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Back Home Again

by larry on August 29, 2014

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PAC82014 130Rosie and I are back home after a successful trip to Central City Nebraska where we performed  with Elton Flodman at the Performing Arts Theater in Central City with Danney Williams on lead guitar, Debbie Nelson on drums, Pat Boilsen on vocals and key board, and Ken Jones on Bass. Near the end of the first set Rosie came out in her Shabby Security costume in the middle of me singing “If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold it Against Me”  while the crowed laughed and applauded. She was a real trooper. The theater is a  big, new and beautiful facility with great sound provided by Jay Farris it has a great back drop of special lighting that really sets the mood for the songs. Hands down one of the best places to put on a show. Danney and his wife Kathy followed  us there with both cars packed with our equipment and clothes. All in all we had a great time while we stayed at Elton’s and his wife Connie’s house. They are great hosts and fed us with the best cuisine. The Opry Show was on Wed. then a show at Central City Cotton Wood Manor retirement home then Fri. night a gospel show at Elton,s beautiful old Fridhem Lutherern Church in Hordville NE. All in all we had a great time this is my third time at this theater and I’m looking forward to doing it again….

How Much is it Worth

by larry on August 8, 2014

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I saw a story on Sixty Minutes about a Chinese lady who grew up in one of the most impoverished provinces of China, who for five years didn’t even have a home to go to, her and her mother slept in an office building where her mother was a cleaning lady. For five years her mother slept on a desk with a dictionary for a pillow. She is now the riches woman in China. Obviously she is intelligent and hard working as well as talented so that all helps and I realize that is far from the norm but in truth we can all take a lesson from her about hard work and determination. I was never that smart or talented but I did not shy away from hard work and I do have a stubborn streak and though I did not make a million dollars, I did pretty good considering my education. My family moved from one farm to another until I was nineteen and what ever I got I made mostly on my own with very little help from anyone, dad might loan me a buck or two for gas once I got a car that I paid for but that was about it. But I never buckled down and took the bit in mouth to be rich, I just did what I thought was best for me and mine and had some fun along the way. I didn’t think it was worth sacrificing everything to get all I could hold on to. My wife said “what a waste you could have been a doctor or lawyer” but that would have meant I would have held peoples lives in my hands and I couldn’t live with knowing I made a mistake and cost someone their everything. I do make mistakes I guess we all do I no I made some bad ones but I guess it was a learning process. How much is it worth? well that’s a trick question and no one knows the answer, we all do what we think is right at the time and then look back and judge ourselves. Trouble is we only get to go around once if I could go around again I’d change a few things not many but a few. But those are things only I will ever know and a hundred years from now it won’t matter much anyway…….They say don’t look back it ain’t worth it maybe they are right.IMG_0400

J.D.

by larry on March 18, 2014

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I have some things I want to write down because I know I am the only one who can. So if you have something you need to do, go ahead… it’s just some memories of me and a guy I looked up to. Of coarse I had too he was 6′ 1′ I was about 5’9″.  He was the one with the dark wavy hair, dark eye’s and slim as a rail, smart as a whip but tough as he needed to be to get the job done. To say I wanted to be like him is an understatement. I could go way back to when he showed me how to roll my own out behind the barn on the Hobart Bean farm in Bois’ Darc MO. or just a couple years ago when he’d call about twice a week with a new joke ( he wouldn’t even say who it was just “this guy walks in a bar”) he knew I knew who it was. There’s two many memories to tell them all…….like when me and him decided to catch the biggest ground hog in Green County alive. There was an old shed South of the house on the Nicholson farm that had a ground hog hole inside on the dirt floor, we knew it was well used and that he was big and fat cause no one knew it was there. J.D. found the back entrance and blocked it off with big rocks …..put a loop of bailing wire around the hole …. got a milk bucket full of water poured it down the hole and stood back with the wire wrapped around his hand. 10 seconds later the fight was on . That old gray backed Woodchuck stuck his head out just a little too far and J.D. pulled  the loop of wire tight around his neck…. dust started flyin’ and we started runnin’ around tryin’ not to get bit because he (the chuck) was more than upset, seems like he was always between us and the door…..he broke the wire and went back in the hole and we were more than happy he did.

