Where Were You When You Heard Elvis Had Died?

Today, 16 Aug, is the date in 1977 that Elvis left this mortal coil.

I was in my early twenties, headed into Texas City with my best and oldest friend. We got together after work, loaded up his old International Harvester SUV “The Goose” and were bound for an inlet to Galveston Bay for some crabbing.  My best bud, a pharmacist, had grown up a fisherman and sportsman, as had I.  I was a student at UT-Austin, working a summer job in Houston as a painter’s helper on the Galleria II project.

As we were rolling into Texas City and turning off IH-45, the announcer on the big Houston rock’n’roll radio station stated, with a somber tone, “The King Is Dead.” Being in a party mode since leaving Houston, we looked at each other with blood shot eyes and went…whaaaa?  I said, seriously, who cares about the monarchy? Then the announcer stated it was Elvis who had died of congestive heart failure. That new information clue-batted us and we both expressed our shock and disbelief.

Elvis had been a part of our lives since we were toddlers.  My parents would drop us boys off at my grandparent’s farm on Saturday afternoon and go into Shreveport to have dinner, then go see this new singing sensation at the Louisiana Hayride, a young man named Elvis.  Of course my grandparent’s didn’t approve of this new “devil” music, no more than my parents approved of my Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin music, years later.

I can remember, even though I was only about four at the time, being scooped up and loaded in my Dad’s Buick Special for the midnight ride home, trying to understand where my parents had been and asking questions.

Years went by, I heard all of his songs and saw all of his movies(silly as most were), but it was Elvis, no one else looked like him or acted like him.  In the late sixties his star was waning and his Las Vegas era replaced the hit making young hip shaker. I was now into hard rock and paid little attention to his now faded glory.

But on this day, when I discovered he had passed away far too early, his impact on my life came flooding back with many memories.

*PS*  Elvis’ spirit was with my bud and I that afternoon and evening, we filled two large ice chests with huge blue shell crabs and made it home safely without injury or a DWI.

And it makes me wonder

English: Newt Gingrich at a political conferen...


“Hey, can you play, Stairway to Heaven?”

And, for the first time in a long while, I didn’t automatically change the channel.

It wasn’t like I had to break out the air guitar or anything.  Besides, it was only a short drive to the polls, and as an official “undecided” voter, I needed some background music to listen to while I was making up my mind.   Santorum or Gingrich, 6 of one … half dozen of the other.  Only thing is, I’ve wanted to vote for Gingrich for President for a long time, and this is the first opportunity I’ve had.  I’ll vote for Santorum if he gets the nomination, and I don’t feel the same way about Romney.

Over the past week, I’ve received a couple of phone calls each from Santorum and Gingrich supporters, but  easily 2 dozen Romney robo-calls.  Each call was a negative info hit about Santorum or Gingrich.  I kept remembering Barbara  Bush last week whining about all of the negative campaigning, and how it is hurting her guy Mitt — but it’s always Romney doing the negative campaigning.

There’s a sign on the wall, but she wants to be sure, cause you know sometimes words have two meanings ..

I am tired of it, too.  It got to where would just hang up on the Romney calls.  The talking heads are saying he has outspent  his competition 5 to 1, but it seems a lot more than that. Romney has been all over TV.  Gingrich has been on radio.  Santorum has been on TV, but not that often.

The big question might just be turnout.  I voted around 11 AM and was #28 on the roll.  There was no crowd at all.  Only one other voter at the poll.  If the turnout is as light as my experience indicates, the best organization will be favored, and that means Romney. .

And it makes me wonder …

My prediction for Mississippi:  Romney 39, Gingrich 30, Santorum 21, Paul 9.

Update:  Just got another robo-call from the romney campaign.  If he loses, it won’t be because he didn’t leave it on the court.

More from:  Y’all Politics;      Jxn Jambalaya


Which was your piece of chicken?

This evening at Supper, I was taken on one of those memory jogs that lasts only a few seconds, but is as clear and vivid as any, by a question my wife asked her brother.

“How were your gizzards?”

And just like that I was sitting at the kitchen table 40 years ago in Natchez, waiting for the Blessing to be asked, and eyeing the prize that was the staple of so many Jones family Sunday dinners.

