The Beginning of the Longest Interview Ever

We were supposed to be stood up.

Al Onteroa, by all accounts, was a mysterious man too busy to be troubled with anybody who wasn’t in the timber or mining business. Twice he cancelled a lumber tour with a local school, my friend told me. Indeed, the half a dozen conversations I’d managed with Al on his cell phone were quick at best. It seemed as though I always caught him in medius res. Either that or he was just walking out the door and could I please speak with his secretary, instead?

But the night before our scheduled interview, I got a tip that Al Onteroa likes moonshine and it occurred to me that if we were going to meet one of the largest landholders in the state and pester him about footbridges, we ought to bring libations. I called Shane who called the gardener up at the craft school, who in turn called his father that runs “quick whiskey” in Cherokee county. Thirty bucks later, we had ourselves a half gallon of amber liquid bottled in that telltale Ball jar and all the confidence in the world for what could have been the interview of a lifetime…

{to be continued}

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