UNITED STATES—A sallow gray man, but a footnote on this Shakespearean size stage, approached Willy Long in the marbled vestibule of the Capitol building. The son of a judge, Dr. Stine was. He fired once at Long in the chest. The fella struggled with the bodyguards, Louisiana State Troopers handpicked to guard the Kingfish. All looked like NFL players. They shoved him to the ground and shot him thirty or so times.

Willy lay there on the on the marble, looking at the magnificent gilded crosshatched ceiling, he muttered, “Oh Lord, please don’t take me…I have so much to do.”

Many breathed a vast sigh of relief when Willy expired his last, “I have so much to do.” Willy’s body lay in state in the capitol that was an embodiment, that somehow by reaching for the sky would blur the lines between the haves and the have-nots. That was Willy’s dream. Folks poured in from Mississippi, Arkansas and far as Texas to pay their respects.

Yes indeed, nicest people you ever saw mourned his passing. They bought commemorative tchotchkes, in the depth of Depression there was a height of kitsch inventiveness.  Willy’s people were farmers like Willy Long’s people were farmers, a long line of them. “The establishment (Mafia) were a dozen pols sworn to oust Long and his incentivize cry that rhymed with Marxism and quell the rise of spirits and hopes of the riff-raff.

Anette Graham reported for the Gotham paper that when he spun around, Senator Long had no idea that a bullet at struck him, in the marble foyer he spun around, ran he ran down the hall, let out one huge whoop—from his lungs expelled the impact that felt faraway in another body (not his own) and sprinted down the corridor like a shot gazelle he ran.

“That is how a real man dies,” she said.

“Yessir,” they echoed in in the parishes and the bayous.

“That’s for darn sure. Each and every one of us ought to pray for an end so glorious. That battle to the last.”

Anette Graham also noted that Willy’s Meteoric rise to was well grounded on the well tested strategy used since eons: present it as a case of us against them. Willy was so blaming flagrant with his tongue, there is was in Willy’s own newspaper. For all the world to see. She slipped it past the editors.

“Phew,” deep breath. You just never know when he’ll be back. He was charming, gave the people what they wanted, was the people.

It’s so annoying, she lamented where you can’t buy the official version of events that Dr. Zeiss acting on not so mad impulse went into the baronial statehouse. There was a reason behind the season of American totalitarianism; the clouds were ripe with blood, it had to pour down, relieve us of the daily strain, building tension. Better Willy, here and now, one slug in the gut, that that red gusher shooting, spilling, geyser out of the mother earth. Water and crude…Rain down the bitter wind of ordinary life, the French kiss of adversity, smothering, and crushing. Who the hell can I explain to, instead let me praise you. Were it for the reader’s pleasure. We did not talk about the war, that was something too big, as parted in passing, “Save that for next time. It’s too much. Be angry at the wind, it won’t let you light your cigarette.

There is something rotten in Denmark. So this guy Clarence Saunders founder of Piggly Wiggly lost a fortune and sold the unfinished mansion to the City of Memphis. Is it any coincidence that he was born on the 9th August 1881. Eighty-one is the square of nine.  8/9/81 there are all kinds of affinities that lurk in those numbers. Now I know what’s what, free to act on my own…Wordland, Birdland. There they swell than that they pluck the flower of my secret. The democratically elected president of that country in Bananaland, Juan Jose Arreola, stuck by his convictions.

All reading is remembering. What we remember must, it is axiomatic, already belong to us.

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Hollywood humorist Grady grew up in the heart of Steinbeck Country on the Central California coast. More Bombeck than Steinbeck, Grady Miller has been compared to T.C. Boyle, Joel Stein, and Voltaire. He briefly attended Columbia University in New York and came to Los Angeles to study filmmaking, but discovered literature instead, in T.C. Boyle’s fiction writing workshop at USC. In addition to A Very Grady Christmas, he has written the humorous diet book, Lighten Up Now: The Grady Diet and the popular humor collection, Late Bloomer (both on Amazon) and its follow-up, Later Bloomer: Tales from Darkest Hollywood. (https://amzn.to/3bGBLB8) His humor column, Miller Time, appears weekly in The Canyon News (www.canyon-news.com)