Yes, back in the day, I pleasured me by shooting to death… sparrows.
(not pretty, is it?)
Not proud of it. And as Texan-Rightly, not ashamed of it neither. (What we did then, back in the day…)
“Just Texan Kids havin’ fun,” they would say. (‘They’, generally being Grandmothers—maternal grandmothers)
“They looked aside.”
Looking back now, I am ashamed of all the sparrow lives I so easily and callously took. Tis a small thing in the big scheme of things, yes I Know. But, it bothers me still. As I am certain the memory of dead kittens haunts my ‘maternal’ grandfather over all those ‘Damn-we-got-too-many-cats-he’ah-on-this-place.” (As he shot them to death in front of my young, sensitive, later to become, my mother)
Don’t shoot sparrows
And don’t shoot kittens.
They will haunt you.
For some many years.
I suppose this is the point of this post.
‘Don’t shoot.’ (unless the sparrow is trying to kill you, that is…)
But I found a cure: (and I do fear that stroke that is imminent)
Shelly West (Oh. David was pretty ‘spot on’ too)
Now, as all of Y’all out there know, I frequently make fun of Oklahoma on this Blog. And without Mercy. This is requisite in all Texans, especially ‘Native’ Texans, and don’t get me wrong: OK is not ‘OK’ with me. (Especially during ‘Texas/OU Weekend’)
But that writ, I love Oklahoma (Please don’t tell anyone). My second wife was/is from Oklahoma (I think she had some Cherokee in her and I never held that ‘gainst her, even though I have Comanche in me, and we Comanches never did cotton to Cherokees. Hell! We did not ‘cotton’ to no other tribe, save maybe the Kiowa)
Point is, I was experiencing some Melancholy Madness, (and in a fit of temporary nostalgia and just maybe missing my second wife–for a moment or five, and maybe a beer or two) and remembering a song I have always loved,
I present it here for your listening and watching, and perusing pleasure. And if you too have suffered hypertension, try it. It can be therapeutic I guess, (If you are an Okie or are/once married to one… Been my experience that they are ‘purty’ damn good in the sack, but individual results may vary. This is not a testimonial, just my personal experience and opinion.) but I ain’t no Doc; That would be my Father, so take that with however many grains of salt you require.
(All the videos push the narrative–if you ‘like’ the subject matter, that is fine, but if you are… smart, and have some time…. drop a dime)
While on the subject of Memories of Oklahoma, I cannot but help to include some more along that same vein below. I hope you enjoy. And please humor me, because when y’all ‘like’ my posts, my Blood Pressure comes down. Substantially. So… do it! Do it for MY health. OH! If you also comment on my posts well, then that is ever even more effective. (If you do not recognize ‘Tongue-in-Cheek’… I cannot help you at this point. I have enuff trouble just understanding CNN these days.)
Some say this was ‘mockery’. I disagree. I think the Beach Boys secretly wanted to be Texans, but failed their immigration tests, i.e., they could not identify a photo of Willie Nelson… so they opted for Oklahoma and then did this song. In protest of their lost dreams. Google it Y’all.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Arrived Tel Aviv one afternoon Late ‘78. Soon to be Stoned, Dazed and Confused and Somewhat Abused. One of my fellow SFM drivers, Perry, a good bud of mine, had convoyed with me through the Sinai Desert and into TA. Each of us driving deuce and a’halfs and at dangerous, reckless speeds.
We checked into the Pal Hotel which SFM had migrated to after the New Sheraton had made it plain they no longer desired nor needed the patronage of Sinai Field Mission Types, specifically the Texan ones–Which made up about 88 Percent of Sinai Field Mission Personnel.
I/We, preferred the Pal Hotel anyway. (They loved us and our fun-loving ways and how we were always, without fail, Big Tippers to The Hotel Staff)
“Fuck You Uptight Sheraton New Hotel!”
(This sentiment was unanimous amongst all-of-us-Texan Expats)
Of course for both of you Lenny Fans out there in ‘Radio Land’ I just had to drop this audio bit in. It really is not germane (nor certainly not German) to the point, but it do expand on the title somewhat.
It occurred to me that when using the term ‘Tits an’ Ass” some would not know the etymology. Lenny first coined the phrase. (Bless his heart). He did some jail time too… for his transgressions.
After settling in, Perry called me from his room, “Hey Lance. Got anything goin’ tonight?”
