The Meaning of Aaahk! My friend Jimmy, who is a resident at the local state
supported living center, told me that his friend Bosco gave the weather forecast
each day. I knew that Bosco had never learned to speak, so I asked Jimmy,
"What did he say?" The response: Aaahk!
No room! The Christmas Pageant at the State School is always a big event.
The three innkeepers have one line to say as Mary and Joseph knock on their
door. The line is "No room!" One year the first innkeeper, just trying to be
helpful, listened for the knock and then opened the door to say "Come on in!"
What's in a name? From time to time my nurse and I visited the local
Cotton Patch restaurant. Where did they get this name? Do they not
know that cotton grows in fields - not patches. You can have a patch of
carrots or onions - but not cotton.
A strange situation: Late in the twenties Broadway composers Richard
Rodgers and Lorenz Hart wrote a musical called Betsy. It had a short
run, because the Stock Market crashed a few weeks later. Another
interesting fact is that the hit song of the musical was not written by
Rodgers & Hart but by Irving Berlin. Hart was a millionaire drunk who
lived on the streets. Whenever Rodgers wanted to write a song with him,
he would have send someone out to find for him. They needed a hit song
and didn't have time to go looking for Hart, so Rodgers hired Irving
Berlin to write the song. No one remembers Betsy, but a lot of folks
know the song that Berlin wrote. It is called Blue Skies.
They are listening: I had some suction cup handles in my shower that
kept coming loose. I said "The next one that comes loose will be
replaced!! They held longer than ever before.
Animals also listen: Aunt Catherine kept a cat that belonged to the
neighbor across the street. When the cat heard me discussing putting
Catherine in assisted living, it went back home.
This is his name: There was a time when I visited folks who had
purchased an electronic organ. It was my job to provide basic
instruction about how to use the instrument. The guy in this one
home, whose wife was absolutely gorgeous, always wanted
everything in its proper place. If I moved a vase to accommodate
some music, he always wanted it put back in place immediately
afterward. He was compulsive about everything being just so. He
had the perfect name: Clarence Clutter
One I don't like to tell: In the eighties I shared an apartment with a
man whose name I do not remember. I needed someone to help me
pay the rent. He was a mild-mannered bachelor - a schoolteacher
who seemed like a perfect candidate. On purpose I did not ask him
too many questions, because I wanted him to stay. One evening he
did not come home. At first I didn't think much about it, since it is
not unusual for one to spend a night or two away from home. After a
week with no contact I notified the police that he was missing. After
about a month I got a call telling me that they had found him in his
car in a remote area. He had blown his head off with a shotgun. As
a veteran he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The family
came to pick up his belongings and said that he had been suffering
from severe depression. I might have been able to help him, but I
will never know the answer to this question.
Mister Joe on tour: There was a Minnesota band called Firewood
Revival that came through Denton in about 2002. I played some
songs with them and we got along well. In 2003 I invited myself to
tour with them in Minnesota. I do not remember all of the cities we
played in, but we usually just did small bars that liked free music. A
relative of one of the band members owned a farm in the northern
part of the state where we spent some nights. On the farm was a
single channel creek (20 feet wide) flowing north that was labeled
“Mississippi River”. It was the headwaters. On my own I visited
Hibbing, (boyhood home of Bob Dylan), Duluth, (where the guy
from the group home that followed me introduced himself as "Mr.
Moron"), and Ames, Iowa (where the manager had me play his old
out of tune acoustic piano, because "he liked the sound").
Redbud Theatre - 2003: That's the year my friend Les Huey
(bassist) and I performed in the TWU production of Radio Gals
in the old Redbud Theatre on Bell Avenue. It was about
broadcast radio in the early days when everything was live. We
were both dressed as women. I just looked like an old guy in a
dress. Les really looked like an old woman – so much so that his
girlfriend took him to a party in that garb and introduced him as a
“friend”. It was awhile before anyone realized it was Les, whom
they knew. In a side section of the theatre was a broadcast studio
for public radio station KDTN. The folks in control had no
interest in developing the station. It was transferred to KERA in
Dallas and then sold to a religious organization known as
Daystar. Wikipedia says the station was located at UNT, where
there is an active school of broadcast journalism but no
broadcast transmitter, but I am pretty sure that what I saw in the
old Redbud Theatre was the original location of KDTN.