i A Time and a Place...: January 2006

Monday, January 30, 2006

Remembering Hank...

I was over at BWH's site and read about Long John Hunter, the Blues man and it got me to thinking about the past. I mean the far past! It made me remember the most exciting day, up to that time, of my life; The day I shared a bottle of booze with Hank Williams!

When I was 12 to 14 I used to go to the Riverbank Club House dance hall, a big barn in the little town of Riverbank. I grew up in Modesto and Riverbank was about ten or so miles from Modesto.

A local disc-jockey named Chester Smith rented the dance hall in Riverbank and contracted for big name Hillbilly singers to come there. Marty Robbins, Johnny and Jack and Kitty Wells, Hank Snow, Lefty Frizzel and a lot more came there during a three year period. But I guess the best of them to come there was Hank Williams. I think it was in 1951.

The club house was a great big barn affair that had been finished inside and had a large band stand in the far end, straight back from the door. No drinking of alcoholic beverages was allowed inside. That way us kids, along with anyone else who had a buck and a quarter, could get in and dance and listen to the music. It was great! (The photo above isn't Riverbank.)

In my younger days I drank mostly Seagram Seven Crown straight whiskey. That is, whenever the other boys and I could get someone to buy it for us.

My step brother, Floyd, and Donald and Utah and I usually went to the dance together. We did on the night Hank Williams was there. We got there after the music had started and took a drink apiece and went inside and looked for a seat.

The seats were benches that ran along each wall and there were a few tables. We were about as young as anyone who went to the dance there. Needless to say, some of us didn't do much dancing!

Anyhow, Hank was singing when we went in and I found a place to stand where I could watch him. He had on his white suit with white cowboy boots and a white cowboy hat, like the suit in the photo above. (Come to think of it, it might have been his brown suit) He looked great, even though he was skinny as a rail! And he sounded great!

When Hank and the band took a twenty minute break, we went back out to the car. We had found a parking place right next to the back door and were standing there, passing the bottle around when a voice said, "Where can a fellow get a drink around here?"
I looked up and there was Hank Williams!

It just happened that I had the bottle. I said we sure did and handed the bottle of Seagram Seven Crown to him. He wiped the mouth of the bottle on his sleeve and took a pull on the bottle. He smacked his lips and handed it back and I passed it around.


We went back in and listened until it was closing time and we left. I'll never forget that night. It was the most exciting thing up to then that had ever happened to me. Hank died shortly afterwards.


Sunday, January 29, 2006


Here's a little cutie my daughter sent to me. I enjoyed it and I hope you do, too!


When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:
When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:
When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:


When you rearrange the letters:

Yep! Someone with waaaaaaaaaaay
too much time on their hands! (Probably a son-in-law)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!...

It was a long ways and took a long time! 70 down and 25 to Go!

Today at about 10:30 a m I was 70 years old. What a milestone this is for me!

I lived before indoor toilets were common.

I lived before automatic transmissions in automobiles were common.

I lived before helicopters were common.

I lived before jet planes were common.

I lived before television sets were common.

I lived before push button phones were invented.

I lived before anyone objected to saying a little prayer at the start of a school class.

I lived before cell phones were invented.

I lived before Nintendo and Play Station.

I lived before the nylon bristle tooth brush was invented.

I lived before microwave ovens were invented.

I lived before radial tires were invented.

I lived before cd’s were even heard of.

I lived before intercontinental ballistic missiles were invented.

I lived before the A and H Bombs.

I lived before the credit card was invented.

I lived before income tax withholding existed.

I lived before Walmart.

I lived before Longs Drug Store.

I lived before interstate freeways.

I lived before roadside parks.

I lived before electric gas pumps.

I lived before stereo.

I lived before prozac.

I lived before Sputnik.

There are many more, “I lived before”s but I’ll save some for next year.

I lived before PCs and that about says it all!


Monday, January 23, 2006

Jam Session Was Great...

