Thursday, April 30, 2015

Musical Memories - ZZ Top?!?

My theme is Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back. 

ZZ Top is a well known band who originated from Houston, TX.  Houston is slightly NW of a large petrochemical area and the town of Pasadena, TX. Pasadena is the town John Travolta's character traveled to for work from Spurger, TX.  In that movie, Mickey Gilley's  famous honky-tonk, Gilley's was featured in that movie.  At that time it was touted to be the largest honky-tonk in the world.

Every time I hear a Mickey Gilley tune, I recall my one trip to that establishment back in 1983. 

(Now, that my friends is how you bend the letter to suit your needs!)

This was BP, before Pete, when I was still dating Rocky - the boyfriend from my X post. One weekend, he wanted to take off and go to Gilley's for the evening.   It was huge!  Cavernous and mostly empty.  But was early in the evening and the rodeo they had there was going on.  So we went out to watch that.  One Houston boy after another was getting thrown from the bulls before they could get any where near the eight second trip they needed.  I found it rather boring and was, laughing and joking and saying how they needed someone from our area if anyone was going to stay on a bull. Finally, the announcer said the fellow mounting the bull was from a little town near my hometown and I loudly declared that he'd make it the whole eight and get a good score from the judges.  He didn't disappoint me, but rather, made me proud and somewhat of a prophet. 

We finally wandered back in.  Took a few turns on the dance floor.  Then wandered on down to a bar.  Rocky was ordering our drinks and I was standing behind his left shoulder.  A fellow next to him on the right, slid his hand over and squeezed Rocky's butt cheek!!  Rocky, glanced back at me with an expression like "cut it out!" I gave him my innocent look, which probably convinced him I was guilty, and Rocky turned back to the barkeep. The fellow who had done the squeezing, was turning away from the bar with his order and I stared daggers through him.  

I've always wondered if he was just a cowboy cutting up and trying to start at little something between me and my date, or if he was gay and looking to steal my date for the evening.  We'll never know.  And I never told Rocky it wasn't me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Musical Memories - Yoakam, Dwight

My theme is Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back.

In 1989, Dwight Yoakam was burning up the country charts and a very frequently played artist on the S.E. Texas airwaves.  This was the year I was pregnant with Bubba.  I was working at a job in Beaumont and commuting every day in my 1979 Mustang Cobra.  (Car enthusiasts, click the link.)

So, since I was decidedly into country music at the time, I often heard Dwight on my daily commutes.  My belly swelled, and my baby began to move. I found that on my drive, he would kick hard when a Yoakam tune came on.  And as my pregnancy progressed even more, he began to kick straight down, like we was trying to break free!

When I had purchased that car in 1979, Uncle Lenox said to Mama, as we signed the papers, "I just hope she doesn't kill herself."  (Too much motor for the weight of the car.)  Truth be told, that car and it's unique responsiveness probably saved my life on numerous occasions.  

One morning, driving in to work, with "Honky Tonk Man" blaring in the car (premium sound system with Jensen aftermarket speakers added) I was traveling in the left lane of the two westbound lanes of highway.  Right as we came up on the 11th street over pass, a car changed from the right lane headed straight into the side of me.  I swerved to the left and then spun that Mustang on the shoulder of the road through two complete rotations.  Kept it all on the paved shoulder, too! Dwight is still singing, never missing a beat. Bubba is still a kicking.  I breathed a prayer of thanks and started watching my rear view for the first opportunity to scat back into traffic.

And that's what I think about every time I hear that song.

Did you ever have a baby respond to music in the womb?
What was one of your hairiest near misses on the road?


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Musical Memories: eX-Boyfriend

My theme is Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back.

So, today I am borrowing from an old entry in 2008 and stretching a bit to get X.  There was a fellow I dated for a year before I met my Pete.  And while we were dating, when we'd be in a pool hall, Pete would play George Strait's "You Look So Good in Love" and dedicate it to my ex, Rocky.

And he'd say, "That's what he's saying now." That's the song.

