FROM THUNDER TO BREAKFAST – Foreword by Hugh Downs
Hube Yates was not among the surprises I expected when I moved to Arizona. I had certain sets of ideas about what I could encounter on taking up residence here. I knew there were rugged individualists and reliable, honest men embodying old-time virtues now somewhat eroded in other parts of the country. Hube is all of these, but this is not all of Hube.
When you first meet him you can see he is rugged. You would judge him to be dependable in a pinch, because he look like he must know the land; and a look in his eye steers you to the notion he is probably pleasant to be around. You might conclude that he is the strong silent type.
On this you would be exactly fifty percent right. He is no weakling. But “silent” is not an adjective that easily adheres o Hube Yates. To our considerable good fortune he has no reticence to loquate.
Two powerful factors make his loquaciousness a virtue rather than a vice: (1) Everything I’ve heard him talk about is worth listening to, and (2) Every subject or event that intersects his life, every experience he files in his almost computer-like memory is stamped with the grace of an outlook that is humane and helpful, devoid of self-centeredness or bitterness, and amused by most of the cosmic panorama.
These are the attributes of large-souled people, and if the shoe fits, knowing Hube, I doubt he’ll trade one of his boots for it. On top of all this he can be as funny as any narrator I’ve ever listened to.
Nobody can analyze someone else’s humor (or for that matter, any humor, since analysis seems lethal to the funniness); and I would not try to tell you why Hube Yates is able to relate the simplest event with uncontrived humor that is simultaneously so subtle and so powerfully funny that you are in danger of falling off your horse if you are on a horse, or rolling into the campfire if you are seated around one, or falling out of bed if you are reading this book where I do most of my reading.
But he is able to do this and, if you are able to read, you are in for a treat in this collaboration with Gene Garrison of some of Hube Yates’ life.