The jam session was great! More people showed up than usual and we played a lot of music. There were some new people that showed up, too. Normally there are only country and western pickers but this time a guy played the trumpet. He was pretty good at it, too. His name was Louis something or other.

Then another guy came with some black dude and we did a few songs of the rock and roll venue and had a good time doing one called, "Mr Bojangles," and a couple more.

The white guy said he was still celebrating his birthday. He had a time trying to stay still while he sang.

The little guy had us do a fast instrumental with a drum solo and he did some dancing. I mean, what the heck, it was a jam session, after all!

All in all it was a very good session. I did a couple of Marty Robbins songs and Donna did a Hank Williams song among others. I played my harmonicas during a few songs. I'm glad Santa brought the harmonicas to me for Christmas. I must have been a very good boy last year!

And we ate well. There was plenty to eat but I wish we'd had some hamburgers and pit barbecue. Maybe next time. We never know who'll show up at these shindigs and we really need to be prepared!


Friday, January 20, 2006

Time For Another Jam Session...

Well, tomorrow is time for another jam session. We haven't gone to many lately and this one should be fun.

Donna learned a new song; "Born to Lose." We practiced it for about three minutes-that should do it. Of course, I already knew it. It's an old standard written by Ted Daffan of Lufkin, Texas. It was recorded by Ernest Tubb among others. It really hit the top of the charts when Ray Charles recorded it.

Now Donna ain't no Ernie Tubb nor is she a Ray Charles but I tend to think she'll do all right. Her velvety smooth voice rings with excitment and is full and resonantly satisfying.

I don't know what I'll sing; I'll decide that tomorrow when my turn comes.

I'll let you know how it comes out after the session tomorrow.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Rabbit Hunter Followup...

This is a followup on my last post about the guy who hunted rabbits with me in Pueblo, Colorado.That's me on my front porch working on the transmission of my 1939 Chrysler Royal, four door. That's the rabbit hunter watching. I think he is going in the house to get us a beer.

I bought the 1939 Chrysler Royal, four door in Alamosa, (or maybe it was Pagosa Springs) Colorado, and it had the low gear out of the transmission. I chained it to the backend of my tractor and pulled it home. Luckily it was at night so no cop saw me. He'd have shut me down and made me get a towbar.

The next day was Saturday and I went to a wrecking yard and found a low gear and repaired the transmission. I think it was about a week later when we went hunting.

This is the fellow. I wish I could remember his name. Maybe someone out there will recognize him from this picture. That would be great.

This picture was taken in October of 1958 in Pueblo, Colorado. We drove truck for E L Farmer Trucking Company hauling pipe to different places in the oil patch. I had transferred from Odessa, Texas where I was working for J H Marks trucking Company. After a year or so I went with E L Farmer.

Those were truly "the Good Old Days!"


Friday, January 13, 2006

Just Remembering...

I was sitting here thinking about things that don't matter to anyone except me and I remembered something that happened once a long time ago.
The good thing (the only good thing) about growing old is remembering things that happened in times past.

Now I don't mean to imply I am out of the business of making things happen to me and mine but I am forced to acknowledge there is nowhere near as much time for new and interesting (or dull) things to happen from now till the end of my life as has already gone by.(;)(t) Therefore, I am in a much better position to extoll on past e and un e-vents than to contemplate future events and store them for telling at some later date. I guess I could make something up but it would be pretty obvious it was made up when I spoke of something I did on November the eleventh of this year. (For you folks in Rio Linda, this is only January the thirteenth of this year; November comes later)...-No, Rush, don't thank me...

Let's see now, where did I get off the subject?..Oh, yeah, there isn't one yet.

I spoke once about a guy I worked with in Pueblo, Colorado, when I was driving truck for the E L Farmer Trucking Company, hauling pipe from that city to Texas and other places in the oil patch.
This guy was a kleptomaniac. He stole something every time he went into a store and he never got caught. But otherwise, he was a nice guy and I liked him. I just never went into a store with him.