Now for the memory.

Prior to meeting and marrying Pete, I had dated a fellow from Beaumont named Rocky for close to a year. He was my last boyfriend before Pete. Then I had met Pete and three months later, we were married. I had a Mustang Cobra unlike any other around these parts and he drove a little red AMX. Two similar sporty cars. I have an old photo of them parked hood to hood and a caption above them that says, "The other couple in love."

But I digress. I don't remember the reason, but one day Pete had to go to Beaumont. Now, being a good country boy, he tries hard not to go to the big city. And to him that is the big city. But for some reason he did need to go and for whatever reason (may have just been to drive something different) he took my Mustang.

Down in Beaumont, Pete was having trouble locating the place he was looking for. Well, he has more common sense than pride, so he pulled in to a tire shop to ask directions. A man was standing outside in the parking lot. Pete parked near him and got out to ask directions. The man was looking the Mustang up and down. Then he was looking Pete up and down. Finally, before answering Pete's question, he asked his own, "I guess you are the guy that married Barbara?" Pete looked at him for a moment and then said, "Yes, I am. And I suppose you are Rocky."

When all was said and done, Rocky told him how to get where he was going. And Pete got a kick out of telling me about this chance meeting. All I can say is "what are the odds!?!?" We aren't talking a tiny one horse town here. And we are talking about a public place....a tire shop.  I suppose it was meant to be.

Have you ever had such an unusual circumstantial meeting occur?

What's your favorite George Strait song?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Musical Memories - The Waiting (is the hardest part)

My theme is Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back.

Yeah, okay, this one is a stretcher.  I had a topic I wanted to reminisce about and I drummed up a song to fit it.  (This is the one time, I went in reverse)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had a decent hit with this song.

And I want to talk today about the waiting.  Seems no one has to wait anymore for hardly anything. Your tax refund maybe, your health benefits perhaps...but so much is now readily available.
At your fingertips, literally!  And that is one thing I love about Spotify.  I can hear what I want, when I want.  (Except for the few artists who decline to get involved with it.)

Yet, think of it.  We have a whole generation that is being raised with instant gratification.  There's no waiting.  No anticipating.  And they are missing an awesome experience. A patience teaching experience.  An experience that teaches a good life lesson.  And I think that is sad.

Back in the 70's, when a new song came out on the radio, and you loved it, you had to keep the station tuned in, in the background and come running to hear it when it came on.  To own it, hear it when you wanted to, you had to either have a recorder (8-track or cassette) and wait patiently close by for it to come on and start recording at the first few strands and hope and pray the announcer didn't start talking over it before the song was actually through playing.  Or you had to hurry to the record store and find it wasn't in yet.  Then hurry back and find it was sold out.  Then hurry back and maybe, you'd be lucky enough to get a copy.

Even a few years ago, listening to regular FM stations in my vehicle, it was such a joy to have a cherished song you didn't own come on the radio!  To hear it, to sing with it. And now, thanks to sticks, phones, Itunes and such, you can get and carry a song easily enough.  You can listen to it, until the real joy of hearing it is burned up.  Or even if you still enjoy it, there just isn't that element of excitement.

That's the yen and the yang of it.

What song or artist has had you waiting to get your hands on a copy?
What song have you played until you've worn yourself out on it?
Do you purposefully have your child wait for some things so they can know the joy of finally getting it?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Musical Memories - Velvet Chains and Wooden Dance Floors

My theme is Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back.

Gary Morris and "Velvet Chains" was quite popular in the S.E. Texas honky tonks when I used to frequent them.  I adore dancing!  I became 18 (legal age in Texas then) and then graduated from high school right on the heels of the Urban Cowboy craze.  While some were making themselves dizzy with disco, I was two-stepping my weekends away.

I don't want to glorify honky-tonks here.  Lot's can go wrong in a honky tonk or on  your way home from one.  But I was fortunate during my honky tonking days. Never any serious trouble.  

