Monterey

You Have the Mark of Cain in your Underwear

I swear on all that is Holy that I have seen the light. It’s a black light though. The kind you don’t want to turn on in a cheap hotel.

I have been disheartened before, but never like this.

As a musician most of my heroes were black. Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Sammy Davis Jr., Miles Davis, John Coltrane,  Howling Wolf… I could go on for days. The music you hear today, YOUR favorite song,  came from these people. I have stood onstage playing with the Shirelles, the first black girl group. Sam Moore, the Soul Man himself. Gene Chandler, The Duke of Earle.

miles_davis_by_mariapicasso-d54jonm

Miles Davis

I’m not saying that I don’t have just as many white musical gods. Van Halen, David Gilmour, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, THE SCORPIONS! They are soulful players and writers.(Ok that’s a stretch for the Scorps but they made me want to play guitar in the first place) You can draw a line from a Black Southern Baptist Revival to your favorite song.

Little Richard invented Rock and Roll. A homosexual black man during the 50’s. Thank him when you turn on your stereo. Thank him twice when the stereo does the same thing to you.


When the first rehearsal came with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Sam Moore. I shook his hand and told him I couldn’t come up with the words to tell him what an honor it was to be playing behind him. The man popped out classic tune after classic tune. Hold On, I’m Comin’, When Something is wrong with my Baby, I Thank You, Soothe Me, Soul  Sister, Brown Sugar, and yeah, I’m a Soul Man. He has recorded and performed with Springsteen, He has performed at the White House, and He is a National Treasure.  It was like a Catholic getting to have an hour long conversation with the Pope.

I have a tattoo of the Rat Pack on the back of my arm. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. One night at a Casey IL bar, the local meth head wanted to see my tattoo sleeves. I was happy to show her. When we got to Sammy Davis she asked, and I quote “Why would you put a nigger on your arm?” I rolled down my shirt sleeve and said “Do they still make people like you?”

They do. They were closer than I thought. She looked down on one of the greatest entertainers of our time. What had she done to feel superior? Sammy was missing an eye, she was missing her teeth.

My buddy George always warned any black singer I was recording with about going into Greenup. I told him that was his generation. If I was to walk into the local bars with a black friend I would have laid money that she would be greeted with nothing but kindness. Bullshit. George was right. She would be considered a spook, jungle bunny, nigger, because the pigment in her skin is darker than the yellow hue of the alcoholic at the end of the bar with pickled liver disease. Greenup, IL has a population of about thirty-five-hundred people in it. I used to believe that most people were naturally good people. Hell I used to believe that most of America was good.

I was dumbfounded by a friend who turns out doesn’t like my Girlfriend because she is 1/2 Chinese, a woman, gorgeous & smart. A woman who is unafraid of a misogynistic gun nut who wonders why he can’t get a date? Maybe it’s because you have narrowed it down to only white folks.Then mark out anyone outside of the Cumberland Co. area. Then funnel the ones out who have progressive ideas, then funnel the ones out who will put up with me Tarzan you Jane attitude. Prick.

10801535_10204469688800879_266464568913662442_n

A close friend, loving, sweet, bad-ass, highly educated, model, and I won’t bring her to my local bar for fear of someone embarrassing me in front of my friend. Sucks being a racist. I think she’s single.

I saw a large group of people who sleep like babies, go to church, and somehow can overlook admitted sexual assault, hate, bigotry, removing women’s rights, fear of Blacks and Latinos. Scared of the Muslim religion. Somehow thinking that the migrant workers picking the veggies that they buy at Walmart for pennies are ruining America as they drive through a boarded up downtown business district because they didn’t support the local businesses.

Ever wonder why you get these products so cheap? The people you look down on make them, pick them, and load them on the trucks. If you are dying for the chance to take those jobs for America, I bet they would put you on. You could get a job picking strawberries anytime.

If these minorities have it so great, I ask you; would you trade places with them? No. Their work is too hard and a dollar an hour plus twenty-five cents a basket doesn’t lend itself to weekend trips to Branson.

I have watched interviews about the Presidential Election from both sides. I get it. You care about the economy, about your health care, about your jobs.Understandable, but you also sold out a lot of people in the process.

You bought an absurd idea that a giant wall is going to built around the southern border of the US. Fear, mistrust, self imposed ignorance and lies. My question is; how can you as members of the human race overlook, admitted sexual assault against women, race baiting, anti-intellectualism, fear mongering and hatred? Our President ran on that platform.

