My mother was probably “The Original Hippy Chick.” When Haight-Asbury was in full bloom, she would not shut up about it until we went there. I knew a little of theHippy Culturethen, yet had no desire to experience it ‘up close an’ personal.’ Mom did. So one bright sunny Saturday morning we packed up the Rambler and headed to ‘Frisco and Haight-Ashbury.
Loved it. Hated it. Few decades ago I could truthfully say, “Hey! I’ve spent half my life in California.” (See This Or This)
Now I can say, “Hey! I’ve spent most of my life in Dangerous Desolate Places.” (Middle East & East Texas) That worm did turn some. (Go Here or There)
As a Native Texan, I am supposed to always hate California and yes, Yes to all you Texans out there: I know this. I get it. Put the rope down.
Yet I more love than hate California.
In California I learned to appreciate music, art, science, literature, hippies, beaches and blondes. My first kiss was not in California, but I didn’t miss that milestone by much–In California.
In Texas I learned to appreciate drankin’ whiskey and beer , smokin’ dope, playin’ football, chasin’ cheerleaders, and Raisin’ Hell.
Arriving home to Texas late 1968 folks made fun of my ‘California Accent’ if there even is such a thing. (There were no Valley Girls in the Sixties as far as I know). My ‘accent’ was ‘just the way normal people talked’ as far as I was concerned. Texans sounded funny to me (Blasphemy!)
My Attitude Adjustment didn’t take long to take.
In California I was a Little League Baseball Star. In Texas no one gave two shits about baseball. I had to learn football. Not that that was necessarily a bad thing, but I had all those baseball skills which were not worth a cup of spit in Texas.
I love Texas and don’t get me wrong. But once in a while, when I see a photo or a news bit showing San Francisco, or San Diego, or a beach, or a blonde… I hear this guysinging:
Sometimes I even hear this blonde singing:
And I tear up. (Just a little bit) but then I throw on some Bob Wills and Remember Who I am.
And thus remembering, I go out and buy a case of Lone StarLong Necks and listen to this guy:
And I Thank The Spirit of Sam Houston I Am A Texan.
My mother was probably “The Original Hippy Chick.” When Haight-Asbury was in full bloom, she would not shut up about it until we went there. I knew a little of the Hippy Culture then, yet had no desire to experience it ‘up close an’ personal.’ Mom did. So one bright sunny Saturday morning we packed up the Rambler and headed to ‘Frisco and Haight-Ashbury. To say that trip opened my eyes would be an understatement bordering on felonious. I was shocked, awed, amazed, bothered, bewildered, enlightened, enchanted, enthralled, and all at the same time. The whole day was a whorl of attacks on my senses and emotions. I remember clearly all the people with their long hair, colorful clothing, love beads, head bands, peace signs, guitars, laughter, and smoke coming from everywhere and not smelling at all like the smoke from the cigarettes my mother used to light up. But most of all, I remember the music. Music was ubiquitous and oh how I did love the music.
We walked up and down those streets for hours and I do believe my mother stopped and purchased some trinket from every single hippy-trinket-seller she visited, which, by my estimation, would have been all of two hundred of them.
Not really being a trinkets-man myself, I purchased a pair of small green turtles that I wanted to rescue from a hippy life I was certain they were not well suited for. I actually remember telling the turtles during the ride home not to worry; that they were safe now, and also apologizing to them if I had left any of their family members behind due to the fact that my meager allowance did not afford me the luxury of benevolence to purchase freedom for the whole lot of them–Even though I did beg mom for an advance to do just that.
The turtles ended up having a fine long Turtle – Life and were probably the only two green turtles to ever migrate from California to Texas. Texas suited them, and me, better.
Because I did not know my left foot from my right foot.
You see, during “Nap Time” I had to remove my shoes and I could never figure out which shoe went on which foot.
Made no difference to me if I woke up and put the left shoe into the right mouth, but it did seem to matter a great deal to my kindergarten teacher. She would grow livid if one of her charges got the whole shoe business wrong. Well, good for her and bless her heart.
“Your shoes are on the wrong foot. Doesn’t that look funny to you? Doesn’t it feel uncomfortable? Don’t you feel like a fool?”
No. No. And, No.
I cared not.
However, being eager to please and wont to have no drama hurled in my direction, I made an honest effort to figure out the ‘whole shoe business’ just to make my life easier and less complicated.
Since I, until this day, cannot discern right from left, (or find my wayward way about my home town—pop: 1800) I came up with what I thought was a semi-brilliant plan: When nap-time came about, I would remove my shoes and carefully place them on the floor and slide them underneath my cot in exactly the same configuration that they had whilst my feet were wearing them. I surmised that once awakened, I could roll over, sit up, and by placing my feet just the same way as before I had retired, find the shoes exactly as they had been. Good theory, but I was never quite certain if or not, some Evil Shoe Satan had trifled with my shoes whist I was sleeping and therefore, did not know (with absolute certainty) if my shoes were still in the same configuration where I had left them and hence, if they would go back on in that same same configuration I needed.