Monday, May 09, 2005

Dear Mr. President 'Dear Mr. President'

I spent Saturday in downtown Greensboro having a great time at the 19th Annual Carolina Blues Festival. I was hanging out with most of the Rock 92 gang. The blues was getting everyone down or, I should say… Everyone was GETTING DOWN, baby!

The weather was incredible for the second year in a row. The crowd was in the mood for some great blues music and they were not disappointed. Folks were dancing everywhere. I even noticed Stephen Hawking in the crowd. He was up and dancing! The blues had healed him. The blues had commanded him to rise from his wheelchair and dance.

Okay… Maybe the guy only looked like Hawking.

I love crowd watching and pointing out celebrity look-a-likes. It’s a stupid hobby, but someone has to pick up that ball and run with it. I elected myself years ago.

I caught the last few songs with Matt Hill. This kid is great! Check him out when he plays a local club in the near future.

Kenny Neal was awesome. I have only heard his recordings on the Alligator record label. I really wanted to see this cat play in person. Neal is a great player and he has a master like control over a guitar trick called volume swells. He’s a very good entertainer as well. He strolled from one side of the stage to the other whenever he broke away from the microphone to strut his guitar licks. He would smile and point to people in the crowd. He would urge them to clap their hands up over their heads. He knows how to work a crowd.

I also checked out Abe Reid ( ) at the stage set-up specifically for the kids. Abe was getting the kids and their parents into things with his brand of blues music.

Abe Reid and the Spike Drivers won the blues competition a few years ago and got to play the big stage. Since then, they have become a staple in the North Carolina club scene. Catch them when you get the chance.

The Holmes Brothers hit the stage and I caught some of their show just before leaving.

I really wanted to see them, but I couldn’t stick around. The Nextel Cup race was airing at 7 pm from the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. It was the first night race from that historic track. The fact that it was the first night race was pretty historic in it’s own right.

If I couldn’t be there in person, I was going to watch it on television. I wasn’t about to tape it and watch it later. It later isn’t the same as live. Too many variables can spoil a taped race.

For one thing, there will always be some way of hearing about who won the race before I get to sit down and watch it. Usually, it’s another race fan wanting to comment on it or, I will inadvertently see the finishing order on the local news, ESPN, or see a headline on the newspaper.

I was at the first night race at the Lowes Motor Speedway. There’s something about NASCAR racing at night. The sparks fly off the cars as they hit the walls and bottom out on the track. Another great thing about attending night races is the lack of that big bright ball of flames providing light. You’re not sitting there baking in the hot sun. The night is much cooler and that makes for good spirited race fans.

I arrived at Leslie’s house and she put a beer in my hand and fired up the grill for some burgers. There’s nothing like good beer, good food, good conversation, and NASCAR on a Saturday night.

The race ended around midnight and we watched a little bit of ‘Saturday Night Live’ before I split.

I got home and immediately threw on disc 5, season two of ‘24’. Those red packaged beauties arrived during the day from Netflix. I was giddy.

I fully admit it. I’m a ‘24’ junkie now. I needed a fix bad. I didn’t care about the time and where I had to be the next day. I had to get me some ‘24’!

So, I was up late watching Jack Bauer trying to save the U.S. from going to war with the Middle East.

That caused me to oversleep the next morning, Mother’s Day.

And once again, I spent the day on damage control duty.

All of last week, I was repeatedly invited to visit my Mother’s church on Mother’s Day. That’s all she wanted from me. I wouldn’t have to purchase a gift or a card (I’m especially not good at card giving and I usually give Mom something thoughtful like cash). There was very little expected of me. I just had to get up early and hang out with a bunch of Baptists.

It didn’t happen and once again, Eugene doesn’t show up for church.

Why do mothers put so much emphasis on Mother’s Day?

Are we being led around like sheep by the greeting card companies? Didn’t they invent Mother’s Day?

Anyhoo… ;-)

Mom wasn’t talking to me when the family came together for lunch. She also wasn’t talking to my nephew, Preston.

My Father kept making a big deal about Preston and me disappointing “Bousche” (pronounced boosh). He was telling us about how hard that we were going to have to work to get out of the doghouse.

I knew I was going to be there when I opened up my eyes and saw that I wasn’t going to make it to church on time. I didn’t know why Preston was joining me in the doghouse. I was intrigued as to what sin he committed.

Dad told me that Preston was going to get up in front of the church and sing a song for his mother. When he was called to the front, he then decided that he didn’t want to sing for anyone. Bousche (his Grandmother my Mother) was trying to grab an arm and pull him out. But Preston was shooing her away with his hands and saying “no” to her.

To be honest, I kind of hate missing that scene. I’m sure I would have been laughing my ass off in church because Mom gets embarrassed quite easily in those types of situations.

The dinner was great and Preston was told that he had to eat one piece of fried okra before he could be excused from the table. He didn’t want to eat it and I couldn’t blame him. I don’t like okra, but I’ve tried it to know.

So, I started to negotiate a deal between Preston and his mother.

We hashed things out and came to an acceptable agreement. I would eat a piece of okra along with him even though I didn’t like it. Preston would have to chew and swallow the piece of okra along with me. If he deemed it as an unacceptable food source, he would never have to eat okra again.

The deal would have a time limit of ten minutes. If time expired before the okra was eaten, the deal was null and void.

It was the same kind of deal that brokered for myself when I was a young lad who didn’t want to eat something just as foul.

I assured Preston that it was a good deal. I’ve never had to eat anything else that I didn’t like as long as I tried it.

The down side of the deal, Preston would have to sit there until he ate the okra. He would not receive snacks like candy bars, yogurt, Twinkies, or fruit roll-ups ever again. He would also have to sit there until he ate it even after his “brother and sisters” had arrived. He would not be allowed to run and play with them.

Preston did not beat the time limit and I left before it all played out.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:49 AM

    I loves the okra.

    Tell Preston if he's got the cash, I can be bought to eat the okra he's served. He might have to sell a Tonka truck or two, but I'm sure it will be a bargain for him.

    And I want the money in U.S. funds. I won't get burned again.