Does anyone remember the outrage of a Muslim man making his wife wear a burka? Trump will put a Supreme Court Judge in place and he will figuratively and literally have his hand on your pussy, and there is nothing you can do about it.

If the voting record shows us anything, 50% didn’t care enough to vote; about 25% voted pro sexual predator. Fuck you. You are disgusting. I won’t forgive Brock Turner and I won’t forgive sexual assault from anyone. I have no idea how it has been justified. But it was.

brockturner

Brock Turner. Rapist, elite, and ready for Congress. Brock tells it like it is.

Most Presidents have a 100 day plan. Ideas they want done quickly. For the most part we nod our head and say “Yeah! This is the stuff that didn’t get done the last time! (Not always a reflection on the previous President) This will help and makes us a stronger, better country for it.”  Not that we all agree, but we all agree that we want what is best. So we hope the policies are put in place.

These policies are based on hate and xenophobia. I in no way shape or form want a single one of Trump’s policies to pass. We have stepped back. Women will be fighting again for the rights they once had.

Our Vice-President has put laws in place in his state to discriminate against gays based upon which God you pray to. I’m an atheist; I wouldn’t serve any of you mother fuckers.

He is a climate change denier, and believes the Earth is 6000 years old. This makes him a 6th grade Earth Science Textbook denier as well.3528781_s1_i3

I root for the home team and honestly hope that I will eat crow and swallow my words as Trump finds out a way to give us world peace, stop starvation and cures cancer. I will carve his mug in Mount Rushmore with a spoon all by myself.

1964 Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death in New York City over a period of forty-five minutes.  Thirty-seven people heard her cries for help and some actually saw the stabbing and watched as Genovese crawled around the corner only to have her attacker return to finish the task of stabbing her to death. No one called the police and no one came to her aid. Apathy killed Kitty Genovese. The ability to block out the cries of a dying woman. It’s happening again only this time it’s the world that is being stabbed. We closed our windows and turned up the TV.

xxkitty_genovesex400

1964 Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death in New York City over a period of forty-five minutes.

Sleep well but know when you get up tomorrow you have made someone else’s life harder than it was yesterday. Explain that shit to Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates, explain it to your daughter. I don’t want to hear it. You have the mark of Cain in your underwear. All the Tide© in the world won’t remove this shit.

Apathy, hypocrisy, and heartlessness will destroy America, not an illegal immigrant.


Hey do me a solid and subscribe and like my blog. Even better, let’s talk about it.  I don’t mind debate, and I’ve been known to change my mind from time to time if the correct argument is made. Thanks for reading! It’s Hip To SHARE!

Advertisements

Will Donald and Hillary please report to the Principal’s Office

Political rant: When I was in school Dr. Pat Smith, the grade school principal, could make you piss yourself with just the sound of his voice. That baratone voice over the intercom would leave you shaking in your cowboy boots. The last pair I have ever owned.
 
I was called into the Principal’s office for name calling between myself and another kid. We were told that he wasn’t going to put up with crap like that in his school and if he hears it again there will be a couple of red asses going back to my 3rd grade classroom.
 
71350-004-75e35ff9

Baldy, Cripple, and Commie.

 

Those same traits that Dr. Smith squashed would have labeled me as immature, but not a liar. I told him I did do it. This can be blown off for being 10 years old. But even as a ten year old, I knew it was wrong. I had a Mom who taught us manners and respect.

 
So does grade school immaturity instill confidence in any leader? Especially one wanting to run the free world? Things that would get you detention should be taken care of before you are considered for office. I don’t vote for 3rd grade kids either.
 

Lets try something new. We are a great nation. We do have problems. Nothing is perfect. But why not show some integrity and instead of stooping to others, why not accept the fact that we live in a hell of a nice place and use our policies to bring Washington up to our level and accepting nothing less.

tantrum-illustration-8-091-300x245

Vote for me! I have what it takes to be your leader!

 
Pretend you are in a hotel and the air conditioner doesn’t work. Do you hit FB? Makeup memes? Point at the owner and say he’s anti gay? No we ask for a better room, and it’s expected and they give it to you. But we don’t demand ‘Customer Service’ from our soon to be and former leaders.
 
Later in life Dr. Smith became a friend and morning coffee buddy. He made fun of my liberal ways daily. He would have never stood for this shit. Why should we? Dr. Smith You’ve pissed me off, you raised your voice when I would contradict you, and I miss it. I hope you have your feet up on the desk of whatever Heaven means to you. Amazing what maturity does. From intimidated child to drinking black coffee with a frenemy. 
 
