Anybody that has used the internet for more than an hour in the past year has no doubt by now encountered something like the picture above. We’ve all seen the things that promise love, riches, new cars, fancy houses, eternal salvation, successful children w/ mutant powers, etc etc if only we were to post/share/like the image.

Like most of you, I blow right past these most of the time, my mind barely even registering them before moving on to the next thing in order. This one, for whatever reason, caught my attention though:

How or why this may be I won’t feign to know. Perhaps it was the fact the coast in the background reminded me a lot of Kalaupapa on Molokai, one of my favorite places to go when I want to disappear for a while but can’t make the trek back to the mainland. Maybe it was the fact that we’re almost a month into the legislative session and the thought of sitting on a bench for an hour during daylight hours was nothing short of sublime.

Whatever it was, it got me thinking.

This sounds like another rank list in the making.

Now, the whole “past or present” thing is simply too broad to bother w/. There are multitudes of people throughout the ages that I would like to sit and chew the fat w/. What writer wouldn’t want an hour of unfettered access w/ Shakespeare, Hemingway, or Thoreau? As someone that works in politics, sitting down w/ Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, or JFK would be eye opening to say the least. (And just imagine their responses when I started filling them on the way things of changed in the last 50-200 years…)

And all that’s before even start getting into the luminaries and dignitaries that have dotted history. Jesus. Julius Caesar. Queen Elizabeth. Tecumseh. King Kamehameha.

See…endless. I’d inevitably forget someone, feelings would get hurt, it would get ugly.

Instead, I shall reserve my list to only those that are currently w/ us (two small exceptions at the end…and I think you’ll understand/agree it was necessary), and I will have no agenda whatsoever. Not trying to cure cancer, end hunger, or fight poverty here. Just trying to consider who would make for an enjoyable hour…

(also…in an effort to CMA…family will not be included either. They go w/o saying)

5.) Maggie Grace
This one is pretty straight forward. I’ve held no bones about Ms. Grace sitting atop my celebrity crush hierarchy, having even mentioned her in two different works.

Inevitably there would most likely be a bit of awkwardness in the beginning, but over the course of an hour hopefully my unabashed flirting will be able to at least elicit a smile?

4.) Jeremiah Johnson
This is the first of two to break the “must be breathing” rule, and is actually one I gift to my Pop as a bday/Christmas/Father’s Day for life gift. Here’s how I would envision the encounter playing out:

:00 – :05 ~ They talk, get to know each other, become fast friends

:06 – 1:00 ~ Go hunting in the dense forest that backs right up to said bench

3.) C.J. Box/Lee Child
I waffled back and forth at least a dozen times about who to choose here, ultimately deciding it was just wrong to even try. Instead, I’d split the time down the middle, have an arm’s length of questions prepared, and go into full-on Cross Examiner mode as I picked their brains.

2.) Rosablanca
Anybody that has been reading this for long has seen me allude to the illustrious Halfie, both for her frequent guest picks and for the back-and-forth free write exercise we have going. (It’s still my turn…I know)

As my long-time Spanglish spitting sidekick, she has been known to babble a bit, meaning I likely wouldn’t even need to say more than a few words over the course of an hour, which would be just fine.

1.) Noddy
Let me put it this way….she has now been gone almost five years, and is still the background image on my phone. Together we drove cross country four times, and to this day I can’t have an Oreo, cheese Pringle, or scrambled eggs w/o imagining her at my feet patiently waiting for her share, or listen “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley w/o thinking of her wanting to dance along to it (how this happened, I will never know…).

An hour wouldn’t be enough, but I would take it. In a heartbeat.

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