Momma’s fried chicken.

Brenda would take a drumstick.  Mom preferred the pulley bone  and the liver.  I would start with two pieces also, a thigh, and the gizzard.  Nobody else liked the gizzard, but I loved it.  Especially hot, and I would always eat it first.  Frank would take a thigh and the back, and Dad would get the breast.  Later on, Frank would begin to get the pulley bone, and Mom would take the other breast. I attributed this to favoritism until I realized that Mom had simply given up on the idea of stretching two meals out of one chicken.

So she was simply deciding to go ahead and let us finish it all in one sitting.

And boy could we eat.  Especially when Frank and I were both in our teens.  Dad would claim that it took so much to fill us up that our legs must have been hollow.

Momma‘s fried chicken is famous in our family for its seasoned crustiness, lovingly prepared, to tasty Southern perfection.

Even the gizzard.


Veterans Day in Magnolia

At the Pike County Veterans Memorial, Magnolia, Mississippi, November 11, 2011.

Today’s service began at 11:11 A.M. on a gloriously sunny morning in front of the Court House.

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The Mrs. and I found a semi-shady spot to visit with many of the veterans and families.   The JROTC of South Pike High School presented the colors.  Many thanks to Maj (ret) J.W. Rayborn for his service with these fine young people.

A special Veterans Day speech was delivered by Willie Dunbar, student body President of North Pike High School.  Willie is a Senior at North Pike, and is an impressive young man in his own right.

Several of us, including Willie and his mom Rhonda, and his Principal, Darryl Brock, along with the American Legion commander Nickie White and his wife, and Jim Coleman and his wife joined Mrs. Nuke  and the staff from the local VA clinic for lunch at Chili Willie’s.

A wonderful service, and a memorable day.  Thanks, Lord for letting me be there.

#OWS: Jackson, MS

The Occupation Crowd made it to Smith Park in Jackson, yesterday. Nuke’s contributor, Jseedubya was there to provide us with some idea of what happened.

I went to the Occupy Jackson Rally this morning. I wanted to see for myself what this “movement” was all about. I understand the basis of their complaints, corporate greed, and the fact that politicians favor Wall Street over Main Street. In fact, I can relate to their anger as I too am having a tough time in this degraded economy. I agree that there needs to be some significant changes to the status quo, and I was curious to hear their ideas, if any, that the 99 percenters were promoting.

Some of what I saw was just plain bizarre. They claim to have no “leader”, but one fellow wearing a “wifebeater” t-shirt, and oversize belt buckle with a pot leaf emblem on it, did seem to be the head honcho. He would make a statement, and the crowd would repeat his words, almost like the were chanting. Then they would throw their hands up in the air like an old-time tent revival, and wiggle their fingers in agreement with the chanting.

There were signs in the park that said “Park Closes at 7:00 PM.” I didn’t stick around to see if the hippies would test the patience of the Police or not. JPD is not known for suffering fools gladly.

update: HA-check out these endorsements!

Harper responds to Totus speech

While there was no televised GOP response to Pres Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress this evening, many members have taken advantage of the power and reach of the new media to craft a different kind of response. One that, given the kickoff of the NFL season, will allow the GOP to craft a message that readers can view at a time of their own choosing.

Here is the response from Gregg Harper, MS-3:

“Our nation continues to suffer from a serious jobless problem, which is why I support a pro-business legislative agenda that removes barriers our job creators face from excessive federal regulations.

“While I agree with the president that we must get folks back to work, I do not believe that another failed stimulus is the answer.

“House Republicans have advanced a number of job-creating proposals – many of which have passed with bipartisan support – that remain stalled in the Democratic-controlled Senate. I urge the president to support these initiatives which promote private sector growth, decrease job-crushing regulations and boost American-made energy production.”

Last of the delta bluesmen

David Honeyboy Edwards, the “Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen” has died. This morning Monday August 29, 2011, about 3 am while resting peacefully at home, Honeyboy moved on to blues heaven.

This picture was taken in West Point at the dedication of the Howlin Wolf Statue downtown….Rest in peace, sir… you were a fine blues gentleman…

h/t cousin Dee

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