Not a Fond Farewell but a Farewell, Just the Same

(Monte Dutton photos)
(Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, December 31, 2016, 10:54 a.m.

It’s the final day of 2016. The year will soon be tucked snugly in bed, and all the Trump partisans will have sugarplums dancing in their heads, that is, if they can get to sleep amid all the fireworks.

That’s my metaphor for Year of Our Lord 2016.

By Monte Dutton (What? Me worry?)
By Monte Dutton (What? Me worry?)

The country is divided both by and over Donald J. Trump. I remain mystified. I haven’t a clue what Trump will do to the republic of which he stands. I long for one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, but it’s a tall order for 2017, and I don’t really believe that something so random as a clean break in years is going to separate hell on earth from a land of milk and honey, or vice versa.

Here’s what little I ask for the 45th president in regard to the world: Don’t blow it up. We can evolve, progress, or even recover from anything else.

Just keep it together, big guy.

Famous people are not going to stop dying. It’s not like the best among us sensed a coming doom, like deer rustling ahead of an earthquake. Just last night, I heard one of those sideline reporters begin an interview with a winning coach by saying, “What a way to begin the New Year!”

It was December 30. In the next few days, someone famous will inevitably die, and so shocked will people be that he or she made it into 2017 and then died anyway, that they will extend 2016 for his or her benefit.

That’s right, Biff. This awful year has claimed its final victim. Now let’s go to Faye LaFaye in Fayetteville.

For now, man, just dance. Dance! Dance! Dance! (Monte Dutton sketch)
For now, man, just dance. Dance! Dance! Dance! (Monte Dutton sketch)

Be not unduly mournful. Most of the icons who passed into the great beyond in 2016 lived eventful lives, fraught with the kinds of pratfalls that full events require, and what made them icons will live forever and provide royalties for their grieving families for a right good while. They will mourn all the way to the bank.

More sadness should be reserved for those who died that were just as important to individual people as they were insignificant to the world beyond. Many of those people left no royalties at all.

We may be at the dawn of some kind of new age. I doubt it’s Camelot, but I haven’t started poring over the Book of Revelations and the quatrains of Nostradamus.


Friends, Americans, countrymen, I say to you, full of conviction, that the yet is best to come. My life has seen parts of 12 presidents – Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama and Trump (in the off chance that I live until January 20) – and the last is definitely one of them.

No getting around that. Like Jimmy Buffett, I’m trying to reason with the coming hurricane season, but, as Jackson Browne noted, it’s still before the deluge. Maybe Trump can build a wall and a dam, or a damned wall, for that matter.


If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Cowboys Come Home, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at (

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written five novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

Crazy of Natural Causes is on Amazon sale all December for $.99.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.


(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).




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