Monday, June 28, 2010

Just a little food for thought.

All I’m Teachin' Ya'

Son, I think its time to tell ya' about some things ya' need to learn,
Like don't never stick yer tongue to ice 'n' how the sun can sometimes burn.

'N' about how you'll get a headache drinkin' too fast from the well,
'N' how it is that a woman looks so 'n' how she's built so’s you can tell.

When to tip your hat to a lady 'n' when to whomp one on the behind,
'N' how to get yer point across when she cain't read yer mind.

How to pick ya' out a nice spot when ya' take yerself a sot,
'N' to remember to remove yer spurs afore you decide to squat.

Just remember to pick a good ’un 'n' look her over with yer good eye,
'Cause it ain't agoin' to go too well if you recline on a cacti.

'N' while we're on this here subject; I’m tellin' ya' best scout around near 'n' far,
'Cause once ya' been snakebit down there, you'll soon find out who yer friends are.

Lord knows they're ain't no dadgum limit on the things I’m atellin' you,
So just pay attention to me till I tell ya' that we're through.

Now when it comes to workin' them horses lots of things they can occur,
Just make sure that the only thing under yer saddle is yer blanket 'n' not an old burr.

'N' make sure to count yer fingers 'n' maybe whisper a little prayer,
After ya' take a turn on yer dally rope ya' better hope that they're all there.

Now they're ain't no two ways about it, this bein' a cowboy can be a good life,
But if ya' don't learn all that I’ve taught ya', ya' better hope you find a “good
Robert Lea Lovejoy

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ben, this one is for us!

Hopes and Memories

We never got to do those things we always talked about,
How you loved those dreams left little doubt.

Those pictures that you conjured up made my joy flow too,
Log cabins in the mountains were just you.

All the trips we planned to take like that Alaskan RV cruise,
You never even had the right to choose.

To travel on together was what I had counted on,
Not this shelf that I’ve been mounted on.

Your glue held me together and kept me coming home,
You never even caused my eye to roam.

I’ve cried myself to sleep now more often than I’ll admit,
Somehow your spirit won’t let me quit.

I promised that I would take good care of all your girls,
But I ain’t been too good with the curls.

They don’t really need me anymore they all act real grown up,
But sometimes that means I get shown up.

They are all real smart, you knew that, and all are pretty too,
But I’m tired I just want to go home to you.

So don’t you hold it against me if someday soon I knock on your door,
We’ll walk hand in hand again, forevermore.

Robert Lea Lovejoy
July, 2003

Travails of the open road

Well, took the grandkids to the park today and let them ride the train! One of the boys was wide eyed, the other fell asleep before the end. Oh well, I think they enjoyed themselves anyway. Gave it a ride (the train) early this morning before the heat settled in for the day. Was still warm but enjoyable. I rode the Harley and greeted a lot of people with a smile and a wave. Even had a couple that I think would have come for a ride. Seemed to enjoy the "hog". Had a run in the other day with a "cage" who wanted my lane. Went for the air horn to let her know this lane was occupied and she was gone...the air horn! Replaced it pretty quick, like being heard out there! I was on my way to the National Cemetery for the funeral of a kid killed in Iraq that had only been there for 20 days when he stepped on an IED. Noticed when she passed me that her car was what the military calls Killed in Action, they call it a Kia! Thought that if she couldn't be a little more mindful of what she was doing on the roads she might end up killed in action herself! Had another funeral yesterday before the rain. We were on the hiway when a "honey wagon" pulled in front of us. That's a septic system pumper! About that time we started getting spit on and my first thought since I didn't know if it was rain or a leaking pumper truck was don't lick your lips!
Well, have a nice day and be careful out there!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Scratching deep in the grey matter

I've had a few jobs in my don't begrudge me my memories, that's all I got!

