Tag Archives: my life

The Leaves That Were Green

Coming back from Fredericksburg yesterday I spotted this sitting in a field 100 yards off the pavement.  I felt an immediate kinship, made a U-turn to go back for a closer look.

The first new vehicle I ever owned was a 1970 F150.  Standing here looking at this one too-long left in a pasture, flat tires, dents and proud sign I flashed a brief, joyful memory of driving mine back to Austin from the dealership in Luling. 

Someone did the same with this one from some other dealership.  I wonder if he remembers the day, wonder if he’s even alive to remember some piece of geography he shared with this heap of steel, glass and rubber before me.

The young don’t know enough
About being young
They squander youth
And never know ’til later.
Any lad of twelve will testify
An eight-year-old can’t even qualify
To be a child
At eighteen our own ignorance
At fifteen is finally written
In language we comprehend:
We know the score
Reality’s the icing on the cake
Of youthful fantasies;
When the young grow old
They know a lot
About being young
But almost nothing
About being old.

But trucks know
Trucks have the dents
Worn bearings
Frayed seat-covers
Holding a thousand
Passed-gas kisses
Spilled drinks
Forgotten miles
Of those who forgot.

Old Jules

Fiddle-Footed Naggings and Songs of the Highway

The human mind is a strange place to find ourselves living if we ever get enough distance from the background noise to notice.  I tend to notice it a lot.

This morning seemed destined to be just another day.  Gale and Kay were doing the Austin Gem and Mineral Show, so I’d figured to walk up to his house to get the truck mid-day so’s to take care of putting their chickens to bed tonight.  Startled me a bit when I looked up and there he sat in Little Red a few feet away, having brought it down to me.  My hearing must be further gone than I’d realized.

Seemed they’d no sooner gone than I got an email from Jeanne saying my old friend from childhood and later lost-gold-mine chasing days was in Fredericksburg trying to get hold of me hoping I could get over there for lunch.  Heck, it must be 15 years or more since I’ve seen Keith, though recently he’s been reading this blog.  Naturally him being 40 miles away and me with a truck sitting there available, I headed over there.

Really nice visit, but in the course of bringing one another up-to-date he asked me a number of questions about my situation here that forced me to take a hard look and organize my thoughts about it all.  That kicked off a series of trails of thinking to organize clearer, more concrete priorities for myself within a realistic examination of my options.

There aren’t a lot of them, but they’re all stacked atop a single one:  having the means of leaving this place in a relatively short time if the need arises.  It’s time I decided on a single course of action and begin leading events in a direction that allows it to congeal in a way that accomodates the needs of the cats. 

But the process of thinking about it in an organized way had a parallel thinking-path over whispering somewhere else in my brain wiggling out a sort of excitement, anticipation about it.  Here’s something that will be pure trauma and agony for the cats I do everything possible to spare such things, and my ticker’s beating a little faster in a pleasurable way just considering it.

That, combined with the certainty the process of getting things together to execute the plan I come with is going to involve some unpleasantness, excruciating work and fingernail chewing as it goes along.

Seems I’ve somehow contrived to be two different places at the same time inside my mind.  One being pushed by probabilities to do what makes sense rather than what I’d prefer, the cats would prefer.  And one reaching somewhere into fond memories of pinon trees, high mountains and an entirely different sort of solitude than I have here.

Keith confided to me today, “Everyone thinks you’re crazy.”  I can’t find any good argument that everyone’s wrong.  It’s nice being crazy and still being as happy as I manage to be all the time, though.

Anyway, to satisfy that fiddle-footed nagging, here are some songs of the highway and the road.