And what I remember fondly is the dancing!  Wooden floors, dusted with sawdust, low lights, ceiling fans whirling, dancing with someone who truly felt the rhythm of the song instead of just knowing the steps.  Being slightly hot from all the dancing.  The cool breeze of the ceiling fan on you face as you whirl by.  Twinkly lights off in the background.  Some places all closed up like a world of their own.  Some with screens and night air rushing in.  Some by the river, with that smell on the air that only comes from the river.  Some with nothing but a few snacks to offer, others with a counter off to the side serving up some of the best greasy spoon offerings around.  A way of life once upon a time.

Never got to dance to it, as it came out after my dancing days were done, but I've always wanted to be on that open air dance floor with lights and fireflies twinkling by the water and dance to these beautiful words accompanied by a guitar that to me is truly beautiful.  The Kentucky Headhunters'  "Too Much to Lose".   

Have you ever been to a Texas Honky Tonk?
What is some of your favorite music, songs to dance too?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Musical Memories - Unchained Melody

My theme is Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back.

Today, I'm indulging myself in memories with my children.  I would rock Bubba in Mother's old rocking chair and sing to him, hoping he'd fall asleep, but his little eyes would always pop open soon as I went to stand.  

With, Bug, I didn't have the rocker.  So, I'd put her on my shoulder and "bump" her bottom as I sang.  I could get her to sleep that way.

This entry is about the songs I'd sing to them.  I know one true lullaby and that is "All Through The Night."  But I'd also sing them the tunes from Mama's old blue song book as well.  Along with other songs for young children.  

I'd also reach into my repertoire of standard songs and sing them as well. I would do my rendition of "Unchained Melody" and "To Sir with Love". 

And with each child, one song stood out significantly from the others. It became their song and could only be sung to that child.  For Bubba, that song was "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight".  And of course I had to do all the parts, including the "bo-do-dee-do-do's". 

Bug being a little girl, a very different child, and so happy all the time, her song easily became, "My Girl" by the Temptations. And once again, I'd almost run out of breath trying to get everyone's part. 

Each one is still very possessive over "their" song. Even when Bubba heard me singing his song to his baby girl a little hint of green-eyed monster popped up.  It was like he was torn between thinking, "Oh, how sweet, my Mama (He always calls me MY Mama, not just Mama) is singing that song to my baby" and thinking "Oh, no, don't you go there!  Uh-huh. Sing her something else."

Did you sing to your children? 
Did singing ever really get your children to sleep?
Did one song stand out from among the rest?
Do you remember being sung to as a small child?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Musical Memories - Trope

My theme is Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back.

No, it's not a group or a song.  Just a word, that defined by Merriam-Webster means:  a word, phrase or image used in a new and different way in order to create an artistic effect.  I sometimes do this with secular songs.  I hear the lyrics to the songs and I find myself thinking what could make me feel this way and the answer I come up with is God.  And then, as I listen I begin to worship him.

I know in church, many times I've seen a band or group take secular music and overlay Christian verses.  Did you know that the words to "Amazing Grace" will fit perfectly into the tune, "The House of The Rising Sun".  It makes a very dramatic effect.  And as a teen I heard them take the Coca Cola theme song, "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" and do the same thing ending it with "He's the Real One, What the world needs today.  A song of Hope that echoes on, and never goes away."

A few years back, Bubba called me out to his truck one night and said listen to this.  It was a song he had on a copied CD called "My Time With You" by and area artist named Ramsey Red.  I adored it!  The guitar was so clean and haunting in the song.  And although towards the end he sang,"Girl my time with you..." Bubba and I looked at each other and almost at once said it could be about God.  I have a copy of that on every device I own.  And it is always God to me when I hear it.  (Unfortunately, as much as it would thrill me to share that version with you, I can't find it anywhere online.)  Later on Bubba told me he had heard it either started as a Christian song or others had made it into one.  Getting ready for this post, I have searched and searched, but can't come up with the story on the origin of the song.    So, all I can offer you really is this artist's Christian spin on the song.

