|Ken's poster, #397 of 2000 signed lithographs|
My story, "Heroes," will appear in Whispering Angel's new anthology, available in September, Miracles and Extraordinary Blessings. It's one of my favorite stories about Ken, and his love of Westerns and the "good guys." Here's the opening paragraphs:
Nearly a year had gone by since Ken died. As the anniversary of that sad day neared, I felt lonely and longing for a chat. I wanted to tell him that the neighbors across the way finally painted their house, that I didn’t like the current contestants on American Idol, and that his favorite restaurant had slated a lobster fest. Most of all, I just wanted to hear his voice.
Then one morning as I dusted the den, I paused as I slid the cloth around the frame of one of his favorite lithographs, the one hanging on the wall above his overstuffed chair. The sepia-toned collage featured portraits of two dozen movie buckaroos, ranging from Johnny Mack Brown to John Wayne. Its caption, “All of My Hero’s Are Cowboys,” had made me grin when he’d first positioned the picture when we moved into our retirement home.
“It’s tough to make two mistakes in one word,” I’d said, “but the artist managed. He’s got a superfluous apostrophe and a misspelled plural. It should be h-e-r-o-e-s.”
Ken laughed. “I’d never noticed before. I’ve had this for years, but I’ve always been too busy admiring those actors. I love Westerns because the good guys always win.”
Ken claimed his mom had named him for one of the Western stars in the painting, Ken Maynard. “I’m just glad he was the one she idolized, rather than a couple of the other guys up there. I can’t imagine having gone through life as Hoot or Hopalong.”
I looked at the lithograph more closely. “Hmmm. There’s also Lash Larue and Crash Corrigan here. Lash or Crash would have been dashing.”
So what miracle is involved in this story? I linked it to a reminder that came out of nowhere to mail my stepson a birthday card...and the extraordinary coincidence I encountered when I dropped into the Colville Post Office to buy stamps.
The book can be ordered on Whispering Angel's website: http://www.whisperingangelbooks.com/index.html