Friday, May 31, 2013

Sir Paul McCartney

I have a been a Beatles fan for most of my life.  As a young girl, my friends and I used to build a house by draping blankets over the jungle gym in the back yard.  Then we would argue over who got to be married to John or Paul.  No one ever wanted Ringo or George - it was always John or Paul...  We would pretend to cook dinner and make up all kinds of scenarios, but mostly we were just got to say we were married to John or Paul and made fun of whoever got stuck with Ringo or George! 

I had all kinds of Beatles memorabilia in my room, but my Dad threw away all of that "junk" years ago...  Oh, how I wish I still had the bobble heads and the posters..  In recent years, I have been acquiring old Beatles albums - mine are literally falling apart.

I was never lucky enough to see the Beatles in concert - saw Ringo several years ago with his All Star Band.

Until last night and then I was privileged enough to see Paul McCartney play at the BOK Center in Tulsa.  I had heard stories from friends about how awesome he was in concert.  I am hear to tell you, it is all true and then some.  He played for 3 hours!  It was well worth the drive.

The crowd was electric and Paul was absolutely charming!  He sang and sang and sang - played several different guitars (including the 1 he used with the Beatles in the 60's) and played 2 different pianos.  He told fabulous stories and was just genuinely having a good time....  He seemed enamored with saying OKLAHOMA...  LOL  Very funny and still so stinkin' cute...  He wore a royal blue blazer with a white shirt, jeans and black boots that reminded me of the boots the Beatles used to wear.  Need to Google "Paul McCartney's boots".

It was quite a production.  "Live and Let Die" was like a Vegas show - filled with fire, lights and fireworks.  When he sang "Blackbird", the stage was way up in the air and there he was playing his guitar and singing.  All thru the night, he showed videos of the Beatles.  Just such good memories tied to the Beatles and their music.

Music does indeed soothe the soul. Those songs took me back to my childhood thru my adulthood.  This is my music.  Their music had such an impact on my life.  It introduced me to rock 'n roll.  I used to sit on my bed for hours and listen to their albums.  And just dreaming about those Beatles.  I just knew at some point, Paul McCartney would appear on my doorstep and ask my Dad for my hand in marriage...

So, my darling friend and I drove home last night reveling in the magic of the night and arrived back in Oklahoma City around 1:00 am...  Very long night, but wouldn't have missed it for the world.  Thank you Cois for going with me - always so awesome to share with a good pal....

Long live Paul McCartney and his music!!!

P.S.  I have on my NEW Paul McCartney T-shirt today....  Will probably sleep in it tonight, too!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wallerin' at The Paseo

Nancois picked me up at 9:30 and we headed to Cora's for our yearly trek to The Paseo Arts Festival.  The weather was nice - a bit windy, but we do live in Oklahoma, so not a big surprise. 
First stop, Taylor's back yard.  He opens up the back yard for tours during the festival.  We met him last year, so we felt it necessary to stop by.  Thanks to his little marketing idea, he has been working at my house since last September!  He is now part of the family!  BUT, that's the subject of a whole other blog.
The only thing missing this year was his sweet dog, Sophie - she passed away about 2 weeks ago.  Never easy to say goodbye to a pet.  
But, I digress....  We visited with Taylor and met his Mom - she is an old hippie, so of course, I loved her!!!  We made plans to have lunch soon.  He is worried we will exchange stories about him.....  Of course, we WILL!!!!
On to the festival - drank too much beer, bough a whirlygig for my backyard and are chicken on a stick and listened to music - some good, some not so good.
Now the whirligig is the basis of this little story.  I asked the gentlemen at the tent if this whirligig would stay in the ground - looked a little top heavy to me and with the Oklahoma wind, ya gotta ask these questions...  He said "ma'am, with all the rain you've had here in Oklahoma, it will probably just waller right out of the ground"!!!  I immediately asked him, "where are you from", to which he replied, "Texas"!  Waller?  OMG!  We laughed so hard, I could hardly breathe.  Needless to say, every single thing that has happened in the last 24 hours has something to do with "wallerin"!!!
Took a funnel cake to Taylor on the way home - decided to go to the picture show -Fast and Furious 6 - pretty sure we were the oldest people in the theater.  Who cares.........
We were completely exhausted from the movie, which naturally necessitated more alcohol consumption.  This time our favorite - VODKA - at Cora's house.  We sat on the front porch, enjoying the beautiful weather and laughed and talked until about 10:00 PM!  Lord, we were happening.
Old friends are the best.  We laugh until we "almost" pee in our pants - ok, sometimes we do...
There's not much we don't know about each other, so all we have to say is "remember that broom" and we die laughing....
It was one of the best days ever.....  Wallerin' in Oklahoma, ya'll.....

Monday, May 27, 2013

Moore Tornado

As I sit here at my desk listening to Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton sing "Over You" which is dedicated to the Moore, OK tornado, it just makes me realize just how important my family and friends are to me.

Is it really important that I have a new pair of shoes?

Is it really important that I have a new coffee pot?

Is it really important that I remodel my kitchen? 