I…got a job working for a road construction company in Dallas off Industrial Blvd. near downtown. It was a summer job, I was going back to school in the fall, so I thought. My buddy Doyle got me the job, he had worked there for several summers. Knew I was gonna be in trouble on the first day when they put me on an asphalt laying crew and told me to go broom off the water on the side of the road so they could lay some asphalt there. I kinda wondered why everyone else had grungy boots covered in caked on asphalt and I only had tennis shoes. Got my feet wet brooming the water and then they put me to shoveling hot asphalt…it comes out of the cooker at 2 hundred and some degrees. Hot stuff! I jumped right in and shoveled with the best of them. My shoes started steaming from being wet but they dried out soon. Didn’t discover till that evening when I pulled off my shoes just how blistered my feet were. Bought some boots! Never did work the asphalt crew again.
They sent me down south to work on a freeway system there. Watched a steam roller get loose and barrel down an off ramp toward the bottom. Then we noticed a kid hanging on for dear life and riding her to the bottom. They gave me a pickup truck that had a gas operated power broom hitched up to it. I was to broom off the shoulder of the road so they could shoot some tack and spread gravel down on it. (Tack is what they called the hot tar they spread). Was doing alright till the danged thing died. I had a 55 gallon drum of gas in the back of the pickup and so I filled the broom’s gas tank and prepared to start it again. You had to straddle the tire and give the hand crank a might twist. This thing was so old that it had a gravity fed glass bowl above the carburetor that had to fill with gas before starting it. Well, I hadn’t shut off the valve so the glass bowl was into overfilling and dumping all that overflow into the carburetor. I cranked and cranked to no avail because, I assume now, that that carburetor was flooded. Well I finally got some reaction from the piece of junk when the crank hung, then the engine backfired, pitching me off the tire and into the dirt on my back causing all my breath to be knocked right out of me.
Well, I was busy nurturing myself and hadn’t notice that the backfire through the carburetor had caused a fire! I grabbed some rags from the back of the pickup and began flailing them at the growing flames. All I did was catch the rags on fire and begin spreading the fires to several different locations with each swat. I then tried stuffing various rags in amongst the flames in hopes of denying oxygen and snuffing out the flames…wrong. The tenacious blaze simply engulfed my offerings and rekindled to new heights. Lastly, in final desperation, I heaved a couple of handfuls of dirt at the worsening flames and then turned my thoughts to disconnecting the pickup from the inferno that was growing when I remembered the full gas tank I had just filled. Didn’t want to lose a second piece of equipment and my ride. I left the blazing broom sending plumes of smoke skyward and headed back to tell the tack truck guys what had happened.
I pulled up on the opposite side of the road facing the opposite direction and one of the crew yelled for me to back up and give the tack engine some gas. I crammed her into gear and started back. Some idiot had picked that particular time to pull to a stop right behind me with his snack truck. My pickup had a load of sand in the back with the tailgate down. I crumpled the front end of that truck with the tailgate. They sent me to the house driving a old flatbed truck that had all kinds of equipment in it. This thing had some problems as well. You couldn’t dim the lights with the dimmer switch on the floor or the whole electrical system would shut down. So in order to operate with the bright lights on all the time and not offend other drivers some genius and simply duct taped half the headlights so it would still function. It was late, I was tired. I had noticed that broom handle sticking out way too far beyond the bed of the truck but I paid it no more attention until I traveled across the white line on a long sweeping left curve as a Greyhound bus approached. I thought I had come to enough to retreat back to my lane when I heard the whack. When I looked in the rearview mirror the broom handle was gone and the bus was pulling over onto the shoulder. I floor boarded it meaning I stomped the accelerator.
Didn’t go back on that crew again. They sent me out to run a sheep foot and do some compacting on newly graded roadways. Now a sheep foot is a big heavy round apparatus with feet of steel that tamps down freshly graded dirt in preparation for laying asphalt. I had driven this tractor before and its brakes were shot. You had to stomp on them to get the dumb thing to stop. Well I was doing okay till they hollered its lunch time. They told me to take it down the hill and park it in front of the road grader. Started down the hill with some speed in anticipation of some grub when I remembered the brakes. Began to pump the pedal, began to stomp the pedal, began to apply both feet to the pedal, began to jump up and down on the pedal. Then a flash of brilliance hit me. I’d just steer it around the obstructions and onto the flat and wait for gravity and lack of momentum to slow us. About that time is when the heavy load I told you about began to make itself known. It came to bear on the hitch of the tractor causing the front tire, the steering tire, to suddenly raise off the ground. With steering gone I settled in for the ride and noticed we are headed for the front end of that road grader. Hit with a mighty jolt. Steering wheel just spun having sheered all semblance of remaining mechanisms in the process.
After lunch they assigned me to a road grading crew, probably figuring I couldn’t get into trouble with anymore equipment standing on the ground. My job was to tell the guy running the grader what to do, that is, whether to fill in or grade off the dirt of the roadway. Simple you say. Well, they gave me a folding wooden ruler to take measurements with and told me to be careful with it as that was the only one they had. I promised and then as I walked off the unfolded end somehow got between my striding legs and snapped in two.
They brought me out a pick slip on the spot. I was fired!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Just how I stand.

Well...I was bugged to do this thing, so I guess here goes. I am and ever more shall be...a Texan! I've had all kinds of jobs and enjoyed most of them, from chuckwagon helper to aircraft mechanic. I am a conservative since I figure my right to freedom is given by the constitution and the government of the people, for the people and by the people should not be infringe on that freedom. I guess then that I lean a little toward the Republican slant of things, which to me means less government! I kinda figure them boys ought to be around when you need them and out of your way when you don't. Tried to instill same in my kids...don't know if it stuck or not! Had a beautiful wife and four beautiful daughters, some of whom are off having families of their own. But before this stretches on a bit too far, I'll just save some for later.

Windy Bob