Featured Column
Week of 1.17.2005
Vision of the future
          I had spent the morning mowing the lawn, pulling weeds and raking leaves. I’d capped my physical morning with a one hour fast walk and a little jogging around the shopping center and back home. It was time to rest and relax. 
          I grabbed the handle of the recliner, pulled it back and felt the foot supporter engage and rise. The recliner back slid down as did my body. I worked the daily newspaper’s crossword puzzle and reached for my newly started book about the life and times of Leonardo Da Vinci.
          After 20-minutes of reading I felt my eyelids straining to remain open. I knew I was fading fast. I was going under.
          It seemed like 20-minutes later that I woke up. My right leg was asleep and tingling something awful. I was thirsty and I wasn’t sure I had the strength to pull the lever on the recliner.
          After a mighty effort I released myself from the comfort of the recliner and downed a diet soda. I hadn’t seen the news all day, so I turned on the television and tuned in CNN.
          Paula Zahn looked to be 10-15 years older than the last time I saw her. She was reporting on the effects of the recent mid-east Christian/Muslim Peace conference held in the Harmony-Peace Gardens in Baghdad City, Iraq. I practically fell on the couch. Christians and Muslims! Harmony-Peace Gardens! Baghdad City! Then Paula announced that newly elected President Harrison Ford was going to announce his nominations for his new cabinet. What was going on? I hadn’t watched the news in the morning, but how much could I have missed?
          What the hell!!! President Harrison Ford? What was going on? Was I going nuts?
           Paula then said, “Now we switch to Wolf Blitzer in Washington with the latest news.” My eyes popped. Blitzer had a long beard and looked like he was 70-years old.
           He looked into the camera and said, “Good evening, President Harrison Ford today released the names of his nominees for cabinet positions. Leading his list of nominees were Robert De Niro as Secretary of Defense, Sean Penn as Secretary of State, Johnny Depp as Secretary of Education and James Gandolfini as Secretary of Commerce.”
          “Others named to his cabinet by President Ford were: Catherine Zeta-Jones as Secretary of the Interior, Nicole Kidman as Secretary of Agriculture, Whoopie Goldberg as Secretary of Labor, Martin Scorsese as Secretary of Transportation, Chris Rock as Secretary of Energy, Robin Williams as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Al Pacino as Secretary of Department of Homeland Security, Leonardo DiCaprio as Secretary of the Treasury, Tom Arnold as Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, Kevin Kline as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Denzel Washington as Attorney General. The President also named Uma Thurman as his Chief of Staff and Donald Trump as head of the Office of Management and Budget Director.”
          Wolf Blitzer followed up by saying, “President Harrison Ford has made good on his campaign promise that he would fill his administration with the best possible people, who were of course, also strong supporters of his candidacy. Now back to Paul Zahn in New York.”
          “Thanks Wolf. Now we have a brief statement by President Ford in Washington.”
          Harrison Ford’s face filled the TV screen. He, too, had aged more than I remembered. He looked confident as he said, “Good evening my fellow Americans. I want to bring you up to date on a matter of importance to us all. My campaign partner and your new Vice President, Arnold Schwarzenegger,is currently meeting with members of Congress in an attempt to change our Constitution and enable him to take over the office of President of the United States if needed. As you know, Vice President Schwarzenegger is currently ineligible to be President due to his being born outside of the United States, but he can serve his country as Vice President. We feel confident that Congress and the states will change the Constitution and enable Arnold to be eligible for the Presidency if necessary. Thank you, my fellow Americans and God Bless America.”
          My eyes bugged out, my mouth opened and stayed that way. Where have I been? What has happened to me? To America? Last thing I remember was that we were in a terrible war in Iraq and not doing so well, George W. Bush was President and the Red Sox had won the World Series.
          What happened to the World? A peace conference in Baghdad! Hollywood has taken over Washington! Arnold eligible to be President! What’s next?
          I couldn’t take any more. I got up from the couch and turned off the TV. It was quiet now, but my mind was swimming. I staggered to the recliner, sat down, pulled the lever and leaned back.
          Had I been dreaming and getting a mysterious prophetic view into the future or was it just the result of an undigested burrito?
          Hard to tell…
Hollywood takes over D.C.
      Ron was born in the Bronx, New York. He was raised in Southern California and lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for three decades. He attended Inglewood High School and U.C.L.A.. His youthful goal was to become a major league baseball player. In Hawaii Ron played on a series of championship softball teams. He is an active tennis player.
      Ron’s career began at the Inglewood Daily News where as a youngster was enrolled in a publisher training program. He served as an advertising salesman, circulation manager, writer and layout and design staffer. He has been a newspaper publisher at the Oregon City Oregon Enterprise Courier, the Beloit Wisconsin Daily News, the Elizabeth, New Jersey Daily Journal and This Week Magazines (Hawaii).
      Ron lives with his wife, Marilyn, in San Diego, California. His two children, Douglas and Diane also live in the San Diego area. Ron’s interests range far and wide and are reflected in his columns diverse topics.
Ron Cruger