Guest Blogger Dept.: We welcome back the late H. Allen Smith, whose wonderful books, beginning with the best-selling Low Man on a Totem Pole, carried on the tradition of Mark Twain and remain essential reading. He had a very salty sense of humor which, toward the end of his life, finally began to creep more obviously into his writing. Here’s one of his last pieces.
AT THE RISK OF BEING SUSPENDED BY THE NECK from a cottonwood tree, I have in recent years been taking dead aim on the late Will Rogers and calling him somewhat of a fake and a fraud.
|H. Allen Smith|
My aim in this feuilleton is to tell a single anecdote that I think is amusing, with a kicker at the end, but it is needful that I first set down a few facts and a few personal opinions about the so-called Sage of Oolagah.
Was Rogers the “profound philosopher” some people called him? Horse withers! He had a much better education than I got. The great bulk of his writing and rambling stage talk was vapid and dull and had no art in it. He came up with a slight handful of gems, out of a vast output of spoken and written prose; those renowned six chimpanzees, put to work at typewriters, could have done better, given the time.