I found a couple on Spotify. This version is no where near as good as Ramsey's, but the guitar is more similar to the one on his and this artist has a strong vocal, which Ramsey also also has.

Then there are the secular songs written to be about God. Take George Harrison's (my fav Beatle) "My Sweet Lord."

He may have written it with Krishna in mind, but when I hear it, my heart and my soul worships Christ as the Everlasting Lord.  The full choir backup and Harrison's exceptional guitar work make it a beautiful, uplifting peace.  I'll often listen to it 2, 3, 4 times in a row.  Complete with Holy Hands lifted up! 

And then there the songs that no one ever meant to ever relate to God.  But somehow, for me all or part of them has me worshiping.   For instance, "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration" by the Righteous Brothers.  When they come to the chorus, "You're my soul and my life's inspiration, you're all I need to get me by. You're my soul and my life's inspiration, without you baby what good am I, what good am I?"  I sing it with Jesus in place of baby. At one time I had words worked out for the verses that fit my version as well.  

So, to sum up, if you hear me jamming down at a red light, I may actually be worshiping in my own peculiar way. 

Have you ever heard a totally secular song that led you to worship?
Have you ever heard either of the versions of Amazing Grace to different music that I mentioned?
What about My Sweet Lord, does it bother you it was written for Krishna?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Musical Memories - Songbook of Mama's

My theme is Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back.

Mother grew up in the 1920's and 30's.  Living in small town East Texas, there were few entertainments.  They'd have taffy pullings (where they would cook the candy, then butter their hands and pull it between them until it was the right consistency to set.  And they'd have josey parties.  Which were similar to square dances.  I still have Mama's josey party dress in my cedar chest.  I wore it one year on Halloween in high school when I wanted to be a gypsy.  

Or they could go to the movies.  Mama, together with her friends, would remember and record the words to the songs in the films in a blue bound book.  Then, they'd get together and sing them.  She would get out that old book and sing with me.  And many days, when little, she'd rock me to those old songs.  Then I had first one child and then another, and I sang those old songs to them when they were little and then taught them to sing them with me.  

Four of them stick out to me. And I share them here with you in this post.   The first, was a comical, funny song about a fellow that went off to join the fight in WWI, "Long Boy".
 If you go to the link, you can flip through the sheet music and read the whole song.  The chorus, was "Goodbye, ma!  Goodbye, pa!  Goodbye mule with the ol' hee haw!  May not know what the war's about, but I bet by gosh, I'll soon find out.  And oh, my sweetheart don't you fear!  I'll bring you a king for a souvenir.  Get you a Turk and Kaiser, too, and that's about all one fellow can do."  We'd always make the actual hee haw sounds when we sung it, as Daddy had a jenny he plowed his garden with for most of my life.  

Then there was "Red Wing", which, as a little girl I found so poignant. It was sung by the Duke (John Wayne) himself in several westerns.  From one of his earliest, "In Old Oklahoma", to "The Comancheros" and ending with his last film, "The Shootest".  Mother may have gotten this song from elsewhere, as it was written in 1907, and she was grown and married by the time John Wayne ever sang it.  It's very hard to find recorded with the words.  For that I offer you this gentleman's rendition from YouTube.

Another favorite of mine was the song of two little girls who had a fight, called "I Don't Want to Play in Your Yard".  A few years ago, Hannah and I practiced singing it together, made up motions to go along with it and sung it to family  gathered over at my sister's house for Christmas.  You can sample this tune, too. 

The last song I'd like to share with you from that old song book, I don't know the title too.  And searching all the lyrics I could recall, yielded no results.  But it was such an amusing little ditty and I want to share with you anyway, some of what I can recall.  
She was fat and he was skinny,
He had freckles and red hair.
...spooning in the merry month of May.
...I heard him say.
Will you love me when my radiator's ruined?
Will you love me when my taillights fail to shine?
Will you love me when my brakes they need adjusting?
Sweetheart, will you let me call you mine?
Will you love me when my differential's ruined,
...the frame is bending too.
The nuts and bolts are falling, 
the old junk yard's a calling.
Will you love me when my little Ford is through?