If Trump takes a stupid tweet, tweet back “Just stop it” If Hillary takes to Facebook, she needs to be told to “Stop right now.” They have treated us like children long enough. We have fallen for it and I’m stopping.  Take them apples Mr. Poopy Pants

Help a brother out and give this a  “like” and a “share” Your mom would be proud of your good deed.

You can’t hold a job, and you have erectile dysfunction, and you beat your Wife!

I’ve become obsessed with Automata. It’s the art of engineering and making machines that move either by a motor or a hand crank. A Cuckoo Clock is Automata.  So is a toaster.

I have a macabre image of building a found art Automata of a circus freak show. My first project will be a man hammering a nail into his skull. Yep. I’m going to go through a huge learning curve of gears, ratios, cogs, and a lot of frustration to make a piece of art (shit) that I won’t tell my Shrink about.

My lady, Lisa has twin girls and a little boy all within a year apart; roughly the same ages, in fact two of them are exactly the same ages. She asked me last night “Why don’t you make something I’d let my kids look at?”

I said, “What? Like Santa?”

“Yeah”

67207a8d5c58ecee46f202ae5edf010cI could do that. I might do that. Make it an angel. My Mom collects angels and I’m broke so I have to give her homemade gifts (which are the best.)

But you know what would be cooler to make? A machine that makes a lady turn into a gorilla before your very eyes. Which would you rather see? Santa, or gorilla woman? I thought so.

I’m 100% American in loving to see someone suffer. We live for this as a nation. We are closet sadists in La-Z-Boy Recliners. Let’s flip on the tube and watch the new season of the Voice/American Idol/America’s Got Talent. It’s the new season and I want to see people who think they have talent be shamed in front of the world.

If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a million times. “You should be on American Idol”

Here is how AI works.

  • Open casting call. Come on down.
  • Wait in line for your turn to meet the first people who will judge you. Mainly on looks and some sort of hook, like single crack baby mother who found Jesus. Then you sing and they either blackball you for any number of reasons, talent being a very small part or move you on to the next judges…and on and on.
  • By the time you are standing in front of three has been Celebrities, they know your story, they know ahead of time if you suck. In fact, you have been passed on simply because you are suck! Earlier that day they have sent Aretha Franklin home because she’s too black and too fat.
  • If you succeed then they put you on a multi million dollar stage with the best equipment and the best band you’ll find. Then we sit and wait for your amateur voice to crack in front of the Nation, and tweet each other as we watch their dreams get crushed.

I like to see that kind of shit too. Cracks me up. The nastier the better.
I know this gal, well I don’t KNOW her but I know a lot about her. She was 22. She fell in love with her boss. Her boss was married. The wife didn’t know a thing about it.

Vitrail_Cathédrale_de_Moulins_160609_59

Judas being a prick.

Her ‘Friend’ set her up like the Judas she was. She claimed to be her friend but never was or ever intended to be. She gained her trust, talked about it on the phone nightly. Everything was spilled. She didn’t hold back while confiding in her friend.

The ‘Friend’ came out one day and explained proudly, how she had set this young girl up. She told everyone each and every sordid detail of the affair. She had records and recordings that she had made. Her friend RECORDED their heart to heart conversations to use against her.

The husband deserted her. Threw her under the bus. Claimed he didn’t know shit.
She was eventually to become the butt of every joke in town. And sixteen years later she’s being shamed again. For the sins of almost two decades ago when she was at an age where she couldn’t even rent a car. She’s in her freakin’ 40’s now! Only the petty wouldn’t drop it.  Like any old joke, it wasn’t that funny to begin with. If you don’t know who I’m talking about I’ll spill the entire beans at the end of the article.

I can’t throw stones. I’d be willing to bet neither can you. Have you been ,or do you currently know of a moral crime that would crush someone if they knew about it? Do you tell them as a  concerned citizen?. A friend, a spouse, a girlfriend or boyfriend, a boss, a co-worker. I’d also be willing to bet that we all have done something to be ashamed of. Most of it while we were young. Before we really knew any better.

There is a kid just north of me who raped a passed out girl behind a dumpster until two guys came along and stopped him. He was given a sentence of six months because the Judge felt like the boy had way too much going for him that he didn’t want to ruin this boy’s life by giving him 20 years. He got out in three months. The father had written a letter to the judge stating that the boy was so depressed he couldn’t even eat his steak. And he loves steak.