“Nope,” I replied. “Not a damn thing. You know Gladys done dumped me for that Venzu-walon dude.”
(Some Histoire on Gladys — Or as Bart Armstrong Called her: “Happy Butt”):
First Israeli Love. Her name was Gladys Lehani and she spoke French, English, Hebrew, and Lies. I was instantly enamored. She worked nights at the Tel Aviv Sheraton in the ‘Kum Kum’ Lounge, a bar. During the afternoons she was a cashier in the little lobby area of the hotel. A place where one could look out the huge windows at the Mediterranean, have a cocktail, read a book, and flirt with her. I spent many hours there doing all four.
“Come on up to my room.” Perry said, “We’ll smoke a bowl.”
“On my way,” I said and hung up. We smoked a few bowls of hashish,
(All we could get in The Middle of The Fucking East–Which we would have Killed For In Texas, But after a few Years of NOTHING But Hashish, We Missed Good Old, Old-Fashion Pot)
drank some Amstels, and decided to head over to Dizengoff Street to check out the action. And sate some munchies. Just yet another night in TA.
We stepped out onto Hayarkon Street just after sundown and proceeded to float on toward Dizengoff, a few short blocks away. We were stoned beyond repair. As we tried to navigate across the busy Hayarkon four lane, we noticed more than the average number of folk on foot. As soon as we had arrived on the leeward shore of Hayarkon, a teenage girl came running up to us and smacked us both on the top of our heads with a little plastic mallet. Then said something unintelligible in Hebrew and ran giggling away.
“What the fuck was that?!” I asked Perry.
“Dude, I gots no idea, but look yonder!” he said pointing up the street. Sure as shit, there were people everywhere; all armed with similar plastic mallets, just wailing the shit outta each other’s heads.
“Dude! We gotta sort this out. This is just too weird. Must be some kinda religious ritual.” This is what my hashish soaked brain was telling me anyway. We made our way to Dizengoff, after having our heads bonked repeatedly by overzealous religious fanatics. I spied a street vendor displaying the plastic mallets with aplomb.
“Perry, we gots to git one ah them for self-defense.” We purchased one each and went to whackin’ pretty Sabras about the head. (Great way to meet women, I must confess—Kinda Neanderthal—but what the hell?) Later I was told we had experienced some joyful Israeli Halloween-Like festival. Mardi Gras, it weren’t but dammit! I had fun. (But I didn’t get any beads)
Nor Did I get laid that night, In spite of me whacking the heads of so many Pretty Sabras.
To this day, I do not know the holiday, or festival. Are there any out there who would care to enlighten me? Tis one-of-those-unknown-things that still haunt me today. Perhaps if I had not been stoned…
My Jewish Friends: Was it Purim I had experienced? My enquirin’ mind really do wanna know.
To Clean Up My Act (and to save some bandwidth)I decided to cast this net out just one more time (before I deleted it)As I liked it.
Anyhow… here ya go. (Personally, I thought the historical significance was, well historical, especially for Texans and for Louisianians, but that was just me)
Today’s Daily Lenny is about Uncle Earl, Guv’na of the Great State of Louisiana
Now…Uncle Earl was nuts; that is why we lovedUncle Earl.Especially us Texans loved Uncle Earl, because he was just like our Governors: Whacked Out. Only wors’er.
Mollyspoke about him:“If Louisiana eventually elects Duke (David) governor, don’t expect any sympathy from Texas. They sent us one of their barmy governors once before—Earl Long, who was Huey’s crazy brother. Earl finally got so bad his own family shipped him off to a nuthouse in Galveston. We kept him for six weeks and then let him go; he looked like a perfectly normal governor to us.”From: Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?
Who was a Tennessean (Virginian by birth) through no fault of his own
“The secession leaders tell us if war comes that the superior courage of our people with their experience of the use of firearms will enable us to triumph in battle over ten times our number of Northern forces. Never was a more false or absurd statement ever made by designing demagogues. I declare that Civil War is inevitable and near at hand.
When it comes the descendants of the heroes of Lexington and Bunker Hill will be found equal in patriotism, courage, and heroic endurance with the descendents of Cowpens and Yorktown … When the tug of war comes, it will be Greek meeting Greek. Then, oh my fellow countrymen, the fearful conflict will fill our fair land with untold suffering, misfortune, and disaster.” — Sam Houston with some prescient words on the eve of the Civil War in February, 1861