5/19/2017

Tribute to an Old Friend




With the passing of Chris Cornell yesterday my conversations and reflections fell onto friends who have passed away.   One memory that stuck out was of a man I met as a child and used to spend time listening to as he spoke of his life experiences.  A wild and exciting set of stories that could be very difficult to believe.

I was always told he was nothing but a storyteller.  None of it was real.  The old man was lying.

On the day he died I finally found out he was being honest, and telling true stories.  While helping to clean up his home after he passed, I saw all the things one would need to see to believe his stories. 

As I relayed this experience to my step dad, he was reminded of a song.  This song "Cowboy Bill".  Perhaps a bit "hookey', but... very close to the experience.

In tribute to this lost friend, I wanted to post these lyrics in his memory.





"Cowboy Bill"

He told a good story and all of us kids listened
'Bout his life on the border and the way it was then
And we all believed him and when he would finish
We'd ask the old cowboy to tell 'em again

You could almost hear those prairie winds blowin'
His saddle a creaking beneath his old faded jeans
You could taste the dry dust from the trail he was ridin'
As he sat there and painted those west Texas scenes

And the grown-ups would tell us
You boys keep your distance, that old man's just tellin' you lies
But to all of us kids Cowboy Bill was a hero
Just as true as his blue Texas skies


He told of a time when he rode with the Rangers
Down on the Pecos and he saved the day
Outnumbered by plenty, they were almost to cover
With thirty banditos headed their way


He looked back just in time to see a horse stumble
The captain went down and Bill pulled up on his reins
And through a flurry of bullets he rescued the captain
And they rode for a sunset, just the story remains


And the grown-ups would tell us
You boys keep your distance, that old man's just tellin' you lies
But to all of us kids Cowboy Bill was a hero
Just as true as his blue Texas skies


Well I still remember the day that it happened
We waited and we waited but Bill never showed
And the folks at the feed store said they hadn't seen him
So we set out for his place down Old Grist Mill Road

And we cried when we found him 
lying there with his memories
The old trunk wide open, things scattered about


He was clutching a badge that said Texas Ranger
And in old "yeller" letters, said Texas Is Proud 


And the grown-ups that told us
You boys keep your distance, that old man's just tellin' lies
Well now they're all sayin' Cowboy Bill was a hero
Just as true as his blue Texas skies 


Just as true as his blue Texas skies



6 comments:

  1. Hi Shane, good to see your back.

    Reading your story reminded me of my Nan.

    When I was younger I never saw eye to eye with my Nan, to be honest she never really made much sense, and came across as a batty old women who was extremely racist.

    Anyway one night when I was about 18 and still living at my parents, I came home after a night out around 1am, and surprisingly my Nan, who was visiting at the time, was still awake in the lounge, she was just sitting there, not watching TV or reading but just sitting there, as if she was waiting for me. She then proceeded to tell me about all the things she had done in her life. I was quite amazed by what she told me and the places she had been, she'd pretty much traveled all over the world.

    A little background to my Nan may help here. Her husband, my Grandfather died before I was born, she had remarried to a guy I knew as Uncle Alf, his real name was Alfonso, I struggled to understand what he was saying most of the time because of his thick Italian accent, he was from Sicily, and oddly enough his surname was Mafia!!!

    Getting back to my Nan, she started talking about Alf, who had died a couple of years earlier. She said "Do you know why I married him?"
    "Because you loved him?" I asked.
    "No, that wasn't the reason" she said.
    She then went on to tell me that he was just someone she knew from her local pub, they got on well but nothing more.

    One day she was in the pub, and Alf came storming through the door, he had a gun in his hand, he went up to the bar placed the gun down and asked for a double whisky, he looked pretty crazy, she had never seen him like that before.

    So she went over to find out what the matter was.

    He said " I gonna kill both of them" and then broke into tears.
    After calming him down he explained that his son had just had his head blown off by the Krays in some kind of turf war, and that he was adamant that he was going to try and kill them both.

