Recently I was talking to my friend and author James Ross. He is about to publish his fifth novel Pabby’s Score. James is an avid golfer so avid that when I interviewed him following the release of his last book Opur’s Blade he called into the radio station from his local golf course! Having done many interviews I am somewhat used to expecting the unexpected. Dogs barking and “Can you hold on a moment, the dogs need to go out”. Or strange beeping noises “sorry about that, my cat was walking over the telephone buttons”. These things are all in a days work! James Ross however upped the ante, I listened in fascination as his sound feed erupted into what sounded like being in the pits at a NASCAR race. It ceased after about 30 seconds “Oh, sorry about that, that was the gang mower”.

What I like a great deal about James Ross is that while he uses Golf, in fact the fictitious St Louis area Golf Club Prairie Winds as his backdrop, rarely is Golf the real subject of the story. He tends to take on social issues that that other authors do not.

His upcoming book, Pabby’s Score is a prime example. But more on that later. James Ross has established a cast of characters, each is unique and delightful. At one time or another I have known all of them, they had different names, but they were indeed very real people.

I put a challenge to James Ross. It was not one that I expected him to take, but he has. So it gives me great pleasure to announce that Bloggernews is starting a new feature From The Back Booth Of Prairie Winds. A look at today’s news and social issues through the eyes of the denizens of the Prairie Winds Club House. The Club House has one reserved booth for the daily faithful, and come rain, snow, or shine, they turn up.

The Michael Jackson trial has been much in the news of late, so I asked James Ross what the the gang at prairie winds had to say. He explained that a couple of days ago the weather precluded a round of Golf and indeed, while hanging out in their reserved booth (at the back) the subject came up:

The guys at Prairie Winds Golf Course were getting organized to play their daily round. Coffee cups spewing aroma were as abundant as the box of doughnuts that Fred brought every morning. The morning newspaper was cause for chatter.

“Hey Doc,” Pork Chop yelled to the aged veterinarian. “Have you been following this Michael Jackson trial?”

“Only in the sense that there were some drugs in his system that weren’t originally reported,” the vet replied.

Captain Jer stirred his Bloody Mary. “Yeah and they were in doses that would kill an elephant.” The truth always seemed to ooze out of the retired pilot.

“It looks like the defense tried to put words in the paramedic’s mouth,” Fred added. He peered up from his reading glasses to see who wanted to keep the banter going.

“Money can buy a lot of things,” Pork Chop said. “It can buy a good defense team to keep your ass out of prison.”

“Sometimes,” Doc replied.
“I suppose it can buy you whatever drugs you want to take as long as you have a willing MD to write the prescription.”

“That’s a big racket all over the country.”

“And you’re safe until the cocktail becomes lethal and your butt ends up on the witness stand.”
The guys chuckled as the vodka kicked in on Captain Jer. He loved to chide his good friend. “Hey Doc. I know how much of a whore you are. Have you ever allowed someone to buy you?”
Laughter erupted. The integrity of the sophisticated older gentleman had been questioned. Doc was the last person that any of the guys would suspect as being on the take.

“Can’t say that I have.” He flashed a good natured grin at his alcoholic buddy. “But I know a lot of people that would compromise their ethics to make a few bucks.”

“Didn’t you do that the other day?” Fred asked Captain Jer.

“Yeah!” Pork Chop shouted. “On number fifteen you told us you had an eight and you really had a nine.” He glanced down to see the jelly from a doughnut blend into the colorful shirt pattern. “I guess that makes you a cheat too.”

I am delighted that James Ross has decided to share the scuttlebutt from the back booth of The Prairie Winds Clubhouse.

You can find out more about James Ross from his web site and of course his books are available at better bookstores everywhere, or through Amazon at James Ross

Simon Barrett

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