. . . . I just had two beers. This is the most common legal defense attempted in the court system of West Virginia. Every magistrate or judge does the Judge Judy eye roll on this. The most common testimony in my home court is: “Well, we stopped at the Git and Go and bought some beer, and then we . . . . . . [insert crime here]. One of my friends calls these “Stop and Rob” stores and he is largely right. The other common story line in these stores starts with, “Watch this” and then . . . . . . . A recent AP story reports a Tennessee man mistakenly took a swig of gasoline from a jar on a table inside a friend’s home. Thereafter, he stepped outside to light up a cig and then ——, you guessed it. Darwin proves his theory again.
When an officer pulled us over in our much younger days, we were just cleaning out the carburetor on the family car because our parents drove so slow. It was sort of a public service defense we offered. Now, I do a hair flip and state boldly: “Officer, I am trying to get to a gas station before the prices go up.”
As a frequent complainer about the poor quality of air service, I extended my driving range to deal with that poor quality. Now as I most literally watch the gasoline prices jump overnight, it is a problem. It was a little hard to drive to Phoenix from the home city, but in my mind it was a close call for a Board Meeting. The cattle freight airline had a wheels-up plan for 5:18 a.m., but that did not happen. Five hours later we took off to Stop One and then after thirteen hours in transit, we made it to the Arizona desert. Good times.
The moaning and groaning stopped however when we arrived in Phoenix at the Arizona Biltmore, now a Waldorf Astoria property but originally a Frank Lloyd Wright influenced design. It opened February 23, 1929, some seven months before the Great Depression. I note that many large scale properties opened during the 1920’s (the Broadmoor in Colorado; La Quinta in Palm Desert; The Cloisters at Sea Island; and the Biltmore). Described as “The Jewel of the Desert” when it opened, the Arizona Biltmore was owned by William Wrigley, Jr. and his family for 44 years. Every President except Herbert Hoover has stayed there and Hoover must have held some grudge against the gum people. Movie stars honeymooned here and Irving Berlin penned White Christmas while sitting under palm trees at the huge pool in the sun. Opposites seem to attract, so the desert heat at the pool must have inspired him to think of white snow on Christmas.
Frank Lloyd Wright had a unique design style and you see that through the architect protégé who did the Biltmore design. Wright built Taliesin West near here in January 1940 and its weirdness overwhelms his Pennsylvania Falling Rock home. Nevertheless, his designs remain as iconic style items.
The Arizona Biltmore remains a premiere location to announce political campaigns and host events. But what do NASCAR and a rodeo have in common at a March event — think beautiful young “nieces” with their older “uncles” — truly a family place. The big boys of stock car racing were in town, as is the 59th Scottsdale Parada Del Sol Rodeo. So, we go see the rodeo for an evening and have big fun. Our big touring bus goes up on two wheels in a very close car encounter on the way back, so maybe stock car racing and rodeo do have something in common. The rodeo clown asks if anyone is from Alabama. In response to positive claps, he says: “Call home immediately, the trailer park is on fire, and the Capital burned.” My friend from Mobile said he was going down to kick his ass, but he better call Montgomery, Alabama first to see if it was true.
I left the desert Board Meeting with the understanding that my lawyer group is making progress and now has 25% female lawyers. I still say women just do not think the same as men — e.g., a man walks down the street with a bald head and a big beer belly, and still thinks he is sexy.