CkKYJxwUYAAriIn

Daddy’s Letter

That sentence and the Judge and Father’s re-victimization of this raped girl was nothing but the Justice System failing.

We love suffering. But not like this. I don’t know anyone who would ever even think “Well she was asking for it by over drinking, or the way she was dressed” That would be the most heartless thing you can say to this woman.

Of course she wasn’t asking for it! She was the victim of a horrible crime.

I don’t get political in these posts. I’m not going to right now. I have seen signs and memes for over a year that say something like “HILLARY SUCKS, BUT NOT AS MUCH AS MONICA!”

132firSo we are blaming Hillary for her husband’s infidelity now? Isn’t this re-victimizing the victim?

Vote how you want but show some empathy if you can’t muster up the class.

Monica Lewinsky did a TED talk (ugh) on shame.  She based it on the quote from Dr. Brene’ Brown. “Shame can’t survive empathy.”

20 years ago a girl fell in love with her boss and we feel like we have a right to never forgive. Hop on our high horse and gallop from the Oval Office to your living room. It’s just someone with blood, a heart,and a beret. It’s ok because we hid the many hats we wear everyday in the back of the closet. Some place where no one will see. After all it’s our business and we don’t want to become the butt of the joke.

But she’s a slut!

And you can’t hold a job, and you have erectile dysfunction, and you beat your wife, You like midget porn, you are a bully, you killed someone with your car, and you were arrested for shoplifting, you are a bad mother, You smoked pot in college, You lied to your boss,  You are on welfare, You are a heartless cold SON-OF-A-BITCH!

Print it on a T-shirt for all to see, but no fair mentioning anything else.Things like, I was a kid, I was stupid, I didn’t know any better, I didn’t know till it was too late, I don’t know what I was thinking, I chickened out, I was scared, I’m ashamed or I was a prick. Just the facts.

America loves blood and it seems like sometimes our thirst for it can’t quenched. Hooray for us.

 

Help a brother out and ‘Like’ and “Share” this piece of drivel.  Leave a comment. I’ll pretty much discuss anything. What I don’t know I’ll make up.

~A

Chicken Sh*t Bingo Parlor to Open In Carmel Valley

“The meanest thing God ever put on this Earth is an old woman with a shopping cart” L. Eagleson

Boy howdy. I’m driving a back road this morning and come to a one lane bridge, with another car about to cross on the other side. This is a test of character. A way to read a man’s true soul.

My home town of Greenup is built on the National Trail. A section of highway that isn’t as famous as Rt66. In fact it’s Highway 40. It’ll take you from Washington DC to Utah. There is a section of the old road called “Old 40” as opposed to the highway. It runs right next to the Fairgrounds and just as fast as taking 40.

We have a one lane bridge just past the Fairgrounds. It is Cumberland County’s Historic

download

EST 1990

Covered Bridge. A true piece of Cumberland County history. I know! I remember when they built it in the 1990’s. Before that was a one lane cement bridge.  It blew up real good!

 

When two people met at the bridge, one had to pull off to the side signaling to the person across the bridge that you saw them and were letting them go first. After all if you were in a hurry you would take the interstate.

It would about come to blows over who allows who to go first. Two people sitting off to the side of the road waving at each other to go first. The words “Go asshole” behind each of their respective smiles. Finally after either an exaggerated wave that says “YOU MUST GO BECAUSE I’M NOT MOVING UNTIL YOU ACCEPT MY HOSPITALITY!” or after each person waves twice does one of them say “Okay…” and crosses. Then you wave politely to the person sitting on the side who in turn waves back. Good morning. I have done my good deed for the day.

Then you have the guy who doesn’t slow down because he wants to get his toilet paper and Copenhagen 15 seconds earlier. No one minds. You were going to give him the right of way anyhow. He just skipped the ceremony.  You wave a polite wave as he crosses. You are Brother’s in Arms when it comes to a one lane road. 99% of the time he will wave back.

Maybe this is a show of dominance, but it usually is some young kid with his sleeves cut off, a hat that advertises DeKalb fertilizer, and Steve Miller blasting in mono at full volume from a pick-up truck with a dog kennel in the back and a coffee can wired around6086bb645d38871e87a7e221878da284 the hole in his exhaust pipe. His folks taught him better. He’s a kid. Don’t cage him yet. The world will pound him into submission soon enough. Drive free boy! Turn that 88’ Silverado into wings and fly!

