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  Top Ten Dead Folks

A question sometimes posed is, “Who among the dead would you most like to meet?”  My answer would be Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Yes, I know you're not excited by this response, and you've identified me as a nerd, but shame on you; you should be pleased by my choice.

I found several surveys that asks and answers the question of whom among the departed we would most like to meet.

Jesus Christ came in as number one.  I've met him already.  We speak regularly and occasionally I visit his house.

Princess Diana was a close second.  Folks, folks, folks…I'm sure she was a lovely person, but I don't recall her ever saying anything brilliant.

William Shakespeare came in third.  I wouldn't mind asking him about the Francis Bacon rumors.

Albert Einstein was fourth.  Brilliant man, but I don't think we speak the same language...not German, mathematics and science.

Marilyn Monroe was fifth.  I don't need to speak to her.  I've seen her movies.  Some were even good.

Leonardo da Vinci came in sixth.  Good choice.  We're both artists, but I don't think we would have much in common otherwise, him being brilliant and I being pedestrian.

Here comes Elvis Presley as the number seven pick.  Thirty-three films and a bazillian songs pretty much does it for me.

Roald Dahl came in as number eight.  What were you people smoking?

Freddie Mercury…number nine.  See response to Roald Dahl.

At number ten, we have Martin Luther King.  Good choice.  I'd like to thank him for his civil rights efforts and ask him what he thinks of Al Sharpton.

Looking at this list got me to thinking about my own list of folks I'd like to meet and talk to who are one step beyond this possibility.

I already mentioned Ralph Waldo Emerson because I'm sure Waldo would have something new to say.  After all, he's the guy who said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds….”

Thomas Jefferson comes to mind.  He was a true renaissance man, so I doubt there would be many uncomfortable silences.

Of course I can't leave out Benjamin Franklin, another renaissance man.  I don't suppose it would be polite to ask him about his sex life.

Ronald Reagan because he had a great sense of humor and a head full of common sense.

William Faulkner because we share a Southern heritage and both of us have a taste for the Gothic nature of life.

I can't leave out Mark Twain…great storyteller and apparently a good talker. He didn't suffer fools readily, a characteristic I admire.

Dwight D. Isenhower was a good general, President, and decent golfer.  I wouldn't be able to resist asking him if he ever met with aliens.  Sorry if I lost you on that one.

I can't leave out Will Rogers.  Will died seven years before I was born, but I remember seeing his movies.  Funny man, wise man.  Of his comic career, he said, “I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.

Earl Long.  You probably don't know him.  He was the on-again-off-again governor of Louisiana and part time crazy person.  Earl was still around when I was a teenager.  You might say Earl was as crazy as peach orchard boar, and he's bound to have something interesting to contribute to a conversation. A fellow might learn something even from the deranged.

Earl, although his greatest sins were drinking and tomcatting around, for some reason made me think of Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr.  I'd have to ask each, “What the Hell were you thinking?”

The more I think about it, the more I think I'd prefer the company of dead folks who were a little off center.  Well, Hell, I can find plenty of those folks among the living.