Friday, August 29, 2014


I went an signed a lease at an apartment one afternoon. I was going to move in the next day. But it took 4 hours to get out of the parking lot because while I was there they shut down a meth lab.

DEA, Fire Department HAZMAT, everywhere.
I thought, Oh man, I’m going to love it here.
I think at one point there had been three in operation while I lived there.
That’s the place where the manager called me in one day and said they were shutting all the drug lab people down.
She wanted to make sure I wasn’t involved because she liked me.
“Oh, no ma’am. I stay clear of those folks. When I want some dope, I go all the way across town to get it. I don’t want no one to know where I got it, or that I have it once I get home.”
And I laughed, because I said it like it was a joke, and she laughed too.
But the thing was the truth.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


I had Spring Rolls, and Yum Nua, 
a Thai Beef salad last night.
We walked out to the cars
Stood there a moment
Then it was time for goodbye
I looked in her face
And then it hit me
How far away Seattle was
How long it would take to walk there
How long it would take
If I had wings
For me to
Fly there

Then I saw her eyes
That’s when it really hit me
And I did the only thing I knew to do
Which was to bury my face in her neck
And cry and
Cry and cry
Cry, cry cry
And look back up
Bury my face in her neck and cry
Look back up
Bury my face in her neck and cry
Look back up
Bury my face in her neck and cry
Look back up
Bury my face in her neck and cry

Then finally after 20 times and I looked back up
And I laughed
“I’ve done this before, haven’t I?”
“Yes daddy”
“When I went to college and
When I went to Denver”
I said “Oh yeah” and I
Buried my face in her neck and cried.

I had had the Spring Rolls, and the
Yum Nua, a Thai Beef salad last night.
She said they might go to
Joe T’s tonight, for Mexican
Before she leaves forever in the morning.
I'll probably have the fajitas.

Friday, August 22, 2014


We have a real divide going within my Senior Class of 1975.
It seems that our class song is “Forever Young”, from Dylans 1974 release, "Planet Waves". We voted on it in 1975.
Yet somehow more than half of the class has adopted the Rod Stewart version. They are convinced, as only true Tea Party Republicans can be, that our class song "Forever Young" is written and sung by Rod Stewart.
Stewart DID did do a song called "Forever Young" but  it did not come out until 1988.
We graduated in 1975.
So, either we are experiencing some kind of time travel, or some form of revisionist history, or else my entire class sucked at math even worse than I did.
It doesnt add up, but they insist the Stewart version is OUR version.
I have offered $100 cash and a steak dinner to anyone that can produce a Pre-1976 Rod Stewart version of the song. That no one can has not deterred their belief at all.

I've heard a rumor that at the 30th Reunion, someone put on the Dylan version of Forever Young, and halfway through, someone else yanked it. How nuts is THAT?

The debate gets quite heated sometimes, and someone from the Stewart camp invariably will claim that Stewart and Dylan share the royalties for "Forever Young".
Yes, they share the royalties for Stewart's largely plagiarized 1988 version. The lyrics are almost identical, and Stewart claims he does not know how he subliminally managed to rewrite Dylans original with only a few minor changes, but to his credit his lawyers contacted Dylan and offered half credit and royalties for the Stewart version. 
Stewart DOES NOT get partial credit or royalties for Dylans 1974 original "Forever Young".
To mention this only cements the notion in that camp that I am a know-it-all asshole.
So, I have taken a new approach.
I say “I never voted for Forever Young anyway. I cast my vote in 1975 for “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey.”

They look at  me all glassy-eyed and I’m sure it does not occur to them that “Don’t Stop Believin” didn’t come out until 1981, but at this point, what’s the fucking difference? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


"Show a man what he expects to see, and he won't look beneath the surface." - Catwoman 

Sunday, August 17, 2014


I've walked down the street my whole life, sometimes smack dab in the middle. I've played football, baseball, kick the can, rode on bikes with my posse', you name it, in the middle of the street. Never, not once had a cop tell me or my buddies to get out of the street. Had some swerve to keep from hitting me, or wait until we finish our football play to pass.
But then, I aint black.

I am little suspicious that this kid didn't give the cop a hard time, maybe even belly butt him and go for his gun. But I'm equally suspicious of the lack of info the cops are rolling out here. The first shot fired in the car, then as he attempted to flee, shot in the back (autopsy disputes this), then on his knees, hands in the air when the last shots fired 35 feet away from the cruiser?(some witnesses seem to dispute this)
I'm not sure at this point any of the details even matter any more, seeing some of the images of a city blowing up on itself. I'm concerned about a police force that may not have done squat for community relations the last 100 years, and now the chickens are coming home to roost.
Explain it to me in terms where I don't sense excessive force was used.
The Detroit riots of 1967 started over less. I know, I was there.

Then, a heavily Militarized Police Force takes the street. All that does is turn the volume up.
I have some friends that up till now I thought were a little paranoid about a police state.
Not any more.
If I can't see your face and badge, you aren't a cop. 

"We rolled lighter than that in an actual war zone."
Veteran of the 82nd Airborne, commenting on police gear in Ferguson Missouri.
When I was a boy I watched 10,000 National Guard move into Detroit. They "rolled lighter" than this too.

