Wednesday, August 26, 2009

J.R. Simpson

I don't think I've ever written about my grandfather before, which is odd to me. I do believe he is the only man in my life that hasn't disappointed or hurt me. And, that is really saying something.

My grandfather was never known as my "grandfather." That's far too formal a title for him. He was simply known as "Papaw" to the grandkids. I know I have idealized and perfect memories of him, but that is what grandchildren do if the relationship is a good one. Ours wasn't was incredible, much to my good fortune.

In a nutshell, I believe it is from him that I get my 'no-nonsense' attitude, outspoken and fiery temper from. He was every man's man and every woman's protector without smothering the hell out of them in the process. If I step into my grandmother's shoes, I know his temper was difficult to deal with. But, I never saw that side of him except for 3 times. But, that is for other stories in the future.

His memory sometimes wraps around my brain and reminds me of the extraordinary childhood and partial teenage hood I shared with him. He was a sublime storyteller, fisherman, Mr Fix it whether dealing with his hands or his heart and a superb grandparent. Not to slight my grandmother...she was as well. This corporate sounding grandfather gave me many memories including some very tall tales that I sometimes didn't figure out until days, months or even years later.

For example: He was a close friend of Harry Houdini. Did you know that? He had a way of telling a story that made me believe this until long after he passed away. I'm sure he was delighted to see my realization years later!

He was a Renaissance man that never ceased to amaze me. He created inventions but never patented them. He made these tools to ease his work, not necessarily to become a rich man.

The memories I remember to this day are many, but a few that I will share with you are:

First and foremost, he was a fisherman. He often caught Bass, Catfish, Brim and Perch. He cleaned the fish as skillfully as any surgeon performed surgery. He was poetry in motion.

He was a sailor in the Navy. It was during those times at port when he and some of his Naval buddies got a tattoo. Who knew that years later, a granddaughter would gaze at his left arm with the elaborate staff and snake tattoo for hours and wonder about his adventures on the sea.

He always wanted to travel to the Amazon and then to Australia.

The Amazon River

He used a brush with shaving soap a big mug for shaving, and wore Old Spice aftershave.

He knew how badly I hated school as a kid and would sometimes pick me up during the middle of day and take me to Jefferson City, an outdoor strip mall in Port Arthur, Texas where we ate at Luby's Cafeteria and browse records at the record store. Sometimes we went to the hardware store. It didn't matter to me, I wasn't in school and we never told my mother. He always delivered me a few blocks from home so I could walk home at the same time I did every day. No suspicion and he would drive on to my house and act as if he hadn't seen me all day. My mother didn't find this out until I was well into my 30's.

He was a fabulous dancer and particularly Cajun dancing. His partner of choice was my older sister. They danced, kicked their legs, did the Cajun holler (Ahhhh-Yeeeeeee!) and glided across the floor as if they were dancing on glass. I could watch them for hours.

He was a heavy smoker which required him to switch to pipe smoking via order from his doctors. His uniform after the Navy became tan, short sleeved shirts (regardless of weather) with a chest pocket that held his hard case glasses. He also wore before it was popular, denim painter's pants. Why? there was a pocket for everything.

He rarely bought anything for himself, but he bought a beautiful table that had a picture of a parrot under the glass made with butterfly wings. There was also a small lamp that went with it and it stood in his living room for as long as I can remember. I remember looking at that table and thinking it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. He also bought a porcupine quill box and kept his pictures of his travels in there. It even included photos from the Philippines as well as pictures from the war. He never told us why, but he instructed us to never open that box. One look from J.R. and you did exactly as he said. He noticed me one day admiring the table and told me that it was mine when he and my grandmother passed. I was thrilled.

My Treasured "Butterfly Table"

And so, to avoid the family squabbling, years before my grandmother's death, she gave me the prized table and I was elated. Is it worth much? In dollars and cents, I have no idea. In memories and enjoyment? It's priceless.

The day neither began nor ended unless Fishing preceded both.

Sometimes when I pass by a lake...if I squint really hard, I can see him casting his line.

More Musings Later-

Saturday, August 22, 2009

If I could ask God a few Questions, it would go something like this:

The Big Bang Recreation


If in the beginning, there was nothingness; who or what made you?

What made you create the universe as we know it?

Do you control every aspect of our lives or do we?

Is Destiny a reality? If so, what is the purpose?
Why are there Black Holes?


What was the point of creating humans, animals etc.?

Okay, in an effort to be delicate (this is me you're talkin' too remember) Why is a monthly cycle necessary for women to have babies? Surely you could think of a better way?

Did you make the human body as it is so humans could understand how to perform surgery and heal others? I'm thinking the human body could be made a little more efficiently. (Not that I'm criticizing...I'm just sayin')

Other than the humans that were mentioned in the Bible, who are you most proud of the way they lived their life?

What is the meaning of life? I have my ideas, is that the way it is supposed to be? Feel free to jump in.


There are some recurring themes in our civilization; there are people and groups who seem to follow their own way from the mainstream culture. (i.e., Jesus, Noah, Moses, Martin Luther King, Jr., Buddha, Mother Theresa and a slew of others). Aside from the obvious, how come they are viewed as outcasts?
How come people consider the literal words of the Bible as what actually happened. Is it? Just askin', cause, "In the beginning, there was Adam and Eve...they had 2 sons, Cain and Abel. Cain slew Abel. Cain took a wife.." (Where did she come from?) I'm just sayin...