Old Jules

The Cheers – “Black Denim Trousers”

 

Roger Miller “Me And Bobby McGee”

Merle Haggard – White Line Fever

NAT KING COLE ROUTE 66

John Denver – Live in Japan 81 – Take Me Home, Country Roads

Roger Miller – I’ve Been A Long Time Leavin’ (But I’ll Be A Long Time Gone)

Hank Snow – I’ve Been Everywhere

Charley Pride-Is Anybody Goin’ To San antone

Playmates – Beep Beep (The Little Nash Rambler)

 

Robert Mitchum sings The Ballad of Thunder Road

Roy Orbison – Ride Away

C. W. McCall “Wolf Creek Pass”

Hot Rod Lincoln – Charlie Ryan and the Timberline Riders 1960

 

MAC DAVIS Texas in My Rear View Mirror

 

Guy Clark LA Freeway

 

Willie Nelson On the Road Again

 

Easy Rider – Born To Be Wild (HQ)

 

LOST HIGHWAY by Hank Williams

 

Leonard Cohen – I Can’t Forget (live 1988)

 

Beach Boys – (It’s The) Little Old Lady From Pasadena

 

Beach Boys live ’64 Little Deuce Coupe

 

Neil Young – Hitchhiker

 

VANITY FARE HITCHIN A RIDE

 

‘YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU’ BY KENNY ROGERS & THE 1ST EDITION

 

Fats Domino – Walking to New Orleans

 

Long Day Journey Into an Ant Bed

I should have known this was coming yesterday when I took a nap and kept noticing a few things crawling on me occasionally.  But I was preoccupied with musing about other goings on. 

Then last night I went in there to rest a few minutes and conked out, only to be awakened around midnight-thirty with a lot of things crawling on me.  Pretty much all at once, doing a little stinging here and there.

That half of the bed is taken up by upwards of a hundred books, some read already, some partway through the experience of being read, some waiting to be read, some held for re-reading.    They’re usually not enough of a problem to outweigh the advantage of having a book near at hand when I need something to read.  But when I turned the light on, here’s what I saw last night:

It’s not the first time that’s happened and I could have prevented further invasion if I’d been paying closer attention.  I keep a container of boric acid powder nearby and usually try to do a pre-emptive strike on them on a fairly regular basis.  But it requires taking the layers upon layers of books off and squirting the boric acid powder all over the underlying bed surface.

This, I’m reluctant to do, because everything gets disorganized and I lose track of which things have already been read, which are waiting to be read, which are occupied holding something else up, and generally where things are.

So they sneaked up on me.  I had to do it in the middle of the night with no pre-planning, no organization at all.

Sheeze.  Now it’s chaos in there.

————————————–

9:30 AM edit:

Heck, I might as well add this since I’ve got them there together now.  Here are a couple of authors I’ve come across lately I’ve enjoyed a lot.

They’re thrift store books, so I’m not certain you could find them easily, but both authors have an interesting approach, plotting is tight, characterization’s good, and they hold the attention well. 

Upfield writes about an aboriginal who’s an Australian police homicide detective and his mystery solvings, along with his ethnic difficulties trying to do his job in that setting, along with his internal struggles demanding he go back to being a bushman.  Good reads.

Alexander’s a completely different bag of tricks.  He’s created a blind brother to Henry Fielding, author of Tom Jones, who’s a magistrate-cum-detective in London.  His characters include Dr. Johnson, whores, a pirate, poets, actors, and all manner of peasantry.  The narrator is actually a ‘Boswell’ sort relating the activities and events, a young teenager taken off the streets.

I don’t have enough distance from the Alexander books yet to decide whether it’s his unique and innovative setting, plotting and characterization intrigues me so much about him, or whether he’s also a damned good author.

Old Jules

11:20 AM edit:

Heck, I might as well add these since everything’s screwed up in there anyway:

Mari Sandoz – Crazy Horse, and Old Jules.  Mari’s my daughter in a previous lifetime.  Her biography of Crazy Horse is better than a lot of others about him.  Her biography of me during that lifetime is as good as you’d expect from a daughter.

Doug Stanton, In Harm’s Way is the hair-raising account of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during the last days of WWII, and the ordeals of the survivors in shark infested waters off the coast of Japan.

Dan van der Vat, The Pacific Campaign is nothing to write home about. Of the thousand-or-so books following the steps, events, tactics and strategies of the Pacific War this one ranks in the bottom third,in my estimation.

Lauro Martines, Fire in the City, is a narrative of the strange and
surprising emergence of Friar Girolamo Savonarola in Rennaisance Florence.  So little attention has been paid this fascinating man and time it’s worth the read even if you aren’t crazy about Martines’s particular style of writing and his method of organizing his material.