“One Riot, One Ranger”
When I was a boy my daddy marched me to see this statue at Love Field at least twice a year when we flew back and forth to Detroit, and told me the story of Captain Jay Banks, and how black folks had rioted in Mansfield Texas, and the Rangers were called in. Jay Banks walked down Main Street and unlocked the Mayor and the Sheriff from out of the jail, while the wide-eyed negro rioters looked on
Funny thing though.
The story my daddy told me was not the real story. The real story is that The Supreme Court ordered Mansfield School District to desegregate in 1956, and the white folks rioted, even hung 3 negro dummies up over the entrance to the school. Peace was kept by sending the 3 black students to Fort Worth School District. Mansfield took another 9 years to desegregate, and only did so after losing federal funding.
The south, and my daddy, sure was funny about that kind of thing.

I don't have permission to print this image, but I'm doing it anyway. This is Captain Jay Banks, protecting the peace and dignity of Mansfield High School, while a negro dummy hangs in effigy over the entrance to the school.

1956 wasnt the only time there were racial tensions in Mansfield Texas. In 1961, John Howard Griffen, the author of "Black Like Me" moved to Mansfield. The book describes his six-week experience travelling on Greyhound buses (occasionally hitchhiking) throughout the racially segregatedstates of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia passing as a black man. The whites in Mansfield rioted again, hung black effigies in Griffens front yard, and threatened to kill him. Griffen moved.

Addendum# 2: I have located one ofthe original three students that were bussed to FWISD in 1956. His name is TL Moody, and has been a pastor at a Fort Worth church for many years.


I went through the Burger King drive through yesterday.
“I’d like the #1 Whopper with, no cheese, no ketchup, and extra veges. And a diet coke.” “Would you like cheese on that?” they always ask.
Always always always.
Sometimes they will interrupt me between “no ketchup, and extras veges “ to ask.
I try to remain polite and repeat for them:
 “No cheese, thank you, and no ketchup, with extra veges. And a diet coke”
They will repeat the part about the cheese and ketchup, but usually they get hung up on veges.
“Is that like the pickles?” they ask.
“Yes, pickles, tomato lettuce and onion”
They repeat back “ Pickles, tomato and lettuce”
“And onion” I remind them “with a diet coke and fries.

But by now I am a little worn out and I’m starting to lose patience. So when there is a 10 second stretch of silence as they ponder what a vegetable is, and then ask me again “Would you like cheese on that?”
Even though I know they are hard-wired programmed to ask me that,I’m probably not all sweetness and light when I scream “NO!”.
Then when they ask what kind of drink I’d like that just about does it for me.
But I’ve learned to take a deep breath, and in the softest most angelic voice I have “Oh! I would love a diet coke”.

But yesterday. After going through this exercise and getting to the window they weren’t done with me yet.
She handed me the bag and I asked if she had put ketchup in there for me.
“I thought you said “NO Ketchup” she says.
“Right. No ketchup on the burger.”
“So you want ketchup NOW? she says.
“Yes please, for my fries”

And that’s when she rolled her eyes. She really did.

But that’s OK. I figure I deserve it.

All those times at the Jack-in-the Box on lunch break with your 3 very stoned friends, 1975…
 Jack: “Can I take your order?”
Driver: “Ummm, yeah man, what did you want?”
Backseat #1:“A coke, a taco, and some fries”
Backseat # 2 “ Lemme have a Whataburger with no pickles and a shake and onion rings”
Driver “Dude we are at jack in the Box”
Backseat #2 “Huh?” (muffled laughter)
Driver: “Dude, I’m trying to order, we are at Jack-in-the Box, get a fucking grip”
Backseat #2 “Is that where they have the big Macs?” (car explodes with laughter)

And it just goes downhill from there, right?
Once you started laughing, that was it.
How we didn’t starve, I don’t know.

Thursday, August 07, 2014


Back when I was married, my wife would ask me every now and then if we could have a baby.
Finally one day she asked and I said “Well, OK, go ahead and stop taking your pills”.
She was so happy!
Then I got home from work that day, and she had all these books, and calendars, and thermometers and stop watches and big Q-Tips and stuff.
Man, she was a real go-getter! I’d be having a cigarette after, ya know, and she would look at her watch and say “Ok, time to go again!”
It sure didn’t take very long to make a baby.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014


"The Grieving Parents", a sculpture by artist Kathe' Kollwitz who lost a son to WWI.
I saw this sculpture 20 some years ago on a documentary, and was moved by the amount of grief the artist has rendered without much detail. It stuck with me, and over the years I tried to find it again. I just found the artist and this image last week.

The way the father holds himself, and the lack of any emotion on is face reminds me of my own father.

They say the face of the mother is that of Kathe'.


Kathe Kollwitz was informed of her son’s death in action on 30 October. ‘Your pretty shawl will no longer be able to warm our boy,’ was the touching way she broke the news to a close friend. To another friend she admitted, ‘There is in our lives a wound which will never heal. Nor should it.’
By December 1914 Kollwitz, one of the foremost artists of her day, had formed the idea of creating a memorial to her son, with his body outstretched, ‘the father at the head, the mother at the feet’, to commemorate ‘the sacrifice of all the young volunteers’. As time went on she attempted various other designs, but was dissatisfied with them all. Kollwitz put the project aside temporarily in 1919, but her commitment to see it through when it was right was unequivocal. ‘I will come back, I shall do this work for you, for you and the others,’ she noted in her diary in June 1919.

Twelve years later, she kept her word: in April 1931 she was at last able to complete the sculpture. ‘In the autumn – Peter, – I shall bring it to you,’ she wrote in her diary. Her work was exhibited in the National Gallery in Berlin and then transported to Belgium, where it was placed, as she had promised, adjacent to her son’s grave. There it rests to this day.