“What Old Men Know” (Harmonie Park Press, $16.95), Dr. John Telford’s second book for the local publisher, is considerably more than what it claims to be on the cover, namely “a definitive dictionary and almanac of advice”. This is a book of both wisdom and knowledge (old men know the two are not necessarily the same), anger and remorse, joy and pain. In many ways, this relatively slim 284-page volume, which indeed is laid out like a dictionary and can be read and enjoyed starting from any page, is The Book of Telford. The retired educator and track star has excelled at both of his chosen skills, but perhaps what he has excelled at more than either is the fine art of hell-raising. In “What Old Men Know,” it is the spirit of the hell raiser who lends the reader his glasses for an opportunity to view the world as he has come to know it. It becomes quickly apparent that Telford’s often harshly critical perspective of the way life works (versus the way it should work) is a view taken from a perch not many have earned the right to attain.John and I share lives full of high tension and controversy.While he was raising Hell in Detroit, I was doing the same in San Bernardino. We both fought for the rights of others and made many enemies and he made loads of friends, many who are famous. It should be quite a conversation.
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