I have done of these things in the last month.....  I sort of feel guilty now when there are people that don't even have a place to live right now.

How do we get past these kinds of feelings?  I suppose time is the answer.  Time.....  That precious gift that I, like most of us, take for granted.

So, this weekend, I plan to spend some quality time with some of my best pals going to the Paseo Arts Festival.  We will laugh and buy stuff we don't need and probably enjoy some adult beverages...  These are the times I will cherish....

Hug your loved ones, including the 4 legged ones....

The Lady that Lives on the Bus Stop Bench

At least once a week, I drive down NW 59th between May and Independence.  There is a lady that lives on the bus stop bench.  I see her at Starbucks sometimes.

She talks to herself, but she seems harmless.  Just alone.  She has several layers of clothes on and is always drinking coffee or PowerAde or bottled water.  She carries her belongings with her in a duffle bag.

I am haunted by her.  Haunted by the hollow look in her eyes.  Haunted by the despair.  Haunted by the fact that she lives there when it's cold and rainy and when it's snowing.  Haunted by the sheer inhumane way she lives.

I don't know her name.  Funny, I should, but I don't.  I stop and give her money every now and then. I asked her one day how she was doing and she said "just getting by'... She always says thank you and God Bless you.

Today, I stopped and asked her how she was doing and she said the drink she was sipping on tasted funny.  I gave her some money and it took her awhile to get the words out.  I think she may have Tourette's or something similar.  She finally got the words out - "thank you"!  As I was driving away, she yelled "thank you" again!

I'm not sure if there's anything I can do help this woman, but mostly, I just avoid driving down NW 59th, but I'm drawn to her....

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Mother, The Censor!

My Mother, The Censor!

Most people probably believe that Tipper Gore was the first person to ever ask for a ban on rock music.  Apparently, they never met my mother.

In August, 1969, The Woodstock Music Festival took place at Max Yasgur’s farm in Upstate New York.  It was a four day music festival with the hottest music groups such as   Crosby, Stills & Nash, Janis Joplin, Sly & the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix and The Grateful Dead.  I was waiting at the record store the first day the live album went on sale.  I listened to it for hours every chance I got. 

One day after school, I came home to find that no one was there!   Mom left a note telling me she was at the grocery store.   My family of five lived in a 950 square foot house, so time alone was rare.  It was the perfect time to put on some music.  No one would be telling me turn it off.  I picked up my Woodstock album, and pulled out one of the records and put it on my record player. 

When the record stopped, I picked it up to turn it over to side 2.  I noticed there was something written on the label.  I could hardly breathe – I immediately thought my little sister had destroyed my record.  Then, I took a closer look and there, in blue ink, in my mother’s handwriting was the phrase - “THIS IS A DIRTY RECORD”.   I was stunned.  I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t breathe.  You know how you feel when the breathe gets knocked out of you – well this was worse.    And, then I began to shake.  Oh my God, I am so dead…  She is definitely going to kill me and ground me for life and I’ll never get married and I’ll never have children.  I’ll just be stuck here - grounded.  Oh God, oh God, oh God, please save me was all I could think.  I went through the whole Oh God, I promise if you save me, I will NEVER do anything bad for the rest of my life speech.  After all, we were Southern Baptists and this WAS rock and roll we were talking about.  I was starting to re-think my cry to God because he probably hated rock and roll, too.  I decided it was OK to continue my fervent prayer to God just in case the Baptists were wrong. 

That woman had taken my prized possession, bought with my babysitting money, and written on the label in INK.  Of course it was in ink.  She was her own little censor department.   I had no clue what she was talking about – dirty?  Seriously?  I began to read the song titles and then, I saw it - Country Joe McDonald singing “The Fish Cheer”.  The “Cheer” was basically spelling out the “F” word, one letter at a time.  I had never even said the F word out loud.  Basically, a crowd of 450,000 screamed out every letter – gimme an F – F, gimme a U – U.  You get the picture.  Obviously, my mother got the picture and wasn’t too happy.

First, she went through my room (privacy????) and then she listened to my music???  What about free speech?  Oh yeah, there is no such thing as free speech in my Mother’s house.  But even at 15 I had rights!  I put the record back inside the album and clutching it to my chest, just sat there waiting for her to get home.  Mom came home and started dinner, unaware of my discovery.  I continued to sit on my bed going over my brilliant speech.  Finally, I headed for the kitchen, holding the album close to my heart.  My heart was now beating so hard, I’m surprised the album wasn’t moving back and forth to the beat of my heart.  I had no clue how this whole thing was going to play out, but I knew I had to stand up for my beloved rock and roll.  It was obvious I would be grounded forever anyway, so what did I have to lose?

When Mom saw the album, she knew I had discovered her little gift.   Without waiting for me to state my case, she told me in no uncertain terms that the “F” word was filthy and there was no place for it in our house.  She went on to tell me she couldn’t believe I thought this song was acceptable and she just couldn’t bear the thought that her daughter was using that kind of language.  She threatened to wash my mouth out with soap.  I tried to interrupt, but she just kept coming at me.  Surprise – I was grounded until further notice.   I was to wash and dry the dishes.  It just went on and on and on.  Finally, she uttered the most beautiful words I had ever heard - “do you have anything to say”? 