We used to go hunting Jackrabbits together. He had a 22 rifle and a 45 automatic pistol and he was a very good shot with either of them.I saw him shoot a soaring hawk out of the sky once with the 45. I'll tell about it in a while.

When we went hunting, we drove either his or my car out some dirt road and then across a field. There were thousands of Jackrabbits around Pueblo.

On one occassion we went in my car. I had just traded a french WAC 32 automatic that I had bought to carry in my truck for an Iver-Johnson 9 shot revolver and this was to be the first time I would use it since I bought it. It was in the glove box of the 1939 Chrysler Royal 4 door and when I told him it was in the glove box, he opened the glove box and reached in and pulled it out and shot a hole in the dash board of my 1939 Chrysler Royal 4 door.

I yelped and stopped the car and said, "It's loaded!" He answered, "I notice." He told me it wasn't a good idea to keep a loaded gun in the glove box and I told him an empty gun wasn't much good for anything. He said I could always load it after I took it out of the glove box and I told him I might not have time to load it.

Anyhow, we chatted a bit and then I started the car back up and we went to where we were going to hunt Jackrabbits.

When we got there, I stopped and (I'm gonna call him, 'Joe') Joe got on the right front fender of the car and I started driving. We jumped a Jackrabbit out every couple hundred yards or so and Joe shot at them. After he had shot abour three out of ten or so, we stopped to trade places.

I told him I figured he could shoot better than that. (He had bragged about what a good shot he was) About that time a hawk came soaring toward us and Joe took out his 45 and said, "Watch this." We waited for a second until the hawk got as close as he would and Joe took aim and shot the hawk out of the sky.

Up until then, I hadn't even fired my 22 so I got it out of the car and Joe and I started over to where the hawk had fallen which wasn't very far. I was holding the Iver Johnson 9 shot in my right hand and aften we had walked about thirty feet, a jackrabbit jumped up from behind a clump of brush and, without thinking about it, I raised the pistol and snapped off a shot and God directed the slug to the head of the rabbit.

Joe said, what a shot! That's as good as I did!
I told him I didn't think so; the rabbit wasn't flying; it was nothing.

When we found the hawk, we saw it was a pretty big bird and Joe wanted to take it home with him. I reminded him it was against the law to shoot hawks.
He said he wanted me to have my turn shooting rabbits but I said we'd better go now if he wanted to keep the hawk because someone might come and see the bird. Besides, we had enough rabbits.

Joe will go to his grave (if he hasn't already) thinking I am one of the best shots he ever saw. I'm glad now I can't remember his name because I'm feeling a little guilty about not telling him it was a lucky shot and now that I'm older and wiser, I might try to find him on the People Search and, if I did, I'd have to fess up.

Joe, wherever you are, if you read this, I was just kidding about it being a lucky shot. I could do it again anytime. Call me!


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Travel Trailer Info...

This extravagant Fleetwood Prowler Regal is in FABULOUS condition! Used only one time!

Starting with the spacious living area and dinette slide out(approx. 14 X4), ample basement storage, outdoor shower, a 6-gallon gas & electric powered water heater, 20''TV on an enclosed swivel base with an outside (inside adjustable) TV antennae and VCR, an AM/FM/CD 6 speaker STEREO SYSTEM.

It is dual axle with an EXTRA BATTERY, (TWO BATTERIES), TWO propane gas tanks and a rear mounted spare tire!

This home away from home has an excellent a/c air conditioner and a propane blast furnace that'll blow you right out of there!

It has a forty gallon fresh water tank and (2) thirty gallon tanks for grey and dark water.

Inside the bedroom is a queen size walk around bed with plenty of storage space in the overhead compartments which has doors with authentic wood cabinetry with glass insets.
On each side are separate closets with drawers for personal and smaller travel items. The bed has a 2" living foam mattress pad.
There is a separate overhead adjustable night light for each side of the bed. There is also a dirty clothes hamper.

