiches with salami) and two cafe con leches from room service and then begged the room service guy to take our photo right at sunset. That church steeple in the background is from the 16th century. How did they even get the stone building blocks (4’ by 3’) up on the hill, much less up on the walls? However they did it, I can imagine in the late 1570s some old guy coming up to an archbishop and saying, “You don’t remember me do you? I put the steeple on your church and you never paid me.” Or, something close to that. The more things change. . .”

”Ego is the absence of true knowledge of who we really are.”
—Sogyal Rinpoche

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