Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Down here we had the Womacks, all big trouble and notoriously violent, with the eldest of the three brothers, Joe, being the most badass'd. One night Little Panama comes running into the local Foosers Hut and hollers that Fightin' Joe Womack has barricaded himself in the old abandoned Boys Ranch House for Orphans and that anyone going in there gets thrown out the second floor window.

Of Course the place empties out, and a caravan forms up to journey down Devils Backbone, a twisting turning roller coaster road that dead ends into the Boys Ranch where a crowd has gathered in the dark outside of the dilapidated two story wood structure.

Its pure Hugo without the hunchback, unless you want to count Cross Eyed Myra, who seemed to be everywhere all the time, just lookin' for a little lovin'.

Big Panama goes rumnning into the darkness of the ranchhouse and in like 20 seconds you hear a scream and *WHOOSH* here he comes flying out the second story window. Same thing happens to Zigger-zoo, Cherokee, Tubby and the Strackman. Then Truck-Bob hollers "torch the place" and someone comes up with a gallon of gas, its once for the Devil and once for the Christ, and the next thing you know this weatherbeaten old Ranchhouse is in flames, lighting up the hot August night. The crowd went wild!

No one ever saw Fighting Joe again, but the next morning his Saint Christopher medal was sifted from the ashes, still glowing red hot like Shelley's Heart and did not cool until it were dunked, hissing and steaming into the Boys Ranch Pond.

Today it is the site of the nicest little park and community center you would ever want to see. Its been deemed a State Historical Site because of the Old Boys Ranch for Orphans. But there is not one whit in tribute to the night that Fightin' Joe went down in a blaze of glory. The legend is that he still wanders the Park and surrounding neighborhoods, looking for his old girlfriend Mi-Mi.

When the wind is out of the southwest, breathing its way down Devils Backbone and blowing through the willows by the waters edge, you can hear ol' Fightin Joe howling for his lost love.

See also The Scariest House, The Continuing Chronicles of Fighting Joe, and Purcell's Treehouse, for more of this story. It remains largely unfinished, I guess.


leslie said...

This is fabulous Bulletholes!

Great writing.
I have a tear in my eye for old Joe.

kissyface said...

Wow. Really? But wow.

But why did he? And why was it so necessary to force him out of there? Why the fire.

That's some crazy shit, and it deserves to be a country ballad on the basis of the names alone.

You up to writing it, or should I? Duet?

bulletholes said...

Thanks leslie... I shoyuld credit this to UF Mike, who is having some effect on me I think.

kissyface-Why? because of gals like Mona, or the lack thereof...
Crazy? Which part?
Writing it? I thought i just...did!
You can do the arrangement. Really, I have no talent for fiction, even the names are real.

kissyface said...

i'm so lost. generally, even. it is real?

you did write it - you wrote it right up! you wrote the hell out of it! i meant rewrite it in song form. something wilis alan ramsey shoulda done.

Barbara said...

This is about the tallest tale yet. But it's entertaining to be sure!

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Just loved it! I love these types of historic tales, esp. Westerns.
And I can "see" who should play each character! So vibrant and
colorful! Petra
p.s. Nope, won't let them in! :)) Or is it from another Dylan song?

GrizzBabe said...

Great storytelling, Steve!