Take a look at the Nineteen-Nineties. Clinton, try as he might, had no way to stifle the dot.com prosperity, precarious precipice that it was. (Not that he would have wanted to, but…hey! Outta his control)
Wally-World, et al, took that bull (my pun) by the horns and killed the messenger. (Oh! And the simple fact that the 1920’s had no intrinsic value, historically squeaking, that is.) And the other simple fact that all good deeds go punish’d. And the other simple fact that America, MY America always… well, never mind.
He dreamed of the ‘Great Society’ almost made it, save for that little problem in Southeast Asia. (He coulda been a contender, instead of a bum)
(Brando Warning Here!)
Nuff said: We have now come to the era of “Not-So-Great-Presidents.”
They mean nothing, vis-à-vis, The World Order.
They have been reduced to fodder.
Fodder for CNN, Fox, SNL, and The ‘Honey Grove Senile Citizen’ (my hometown rag)
Why not Trump? I mean, with no mean meaning, why not? He will entertain. He will give CNN, Fox, et al, something to pontificate over (“Never end a sentence with a preposition Lance”—sorry—my bad)
I love The Donald: he has made an uninteresting (for news junkies) year…
And I do love funny.
Merry Christmas and see you at the voting booth (I will be that embarrassing uncle in the back with a scotch in his hand and a Marlboro in his lips—pontificating about ‘LBJ’, The Great Society, and wearing the Nixon-Now-More-Than-Ever…T-Shirt.
And saying, ad nausea: “I told you so…”
Shamelessly, I just finished re-reading “Grapes of Wrath” or… in other words: I am with Bernie Sanders on this Deal Folks.
And never forget this:
Or this, regarding ‘Third-Party-Politics” (for those of you astute in The American Political Prophesy):
And, Yes, Virginia: Trump is a “Ring-Tail-Tooter.”
And ‘somewhat’ related: And…Talia Shire Will never, ever look so good.
(That Beret! That Beret! Cabaret!)
And of course, not without saying…
And Michael York.
And… whatever happened to Jimmy Buffett’s hair??? (I did read his book, “a pirate looks at forty” fifty, sixty??. did not glean anything from it ‘cept that he loves ‘boat-planes’– shit! I could have ‘wrote’ a better book. Jes sayin’…)
My tweet (if I ever tweet) to Jimmy:
Dude, stick to music. That is what you do best. Leave the prose to those who have some prose… to share. And no! I ain’t talking ’bout me, but in general speakin’…)
(See way below for the JB bits)
(and, yes: Navy SEALs)
Picks up that conversation:
“Not too much,” I must confess.
“But surely you have touched some lives?”
“Yeah, but mostly in a bad way. I did my best in war zones. I was ‘The antithesis’ of the ‘Bad American.’ Other than that, nope.”
“Perhaps you are being too hard on yourself?”
“You really don’t know me, do you?”
“Well… no. Not exactly. This is just a job to me. Go on.”
“I’d rather not, but hey! Thanks for stopping by.”
“I suppose my ‘work’ here is done. Then?”
“Yeah. You may be excused.”
“Thanks, because I am late for my appointment with J-Law.”
“But you said one thing; got my attention: You said ‘torched’.
“Naw! I said ‘scorched’ There is some difference.”
Or, as Mammy (Hattie McDaniel) said, via ‘Gone With The Wind’:
“It just ain’t fittin'”
(She ‘won’ an Oscar for that. Ya surely know) And in her acceptance speech, she said, and I quote: “I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race.” Can you believe she actually felt compelled to say those words? Well, it was 1940… I suppose.
Lance loves you Mammy (Hattie)
And look up the word ‘class’ in any dictionary. There you will find a photo of Katherine Hepburn.
Oops! I meant Bette Davis (shit! I cannot tell from the vid which one, Kate or Bette–HBO!–help a brother out here. Which one?) Personally, I am gonna go with Kate. After further review, I am going with Bette.
Yes. A Repost. If you do nothing else, please scroll down and listen to the clip. It is hysterical (and real) Even better.
Cheers Y’all and Happy Saturday Oops! Sunday (is it?)
Lyndon Baines Johnson
Texan, Father, School Teacher, Rancher, & Much Maligned 36th President of The United States of America.
I love LBJ, or as Brother Dave Gardner (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4E_Nrm0j8k) once called him: ‘Daddy Bird’. Johnson was a divisive entity during his one and a half terms as president—primarily due of course to the Vietnam War—which he inherited. Yes, I realize I am gonna get some push back. Favorably mention ‘LBJ’ even today and you best stand by for some unhappy and contentious words.
Young Daddy Bird
The problem I have, in general, when talking to folks about Johnson is that most are ignorant of the man, his history, his upbringing; his good works: Rural electrification for Texas. Medicare, Civil Rights, The Great Society (never really came to fruition, due to Vietnam) and so on.
Once he became ‘The Accidental President’ he took JFK’s dreams and made them reality. Johnson could do that. Why? Because he was the consummate politician—far more effective than Jack Kennedy. JFK’s dreams were hollow pipes. Johnson made them happen. This is historical fact: For those of you who would care to search it out. For those who don’t really care to do that: Just-Trust-Me on this one, ‘cause I am a Texan, and Texans don’t lie (overmuch).
