HOW IT REALLY HAPPENED.
“What are you talking about? Carol Anne and I have been married for years.”
I am sitting in the office of my trust attorney in Oklahoma.
“Show me a marriage license,” he said.
“This is Oklahoma. We’re a common law state like every other state in America. Ninety percent of the married people in this state don’t have a marriage license, and, by the way, according to Gallup, isn’t that also true for the majority of married people in America now?”
This isn’t going anywhere.I tried a different tactic:
“Show me YOUR marriage license,” I said.
He shifted uncomfortably.
“You’re seventy-five.” He said.
“I look good for seventy-five.”
“You don’t look that good. But the point is you said you wanted to ‘air-tight up’ all the legalities of your estate. You said you wanted to know if any laws have changed or if there are any new court rulings that might affect you and Carol Anne. The answer is, this is not your world anymore, and it sure is not mine. Get a damned license.”
“A license will cost me a hundred bucks.”
“You can afford it. And buy that the woman a diamond — women judges love it when they think you’ve been treating women right.”
“I bought her a diamond a long time ago.”
“Buy her another one.”
THE FATE OF THE BLOG
As I consider the future of this blog, I am increasingly unsure of the times we live in, and I am remembering two stories …
(1) The first happened in the grocery store in Grove when, after I had owned the newspaper for ten or fifteen years, a woman stalked up to me and asked, “Do work at THE GROVE SUN?”
“Do you know Pete Crow?”
Since I owned THE GROVE SUN, and since I was Pete Crow, I replied “Yes.”
Then she started in one me, raising her voice, “I do too –he used to be a good friend of mine. You tell that creep” yaddadda, and on she went for a while about something that had been in the newspaper.
She concluded by shouting at me, “tell me you will tell him everything I just said. I want him to know!!”
“Because if you don’t, the next time I see that bottom fisher, I’m going to ask him if you did, young man, and he’d damned well better know what I have had to say you – YOU HEAR ME?”
The moral: As it was in my years in Hollywood, the people who needed to know me, knew me. Everybody else just knew my name.
(2) The second story I told here in the blog not long ago. A deputy sheriff who was my friend came out to my Oklahoma ranch one day twenty-plus years ago and told me I was no longer safe living out there anymore.
This was long after the mafia stuff had settled and gone away.
But, having been warned, I bought a house in a gated community up on the lake and moved out of the ranch and never spent another night there.
That was 1995.
That unseen, unperceived danger that I first encountered twenty-plus years ago, was underscored earlier this month when Carol Anne and I were sitting with some friends on their deck overlooking the lake in Oklahoma.
It was a quiet evening, warm breeze, with only the sound of an occasional boat somewhere out on the lake.
“Nobody is safe out on the ranches around the county anymore — not just you now, everybody,” he said, slowly. “Drugs, kidnappings, shootings, robbery …”
He was in a position to know.
“Consider social media,” he continued, “and how quickly government officials are confronted by groups mushroom out of no where, or think about those Republicans practicing for a baseball game a year or so ago. They got trapped and shot and the guy trying to kill them was killed himself. Nobody is safe anymore,” he said. “Nobody.”
“Not even here?”
“Not even anywhere. There was a time when people knew your name, but they couldn’t put a face to you. Now crazy people think they know everybody, and they know how to find anybody.”
Later that evening as we drifted through his house, he paused because he wanted to show me something.
It was a gun case. It was an arsenal.
“I never knew you had weapons,” I said.
“I never used to,” he replied.