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Readers Write - Lunch with Granny

Old friend Miss V has shared a story with us today.  Me and her sabe same same on most things.  She smiles if you call her West Texas Oilfield Trash because you have to earn that label.

Before we get to that I want to share a parable I read in a blog this week.   Gonna paraphrase……

Crane, TX today

Two millenial brothers.  The oldest one decided early on the ‘American Dream’ was for him.  High School then college with a good solid degree in engineering.  He lived meager during college, studying hard with little time for girls and partying.  Got a good job and saved his money; soon married and a kid on the way he bought too much house because that is what mortgage companies do.

2008 comes along and his entire department is outsourced to Pakistan.  He can’t find a comparable job and ‘The Dream’ starts to fray.  Wifey is not happy because no dinero and she decides to just put a notch on her belt and move on to somebody better that can support weekly mani/pedis and a shopping addiction.  She cleans his plow on the divorce settlement.  Older brother now has a shit-pay job, child support and $300 monthly to student loans.  He declares bankruptcy and the McMansion goes back to the bank.  He still has child support and student loan payoff for decades to come. Crawl back on that hamster wheel Citizen!  Debt is servitude. Nada mas!

Younger brother is a hell raiser who manages to get out of HS with a GED and a healthy appetite for drugs and party girls. Jobs come and go; sometimes he gets fired and sometimes he just decides to stay home and smoke weed instead of punching the clock.  Girls love a bad boy so his long term plan stops at who is in his bed this week and where the party is Saturday.  In 2008 he is ***hurt*** on some minimum wage factory job.  He is a slacker but not stupid so he games the ***injury***  into a monthly-for-life disability check.  He gets a full sleeve tattoo to celebrate and starts selling a little weed and a few oxys on the side.  A 21st century entrepreneur for sure.

So who won?

**********

Crane back in the day

Saw a poll this week that said 57% of Americans want more government in their lives.  Excuse me for even mentioning this but didn’t we fight a revolution a coupla hundred years back because of unfair taxes and an elite governing hierarchy far removed from every day citizens?  Yeah, that one.

So Miss V’s post is timely and I am like her;  I wish we could go back to simpler times. Not easier- simpler.  The mid-60’s were the heyday of American Life if you ask me.  Sure,there was racism, political unrest, an unpopular war in a foreign land and corrupt politicians but the difference was we still had inherent morality and an ethical lifestyle here in flyover America.

Take it away Miss V……….

**************

Lunch With Granny, Paul Harvey, and Cattle Mutilations

Crane’s Favorite Son

I grew up in the dusty West Texas town of Crane. I lived in a trailer house with my mother, father, and grandmother. We all inhabited a 10 x 58 ft. two bedroom trailer; kinda close quarters. Anyway, a family dust up occurred around 1966 and my Granny packed her bags and moved out. I still remember crying and watching her skinny, stooped, frame walking away, carrying a suitcase in each hand. It devastated my young heart . She looked so tiny and frail as she left. But let me tell you, my tiny Granny was tougher than cold rolled steel. She had lived through the depression, been a log truck driver in east Texas, had tattoos, smoked a pack of unfiltered Camels a day and wasn’t afraid of anything. I once witnessed her chop the head off a rattle snake with a hoe, in her garden without even a flinch.

She moved two blocks away, into a tiny two room apartment, which was one block away from my elementary school. So I would go over to her place several times a week for lunch. Most times it was grilled cheese sandwiches and a bowl of chilled canned peaches. Other times it was greens cooked with ham hocks and cornbread. No matter what the menu, we always listened to Paul Harvey on the radio.

She had an old brown Motorola radio, that set on a shelf above the kitchen table. On this particular day, Mr. Harvey was reporting about some cattle over in New Mexico that had been found in the pasture, mutilated, cut up all to hell, and completely devoid of blood. The mutilation of these cattle was supposedly done with a razor sharp precision, and certain organs harvested with a surgeon like skill.
The report by Paul Harvey hinted at the fact that space ships and aliens might have been involved. It scared the holy living shit out of me! I had to walk back to school, the whole time, keeping an eye towards the sky, lest any space ships might show up, wanting to cut me open and harvest my internal organs.

There were many more lunches at Granny’s, many more grilled cheese sandwiches, many more listening sessions with Paul Harvey. Those lunches at her chrome and grey Formica table and chairs  were priceless memories. Granny was a woman before her time.
Granny was a hard women, she loved hard, she lived hard, she was the product of the hard West Texas landscape. She told me once, when I was about 11, “If it don’t scare the shit outta you, then it ain’t worth doing.”

She also left me with these words of wisdom, ” You can put glitter on a turd, but everyone can still tell it is a turd.” That old West Texas common sense, coming through. Love you Granny and miss you like you wouldn’t believe.

End Note: Good Ol’ Boy by Steve Earle from the Shut Up and Die Like an Aviator cd.

Vastly entertaining 30yo youtbe

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2 comments to Readers Write – Lunch with Granny

  • Ken

    I been oilfield trash since I was about 6. It sticks pretty good. Never been able to figure out if I was the older son or the youngun. Pretty much had my nose being ground down all my life, but that s what oilfield trash does.
    As it happens Elmer Kelton was my favorite author for years. He was in San Angelo while I was there.

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  • Kevin

    Andy, If you liked Paul Harvey, you should give Mike Rowe’s Podcast (Dirty Jobs guy) (www.mikerowe.com/podcast/) a try. He posts about every Tuesday and has about 50 or so. He isn’t Paul Harvey, but he is the best we have nowaday’s. Each podcast is only 5-10 minutes.

    Give it a try.

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