In September of 2012, shortly after Mike arrived here at Red Cloud Ranch in the great San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado, and before we got busy recording Age Of Authority, we were visited by two men who pulled in along the long drive leading from Highway 17. The older, the driver, said he and his son were looking at property and did I know anything about the property in the distance, how to drive there, what it was like, etc.
I’m looking at these guys, thinking to myself, no way is this younger guy the son of the older. Meanwhile, Mike had come out of the house and made his way over. He stood behind me and to the side. Of course he was packing. Without introduction, he called out, “So, you guys government men?’
It was a tactic, a quick jab. And it worked. Caught off guard, the younger looked at the older who hesitated, fractionally speaking, and it became obvious how they were, in fact, government men.
Their recovery attempt was hilarious. The older said, “No, no, were longshoremen, we’ve come down from Denver.”
After a beat, I said, “You’re a long way from shore, men.” Mike chuckled behind me. The older added, “But we’re from Oakland.”
It was too late. They were had.
Mike chimed in with a broad sweep of his arm, indicating the vast lone prairie surrounding us, “This used to be an ocean, once. And Dougie used to be a longshoreman. Isn’t that right, D?”
As they retreated, Mike muttered, “Government men”, and walked away.
* * *
Mike Ruppert was a soul man. He could sing and he could dance. Of late, the vision I have of Mike Ruppert is one of him knocking on heaven’s door. After a brief disclosure, the doors open and in he goes.
I take great pleasure knowing how Mike reached those gates before Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, or any of that host of unholy others. Upon their arrival, I imagine Mike’s conversation with the Gods of High Noon going something like this…
The Gods to Mike: “Dick and Don are here. And they want to come in. It’s your call, how do you want to handle this?
Mike, who has already stood up, snubbed out his cigarette, and is headed down the gangplank to meet the ‘little men’, looks back with a wry smile and says, “Let’s see if they can dance.”
My advise to Dick, Don, George and the rest of that ill-conceived ilk is this – If you’re thinking of heading heaven’s way, and knocking on those doors, think twice. You’re going to have to get through Mike Ruppert to get there. And you’re going to have show him you can dance. Good luck with that.