I'll take another run at 'em this afternoon at the Sweet Spot up on the ski mountain .
After the gig I got to hang out with my dear friend Dawne Belloise - a delightful red-headed firecracker sprite of a woman. She's a singer / journalist/ free spirit/ and working performer herself. We yukked it up like bankers and swallowed giggle water till our knees were fuzzy, Then she cooked me wild chanterelle mushrooms, sausage, and eggs to go with my horse-water. The woman has mad survival skills.
I talked to my old pal Clem this morning. We have been best buds since the 6th Grade. We laughed our butts off like we always do. His wonderful parents, Maynard and Norma are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary today.
When we were kids his parents always treated me like I was just another one of their own. Made me mind my manners at the table, wash behind my ears, and hold still during church. They weren't fooling' around when it came to raising kids. They had 11 of them and never flinched a minute.
That house was always ship-shape clean, laundry always folded, and dinner was on the table at 6 every night. Everyone in attendance had ears and fingernails washed and the chicken didn't get touched until everybody had bowed their head for grace. As soon as the food started making it's way around the table the laughing would begin.
Those lunatic white people would torment the hell out of one another. Normas' sense of humor was lightning quick and wickedly irreverent. . She passed it on to every one of her kids.
They'd laugh at each other and laugh at themselves - like the whole damn thing was just a big joke. Nobody was safe either. If you were sitting at that table you were gonna laughed at. And you were gonna laugh at somebody else, and you were gonna like it. You couldn't stay unhappy in that house for very long before somebody would have you giggling in your gravy. Their table was a pretty fun place to be for a kid like me.
When we were in trouble for something else "stupid", a regular occurrence for my compadre-in-chaos and I - I was scared to death of Norma's eyebrows. That's how you could tell you were in for it. Maynard didn't really have to say much to make a fella fall in line and march right. He had the "look".
When he was perturbed it was cold as ice and hard as nails - like a mob hit man. I figured he'd just dispatch me with a ball-peen hammer to the forehead and give my Mom one of his kids. They all minded better than me.
Clem and I were ornery kids; thick as thieves and truly inventive. Over the ensuing years, there's no way his parents, or mine, could have thought of everything we should have been told not to do. I own a few of the gray hairs on those celebrated heads today, I'm sure.
Between under-age 3.2 beer, teenagers in cars, town girls, getting shot at by drunk janitors, and stealing watermelons for sport - Clems' folks and my Mother, all had their hands full. I will be indebted to Maynard and Norma until the day I die for the restraint they showed in not drowning both their son and I in a diaper pail, when we all knew they had plenty of good reason to.
Clem runs a bank now, His brothers and sisters are all solid and good successful people. Kind and honest - completely devoted to their families - Just like their folks. Me…….well…………who knows? I'm not complaining one little bit. :-)
That family showed me how to laugh. They showed me how families laugh. I learned how to celebrate and how to take joy out of a plain old day. There's no way to ever repay that. Sometimes laughter is all I have and it's nearly always enough :-)
Thank You and Happy 60th Anniversary Maynard and Norma -You Crazy Kids :-)
"Don't take any wooden nickels"