There is additional storage beneath both the queensize bed and the full size fold down sofa.

The bathroom has a deluxe tub and shower combo along with a cedar lined double door mirrored closet and linen storage drawers.

The dinette is complete with booth seating while the sofa doubles as a sleeper.

The kitchen includes a 3-burner stove, oven, microwave, gas & electric refrigerator/freezer combo and a pantry and a large porcelain double sink with water purifier and tons of cabinet space.

The window coverings provide a true sense of seclusion and privacy while the smooth gold carpet brings a gleaming color breeze throughout the entire unit. To accentuate the breeze, there is a heavy duty high speed circulation cyclone fan in the ceiling.

This unit has a 3/4 length outside awning for shade in the hot summer days and an outside porch flood light for night time lighting and security.
This travel trailer pulls like a dream! Check it out!


Monday, January 09, 2006

A couple of pic's of the inside.

These were supposed to be side by side but I think you will get the picture.

Here's the Expanded side. The living room and dining room...

For two more bucks you can take her, too.

'oops'...she says for a quarter she'll send me with the trailer.

I'll Give It A Try...

Well, I'm not having a lot of luck selling my travel trailer on the internet website where it's listed so I think I'll try something else. I mean, I have about five websites myself so why not list it on a couple of them.

Here's the first:

2004 Fleetwood Prowler 29 foot Travel Trailer. It's like brand new. We made a six thousand mile trip to Texas and Nebraska and back and a couple of short trips to central California. It has about seven thousand miles on it.

It's loaded with just about everything you could want on it. We owe about 21,500 bucks or so on it. It's the only thing we make payments on now and we'll let it go for the payoff. Anyone interested, let me know.

I got a call on my cell phone a couple of days ago. It was Mike, he said, and he wanted to know if I still had a travel trailer for sale. My heart lept up into my throat! I told him I did and did he want to buy it. He said no, he wanted to sell it.
I told him I was the one who wanted to sell it. He asked if I had it listed with the sales place (he called it by name) where it's listed and I said yes, I did.
He asked me if I'd had any action on it and I said no, I hadn't.

Then he said he wanted to do me a favor and sell it for me. I told him to go ahead and he said he'd need a hundred and thirty nine bucks first.I told him I didn't want to spend anymore money to sell it since I'd already paid a hundred and eighty nine bucks to get it sold and hadn't had any luck.

I asked him how he'd sell it for me and he said he'd list it on a different RV sales site; Classy RV and he said it'd sell within two weeks. I told him to go ahead, and when it sold in two weeks, I'd give him the hundred and thirty nine bucks. I told him if it sold I'd give him two hundred and thirty nine bucks.
He said he'd have to have the money first. I thanked him for calling and hung up.

These guys have nerve if nothing else. They just don't give me much credit for sense. I guess he couldn't understand that he was asking me to do what I just got through doing; pay for nothing.

Well, folks, here it is. If anyone out there wants it for what I owe on it, let me know.

If you want the trailer, I'll sell you my pickup, too. It's a 2003 3/4 Dodge 4 door short bed with a Cummins diesel engine with 5 speed transmission and a jake brake.

I owe about 21,500 or so on the trailer and I'll take 40,000 bucks for both of them. You couldn't do any better than that.

Well, anyhow, let me know.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Getting Close...

It's getting close to time for a brand new hip. Less than a month from now I'll go under the knife (doesn't that sound ominous) and have my old worn out hip replaced with a brand new one! I hate to wish my life away but I wish it were tomorrow or even today.

It's also time to change the picture in my profile. I've decided to do that every week or so, that is, if I can rememer to do it.

The photo just there was my Grandfather and me in 1953 when I was in the US Army. It was made in one of those 50 cent photo booths. Grandpa was a real cowboy.
He used to have fun with me by daring me to run by him when he had a rope fashioned into a lasso. He'd say he could rope my feet and I'd swear he couldn't. I ran by him at every speed imaginable, fast, slow and lifting my feet high and dragging them on the ground. He always got me.