Finally, my turn!  I always felt I was in the Spanish Inquisition when facing my mother.  I don’t believe she had ever given me the chance to say anything.  Usually, if I tried to explain I was grounded on the spot.  My friends used to say I was grounded more than I wasn’t.  I took a deep breath and calmly explained to her that I didn’t use the F word and that she shouldn’t be so quick to judge me.  I told her one song did not make me a bad person nor did it make the Woodstock Festival a total failure.  I asked her how she felt about the whole Woodstock festival and she had to admit she didn’t know too much about it.  I found it funny that she was worried about one word in one song instead of all the other things that went on during the festival that were, in my opinion, much worse than uttering the “F” word.   The sex, the drugs, and the utter lack of hygiene (isn’t hygiene next to godliness when you’re the mother of a teenager?).   I’m not sure how long we sat at the kitchen table talking, but by the time we finished talking that day, each of us had a better understanding of one another.   Who would have guessed the censorship of an album would give a mother and a daughter cause to talk and to really listen to one another.

Now years later, my little 85 year old Mom and I are best friends and we still laugh about that day.  By the way, I still have that Woodstock album and I still don’t listen to “that Fish Cheer” – at least that’s what I tell my mother….

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A life-changing day!

Sunday, May 5, 2013 was a day unlike any other!  I was to read my story at the Listen To Your Mother show at the Will Rogers Theatre in Oklahoma City, OK.

I got up early - didn't sleep too well, drank some java, read the Sunday paper and cuddled up with my puppy.  Mark Harmon was on CBS Sunday Morning - I took that as a sign that everything would be fine today...  I'm sure I was married to him in another life....

AND, then the nerves started.  The girl that was supposed to come over and do my makeup cancelled.  Crap.  I couldn't find my sweater.  Crap.  My feet were swollen.  Crap. 

Thankfully, my hair stylist stepped up, drug her hungover butt out of bed and did my hair and touched up my makeup.  She even talked me into wear false eyelashes!

My dear friend from Dallas flew in for the show.  My sweet daugther picked her up at the airport.  They arrived and I just felt more nervous.

I looked at the clock and it was 11:50 - I was supposed to arrive at noon - Lord, what am I doing??
I put my flip flops on my fat, swollen feet (was I pregnant again?).  The fancy sandals went into my purse all the while praying to Sweet Baby Jesus that I would be able to squeeze those fat feet into those sexy sandals before going on stage. 

So I drive like a maniac and get to the theatre at 12:05!!!  Thank you again to Sweet Baby Jesus for not letting me get a ticket or having a wreck.

The second - no, the nanosecond I stepped into the Green Room, I was completely and totally fine!  I was worried about how I was feeling - where did the nerves go?  Was I such a rookie that I didn't know better?  Was I in shock?  Would I walk to the podium and immediately start shaking and just fall backwards?  I do have a habit of falling down - Oh God, please no - NOT TODAY.....

But, there I was with my new sisters - Misti, Julie, Heather, Mari, Suzanne, Amy, Brandi, Sheradee, Erika, Alexandra, Barb, Liz, Lisa, and Jennifer AND my new little brother, CW!  All was right with the world.  These were my people, my soft place to land, my cast mates.  We were in this together!  The hugs and the smiles made it all worthwhile.

We took pictures, drank smoothies, laughed and tried to soak up each moment because we knew we would never be in this exact place again.  It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.  We, this group, that had only known each other for about a month.  We had bonded for a lifetime and were already planning a reunion party at my house, complete with Granny's pies.

Mari gave each of us antique handkerchiefs.  What a fabulously thoughtful idea.  We all carried them on stage.  It was something to hold on to as we stood there before that wonderful audience and shared our stories.

The time on stage flew by - each one telling their own story.  Some were sad and some were funny and everything in between.  We all laughed and cried together, just as we had in rehearsal.  There were hugs and smiles like there always is with this group.

The story before me was very emotional.  How in the world am I going to follow that?  BUT, Misti the Wise One, was introducing me and made a little joke about my upcoming blog (the whole cougar thing is for another blog).  Just as I was headed to the podium, Heather leaned over and said "Gimme me an F"...  Thank you again!  These women knew just what I needed...  These women.....  These wonderfully, talented, honest, warm and loving women.....

The set was gorgeous - the theatre was incredible.  The audience was amazing.  They laughed and cried right along with us.  It was magic.

Listen To Your Mother has changed my life!  I am not a writer and this is my first blog.  This group has inspired me to write more stories, even if no one but me ever reads them.  I wouldn't trade this experience for anything!

Every person has a story to tell about being a mother, not being a mother, having a mother, or about the woman that played that role in their lives.  I am forever indebted to Ann Imig for the opportunity to share my story and for the privilege of hearing the stories of my castmates and the others across the country.

AND the next time Misti tells me that something is going to be lifechanging, I SWEAR I am going to believe her....  Swear.....

WOW - a ride............