Ash Fork Madness©️
Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison
copyright 2019 Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison
As G.B. and I waited for our children to arrive from Canada and Oklahoma we lolled on our chesterfields sipping tall frosted Pepsis and enjoying the rush of chilled air from the swamp-cooler. I listened to him tell one of his stories; thinking how skillfully he told it and what natural theatrical timing and expression he had.
“G.B. you should be in the show!”
He smiled modestly and replied “I know Sweetheart, an’ thank y'all Charle, fer askin’. I’d like to but I’m too busy. I haven’t got time to be an actor.”
I was flabbergasted. Obviously he had pondered the idea.
“Oh G.B., you’re a natural, a master storyteller, and as much a unique character as —Walter Brennan.”
“I knew Walter Brennan, an’ I liked the man. He came here often. I took him down to Mill’s quarries to help him pick out stone fer his house. When he came to town he’d ask fer that “Wild Young Okie Boy.”
“But you wouldn’t even have to rehearse.” I interrupted, “Just stroll over to the rock doodlers and tell the stories you’ve been telling for thirty years.” Busy my foot. My courageous Okie was scared!
“G.B., if you walked out onto that stage and told one of your stories you’d be a hit. Imagine the kids if you did it, they’d be so proud. The tourists would love you, and the locals would crack up seeing you on that stage.”
Oblivious to my last comment G.B. concluded our conversation with gentle words, “Thank y’all Charle. That’s real nice to hear.” He rose pridefully from his sofa, strode to his boot chair and donned his boots. Exiting the house he directed himself to the stone yard where his captive audience of employees were obliged to listen to his soliloquy — “’bout how I was asked to star in Ash Fork Madness!”