He used to have two favorite names for me. Sometimes he'd call me 'Buck Jones', the name of an old silent movies cowboy and some times he'd call me 'Popeye.'

He gave me my first Stetson cowboy hat. I always wanted one and he finally gave one of his old ones to me when he wore it out. I was about ten years old at that time. I kept it for years and wore it everywhere, even though it was way too big for me.

Grandpa was a real cowboy. He went on cattle drives when he was young. His twin brother owned a cattle ranch in Hot Springs, New Mexico. Hot Springs is gone now. The name was changed in 1950 to Truth or Consequences in honor of a radio program by that name emcee'd by Ralph Edwards that was broadcast from there.

Grandpa's brother, Uncle Bert, had a couple of sons who also owned cattle ranches there. Their Ranch was used for the location for the movie, "High Lonesome," that starred Chill Wills, John Drew Barrymore and others. It was supposed to be in Texas but the ranch scenes were in New Mexico.

Anyway, that's the old photo and here's the new one. I'm wearing my own Stetson here and am posed at what was a regular pose in those days; a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

Donna and I had a night club and I sang lead in a country band called , "Half Fast Country."

It was a great band, strictly Nashville. The lead picker was Leon and his brother, Ray, also played every instrument you can imagine. They both had played Nashville in their younger days, for Marty Robbins and Barbara Mandrell and others.

Howard played Bass guitar and Leons' daughter played drums and we all sang. It was a great band and a wonderful time in our lives. On down the line somewhere I'll post a picture of the band.

But for now, I wait with bated breath the advent of my hip replacement. I already have a new shoulder. I hope everything goes well. I'm pretty sure it will. We'll see.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

U R A Texan If:...

U R A Texan If:

1. You can properly pronounce Corsicana, Palestine, Decatur,Wichita Falls, San Antonio, Burnet, Boerne, Nacogdoches, Mexia, Waco, Amarillo, and Waxahachie.

2. A tornado warning siren is your signal to go out in the yard and look for a funnel.

3. You've ever had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.

4. You know that the true value of a parking space is not determined by the distance to the door, but by the availability of shade.

5. Stores don't have bags, they have sacks.

6. You see people wear bib overalls at funerals.

7. You measure distance in minutes.

8. Little Smokies are something you serve only for special occasions.

9. You go to the lake because you think it is like going to the ocean.

10. You listen to the weather forecast before picking out an outfit.

11. You know cowpies are not made of beef.

12. Someone you know has used a football schedule to plan their wedding date.

13. You have known someone who has had a belt buckle bigger than your fist.

14. You aren't surprised to find movie rental, ammunition, and bait all in the same store.

15. Your "place at the lake" has wheels under it.

16. A Mercedes Benz is not a status symbol; a Ford F350 4x4 is.

17. You know everything goes better with Ranch dressin'.

18. You learned how to shoot a gun before you learned how to multiply.

19. You actually understand this and you are "fixin' to" send it to your friends.

20. Finally, you are 100% Texan if you have ever heard this conversation:

"You wanna coke?"
"What kind?"
"Dr. Pepper!"


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Report From the Past...

I read a blog today that mentioned the crash and burning of the Hindenberg blimp. It quoted a phrase made by the reporter who was watching the blimp crash and burn. The phrase was, "Oh, the humanity."

How much more flowery our language was years ago. How expressive people were in describing things and events then than we are now.

If the Hindenberg had crashed yesterday and a reporter saw it he might just say, "Oh, shit," rather than what that distant reporter did.

A relative of mine from Texas who died many years ago was honored with this report of his death.

Mr ## ########, who came to Dublin a few months ago with his family, but who left his family here while he went on to San Saba, died at that place on Monday night, the 6th instance. He was a good man and leaves a wife and four children who are still living in Dublin. The following in regard to his death is clipped from the San Saba News.

