Wednesday, January 27, 2010

SCOTT AND I

FRONT ROW CENTER




I was a 98 pound weakling at the start of the 7th grade year. In the locker room after Football practice there was a big kid picking on me.
A guy I barely knew stood up for me. Even though he wasn’t much bigger than me and wasn’t near as big as my antagonist, he shook his fist right into the bully's face and said:
“Why don’t you find somebody your own size to pick on.”
It was not a question.
That is how Scott Thompson came to be my best friend.
Scott introduced me to Model Rockets and the Beatles all at the same time.
On Friday nights, he and I would stay up till 3am building a Model Rocket, then we would ride our bikes down Hurstview to the 7-11 for an Apple Beer Soda. By the time we got back home we were so giddy-drunk, laughin' and fallin' off our bikes. We could barely stand up. We would turn Scotts record player up full blast and listen to ‘I am the Walrus” one more time, dancing around the room like a Walrus might, before finally crashing on the floor of Scotts room.
And somehow between 7 and 8am we would manage to drag our tired, Apple-beer hungover asses out of bed and truck our bikes and Rockets to Bedford Junior High to launch.

My very first rocket Scott helped me build had a little flight problem. As I set it up on the launch pad, one of the four fins fell off. I had waited all night for the glue to dry, and I wasn't going to let something like a little loose fin deter me or force the mission to be scrubbed. I took the fin, licked it, and stuck it back onto the rocket, held it for a moment and let go.
It worked!
The fin stayed on the rocket as I gingerly placed it back onto the launch pad.
We were good to go!
I ran back to my launch button and said to Scott "Here goes nuthin!" and flipped the switch.
SSSSSHHHHHRRRRRRUUUUPPPP!
Into the sky it burst, a white cloud streaming from the exhaust. It got about 10 feet off the pad, took a right hand turn and headed straight for Scott and I.
"GANGWAY!" I yelled and Scott and I hit the deck.
It all happened in less than a second.
I was hooked!
The next year I was President of the Rocket Club. They called me "Rocket Renfro".
And Beverly, the Secretary...man, she was hot!

Check out Mr. McNatt's legendary comb-over. After 38 years he is still at the same scool, teaching the same classes, sporting the same hairdo. They say he looks exactly the same!



Check out the High-Water Straight Leg Jeans and my "Rifleman" Belt Buckle!


Sometimes Barbara wonders how much of my satories are true. Let these pictures serve as substantiation that this one happened exactly as I say!
I didn't even need to re-name McNatt! We used to call him "Superfly".

Monday, January 25, 2010

SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE

I'm sorry to say for the three readers I have left that I am forced to add one of those verification things for the comments in order to filter out all the Spam coming this way, even though in some measure the Spam is more interesting than what I have posted. You should see it all that has come in bulk on posts from a year ago.
No, you shouldn't.
No, I do not want a Russian Bride, I am not familiar with the Forex-Nurma-Biopic Formula, I will not follow the linky in order to increase my virility, nor can I by any stretch of the imagination offer any aid towards getting a fortune in platinum ingots out of Lasa-Apso.
But I wishing the many of you to be good luck and improving well.

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Maybe you're just too blind to....see"


I used to tell people that I had seen Leon Russell at Market Hall in Dallas on New Years Eve in 1973 and the floor was dirt and the beer ran like a river and everybody got muddy-drunk, and you couldn't see the stage for all the smoke, and that Leon was at least 6'5" and weighed 300 pounds and he could bench press both Elton John and Billy Joel at the same time. I thought his song "Tightwire" was the coolest song in the world, because it sounded like maybe he was so stoned that he forgot what he was singing and playing in the middle of each chorus, which really appealed to me.

But none of this was true.

I actually spent New Years 1973 at Smilin' Tony's parents house in a closet underneath the stairs making out with a roly-poly homely lookin' girl with a mole as big as a nickel on her face.

'Cept Smilin' Tony says his parents had no stairs.

Whatever.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

HAITI CALLING



Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways,
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin',
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin',
I saw a white ladder all covered with water,
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken,
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin',
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,
Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin',
Heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin',
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin',
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.


Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony,
I met a white man who walked a black dog,
I met a young woman whose body was burning,
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow,
I met one man who was wounded in love,
I met another man who was wounded with hatred,
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin',
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
Where the executioner's face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin',
But I'll know my song well before I start singin',
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

bob dylan, a hard rains a gonna fall, 1963

Thursday, January 14, 2010

ROCKET RENFRO


My very first rocket I built back in the 7th grade had a little flight problem. As I set it up on the launch pad, one of the four fins fell off. I had waited all night for the glue to dry, and I wasn't going to let something like a little loose fin deter me or force the mission to be scrubbed. I took the fin, licked it and stuck it back onto the rocket, held it for a moment and let go.
It worked!
The fin stayed on the rocket as I gingerly placed it back onto the launch pad.
I ran back to my launch button and said to Scott "Here goes nuthin!" and flipped the switch.
SSSSSHHHHHRRRRRRUUUUPPPP!
Into the sky it burst, a white cloud streaming from the exhaust. It got about 10 feet off the pad, took a right hand turn and headed straight for Scott and I.
"GANGWAY!" I yelled and Scott and I hit the deck.
It all happened in less than a second.
I was hooked!
The next year I was President of the Rocket Club. They called me "Rocket Renfro"


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A HIGHER POWER

I had a Recovery Dream…
I dreamed I was standing at the side of the street. There were a lot of people I did not know. I said to the man standing beside me ‘Watch this” and I stepped out into the street and floated as though I was on an invisible skateboard across to the other side of the street, never once touching the ground.
As I floated I had recited to myself the first step:
“Step One-We admitted we were powerless over our addiction and our lives had become unmanageable”

Having landed on the opposite side of the street, a crowd now formed around me there and a young woman asked me if I could do that floating thing again.
“But of course” I told her and began to float back, slowly flapping my arms as if they were wings, to the other side while reciting my Second Step:
“Step Two- We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

As I landed, there were “Ooohs” and “Ahhhs” coming from the two crowds now gathered on each side of the street. Everyone was now watching me. I pushed away from the curb and did a Triple-Toe Loop, a Camel spin and finished it of with a Quad as I announced:
“Step Three- We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him”
I "moon-walked" back, floating inches from the surface of the street:
“Step Four- We made fearless and searching Moral Inventory of ourselves” and went on to the Fifth Step:
“We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs”

At each crossing the audience would cheer and clap. There were some who were trying it themselves, but they could not float.
And in the dream no one, including myself, had made the connection that it was something to do with the 12 steps that were allowing me to cross the street in such an elegant fashion.
Here I will list for you the remainder of the 12 Steps and leave it to your own imagination the graceful ways I devised to float my way back and forth across the street.

6) We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7) We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8) We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9) We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10) We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11) We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12) Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


The crowd went wild!

So, having demonstrated the 12 Steps, a man in the crowd asked me how it was that I could float like that while reciting the 12 Steps.
I had to tell him that I did not know. It was then that I woke up.
Most of my dreams are pretty simple, pretty easy to find the metaphors. My subconscious tends to stay close to the surface I suppose.
Still I did not entirely know the answer to his question until I went to a meeting two hours later and read the daily meditation.
This is the last sentence from the first paragraph. I think it speaks to my dream:

"One of the greatest gifts we receive from the Twelve Steps is our belief in a God of our own understanding. "




AND THE JUDGES GAVE ME....
ALL TENS!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

"SPARE HIM HIS LIFE FROM THIS MONSTROSITY"

"My dream is not to live in a world where we tolerate our fellow man in spite of his differences; my dream is to live in a world where we love our fellow man because of them. The differences between men add value to my life."
Dave Mows Grass


Well, maybe not so much this guy.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

DONNA, PART ONE

In the second grade in Mrs. Shermans class, we had an exercise in the book where we were to draw lines between objects that matched; a dog and a doghouse, a hat and a pair of gloves, a hammer and a nail, a bat and a ball and so on.
I drew a line from the dog to the ball, from the house to the hammer, ect.
Mrs. Sherman said it was all wrong, to try again, but it had made perfect sense to me.
I had no idea what they wanted me to do. I did not understand their box.
I had to sit there through recess and stare at my paper.
To the point of tears.
When the kids came in from playing, the nice little girl that sat next to me named Donna, she helped me.
But as per usual, I got caught cheating and had to take my paper home that night with a note that scolded me:
“This is Donna’s work!!!”
It has affected me so much my whole life that I still have a tendency to use 3 Exclamation points!!!



I realize now that there really were no wrong answers.
I can think outside anyone’s box.
And this is how I came to fall in love with Donna.

"A DOG AND A DOGHOUSE? HOW BOURGEOIS!"