Bob had a different, hopefully more detached, perspective on things, being about as dropped out from materialistic society as a person can drop. He lived in a cabin, shack really, with no electricity, no running water, no indoor plumbing, and raised goats for fun and profit. Mostly for fun. His big ambition in life seemed to be to convince people to give up anything to do with cows, and drink lots of goat milk, eat goat cheese, yogurt, pudding, and fertilize a vegetable garden, especially turnip greens, with lots of goat fertilizer. Bob had a conspicuous tooth missing in the front of his mouth, and a Santa Claus beard turned full white. Few would guess that beneath those often dirt spotted overalls, was a man of keen intellect, and even a university degree in English literature! Raised in rural Wisconsin, he was the first in his family to go to college, and did so on a full scholarship, after scoring near perfect on SAT tests. He graduated with honors in 1963, and instantly joined the Army, naive about the looming war. One thing also, he laughed probably more than anyone else I'd known, and that laughter was infectious. I needed some of that just now. Needed it badly.
Bob mostly got his news only from weekly trips to the local library, so I knew I had a good chance to be the first to tell him about Schwarzenegger's mad plan. As my green Jeep Cherokee bounced and rocked up the long dirt road to Bob's ten acre plot, a few miles outside the small desert community of Joshua Tree, my mood lighted considerably, thinking of how I would break the news of the one hundred billion bucks lottery.
Finally I made the turn to Bob's crazy-quilt pattern of fences and boulders holding in his dozens of goats, and there was Bob himself, tossing bunches of alfalfa to the greedy, bleating hordes. He turned and saw me coming, throwing his head back in appreciative laughter, and cut the cord loose from a final alfalfa bale, and simply tossed the whole seventy or so pound block to the waiting goats. It was obvious that Bob hadn't lost any of his muscles since I last visited this way, and that his diet of greens and goats cheese was most surely still agreeing with him. Soon we were in a couple of rocking chairs on an odd collection of boards that passed for a front porch, drinking tea brewed from a spidery looking plant that grew nearby, and I wiggling my toes anxious to get out all that was bothering me.