Here is Lance: ON the Record. (and on a rant; a long overdue rant)
I do not give two warm cups of spit, ‘Bout the politics of the Dixie Chicks. But I love them. They are all… Texas. And, after-all, Home-Grown. Hey! Texas! Git over it! Texas was built upon the backs of strong wimmens… Jes sayin’. Y’all know this (Texas!)
I love everything which pukes itself from Texas. Even them Dixie Chicks. I stood by them then. I stand by them now.
Watch the vid, then tell me there ain’t no Texan Talent There.
Dare ya! (‘Tis a fight I will join–try me!). But, bring the big guns. I will debate you up, if ya don’t. I have some ducks all rowed up.
And y’all know… well, ya know, I am just joking (’bout the guns) This is a fight, I will only join in the vestiges of parlay… and discourse. (Seems I have grown a… well, I still have some fight in me, for certain ‘issues’–this being one.)
Lance (True lover of Texas Women) Lord knows I have known many (Biblical sense and otherwise, sidewise sense), and they all, to a woman, scared the ever-loving shit outta me.
That is their nature (and how they roll)
“Don’t Mess With Texas” (Women)
Trust me on this one Y’all.
(And yes I know, Nat is the only ‘Native Texan’ in the group, but the band was birth’d in Dallas)
Several years ago (before I went toIraq) I was called for Jury Selection.
My first thought was, “Damn it! I cannot afford this; I live paycheck to paycheck.” I was living in Commerce, Texas and though I had a decent and secure job, the pay just barely supported my lavish lifestyle: Beer, Cigarettes, a three DVD per week habit, computer games… Not to mention dog food, cat food and Lance food. Gasoline was not an issue: I had no car.
On the appointed day I dutifully showed up at the Hunt County Courthouse (in a borrowed car) along with about one hundred twenty thusly cursed potential selectees. They assembled us into a large room and passed out the questionnaires. It was quite noisy and seemed disorganized. I don’t recall any of the questions, save one:
“What is your religious affiliation”?
That was easy: I scribbled ‘atheist’, which was an honest answer and one certain, I surmised to exempt me, as Hunt County probably has more churches per capita than most counties in Texas.” Brilliant!
Imagine my disbelief (no pun), when I was selected.
The trial, as it turns out was for a felony charge of robbery and assault. I will summarize to the best of my recollection. The defendant was a young man, say, twenty something. The plaintiff, a young woman, also twenty something.
The alleged crime: The defendant (white male) broke into the trailer-house of a third party again twenty something, with the intent of stealing a shotgun and maybe a few beers. By the way, all the principles in this event were white and actually knew each other and were supposedly ‘friends’.
The defendant was unaware that the trailer was occupied by the young woman, who happened to be engaged to a fourth party, but claimed to just sleeping in the trailer, “because she had gotten too drunk to drive home.” The owner of the trailer was not home at this time.
Once discovered by the young woman, the defendant threatened her by leveling the shotgun and promising with utmost sincerity that he was about to “blow her fuckin’ head off.”
That’s the gist of the complaint.
The testimony took most of the day, and then we retired to our chambers. Hunt County Courthouse is not a new facility (1929).
The jury chambers were musty but reasonably well lit, due to the several large windows in the room. We were on the third floor of the courthouse and could see ‘freedom’ on the streets below. We seated ourselves around a wonderful solid oak conference table which reminded me of the dining room table my father had in his Victorian Era ‘Marcom Manor’. All that was missing was the fireplace and the crystal balls and the pewter figurines of demons and witches and dragons.
On the walls were old paintings of Texas pastoral country scenes, one requisite Texan Ranger on horseback with a Walker-Colt six-shooter in hand, and one poster showing “Justice is Blind” frayed at the edges and stuck to the wall with yellowed scotch tape, probably added some years after the paintings as an after thoughtful motivation, or reminder, or inspiration. Who knows?
First order of business was to select a foreperson. To my dismay I was elected through no fault of my own. I was trying to fly under the radar, and apparently had failed miserably. And after all that stealth training with the SEALs too! Shit.
We began the laborious debate on the testimony and evidence. Personally from the get go, I was leaning toward a guilty verdict, but not ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ at this initial point. As I recall, our first ‘secret’ ballot, which I called for right off the bat, just to see where we were, reflected an equally divided jury. Clearly we had some work to do if we were to come to a unanimous decision. We spent what little was left of the rest of the afternoon kicking the testimony around and getting to know each other.
Seated just to my left was a white man, about my age sporting a crew cut and an out-spoken demeanor. By his words, it became immediately clear he had an education and was also of the mind no gray area existed here. The guy was guilty. “And what he needed was to find Jesus Christ.”
There was an elderly gentleman at the opposite end of the conference table who had a mild-mannered air, quite soft-spoken. He could go either way.
Much to my surprise a woman I had known years before, who was still married to a good friend, fellow Honey Grove native, and also a co-worker of mine from the Seventies was also there. Not sure which way she was leaning.
An elderly blue-haired lady sat next to her, and I could just tell, she did not feel the young man deserved prison. (The crime called for a minimum fifteen year sentence, as the defendant had a previous record. In Texas, I think it must be two strikes and yer out)
The rest rounded out our ‘Twelve Angry Men’ scenario.
At the end of the afternoon, and having taken one more secret ballot and having not come anywhere near to a unanimous decision we departed to return the next morning.
Since I seem to have swerved back into my Nat Wood kick….
And no. Nat did NOT do her own singing.
But, Y’all knew that too.
It was this Fine Lady:
Classically trained, Ms. Nixon was throughout the 1950s and ’60s the unseen — and usually uncredited — singing voice of the stars in a spate of celebrated Hollywood films. She dubbed Deborah Kerr in “The King and I,” Natalie Wood in “West Side Story” and Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady,” among many others.
Cred: I don’t remember from Where I stole This From….
So naturally I had no qualms about stealing it. (I did ask her permission however)
Seeing and reading into pieces of people’s lives….the musicians..the actors…artists…housewives…doctors…famous and the not so famous… The memes…the themes…the lives and the lies.. People crying..and people dying… Beach trips…road trips..acid trips… I have met many people and lost them on this site… The fights… the flights…the makeups and the breakups… A reality show with thousands of channels… Windows into people’s lives…sometimes what is really there and sometimes…only what they want you to see.. The Liberals…the Conservatives..the Middle of the Roaders… The comfort and the chastisements from strangers and friends alike.. The all over the place posters…and the take it to the private messagers… The celebrations..and the tears…. But before all of this… The beach trips..the road trips… Long talks under and over … the bridges of the bayous… Late nite cigarettes on the trunk of my old chevy… Long talks that never…ever got heavy… The loves and the heartbreaks… the blood sisters and the pinky shakes… Sun tans on the roof… And always… always… feeling Bullet Proof… My best friend…who always knew… I was never much good…. At saying Good-Bye…
It’s been a while since I have written about Peanut, but 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.