He had to sleep with me his little brother ’cause there was never enough room in the old farm houses my Dad rented, and my earliest memories was me wetting the bed and J.D. yelling for mom to do something. He made sure I didn’t drink water and went outside to pee every night for a long time after that. He had to get up with Dad every morning at 4:30  to help milk the 20 head of cows for about three years while we lived on the Nicholson place, while I snoozed away in that warm bed,, and he never let me forget it. Maybe that’s how he got in the habit of getting up early……..he loved to tell jokes or better yet hear a good joke and I couldn’t wait to try a new one on him, If he had heard it before he’d say I want to hear you tell it ‘sides I’m not sure I got it right, then he’d laugh till he had to brace himself on the wall. Sometimes I’d call him with a new one and I wouldn’t hear nothing on the other end for a few seconds and I’d think ah shoot he didn’tImage0006 get it……but he was just out of breath…..and he’d come back laughin’…. oh he would laugh….. he loved goose berry pie, fast cars, airplanes, shooting a gun, telling  stories, outdoors, tractors, making it work, and I know he loved me…… but did he know I loved him?…. I hope he did… I was the one that was heavy, but  ….he was my brother.

Ned Christie

by larry on March 1, 2014

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Who is this guy? I asked Gram pa. He said, oh I don’t know, just an outlaw these vigilantes chased down and shot I guess. We were looking at an old post card from the 1890s on heavy paper stock turning brown with chipped and worn edges from grandmas little cedar chest full of old photos of days gone by. But this one I knew I’d never forget, it was of a dead man on a door sized piece of wood standing upright next to a railing of a brick building with cut stone window sills. He had a Winchester type rifle between his stiff hands and his waist. There were seven men with their rifles sitting around this guy, one or two wore a badge. I was about 8 or 9 and didn’t remember ever seeing a dead person yet, even in a photograph. Many years went by and my wife and I paid a visit to an aunt and uncle in the same little town of Bois’ Darc MO where my Gran pa and gran ma Bolin had lived so many years ago; they had both passed away and my aunt and I were going through that same little cedar box of old pictures when I picked up the old post card and said wow! I told her the story and she said take it home with you, I guess she could tell it meant a lot to me…….fast forward another ten years; I had ordered some Time Life books on the old west and the first one of the series was about the outlaws……in the back of this book was a full page picture of this same outlaw in the same place and though he had not moved, there was no one around him. His name was Ned Christie a Cherokee Outlaw. Some time later at the Har-Ber village museum in Grove OK I saw an old wanted poster For Ned Christie, and again later in the movie True Grit John Wayne tells Robert Duval’s character Ned Pepper that “I aim to kill you Ned or take you back to Fort Smith to hang at Judge Parker’s convenience, which will it be” Ned say’s “that’s mighty bold talk for a one eyed fat man”…..Rooster says fill your hand you son of a bitch”. while in Guthery OK last week I looked for something on this old outlaw but found nothing so when I got home I looked him up on the Computer and there was the whole story. It is all detailed out but very interesting to me, maybe you,ll find it that way too…….http://www.historynet.com/ned-christie-cherokee-outlaw.htmNed_Christie's_War_1892 http://www.historynet.com/ned-christie-cherokee-outlaw.htm