If anyone out there, knows this one, and can give me a title or a link, I'd be pleased as punch.

Are there any special songs from you childhood?
Have you ever actually heard any of these before?
Do you have memories of your mother's voice as she sung?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Musical Memories - Extra!

In my post for letter R, The Record Rack, in the A to Z Challenge, I asked a question:

Do you know who on my playlist was born in Beaumont and returned to live here? 

I had one person hazard a guess, and it was a very good one!  Sue McPeak from Collect in Texas Gal.  But, alas, that was an incorrect answer.  Although Janis Joplin did hail from Beaumont, TX, she never returned there to live before her untimely death.

The answer is, this Beaumont native:

Barbara hit number one on the R&B charts with her first release, "You'll Lose a Good Thing" in 1962.  She co-wrote the song.  This talented lady was a singer/songwriter and guitarist.

She returned to reside in her hometown a couple of decades later, but continued to tour. She was honored with a special birthday celebration for her 70th in Beaumont in January of 2012 and even performed herself that evening. 

Musical Memories - The Record Rack

My theme is Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back.

Today, my memories are about a place.  A place I found too late in life and a place I helped kill.  A place that was a treasure and will be missed by those who knew her.

The Record Rack opened in Beaumont in the 1950's.  But I didn't meet her until the late 70's.  I was from a small town to the North of Beaumont.  And when we did come to Beaumont it was usually to big chain stores or the mall. And that's where I'd buy my records in my mid to later teens. But all too often, the big chains let you down in one way or another.  For one, when a new release was really hot it could take several trips to manage to score a copy.   And, if you had heard something ten, twenty years older you had fallen in love with, you could just hang it up.

I don't even really remember just how I came to learn of her.  But I remember my first time through her doors like it was yesterday.  The shop was cram packed everywhere you looked.  There were notes stuck all over the front counter. People were coming in and out conversing with the woman behind the counter like she was family.  And while that may have been charming, the clincher was the rows of bins, all organizer and enticing. Filled with gold, silver and platinum. And a whole section dedicated to Motown!  Oh, my gosh, overall that was the best music ever made! Spector's wall of sound is awesome even today.  And Cadillac Records gave us some of the best vocal talents. But for a total package, delivered constantly, Motown was the epitome'.  The first thing I looked for was "If I Were You're Woman" by Gladys Knight and the Pips.  I had only heard it once or twice, but adored it.  And she had it!  

I went on to find many treasures in that store.  And if they didn't have it they'd get it for you pronto 

Now, I enjoy music on a stick and I adore having Spotify, but if you never walked into a store dedicated to music and found a treasure you had searched high and low for, if you've never slipped vinyl out of a crisp pressed paper cover and lay a needle to  it,  then you've missed a treasured experience.  

In honor of her, I share this playlist with you:

Were you fortunate enough to ever visit a Mom & Pop Record shop like this?
Scroll through or play the playlist above and tell me one of your favorites and why.
Do you know who on my playlist was born in Beaumont and returned to live here?  (No googling allowed!)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Musical Memories - Queen & "We Will Rock You"

My theme is Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back.

So, I'll be the first to admit I was never really a big "Queen" fan.  I don't even have a song of theirs on any of my playlists.  But I did grow up and go to high school in Texas.  And here, high school football is king.  And "We Will Rock You" made an awesome anthem at games...especially if you were seated in aluminum bleachers.  Hundreds of feet stomping on the metal in time with the music made for a sound that would rout any army!

As a six year old, I watched football with my daddy on TV.  I saw Johnny Unitas play.  I witnessed O.J. when he killed them, instead of being a killer.  I saw Roger Staubach execute the shotgun on many occasions.  You get the picture.  I was raised to be a staunch football fan.  

So, when Jr. High came and we had a school team, I was there every game, A and B strings.  I met friends there.  Sat with "boyfriends" there.  I cheered. And a part of me wished I could be out on the field with them.

