When Insider was young, the preferred place to go was the local pond, at least that what it was called around the neighborhood. The ocean was too far. Pools were unheard of except for the ridiculously rich. There was a lake but only the bravest dared try their luck in there. While Insider’s siblings would tip-toe in checking out the temperature of the pond, the old guy always jumped right on the old tire swing and let go at its apex dropping excitedly into the brown water. Does anyone swim in ponds anymore? The last one Insider ever heard about was over in Salisbury and that was closed down years ago for something called high levels of fecal matter. That’s not good for anyone, scientists say.
After a trip to the library the other day, Insider got to wondering: Where have all the good writers gone? Where are the Steinbecks, the Hemingways, the James Cains, the Twains? Today, the books and authors that are touted on the best seller lists are mediocre at best. All their books seem to be written more with an eye toward selling movie tickets than quality of writing and that’s a shame because everyone knows a good book always beat a good movie.
So, Insider is going back, in fact he has already gone back to the great books that have shared his long life with him. He’s just finished reading everything written by Raymond Chandler for the second time, and it’s been so long since the first reading it was a wonderful new experience. Next on the agenda is Dashiell Hammett, then the Sherlock Holmes series (for the third time). All the young-timers out there are surely asking themselves who is Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. What’s the in-phrase now? Just "google" it. Insider still does not what that means but is sure it’s something dirty and involves foreplay.
Most of the books the old guy intends to re-read he already has in the library awaiting his pleasure. So, this summer, while you are watching all the television re-runs and crap that networks throw on the air to fill the time in between commercials, he’ll be tucked away in the house with a pack of cigarettes, a pile of peanut chews and a pot of coffee with “Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island, Crime and Punishment, “Watership Down,Hawaii,Captain’s Courageous,Watchers at the Pond and anything by one of his favorite writers, Elmore Leonard. And after all those, there’s always "Nero Wolf"