Friday, February 5, 2016


Acquaintances are many and most are fine folks, but friends, real friends are rare. I have three who manage to show up in Nash Black's books when he needs stand in support. We all met up in North Africa during the big war. I was a might younger than those fancy college men, being as I lied about my age and didn't make it past the third grade, We were young, maybe a bit stupid as life had yet to put its stamp on us. We made a trade out on those burning sands the like of which none of us had ever seen.
   I'd keep that rickety old bus in the air so they could fly escort missions for bombers across Europe. It worked and eventfully we all made it home. A bit scared, but still all in one piece.
   Elton Fightmaster opened his front door to two men, "one is wearing a white collar and the other a yarmulke," who arrive from California to help him save a mighty special lady. They're my aces in the praying department.
   Benjamin "Ben" Lehman was the finest tail-gunner the Army ever made. He could shoot a duck on the wing with that ole machine gun and not spoil the meat. After the war Ben became a rabbi and a Hollywood talent agent who admits to moonlighting, but isn't sure which side of the fence is his true calling.
   J. Bryan Stanley was a navigator who got them where they needed to go in that endless sky and back home again. Even back then he may have had a direct pipeline to the All Mighty. He followed his calling and is a high priest, what they call a Monsignor. He has a besetting sin, he loves racehorses. If a yearling takes his fancy he'll get his family to buy it. Then he'll spend more time in the barn bringing it on than he does in a pulpit.
   Lon Chambers was the pilot, he was one of those Tuskegee airmen. Lon has a bit of all kinds running around in him. Modern folks would label him: a Black/Cherokee/French/Ottawa/English/Scots/American. Haven't got time for that idiotic foolishness. He's more American than I am. I owe him my life - he pulled me out of a burning fuel dump. His folks live up in northern Minnesota and have some mighty fine teepees scattered around those islands in Lake Superior.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Elroy Harris

Elroy Harris is a feisty, salty sage who dares to speak where "angels fear" with light hearted grace. He doesn't speak with a forked tongue, but slams to the heart of the matter with few words. His opinions are his own and he doesn't ask permission of anyone to say them.
  Elroy first appeared in print in the mystery novel by Nash Black, Prelude of Death.
When confronted by an irate minister who declares, "The wages of sin is death. Elroy replies, "Shucks Preacher, if the devil  don't pay no better than that, I won't work for him."
   Since then he has managed to worm his way into their mysteries and ghost stories, either as a character or a teller of a ghostly tale.
    Elroy abides in a hand-crafted house boat, built from century old logs dredged up from the bottom of the Cumberland River, deep in Ono County. He earns his living as a mechanic and a distiller of fine, though illegal, apple brandy.
   Sheriff Dan Sommers complains to Jim Young. "If Elroy puts a governor that kicks in a 85 on my cruiser one more time I'll arrest him for obstruction of justice."