The guy this morning got to the one lane bridge down in Moneyville and took off across it. You really have to go slow over it. So I waved with my hand sitting on top of the steering wheel. The man looked right at me with a nonplussed  expression. Both hands still on the wheel. A snub.

This calls for inner-country boy to come out. So I waved REAL BIG! The kind of wave you do when you see an old friend across the street that you haven’t seen in years. Nothing…

This is a serious breach of protocol. I plan on getting up early tomorrow and waiting at the bridge. I’ll block it with my car sideways like the State Cops (CHiPS). Then I will run up and pull him out of his car, and I will wrestle him into submission using my non-existent MMA skills for giving me the virtual F*** YOU from yesterday.” With his head firmly between

promo251757623

“Didn’t your Mama teach you any better???”

my crossed legs and his arm an inch from being broken because of my arm bar hold, I will teach him lessons I learned. Complete with local down home flavor.

 

Things like “That dog don’t hunt!” “Shit fire” & “Boy! You bit off more than you can chew.” Interspersed with various swear words and uncorroborated observations about his mother.

These are the things I’m holding onto.

  • “Somebody’s not stirring the Kool Aid” – Story does not add up
  • “I think you are telling me a western” – A lie
  • “Sum Bitch” A greeting or a sign of frustration or great amusement.
  • “Who is f***’n this chicken anyhow?” – I’d like to know who is in charge of this project? [edit] I mistakenly used an incorrect description. This actually is to be used as “I am in charge.” it is meant to end any discussion on a project.
  • “Sheeeeeeeiiiiiiittttttt! – means nothing, just a great way to break the ice.
  • “I’d rather have a Mother in the whorehouse than have a Republican as a Brother-In Law.” – I adamantly disagree with the Republican Party .
  • “It’s colder than a well digger’s ass” – The temperature outside is frigid.

I think I told my friend Lisa a whole story about a night out in High School without using a single intelligible phrase. About the time I got to the part where I was with Aaron as he was “cuttin’ cats asses” in the school yard; she stopped me.  I assured her no cats were harmed and it was simply Aaron and a scared shitless Sam doing donuts with his Mom’s station wagon in front of the school.

Yeah, I pronounce ‘tire’ as ‘tarr’ and ‘oil’ as ‘oral’ and if you have a hound with you I’ll probably tell you what a good lookin ‘dough-g’ ya got there. But I’m gonna wave you through a 4 way stop, or let you go over the bridge first (unless you are driving a little blue smart car of some sort)91-exl

I think I joined a band yesterday. My first California band. I’m in it with a guy from Maine and a dude from Oregon.

Maine cowboys. Great guys. It’s tear in your beer country but what the hell, I’m not looking for a date anyway.

-A.

I’m going to link Matt Poss’s song’ Three Bricks Shy’ here. He wrote it in college after explaining mushroom hunting to his roommates from Chicago. “What do you hunt them with? A knife?” Matt grew up 20 miles from me. This is home.

If you have a good country saying, post it in the comments below. Also Like and Share. How am I going to make a living if you don’t like and share???

I’m considering putting up a Chicken Shit Bingo parlor in Carmel Valley Village. Nothing says classy like having a permanent Chicken Shit Bingo cage in your establishment.

 

Sushi?! Back home we call that ‘Bait’

My lady was eating sushi the other day. It reminded me of the saying “we call that ‘bait’” but not always… There are guys back home that do a type of fishing called Hoggin’.

Hoggin’ is where you and a buddy, go down to the river and you hop in the water and feel around for a hole or a hollow log. Catfish spend most of their time sedentary and laying in a hole or a hollow log.

When you find that hole you hold your breath and go underwater and then proceed to stick your arm into a hole that you can’t see because of the muddy waters that flow down the Embarras (am-BRA) River. If you are lucky, the catfish will attack you in an effort to escape the hole and it bites your hand. Then you hold onto its mouth and yank it out of the water. It’s very eco-friendly.

fishing-bait-mackerel-0009__large-body

Fish Bait not Sushi.

A catfish is really nothing to mess with. They have TEETH! These guys can pull out monster fish. Unlucky Hoggers can lose a finger to a snapping turtle, snakes, or a muskrat all of which also like to live in the abandoned catfish holes. These men have more courage or less sense than I will ever have. They fish with integrity.

When I was a kid there were two certainties in life

  • Muhammad Ali was always the Champion.
  • Evel Knievel was the toughest man ever.

May 26, 1975. Wembley Arena, London UK. Evel Knievel will jump over thirteen busses. His farthest jump ever.

