Shonnie: The Biker’s Wife


In Nineteen-Eighty-Seven San Diego County there was only one Country & Western Bar/Dance Hall (that I knew of). I was sorely missing Texas and though I was never what one might call ‘A Hardcore Country Music Fan’, I was feeling nostalgic. So I bought me some Nocona’s (NO, I did not varnish them), a Stetson, Wrangler’s, some shirts with snaps, a string tie, and off I went, Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, or in this case, ‘Place’. The name of which escapes me, but it was along the lines of Gilley’s in Pasadena Texas, albeit much lesser.

Orig Gilleys


I mean Gilley’s had five bars in their bar and the largest dance floor in Texas. This joint had but one bar and one medium-sized dance floor. And it didn’t even have chicken wire in front of the stage to protect the band from errant long neck beer bottles.

What a gyp! 

T’would serve my purposes, however, and sate my lower expectations at any rate. I mean, we are talking Southern California here folks, after all.

So I began to frequent this establishment in earnest. The thing that stuck me upon my first visit was that all the ‘Cowboys’ and ‘Cowgirls’ looked like Yuppies. Not Dallas Yuppies, mind you: ‘Southern California Yuppies’.

The walls were adorned with all manner of Rodeo Scenes, all of which looked like Norman Rockwell had dipped his brush on them. There were also some lariats, a few saddles strategically placed against some walls, a few ‘decorative’ spittoons (nothing more useless in the world than a spittoon ‘what never dun been used’), and many more things I cannot find the stomach to recount.

The lighting was, well, too light. Hopefully, this would be rectified later in the evening’s adventure as the ‘real’ cowfolks came sauntering in.

One sustains hope in situations such as these. There really is no other choice.

“Good Godawmighty! Lance! Son, you were more ‘at home’ in the Titty-Bars downtown San Dog than this abhorrent lame excuse for a ‘Honky Tonk’,” voice in head said.

The other voice in my head (Probably Peanut’s) said, “Cowboy! You know you ain’t no real Cowboy either; jes go wid it.”

There was, as I said, one bar. And Immediately to the right of this bar… 

(a respectable looking bar, if I do grudgingly say so, replete with no less than four barkeeps and many, many serving wenches scurrying back and forth not unlike so many dutiful worker ants—all very pretty—in that Southern California Urban Cowgirl Beach Babe Style),

…was the stage with a Cowboy Band. Actually a damn good one. They even had a fiddle player (so at least they could play ‘Amardillo By Morning’ a song which always reminded me of ‘Monsieur Le Peanut’, and always held a special place in my heart and in my ears.

Immediately in front of the Bar was that dance floor, (No sawdust, but that could be grudgingly forgiven).

The rest was mainly four-seater tables and chairs (And Candles! Fer Christ’s Sake! Candles!) For the life of me, I could not spy a single pool table nor a shuffle board or even an air hockey table. Certainly no mechanical bull. Honky-Tonk Travesty!

The bar itself drew me first (of course). I asked for a Lone Star and got a vacant look. “Ok, gimme a shot ah Beam and a… ah… a Heineken.” (‘Jerry Jeff, please forgive them; they know not what they do’.)

Now properly attired and bona-fide in my two-fisted drinker status, I went searching for a table close to the dance floor. As it was relatively early, I had no difficulty finding same.

I sat and drank and ‘Cowgirl Watched’ as the place began to fill up. Along ‘bout 1900hrs, the place was semi-jumping (For San Diego—I guess–by that time I suppose the surf was no longer ‘up’).

I studied the apparently single cowgirls and spied a rather lanky ‘tall drank ah water’, long-haired brunette with Sloe-Gin eyes and all that implies, just tearing things up with several different dance partners.

I made my move: Between songs, I sashayed over to her and asked for a ‘daince’, (actually tipping my hat! Yes! Yes! I know!) trying ever so hard to establish that I weren’t no ‘Coke-a-Cola Cowboy’, but a real ‘un. From Texas.

Cowboy Days

Lance As Cowboy (The one on the right don’t look  much like the one what shot  at me),  But then,  that is another story, ain’t it?)

We danced the dance and I could sense I was not her cup of… whatever it is that they actually drink here. She whispered in my ear, “Hey ‘Cowboy’ (rather mockingly, I perceived), “I have a friend you should meet. Her name’s ‘Shonnie’ and she is seated (seated?) just right there. C’mon! I’ll introduce ‘Y’all’” (Yet another perceived slight)

I glanced in the direction she was leading us and saw a rather diminutive dirty blond, absently stirring her drink as she casually watched the band as they began to belt out some Randy Travis monstrosity.

We waltzed up to the table and my escort announced quite cheerfully, “Hey Shonnie! I found you a ‘real’ Cowboy.” (She quickly whispered to me, “Hey Sugar Britches, what’s your name?”)


“Uh, Shonnie, Girlfriend, This here’s Lance. Say ‘Howdy’” 


I shook the diminutive hand she offered and sat down,

“Uh, Howdy Shonnie, Little Lady; Nice to meet Y’all.” (Yes, I was really laying it on thick, but I was somewhere between buzzed  and drunk and starting to figure, ‘What the hell I got to lose’?)

She smiled wily, if not demurely through semi-white teeth, Marlboro smoke, and Paul Newman Blue Eyes. I must admit: I was intrigued.

Thus began one of the most bizarre ‘flings’ I have ever had.

More to come… Here


“And I’ll be lookin’ for eight when they pull that gate.”

“and I hope that judge ain’t blind…”

We all do Peanut. We all look for ‘eight’

And we all hope the judge IS blind (but you knew that, didn’t you? You asshole! You were not supposed to die first. We made a pact. Didn’t we?? Don’t you remember?)

