I possess the God-given simplicity of a toad-stool;.- coupled with the savant-like ability to speak and make music. Some gals like that sort of thing. I can play my country ass off, but I will lick light sockets if somebody doesn't keep an eye on me.
30 years ago, in the heat of a sweat-bath summer kick-ass gig, some adventurous young trollop threw her underwear at me while I was playing. I didn't have a clue. I took them home and had them laundered. Brought them back (folded - heavy starch) the very next time I played there. Next thing I know I'm running a Chinese laundry for strippers. It's how I worked my way through charm school:-)
The only bigger hero I ever had, other than Martin Luther King, was My Grandma, Nellie Marie Call - and this is what she had to say about that..
Grandma was a plain-as-cotton, solid-as-stone country girl; born dirt poor in September of 1914 on a share-cropped farm just outside of Leota , Kansas. Her Daddy liked to drink more than he should have. When he was in his cups, He was more than a little mean to his wife and children. Frank Wimer, went blind when Grandma was 12 from bad batch of "corn", and when she turned 14 he married her off to his wife's second cousin, a widower, John Call, in exchange for a $40, a Ford radiator, some hog-meat, and 2 mules.
After Grandad passed. she would sit at the kitchen table in the evenings, tired from a full day of "man's" work along with her own, wearing his old work jeans and plaid work shirts, (they fit her as well as they ever had him). She would smoke Chesterfields, one after another, and with drifting clouds of yellow-gray smoke circling around her silver-greyed head, she would stare for what seemed like hours out the kitchen window of the house that she and my GrandDad had built together, side-by-side, while she had carried his child inside her . She'd just sit staring and quietly waiting for something I could never begin to comprehend until recently..
Granny was the sweetest, kindest, softest person I have ever known, even to this day -and I had honestly never seen her that upset over anything. We sat on that couch that entire afternoon, her squeezing me hard like she needed to protect me, with huge tears of exasperation and disbelief falling like rain from her pained face. She whispered over and over "What's wrong with these people" "That man didn't deserve to die".
She asked through a veil of tears. Tears that I would have crawled through a mile of busted burning glass on my 9-year old hands and knees just to stop. She made me promise....
This was my Grandma. I still hear her voice all the time. I love that old woman more today than I ever did - not only for what she planted in me, but for what she planted in my children, and now in theirs. We do not hate. We do not judge by color. We do not hate.
I wish all the world had known the blessing of that old womans' touch. I wish we'd all promised her not to hate.
"Don't take any wooden nickels"