Earlier that day Evel walks into the empty arena. He was wearing his leathers from the night before, he smells of alcohol and loose women, having been on a bender the past few days. Standing with the ABC Wide World of Sports crew was announcer Frank Gifford.

Frank says “how ya doin’ Evel?” with a knowing chuckle.

Evel replies “I’m feelin’ kinda crispy around the edges Frank.”

Evel takes a look at the thirteen busses and turns to Frank and says “I can’t jump that.”

Frank shocked at Evel’s comment says “WHAT??!”

Evel replies calmly, “I can’t jump that far.”

Frank Says “Come on Evel, let’s get the hell out here. We’ll come up with something.”

Evel says “No no no. I said I was gonna jump. I’m gonna jump. What do you want me to do? Give all these people their money back?”

Ninety-thousand people have filled the arena. Evel steps out of his trailer red, white and mostly blue leathers, cape and cane in hand. Flashbulbs are popping, The American National Anthem is blasting out the PA and fireworks are lighting up the air.

Evel mounts his bike. Not a Japanese crotch rocket, but a heavy ole’Harley Davidson. He
revves up the bike and takes off ,popping wheelies and putting on a show for the crowd who’ve come to see this former white-trash, county fair stuntman.

article-1236278-0260B0F3000004B0-212_634x412_popup

May 26th, 1975. Wembley Arena

Evel rides up the edge of the landing ramp and gazes across. The take-off ramp is a stretched rubber band that fades off into the rafters. He takes a run at the ramp but at the last minute he turns and speeds by, milking the suspense and bringing the crowd to frenzy like only a dirt-track-carnie can.

Evel takes one more false run before hitting his ramp and roaring his Harley up the bleachers to the top platform where he turns, then pulls the front wheel right to the edge of the ramp.

Evel is now looking at a ribbon of plywood that ends where the thirteen busses start. He can see completely across the distance he has to jump. He in his mind he knows he’s not going to make it.

With a deep breath and a quick prayer, Evel gives his crew the thumbs up. It’s a go!

Evel guns the Harley and screams down the nearly vertical ramp! He’s helling down at top speed! The crowd is on its feet. The screaming is deafening! More flashbulbs pop as Evel hits the end of the ramp and into history!!!!! Now THAT is integrity.

Muhammad Ali died yesterday.

In my mind there are still two certainties.

  • Muhammad Ali will always be the Champion of the World.
  • Evel Knievel will always be the toughest man ever.

You can’t say they weren’t men of their word.

Mom and Dad let me stay up late and watch Ali fight on TV late in his career. That was pretty cool.


Hey do me a solid and hit ‘follow’ and ‘like’ I’d love to meet some of the weirdos who read this drivel. Leave me a hello or something in the comments. 

Even the President has to Stand Naked.

Three upscale society ladies were having brunch at the Russian Tea Room in Manhattan.

Much to their chagrin, a Southern woman asks to sit with them as she is from out-of-town and alone.

The Southern woman asks “Where ya’ll from?”

One of the upscale ladies places her cup back into her saucer and without looking up replies “We are from a place where we don’t end our sentences in prepositions.”  Her friends smugly smiling into their tea.

The Southern woman took a sip of her tea and placed it on her saucer and replied, “Please forgive me. Let me restate my question. Where ya’ll from bitch?”


The culture shock hasn’t gone unnoticed. The weekends are filled with day trippers. Ladies in carefully thought out “oh, this old thing” light spring dresses complete with matching jacket and shawl, walk casually down the street.  They walk through the village and stop in the wine tasting rooms and admiring the quaint ambiance of an artist colony full of purple-footed grape mashers.b3557

I don’t think I’m fitting in. In Greenup, I am very liberal. Here I see where rules that I thought were universal are not. Such as respect.

“Don’t say ‘Hon’ to the fem-nazi’s here. That lady looked kind of pissed.”

My answer? Fuck her.’Hon’ is a benign term of endearment given when I don’t know your name and if you are a woman. It’s what words like ‘buddy’ and ‘My Man!’ are meant when dealing with a stranger who I don’t know who happens to be a guy. I refuse to believe in pointless outrage.

Show me proof of someone actually pissed because you told them Merry Christmas and I’ll show you someone with a stick so far up their ass they could be a scarecrow. You are out voted! Saying nice things to one another should be the freest of free speech. I say it and I’m an atheist. Beats a poke in the eye any day.

Vigilante justice, or the gold ‘ole ass kicking. It’s like they have never heard of using violence to solve your problems??!! The fear of being called on your buillshit should be real.