Rest, My Very Best Friend.

You are severely missed.

I’ll catch up to you.

Someday soon…

Vid Credit: 

Scot Wick




These Boots Ain’t Made For Walkin’

Shortly after I moved from Winnsboro to Honey Grove my grandmother decided it would be a grand idea for the two of us to take a road trip out west to Levelland, (“There is nothing in the desert and no man needs nothing.” –Lawrence of Arabia) which was her childhood hometown.


“Lance, it will be wonderful; you’ll be able to meet all the Marcoms who have lived in Levelland for generations.” (Oh goody)

I really had no say in the matter, but Grandmother Marcom always spoiled me, and since I was a little bit mercenary even back then, I figured what the hell? I’ll probably get something out of the deal. Just about half-way to Levelland we stopped in Nocona. You know, ‘Nocona’: World Famous Texan Cowboy Boot Capital of The Universe? Yeah, that one.  Grandmother informed me that I could not enter her hometown without looking like a proper Texan, so while in Nocona she got me decked out in some true Texan dude clothing and a pair of fine Nocona boots. Forty-five bucks she spent on those boots, and in my mind, that was just shy of a million. Damn expensive is what I’m telling you.

These boots were Fine. Luscious dark brown all leather vamp, all leather cow hide boot top with three rows of stitching, toes not too pointy, soft leather lining. Damn fine cowboy boots, all shiny and smellin’ richly of new leather. “Nothing smells better than a bran’ new pair of Nocona boots Son.” (I was told, but I’m thinkin’ what about a brand new Corvette? Bet that smell ranks right on up there.)

After long hot miles on desolate roads, we arrived in Levelland. (Nailed the name for that town, they did) Did the Marcom Fam-dam-ly circuit. I met aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, lesser aunts, lesser uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, second cousins, fourth cousins, and yawn and yawn and yawn.

I was extremely proud of my first pair of real Texas boots though. So the price of admission was worth it.

After a couple of days of my being paraded around to all the kin, we headed home to Fannin County. I absolutely could not wait to show off my new boots.

One of my hobbies at the time was building little wooden models of medieval torture and execution devices: guillotines, gallows, pendulums, the rack—see my post, “Addam’s Family Values,” and you will understand–Maybe.

I kept all my modeling stuff in my room: various pieces of scrap wood, x-acto knives, glue, brushes, sand paper, reference books, wood stain, and varnish.

One day while admiring my boots, I perceived some dullness had begun to set in. They just didn’t have that new glossy look I had been so proud of. (They also were unable to retain that new Nocona boot smell, but that didn’t concern me). I had some Kiwi shoe polish, but after working with it for some time, sweating and tiring, the results I was getting were unsatisfactory. I put the boots and polish down, thinking there must be an easier way to get some shine back on the damn things. Spying the small can of varnish on my desk ignited an idea in my mind: ‘Hey, this stuff works instantly and beautifully on my models…’

I took a little brush and painted a penny-sized spot on my left boot. Wow! Instant shine. But best let it dry a bit and make sure the wet glossiness doesn’t fade.

It didn’t.

Thirty minutes later both boots were completely varnished and Yessir, they looked great. Better in fact than when they were new. “I wonder if anyone else knows this secret to boot shining?” I pondered. “Naw. Bet I’m the first to discover this.”

Wanting to show off my now shinier than ever boots, I put them on and headed over to a buddy’s house. “Dwayne, just take a good look here at my shiny boots,” I announced as soon as he answered my knock to his door.

“Damn! Marcom. They are right shiny,” Musta took ya ‘bout two hours of polishin’ and a whole can of Kiwi.”

“Nope. ‘Bout twenty minutes and a can of varnish,” I announced proudly.

“Varnish? Wood varnish?”

“Yep. Works great, eh?”

“Uh… I dunno. I never heard a such.”

“Well, you should try it, as you can see it works better ‘n Kiwi. Gotta go now. See ya at school,” I said and headed on home, satisfied I had properly impressed Dwayne with my ingenuity.

As I was getting ready to crawl into bed, I placed my very glossy boots on my night stand so I could get one last look at them before I turned out the lights and went to sleep.

Next morning I dressed quickly, donned my boots and couldn’t wait to get to school to parade about in them. I didn’t cop out to anyone after Dwayne as to how I had gotten them so marvelously ‘polished’. Things were going great until around lunchtime. I began to notice little cracks in the smooth veneer of my boots. My boots were cracking! How could this happen?

“Hey Marcom! Them boots lookin’ a little sad now,” was the comment of the first to notice.

“Yeah, they look kinda… uh, wrinkly,” someone else added.

Dwayne came over and announced, “He done varnished them boots y’all.”

“Varnished?” another said. “You caint be puttin’ that shit on L-e-a-t-h-e-r, you dumbass. When it gets hard, it gonna crack, just like it a-doin’ now.”

This never occurred to me. Shit.

Word spread quickly and before the end of the day, ‘Laughing Stock’ was my new claim to fame.

For weeks after that I suffered the greatest humiliations of my young life.

“Hey Marcom! I got some boots need a shine. Kin y’all hep me out?”

“Hey Lance, when ya gonna open your boot varnishin’ stand ‘front ah Ol’ Johnny Smith’s feed store?”


Read The Words:

Folks I didn’t even know would cackle as I walked by, “Hey, there’s that dumbass kid whut varnished his Noconas. Ye ever heard a-such? Varnishin’ boots!”

I was a celebrity, just like Charley Brown.

My boots took an early retirement while I lived on in shame.