I have read all of Robert Caro’s books (http://www.robertcaro.com/) on LBJ and I have done my own research, and I have my own memories.
During the Sixty-Four election, my Mom, the originalHippy Chick informed me she was voting for Goldwater.
“Goldwater! Mom! Are you serious?”
“Yes Son. He is right for America.” “‘Right?!’ Right don’t even come close: just to the right of Attila the Hun.” (Even at that tender age of seven, I was politically astute. Honestly.)
Our country does not produce colorful leaders like LBJ anymore.Much of the blame must be placed on the information revolution and the manifestation of the instant sound bite. I am not bemoaning the Information Age. I would not be able to throw my thoughts so carelessly about to the entire world if it were not for this Internet Thing we all embrace. All I am saying is one must ponder how many potential great leaders are out there, but refuse to step up to the plate simply because they do not wish to have every word they have ever uttered tweeted or twerked or posted or face-booked for all to see. Some things should still be classified as TMI. That is just good manners.
What if JFK had had the internet to deal with? We would all have known of his affair with MM. WWBS? What would Bill ‘Oh Really’ Say? We would have been ass-deep in the Cuban Missile Crisis, but Fox and CNN and even MSNBC would have burned more video on JFK’s infidelity. Castro would have loved it. Just sayin’…
My Step-sister worked for Oliver Stone on the film JFK. She was one of the on-set-dressers. We got into a heated argument over the whole conspiracy thing. She was convinced that LBJ was behind it all. I know quite a lot about LBJ as I have mentioned. I have done my research and I love Texas history.
Anyway I asked her upon what she based her unwavering belief.
She said, “That photograph of Johnson taking the oath of office on Air Force One in Dallas.”
Smug? Ladybird? (Just behind his right hand, in case y’all don’t recognize her) Of course, that is Jackie on the other side.
“You’re shitting me,” I said.
“Look at that photo and see how smug Ladybird looks in it. You just know then and there, she knew the whole thing.”
“I think I need a drink,” was all I could muster by way of response.
(Oh! And my step-mother worked for Jack Ruby: I know some shit about it)
I am not writing here as an apologist for LBJ. My focus is on the wonderful Texan caricature character he was. His humor, his down-to-earth’ed-ness, his vibrant lust for life, his convictions, and his larger-than-worldly-life persona: His ‘Texan-ness’.
Therein lies the rub for me. Johnson could be a buffoon. He could be portrayed as an idiot. He could be rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. He would be chastised and eventually ostracized.
But he got shit done!
He was a great, moral, honorable man.
No one will ever convince me otherwise (but you are certainly welcome to try)
Watch and listen to the Video Clip. It proves my point (and it is hysterical). These tapes were released a few years back. I have them all.
It’s been a while since I have written aboutPeanutbut he has been on my mind of late. A few of us in Honey Grove during the Seventies, not being afraid of hard work and also not being afraid of making good money would haul hay during the summers, brutal hot honest work. This was back when those infernal ‘round bales’ were just making their appearance, threatening to put all the ‘square bale’ haulers out of business. (The bales were not geometrically square of course, but ‘rectangular bales’ just didn’t have a ring to it.)
Hauling hay was a two-man operation: one man would drive the truck guiding the hay loader along the rows of bales. The other would stand on the back of the flatbed and stack. Once the truck was loaded the duo would head to the barn (or more often than not, an old depression era house which served as a hay barn.) One guy would throw the bales off the truck and the other would drag and stack. Return to the hay field and repeat, but with the rolls reversed for fairness.
Generally, but not always, one guy would be the truck owner and the other just a hired hand. I was a hired hand behind a famous hay-hauler named Nubbin. He paid me a nickel a bale; not bad money considering hauling a thousand bales a day (our usual goal) would net me fifty bucks tax free. If we hauled in prairie grass fields (which always had bumble bees) he would pay me two cents extra to stack every load. Nubbin was frightened of bumble bees. I wasn’t.
If the ‘haul’ was from a hay field close to a proper drive through hay barn, we could sometimes haul fifteen hundred bales a day. But more often we had to drive a few miles and stack hay in an old house, dragging the bales through the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, past the old bathroom, the wasp nests, dead skunks, eventually stacking hay in the back bedroom and filling up the place as we worked forward through what was once the pride and joy of some dirt farmer from the Dust Bowl days.
Peanut was hauling using his uncle Hungry’s truck. Hungry was the most celebrated hay hauler in North East Texas, a real legend. Even Nubbin would admit this. There was no man had hauled more hay than Hungry. Memory fails as to when Hungry actually hung up his hay hooks for the last time, but Peanut was eager to take up The Legend (and the truck).
A word about your average hay truck in the fleet back then: There were none younger than about Nineteen Forty Eight. Most had gone through a several overhauls or downright re-building with new engines—well new to the truck anyway–held together with spit and bailing wire, and they did just fine.