The old guy is not exactly the optimistic type. He’s too old to always see the half-full side of things. He is not a pessimist. He’s a realist. There’s a difference. However, Insider does not remember ever hearing and reading about so much gloom and doom in the world. It all has to do with money and all the negativity can be depressing if you watch enough TV and read enough about it. Not sure who said it first, maybe Winston Churchill, but if it’s true all the world’s wars have to do with religion, it seem to Insider all the world’s problems have to do with money. What’s happening with the global markets, the stock markets, the insurance, bank and auto industry bailouts have no impact on Insider or his household. The social security check still comes on a timely basis. The insurance is still taken care of the same way it always was. The country is still there for him because he served in the Navy for a tour of duty. Everything is simple. Maybe that’s where the world went wrong. It got too complex for its own good. Only a select few understand what’s happening with all these billions of dollars changing hands in the blink of an eye, and most of them are so rich by now they don’t care to help everyone figure it out. They know how to right the ship, but they have no interest in that. They are too busy being wealthy to be bothered with that.
Insider was rooting around (stealing) through an attic in an old house a couple of weeks ago and uncovered the rarest of treasures. Pulling a dusty bureau away from the well he spotted a stack of 39 detective classics from over 50 years ago. Back then, they were called Pocket Books and sold for 25 cents. This is like a candy store for the old guy, who knew all of the authors and the leading characters as will perhaps some of you old-timers reading this.
There was Earl Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason; Frank Bonham’s Sam Garrett; Brett Halliday’s Mike Shayne; Stephen Marlowe’s Chester Drum; John Jake’s Johnny Havoc; Richard Prather’s Shell Scott; Lawrence Treat’s Mitch Taylor; Carter Brown’s Danny Boyd; Curt Cannon as himself; William Cox’s Jack Ware; William McGivern’s Dave Bannion; Agatha Christie’s Hercule Piorot; Robert Locke’s Pete Brass; and A.A. Fair’s Donald Lam.
A lot of the old authors who didn’t feature central characters were in the pile too. There was John D. McDonald, Frank Kane, Carter Dickson, Robert Traver and Thorne Smith. Insider felt a twinge of neglect when it dawned on him there wasn’t a single book of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe, the old guy’s favorite author and character.