When someone is speaking out of turn, they expect not to be confronted with a conflicting point of view. Like a two black eyes, because I had to tell ya twice, kind of justice. Nothing like the fear of being hurt to make you think about your choice of words.

Attitude adjustment. Equalizers “If he’s too big, get a bat!” The throwdown. How will we know the line in the sand without two guys puffing their chests like peacock feathers. A bro-down.

They used to have ‘Bro-Downs’ all the time in Robinson IL. Two farm boys would stand outside in the parking lot of the club.Each are being ‘held back’ by a gal who weighs a buck-o-five. Played that joint for twenty years. Never saw a punch thrown. I miss it though. If you are ever through there, stop in the Main St. Pub and say hi to Sherry for me. Don’t worry, you are safe from violence there.

There is a lot to learn. I’m not a fan of wine. I never expected to be in California, let alone here. Maybe I can summon the spirit of Steinbeck. I think I’ll write Of Mice and Men. I snow-bunnyremember pretty much how that story goes. I won’t ruin it for you, but I remember there is a guy who keeps Vaseline in his glove so his hand is soft for the ladies. That with the “I’ll love him and squeeze him and call him George…” from the Bugs Bunny cartoons I watched in my youth, toss in an action scene or two. We got ourselves a humdinger of a story.

I listen weekly to the songs the songs I need to finish but just can find the words. I’m still blocked. In the interim I heard the master tapes to my close friend Tommy Dunn and Ike Edwards new album. Once again, great songwriting and performance. Check out their stuff. Mustache. This is the best kept secret in the world. I really mean that. These guys could stand toe to toe with any band and hold their heads high.

Tommy said something that I can totally relate to. He said he played and the most he could hope for was to impress his peers. Me being one of them. I’m honestly honored that he thought that much of me to even mention it.

I am just like Tommy. No matter what I have done, the shows I’ve played, the people I’ve played them with, It was the guys I looked to that I always wanted the respects from. The Three G’s, Greg, George and Garrie. I’ve stood nose to nose with George Lynch (guitar god from the 80’s) held my own and the dude I wanted to impress most is my neighbor and my buddies Rod and Doug. They are the ones who answered my questions and let me pester them into showing me something until I could start figuring it out myself.  Every note I have ever played came through them. Like shit through a goose.

Prince died this week. Every band on YouTube was playing Purple Rain. Iconic song, I played it for years myself.  I would have played Darling Nikki, I Want to B UR Lover, or Computer Blue. That’s how you solo brother!

Prince had a strange fame. He took all the best parts of Little Richard, Sly Stone, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Kung Fu, Shaft and Super Fly, and unapologetically put them together and invented a five foot funk machine, His Royal Badness, the former-artist-formally- known-as Prince.

He’s the one guy who, throughout his entire career, it was OK to like. Sure, you had your Ted Nugent dudes who don’t know the difference between a good guitar player and an Susanna-Hoffs-with-The-Bangles-550x310amazing musician. But he was cool, because he was boinking all the stars you wish you were boinking. Like Suzanna Hoffs from the Bangles…Ok so you can’t argue that. He puts on an amazing show, complete with great songs.  Ya got me there…

He has the majesty of a Las Vegas show in his pants. Canned heat in his heels and oh yeah, he can blow you away on the guitar. This is when it hits you that there are people better than you in this world. And I’m not talking about guitars. He is simply better than everyone.

His daily life is better than any vacation you will ever have. And we’re Ok with that. He’s transcended the American Dream and now lives the life of luxury in a palace of his own making. Too bad it’s in God for sakin’ Minnesota.  No one said he didn’t deserve it. He was the Willie Wonka of music. He produced the most wonderful flavors.

When you didn’t hear from him in awhile, you assumed he was off somewhere making purple music while wearing a smoking jacket, and a bevy of white women at his feet. Somewhere between Dante`s Inferno and the Care Bears Christmas. Both having their own foot in Hell.

There was a lot to being “Prince” but there are something’s that your assistant can’t do for you. At some point Prince sat down and dialed in the sounds he recorded. He was sitting on the floor with his pedal board. He was tuning that guitar and cutting the solo to Lets Go Crazy. The dude sitting alone and writing with a pad of paper and an acoustic guitar. “Even the President has to stand naked.”~ Bob Dylan

There could be a far out parable about Of Mice and Men’s main characters George, who has the burden of the simple minded Lennie to deal with. Prince let us pet it and love it and squeeze it and then a bullet to your head.