    She tried to make him see sense, but he just wouldn't listen, so she said "Is there anything I can do to stop you?" He thought about it and said "Yes, will you marry me", and amazingly she said "Yes"!!!

    She then said "You've got to promise me something before I tell you more, that you won't tell your mother any of this" (her daughter). So I promised that I wouldn't say a thing. She said "I kept the gun, I've got it hidden away at home!"

    We carried on talking for a while until we both were tired and headed off to bed.

    The next day, she was back to her batty self as if nothing had happened, quite bizarre really. And I never got to talk to her again like that until the day she died, I wasn't even sure if the things she told me were true or not.

    Once she had passed, my mum told me that my uncle was around her old house clearing things away, and wondered if there was anything in particular of hers I would like to keep, and I said "Did he find a gun?" My mum said how did you know about a gun?
    Turns out he found an old pistol hidden away amongst her things!

    I then recited the story back to my mum about Alf, all of which was news to her, she never knew the real story of how they got together!

    Anyway thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Love and Truth,

    Amenjo

    ReplyDelete
  2. A question to this Author, I have AB negative blood and was told and shown I'm a hybrid. Do you know what star race is responsible for this blood? Is there an email address I can talk to you about this? Thank you.
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Shane, good to see your back.

    Reading your story reminded me of my Nan.

    When I was younger I never saw eye to eye with my Nan, to be honest she never really made much sense, and came across as a batty old women who was extremely racist.

    Anyway one night when I was about 18 and still living at my parents, I came home after a night out around 1am, and surprisingly my Nan, who was visiting at the time, was still awake in the lounge, she was just sitting there, not watching TV or reading but just sitting there, as if she was waiting for me. She then proceeded to tell me about all the things she had done in her life. I was quite amazed by what she told me and the places she had been, she'd pretty much traveled all over the world.

    A little background to my Nan may help here. Her husband, my Grandfather died before I was born, she had remarried to a guy I knew as Uncle Alf, his real name was Alfonso, I struggled to understand what he was saying most of the time because of his thick Italian accent, he was from Sicily, and oddly enough his surname was Mafia!!!

    Getting back to my Nan, she started talking about Alf, who had died a couple of years earlier. She said "Do you know why I married him?"
    "Because you loved him?" I asked.
    "No, that wasn't the reason" she said.
    She then went on to tell me that he was just someone she knew from her local pub, they got on well but nothing more.

    One day she was in the pub, and Alf came storming through the door, he had a gun in his hand, he went up to the bar placed the gun down and asked for a double whisky, he looked pretty crazy, she had never seen him like that before.

    So she went over to find out what the matter was.

    He said " I gonna kill both of them" and then broke into tears.
    After calming him down he explained that his son had just had his head blown off by the Krays in some kind of turf war, and that he was adamant that he was going to try and kill them both.

    She tried to make him see sense, but he just wouldn't listen, so she said "Is there anything I can do to stop you?" He thought about it and said "Yes, will you marry me", and amazingly she said "Yes"!!!

    She then said "You've got to promise me something before I tell you more, that you won't tell your mother any of this" (her daughter). So I promised that I wouldn't say a thing. She said "I kept the gun, I've got it hidden away at home!"

    We carried on talking for a while until we both were tired and headed off to bed.

    The next day, she was back to her batty self as if nothing had happened, quite bizarre really. And I never got to talk to her again like that until the day she died, I wasn't even sure if the things she told me were true or not.

    Once she had passed, my mum told me that my uncle was around her old house clearing things away, and wondered if there was anything in particular of hers I would like to keep, and I said "Did he find a gun?" My mum said how did you know about a gun?
    Turns out he found an old pistol hidden away amongst her things!

    I then recited the story back to my mum about Alf, all of which was news to her, she never knew the real story of how they got together!

    Anyway thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Love and Truth,

    Amenjo

    ReplyDelete