Not a Tooth In His Head

by larry on July 7, 2013

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Image0006Some time at the end of a hot summer many years ago I was fast asleep in bed with my brother J.D.on the old farm near Ash Grove Mo. (I was about 8 or 9 he was about 13). When Ol’ Major (part hound and German Shepard and Teddy a red colored Chow that uncle Eldon gave us because he was too mean for the city life) started a ruckus in the front yard under an old pear tree. Everyone was trying to sleep but the dogs wouldn’t shut up no matter how much dad yelled at them. Finely I hear dad say J.D. get up and see what them damn dogs are up too. He came back in just his jeans and said they had a Raccoon treed in the old pear tree and he couldn’t handle ’em. Dad got up slipped on his pants cussin’ under his breath and the two of them went out to the tree. Dad looked up in the full moon light and saw the biggest coon he had ever seen, half way up the tree. He looked at JD and said well we’re going to have to let ’em have it out if we’re ever goin’ to get some sleep ’round here so get a stick, climb up there and knock him out and lets see what happens.
When that coon hit the ground the fight was on. Now this was many years ago and it may seem cruel to let two big dogs attack a single coon but that coon was as tough as a boot and mean as a bobcat and he was not going to go peacefully. He would jump on top of Ol’ Major and Teddy would pull him off then he would jump on top of Teddy and Ol’ Major would pull him down . Now Ol’ Major was not Old he was in his prime and he was a huntin’ dog and no coon was goin’ to come into his territory and get out with out a fight. Teddy didn’t know what this thing was, but he was not going to let him go either. And so it went on and on; Dad was whoopin’ and hollerin’ at the dogs sick him Major, come on Teddy get ‘im….ahhh look at you two, that coon gonna chew you up and spit ya out; sick ‘im (dad always liked a good tussle you could tell by his nose bent a little to one side). They fought their way back to the old chicken house about 30 yards away. The coon backed up to the old chicken house and stood up and when a dog came in at him he would slap him down and it would yelp and back off then the other would try his luck and get slapped and scratched with a right cross or a left hook. The dew on the ground was heavy and the temperature was dropping and Dad in his bare feet and stepping on a Missouri flint rock now and then an’ J.D. starting to shiver and gettin’ cold even though the heat of the battle kept him jumppin’ around like he was right in there with them. Dad noticed there wasn’t much blood on any of the combatants but the dogs couldn’t finish off this coon and so he found a stick and knocked the coon out with one blow and pulled the dogs off (who by this time had, had enough anyway and didn’t protest too much). He picked the coon up by the tail and put him in the empty old smoke house and said “we’ll sort this out in the morning”.
The next day dad carefully opened the old smoke house door fully expecting to see a very capable and very mad adversary but instead found the animals lifeless body…… He was bigger than he remembered from the night before. He knelt down on one knee to look him over feeling a little sorry he lost and discovered he didn’t have a tooth in his head that wasn’t worn down to a nubbin and so must have been very old. He put the coon in the trunk of his old Ford as he went to town to get some feed and showed him to the local farmers from the area; he told the story and they all agreed “that’s the biggest coon we ever saw” and Dad said yep and the toughest too. He told the story many times for many years after that, because his last battle was his bravest and his best and should be told over and over again…..

The Wahoo Music Fest.

by larry on June 25, 2013

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Stranger Creek Band Photo - Copy (2)We got home from the Wahoo NE. Country Music Show Sun. afternoon and unpacked the old airstream and after a day of rest and recollection I’m ready to write a note about it. We had to make the trip without Garry Bichelmeyer who is still healing up from a bad fall from a horse wile herding cattle. All in all the weather was good not too hot and just a little rain Sat. morning at our nine o’clock stage time and again Sat night… so not bad. We donated all of our performances to Maggie Marx a little lady we think might have a big future in the music business and the audience seemed to fall in love with her. If anyone who was at the show has a good video of some of the performances I would like to get a copy. Leona Williams was there with her son Ron and they put on two great shows Thur. night as did Jake Simpson one of the best master showmen with a fiddle I’ve ever seen….. someone in Nashville needs to pick up his contract so everyone can hear his music. We backed seven or eight performers and had a great time so I guess you could say we had lots of time on stage. Gordon Riley and I went up to Central City NE. the previous Sunday afternoon and helped put on a show for Elton Flodman in Central Cities very nice theater. The sound was the best I’ve ever worked with in a theater setting; designed and ran by Jay Farris and we had about 300 in attendance to see Elton Flodman, Pat Boilson, Tex and Mary Schutz with Curt Shoemaker on Steel Guitar and Ken Jones on bass, Kevin Lawrence on drums, Gordon Riley on lead guitar and me on rhythm guitar. Everyone said it was a great show so we might be back next year……..