How come some people are seemingly more persecuted than others?

How come Catholics believe the Pope is a direct communicator with you?

How come the Pope wears elaborate robes and hats when Jesus dressed as a commoner?

How come their seems to be so much corruption in various religions?

DO WE...

Live in a parallel universe?

Live among other life such as aliens?

Ever stop the continuum of Reincarnation? if so, when?


How long do we "layover" before we reincarnate again?

When I try to think through "GOD", the meaning, the existence the true reality of is beyond my comprehension. Why are we so feeble intellectually?


Thank you for my sense of humor. It has definitely come in handy.

Thank you for those who surround me...even the ones who try my patience and those who have hurt me. I've learned a great deal about myself from it. The experiences were not wasted on me.

Thank you for allowing me to be a writer. It's allowed me experiences that I could never have imagined.

Thank you for allowing me to be a musician when I was younger. It's allowed me experiences that I could never have imagined.

More Musings Later-

This blog post was intended to pontificate about our lives and the meaning thereof in earnest. I did mix humor with (gasp) religion. What can I say? God made me this way.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Writers are strange, mysterious, wounded and magical. I'm not calling myself "magical" but I definitely fit the other criteria. The fact that writers labor over an opening sentence to their novel, writing articles, essays and other modes of communication all for the sake of having it be as perfect as possible speaks volumes about their uniqueness and pursuit of magic.
Tonight, I was working late and a Google alert came up that one of my favorite writers had just posted to her blog. I've long admired her writing talent and I have to admit that when I read her posts, I silently wish that I had her way with words. She can arrange a cluster of letters to form words that evoke emotions that I alone relate to on such a deep level. Of course, all of her readers feel this way. Hence, my admiration.

Tonight she spoke about a novel she was writing. I was thrilled and will most definitely buy it. She mentioned about self-publishing it, and I saw my chance to offer some suggestions (although I am sure she knows all about this subject.) After hitting the send button, I noticed a few moments later that a reply came. This incredible writer found my bio and wrote me the following short message:

..."You're a genius and Renaissance person. Good luck with the sales of your own book. If you want me to review it, please just mail it or email gallies. It would be an honor to review..."

I was dumbstruck. I read it over and over. I thought about the term "Renaissance person" and read it a few more times. She obviously saw where I was accepted to U.T. at Arlington at the age of 12 for a summer percussion symposium. Genius? No way, I just peaked early.

Cultural Dictionary meaning of "Renaissance Person "
Noun: An outstandingly versatile, well-rounded person. The expression alludes to such Renaissance figures as Leonardo da Vinci, who performed brilliantly in many different fields.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third EditionCopyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Cite This Source

I looked at it again...and again.

I looked up the definition.

I'm still looking at it.

My feet have yet to touch the ground and I've said a thousand silent THANK YOU's.

More Musings I'm sure-

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I Don't Get It

Okay, there are some issues that have been making me stop and scratch my head. See if you don't agree:

Guns Allowed in Restaurants and Bars

Who in the hell voted this law to pass? WHO? Those who declare that "They have the right to bear arms?" What people don't understand is that it doesn't mean you can "pack heat" anywhere you please. What are you going to do? Shoot the McDonalds clerk for getting your order wrong? Give me a BREAK! See Wiki's explanation.

Wikipedia: the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that "[t]he Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."[24]

Guns in the Parks
"Okay, back away from the monkey bars and I won't blow your head off!" I mean if you don't set kids straight at a young age, they "won't learn nuthin'" Yet, people in Nashville are all in an uproar over this. HELLO? Still don't get it.

Obama Bashers
That Obama guy is too big for his britches...Ok, I agree that the "Beer Summit" was stupid. He misspoke and had to get out of it somehow. Think back people...remember how "W" used to mangle the English language and then chuckle about it? Remember when he had that deer in the headlight look nearly 95% of the time? Get over it!

One more: Remember when Obama started working before he even took the oath? AND "W" LET HIM? Hell, he was kicked back in the oval office suckin on a cigar just counting down the time. He was a waste and so are people's time if they are going to gripe for 4 years.

Michael Jackson Coverage
Alright...the man is dead and it was because of the drugs. DUH...bury the guy! He was the cash cow for his family and his father is even more of an ass than I originally thought. Last night I watched Nancy Grace and they played the same piece of tape OVER AND OVER until the 30 minute show was over. And I mean OVER and OVER. Nothing more to see people, move along.

Oh, one last thing: Joe Jackson is stating that an older boy is Michael's biological son. HELLO! Michael is not the biological father of any children. C'mon, do I really have to tell people that? I think it was awful that his 3 children found out that Debbie Rowe was their mother on T.V. and that Michael wasn't their biological father.

Can somebody please cut Blanket's hair and pay attention to him? He looks like a lost little soul.

C'mon people, has everyone lost their common sense?
By the way, I've officially gotten old: When I saw this photo of Michael, I was dying to pull his hair out of his eyes!
More Musings Later-