The Long Road Home...
a philosophical journey.
About the Book
By this point in our lives (my target readers) we’ve all heard the old adage “You can’t go home.” But what does it mean? As life winds down and the drone of existence begins to wane, I'm feeling an intangible desire or need to reach back into my past and reconnect with a by-gone time and people...living and/or dead. It feels like an elusive melody that seems distantly familiar, yet strange and unidentifiable. If all the above sounds like a premonition of the inevitable, I agree and accept that my time is ticking away. But it’s not about dying…it’s about going home! I’m not afraid of dying, but I do struggle with the reality that I will no longer physically exist. I have to wonder if the term “going home” isn’t a misnomer and maybe…just maybe, we’re trying to return to “Neverland” (Fridays With Landon). When we were very young we searched for that elusive, utopian community…and studies have shown that in our declining years, we slowly revert to our childhood. Another line-of-thought is that it’s all just a mirage. We know and accept that a man can be dying of thirst, in the middle of the driest desert, and his mind will anesthetize him by creating the illusion of an oasis. If we can acknowledge that phenomenon (the mind’s coping mechanism) then it shouldn’t be much of a stretch to reason that the elderly possess those same innate coping capabilities…to ease their journey home. Of course their mirage would be about “going home”…not to a place, but to another time. What is the driver for this (apparently) universal pilgrimage? I have to wonder, even compare it to an addict’s motivation (The Path to Addiction)…one more trip down that path of pleasant memories even as the host is being sacrificed.
About the Author
Richard was born in Hope, Arkansas (Bill Clinton’s boyhood home), in 1941 and his father was gone prior to Richard turning two years old. He never knew the man, but attended his funeral as a sixteen-year-old. Before boarding a Greyhound bus for California, at seventeen, Richard knew two stepfathers and a number of others who were just passing through. During those teen years, before succumbing to the beckoning allure of the outside world, Richard worked at an assortment of low-paying jobs. Summers were spent in the fields…picking cotton and/or watermelons and baling hay. After dropping out of school, eloping and landing in California, he soon realized how far out of his element he had ventured. And without the guidance of his “Constant Companion,” Richard would have spent a lifetime floundering in a sea of ignorance and ineptness…and his books would not exist. Richard’s first book (Fridays With Landon) was driven by his son’s life-altering heroin addiction. He had hoped not to author a sequel, but left the book open-ended due to historical concerns, which did in fact…resurface. For 25 years the family has endured the emotional highs and lows associated with the chaotic, frustrating and more often than not…heartbreaking task of rescuing one of their own, from the always ebbing and flowing tide of addiction. The unintended sequel (The Path to Addiction…) was triggered by a mind-numbing relapse after 30 months of sobriety. The second book was then written to bring closure…one-way or the other. The author advanced several possible scenarios for the ending of that book, but only one of those possibilities was favorable… His third book (The Long Road Home…) is a philosophical journey that we’ll all experience as our time here begins to dwindle. All three books were written after retiring from the oil industry.