Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hiking with Michael

I remember being the little brother, going hiking with my brother Michael. I was perhaps six or seven then, in the mid '60s. Michael was, and is, about six years older than I.

We hiked out around Grandpa's farm, near Crane, Missouri. That was a big deal to me then.  Down the hill, on the rocky dirt road, past the small old cemetary, along the railroad tracks. He taught me to walk the rails, for balance he said. He could go, seemingly forever, never slipping off the shiny curved top of the rail. I, I was always slipping off, at first. Later, I got the hang of it, barely looking down to see my feet. I recall the smells, in the mid summer Missouri heat. I don't know the names of the plants, weeds along the right of way, but I remember the warm dry smells of things not bothered by heat.

There were lots of things to see and hear. Hawks up high, crows, always, dragonflies & horseflies, the former welcome, the later, not so much.  lizards, if I was lucky, to see and hear, and chase, and miss.

I remember once, standy on a short trestle, perhaps thirty feet above Crane Creek. Looking down into the clear water there were goldfish there, let out from some fisherman's minnow bucket at end of a fishing day.
They flourished there in that creek, for years, growing as big as a large mouth bass, fourteen inches at least, Orange and white  and slow and serene. Our backwoods versions of koi, I think now.

And looking up from the creek from where we stood on the trestle there, across to the vertical bluff were goats, now wild on their own, perched, miraculously to me, on bits of rock no more than half the width of their hooves.

White and grey and brown, nonchalantly watching us watching them. they knew they were untouchable, aloof in their superiority of belonging, the kings and queens of the bluffs, much more at home than we to that place, that time.

It was a good day, among many good days, hiking with Michael.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

To my Brother G, childhood memories

Coffeyville, Kansas, about 1967 or '68, walking home, maybe about eight or nine years old, from the west on 10th street. crossing to our alley at the end of the block. 

About then I was surprised to hear really quite loud rock n roll, blasting down the alley way. I recall  thinking Oh, some old people are gonna be yelling at someone about that. I walked on.  Once I got a couple of backyards down the alley, it was obvious the sound was coming from OUR old carriage house garage, OUR HAYLOFT! (I'm guessing Dad wasn't home). You were singing, um, pretty much screaming actually,  Purple Haze.

I went up to be in on this strange & amplfied wondrous happening.  I was the kid, didn't get to stay long.

My second mind expanding shock of the day came maybe an hour or less later. I was on the screened in back porch, trying to make a tornado out of play-dough. It was then a quite attractive young  lady, probably Joanne came walking towards me from the direction of the alley, with the bright sun behind her, silhouetting her form through a white  and yellow cotton dress. I had never seen that back lighted kind of view before. Oh my.

I remember her smiling and talking to me(probably asking after you) as she came towards me. It was pretty amazing, perhaps, as I say, even mind-expanding to an impressionable eight or nine year old. Now I can't help but see her, that dress,  or the old carriage house garage, whenever I hear Purple Haze.  

Monday, November 15, 2010

rock 101-mid 1960's

Mid 1960's; I remember that guitar, my big brother's Fender Duo-Sonic. I was too young to know it fretted badly. For many years I thought it had been a Telecaster or Strat, until corrected. I had never even heard of a Duo-Sonic.

I remember it from the living room on 9th st.,Coffeyville, Kansas(We killed the Dalton gang-woo-hoo?). I would have been six or seven-ish. I was not allowed to touch it, though I dearly wanted to.
It could not have been a more magical or mysterious an object to me if, if - anything. It seems like I only remember seeing it played about once each by my brother G. and by Dad. I may be remembering imagining or dreaming of Dad playing it. 

It did seem like seeing/hearing G. playing became much more frequent after the appearance of the Goya acoustic. I noticed here they're requesting photos of Duo-sonics and some other "obscure" Fenders. Man, wouldn't we both love to have that back, if only to put it on auction, or perhaps in a vault.
Here's a related memory - I remember being downtown, Coffeyville, Kansas at night, 9th street in front of about Newberry's, and seeing G. and some other guys, all about sixteen or seventeen, on a trailer, going down the street playing. Midnight Madness? The Roaches? was that a dream?