High school rolled round.  By now, Mama was buying season tickets every year.  Many games, me or me and a friend would sit with her.  Her seats were very close to the student section in the Old Kirby Memorial Stadium.  But more and more often the older I got, I sat in the student section with my buddies.  My "besties" were in the we never could be together.  But there were always plenty of other girlfriends to hang out with.  And always and often there was Randy A. popping up.  To aggravate, tease, and share a snip from the Crown Royal bottle he always had tucked in his FFA jacket.  

We went to state while I was in High School!  Playoff was in the Astrodome, and I was there.  We didn't win, but that doesn't mean there weren't some very talented guys among the ranks.  

Some of my fondest memories of French class was Derrick Shelton, Artie Shankle, William Graham and others staring a rhythm and singing.  I kept a scrap book of the year we went to state that had every newspaper clipping.  It was beautifully done, all old school.  On the black paper.  Comments made in white liquid embroidery.

My senior year, Mary Lou had graduated and married and we made all the out of town games.  We were there no matter how cold or no matter how much rain fell.  I screamed and cheered until my voice was hoarse on many a Friday night.

Then college came and I just didn't find the game as exciting there as I did in high school.  The Lumberjacks never excited me the way the Tigers did.  Though I did clean up the stadium after home football games one year with my sorority, Gamma Sigma Sigma. 

Back in high school, I'd miss dances and evenings out with my friends to stay at home and watch football games.  Mama would let me have the living room, and I'd talk out loud and comment on the games like Daddy was still right there.  It made me feel closer to him.  

Then at college, I'd watch games as well.  But they started messing with the rules and changing them. It frustrated me and made me mad.  The last player I followed closely was Willie "White Shoes" Johnson. At first I adored him.  Then I came to despise him for grandstanding.  

When I came home from college in 1981, I stopped watching football.  The game had changed.  Daddy was gone.  And it was time to move on and use all that time for other things.

Were you, or are you, a football fanatic?
What is your favorite level, high school, college or pro?
Do you remember any traditions from you high school football games?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Musical Memories - Pete & Barbie

My theme is Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back.

Pete and I.  Me and Pete.  Barbie and Petey Pete.  Toasted and doomed to failure by many when we first hitched up. Then surprising and shocking the naysayers by weathering life's storms together for over thirty years.  One of us yearning to kill the other one minute, then rushing to their side to support them or protect them from outside forces the next. 

I swear straight out, Pete brings out both the best and the worst in me.  And I am willing to concede that I probably do the same for him. 

For most of our lives together, he did what it seemed he wanted and I did what I thought I should.  Now days it seems he does what he can and I try to do what I should. Sometimes he just can't do enough, and I'm learning more and more every day that neither can I.
And in this yen and yang, I identify with all the songs that were written for us.  About us.  Or at least it seems that way when you listen to them.

Mickey Gilley and "You've Really Got a Hold on Me."  We'd sing along with it when we were dating:
"I don't like you but I love you
Seems that I'm always thinking of you
Oh, oh, oh, you treat me badly
I love you madly

You really got a hold on me
(You really got a hold on me)
You really got a hold on me
(You really got a hold on me)

Baby, I don't want you but I need you
Don't want to kiss you but I need to
Oh, oh, oh, you do me wrong now
My love is strong now"

Then there were oodles of nights and jeep rides when we'd sing along at the top of our lungs to one another, Hank William's:

And there has been many a day I've listened to Phil Collins singing "That's All" and thinking I know exactly what he's talking about.  
"Why does it always seem to be

Me lookin' at you, you lookin' at me
Its always the same its just a shame that's all
Turnin' me on, turnin' me off
Makin' me feel like I want too much
Livin' with you is justa puttin' me through it all of the time

Truth is I love you, more then I wanted to
There's no point in trying to pretend
There's been no one who makes me feel like you do
Say we'll be together til the end"

But over and above all else there is Orleans with "Still The One".  It captures and embodies the best of us.  Why it is, after all these years it is still Pete and Barbie against the world.