"Mr # # ########, a stranger who came to San Saba a few weeks ago as a teamster, and who has been sick at Dr Ketchums office ever since, died Monday night. He had been exposed and contracted pneumonia and suffered intensely. His brother-in-law was with him the last few days of his life and kind hands have ministered to his wants as best they could.
He confessed himself freely before he died and said he was ready to die. All that was mortal of him was committed to earth in the Odd Fellows cemetary Tuesday evening.

It is seldom a sadder death occurs, as he was indeed a stranger in a strange land, away from his home and his loved ones and all the surroundings that would have tended to rob the monster of his terrors. His family, though unknown to the people of San Saba, have their sincerest sympathy."


Sunday, January 01, 2006

A Brand New Year-2006...

Here it is-the first day of a brand new year.

First, let me honor my Angel, Rebecca, who went to be with God on the first day of the year of our Lord, 2001.

Rebecca was a wonderful person, the least likely you'd think would die at the young age of 44 years. She was a tribute to the human race, a person who was loved by all who knew her. Below is an excerpt of my second talk with God. It was about goodness; It was about Rebecca. It was about the first day of the life of Rebecca.

" ...I spent the rest of my tour of duty at Fort Bliss, Texas.

While I was there a girl I had known in Odessa, Texas, came to Fort Bliss and, after a day or two, she and I married. Our life was uneventful for a time with nothing outstanding happening to us. Then on August fourteenth, 1956, something happened that would change my life forever.

Sometime during that day a nurse at William Beaumont Hospital, Fort Bliss, Texas, handed me a small bundle. I took the bundle into my arms, very careful to hold it just right. My heart pounded and I felt weak and anxious. I moved the edge of the blanket that surrounded the tiny bundle and gazed upon the most beautiful sight my eyes had ever beheld! I could not speak. I could hardly breath. The tiny face that peered back at me was so radiant I was dumbstruck. She was such a lovely vision I could not begin to describe the feeling I got by just holding and looking at her. Looking at her and holding her made my heart soar to Heaven. Then, from my total existence, I heard the voice of God for the second time.

He said," James, as I promised you, here for you is a lifetime of pure 'Goodness'. Love and cherish this child and you will know 'Goodness' Forever! She is Rebecca!""

Our son, Barry, went to heaven this year as did our Aunt Maudie. Barry was our oldest boy as was Rebecca our oldest girl.

Now each year I have two more birthdates to celebrate, Barrys and Aunt Maudies.

I guess last year actually started in December of 2004. I think the tsunami that killed so many people is a good place to start.

It was the day after Christmas when an undersea earthquake sent a monster wave in all directions and wiped out many towns and killed more people than we probably still know about.

If that wasn't bad enough, hurricane Katrina came along and wiped out much of the southern coast of the United States. New Orleans was almost destroyed as were parts of the rest of the southern coastline cities.

Thousands of people offered aid and comfort to the victims of the Katrina disaster and things started to look up; that is until the advent of Hurricane Rita.

Here we go again! The people of the southern area were no more than barely beginning to recover from Katrina when Rita hit. Now people who had come to Houston to flee the wrath of one hurricane were now fleeing Houston from yet another hurricane.

A lot of things happened during the year of 2005 but I won't get too far into them.

One thing I will mention, though, is our boys and girls in Iraq and Afghanistan. I thank God for them and thank them for making such a sacrifice so I can piddle around with this blog and do all the other things I do that don't mean much to anyone except me. That's freedom. That's what it's all about.

I hope God is merciful to us this year. Our health has been good and we have little to complain about. Donna and I have each other and we still have our children and brothers and sisters to love. And we have Chico the Wonder Dog.

And we have good friends with whom to associate on occassion.

I'll leave the more extensive flourishes, the national and international outstanding events, to someone else and keep this brief. Now to kick back and see what is in store for us during this, the year of our Lord, 2006!