Prince is gone. Purple bunnies are chasing him. They are coming to dig him.

  • Robert Duvall and Prince have a separation of #3.

We were just outside of Barstow when the drugs started kicking in…

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was made into a movie that stars Johnny Depp. JD was in Don Juan Demarco with Marlon Brando. Marlon Brando is the Godfather and his consigliere, Tom Hagen was played by Robert Duvall who was in the Great Santini, which is possibly the best movie ever made. Right up there with Lonesome Dove.

What the hell does that have to do with me? Col. Bull Meechem liked to hit the road before sun up. Me too.

Traffic is light, the music sounds clearer, you smell like coffee, cigarettes 12901459_180644418993331_5627199759655942339_oand traveling. Cat traveling. Traveling with Milton the cat couldn’t have gone smoother, it was like menthol. Cool and nice.

The first time I ever crossed any farther west than St. Louis MO I was 21. I loved the open road. Steel belts on asphalt. The next cheezy landmark. “the Buford Pusser Museam is only and hour and a half out of our way??? Lets go!” and “Pull off here, There is a guy who puts on a christian parrot act!”

The town I lived in had signs for “Merrimac Caverns 200 miles away” painted on the roof of barns up and down Rt40.

I thraveled (sic) west with two books that time. “The Mother Road Rt66” and “Roadside America” a listing of all the giant balls of twine, white squirrels (Yes Olney Illinois, You were there) and Michillan Man statues that used to pepper the American landscape like ticks on a dog.

Doug and I took pictures of the things we had seen only in one of these books.He keeps everything. I keep nothing.

The billboards promised us authentic hillbilly carved nut bowls. The radio was selling autographed copies of the Last Supper. I could get a free 72 ounce steak if I could eat it. It was just about a days drive to get it. The yellow Jack Rabbit Trading Post signs counted down the miles when Doug wasn’t. Television started speaking a little Spanish. The grass was gone. There were the buttes and the mountains I had only seen in movies. That’s some pretty cool shit when you have never seen it.13015552_204074199983686_7090931735159582288_n

The Highway Beautification Act. It stopped the signs that littered our ribbon of highway and replaced is with Subway NEXT EXIT. No shit. There is always a Subway next exit. Here I am, having a nostalgic moment about nostalgia.

I’m no Tom Joad, no matter what ever romantic fantasize run through my clouded noggin. I have an accent here. I don’t understand. A man guessed Louisiana.

It’s blues music. I have always felt that American guitarists are better blues players by far than the British. Yeah, I know they rediscovered the music and gave it back. We appreciate it my fog-breathing friends. Let me buy you a beer.Migrants_car_Lange_1936_dbloc_crop

I’m a white kid from the rural midwest. We were also not far from the path traveled by, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Willie Dixon, etc… During the northern migration of poor blacks in the south. I have known men with thick southern accents. I have seen cotton, I have seen delta, I have seen the McDonald’s on the Crossroads where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Leg-Buh.

As liberal as I am, I find the midwest and my friends and culture taking over. I’m living in an artist community. They know me as Arlo. I know Claudia at Kathy’s Diner. Bana from the middle east. Gay Stephen. I don’t really know them. I know their names. Gay Stephen and I even had a moment.

GS was the guy at the Verizon Store. He’s saying a fact about something, and it related to a fact I knew about guitar strings and without blinking an eye he said “Super Slink-ayyys!” We fist bumped as brothers of the guitar. Though I use Fender nickle wound on my Tele.

There is “soul” inherated by simply being there. chicken, cornbread, black coffee. I’m the only one who says “Hello pretty lady.” or “Fine. How are you?” They look and sound shocked. These people are fuckin’ rich around here. Not the “one night the band ate in the corner with other rich people.” These guys are 24/7/365 and a 1/4 days a year! I’m in way over my head.

When we saw a rodeo ad on TV she said “That is so cruel” I’m thinking “How else are those guys supposed to brand those calves?”

I want a bar. One that smells of cigarettes and stale beer, desperation and alcoholism. I miss my friends. I miss some of the women I have known that I probably won’t ever see again. I gave my heart to each and every one and though we will still talk I doubt I’ll feel their hugs, smell their hair and listen as I tell them I love them. It was never a lie. You know who I’m talking to, because I never said anything but I love you. I would have done anything for you. We didn’t breach the subject much, just in jokes and passing but I would have traded my life for yours.

Clint Eastwood lives here.

shortendsleader-clinteastwood-500-splsh