"We've been together since way back when
Sometimes I never want to see you again
But I want you to know
After all these years
You're still the one
I want whisperin' in my ear

You're still the one
I want to talk to in bed
Still the one
That turns my head
We're still having fun
And you're still the one

I looked at your face every day
But I never saw it 'til I went away
When winter came
I just wanted to go (wanted to go)
Deep in the desert
our love started to grow

You're still the one
That makes me laugh
Still the one
That's my better half
We're still having fun
And you're still the one
You're still the one
That makes me strong
Still the one
I want to take along
We're still having fun
And you're still the one (yes you are)

[Musical Interlude]

Changing, our love is going gold
Even though we grow old, it grows new

You're still the one
That I love to touch
Still the one
And I can't get enough
We're still having fun
And you're still the one

You're still the one
Who can scratch my itch
Still the one
And I wouldn't switch
We're still having fun
And you're still the one
You are still the one
That makes me shout
Still the one
That I dream about
We're still having fun
And you're still the one

You're still the one
Yeah, still the one
We're still having fun
And you're still the one"

What song/songs personify you and your spouse's relationship?

Are they Still the One?  Would you do it all over again?


Friday, April 17, 2015

Musical Memories - ReO Speedwagon

My theme is Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back.

Yeah, I stretched this one a ways to get it.  REO Speedwagon.  And I centered on the O.  The first time I ever heard REO Speedwagon was at a carnival on the SFA campus.  Not sure what the event was all about.  I was out there selling helium balloons for my sorority,  Gamma Sigma Sigma.  I ran across a young man operating a ride who asked me to tie a couple of balloons up to his gate.  He said the balloons would help business.  

I consented and off and on throughout the day we visited. He had an REO Speedwagon cassette blaring over the speakers connected to his ride.

He asked me to promise to come back at the end of the evening.  I did.  And there began my brief dating history with a carny. 

I found that after hours, everything you paid for all day was free and for the taking for carnies and their friends.  Why waste it?  We relaxed and chilled over beers and everyone swapped tales from the day.  When the carnival cranked up the next day, I found I had a free pass to every ride!  And each and every operator would run it to the max if I was on board.  Being a ride groupie at that age, it was an exhilarating thrill!!

The boy, got my number and swore anytime he was any where close to me, he'd call.  And true to his word, he did. I began meeting the show anywhere they set up.  It was amazing to watch them set up!!  The hydraulics that lifted the heavy arms of metal from an 18-wheeler to standing tall in the Texas sun.  The simple cotter pins that held the swinging metal seats on the rides!  Everyone alert and sober for set up.  No one wanting anything but a high good time for the show.  

Ah, but once the show started, there'd be impromptu breaks beneath the massive rides where they'd chill and relax.  Drink a beer.  Pass a joint around.  Then break was over and it was back to business.  

When you are a carny or you date a carny, it's just a totally different experience than the average carnival goer experiences.  Everything is free.  Everyone wants you engaged in their ride or their game.  Everyone wants to feed you. It's like a big traveling family!

Once, he asked me to meet him in Galveston for a gig. That I did.  But as I arrived, hurricane warnings shut the show down.  So, we booked a hotel and as the hurricane blew in, we cruised the streets of Galveston in my 1979 Mustang Cobra with his best friend and his girl.  And the tune that rode us through the storm was Hurricane by Leon Everette.

The local radio station played it over, and over and over.  It was the only song of the evening!!  It was a blast and an event I will never forget.

A few months afterward, an incident happened while I was visiting the show that I just couldn't get past.  He hadn't stood up for me the way I was taught and raised a man should.  So, without malice, I let our relationship die and wane away. But I'll always remember my summer as a Carny's girl. 
Have you ever dated anyone from a vastly different lifestyle?
If this was me dating on the wild side, what was the wildest dating relationship you ever had?
Have you ever dated anyone where the relationship came with special perks?

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