Lucky to be alive

Finger licking good!

The way I was brought up by Okie parents I am surprised I’m still alive.  And what I am saying, without any thought, I still lick my fingers.  And now with some consideration I just might catch the virus any day now after licking my fingers.  It’s an OCD condition living like southern red dirt Okies, I’m sure.  Boy Howdy!

It all started with a forever diet of my mom’s very greasy fried chicken.  An Okie food staple requiring massive amounts of finger licking.  I’m positive Colonel Sanders copied this digital licking mantra from my mom.

The second food item we Okies cherished was homemade ice cream.  Banana, strawberry, or vanilla.  It all didn’t matter.  It all ran down our fingers before we got our spoons to our mouths. Plus we were very careless how we held the bowl or coffee cup over flowing with the creamy froth.  Plus that was half the fun slurping the cream from our fingers.

The third item we Okies loved to lick was the watery goodness of Watermelon.  We got it all over our fingers as well as our faces.  Plus it dripped and ran down to our elbows.  How else were we to keep it from dripping on our jeans and white t-shirt. 

The sad thing, it’s a habit hard to stop.  Plus not being close to a water basin to wash hands.  Couple that with today’s health crisis, I may be gone soon.  Boy howdy!

Couldn’t help ourselves

WE couldn’t help it.

Wife and I are staying inside for the most part and sheltering in place.  But once in while we have to get in the car and drive around.  But there are these little stops we have to make.  Happens without much thought.  Like homing pigeons we seem almost always return back to Braums.  And I’m talking about their drive-thru.  A good place to practice social distancing with a little reward.  Third pound cheese burger without the cheese and made with mustard instead of their drippy sweet secret sauce.  Or a four piece fried boneless chicken with water.  Or a vanilla yogurt Mix with reece’s Pieces.  Or occasionally pop into their market and get a half gallon of two-percent when it’s not out of stock.  Most of all I won’t touch my face.  So, we’ll go home and wash hands for twenty-seconds while singing Baa Baa Black Sheep.  Hey!  For Pete sakes. We’re old. 

It’s so simple

Just liquid soap and warm water.

That’s your first line of defence.  Let it become a habit.  To give you adequate time to wash, sing ‘Does your chewing gum lose it flavor on the bed post over night.

It goes like this:

Does your chewing gum lose it flavor on the bed post over night.  Does your mother make you spit it out but swallow it in spite.  Do you catch it on your tonsils and heave it left and right. Does your chewing gum lose it’s flavor on the bed post over night.’  Then rinse and dry hands.

Just liquid soap and warm water.

That’s your first line of defence.  Let it become a habit.  To give you adequate time to wash, sing ‘Does your chewing gum lose it flavor on the bed post over night.

It goes like this:

Does your chewing gum lose it flavor on the bed post over night.  Does your mother make you spit it out but swallow it in spite.  Do you catch it on your tonsils and heave it left and right. Does your chewing gum lose it’s flavor on the bed post over night.’  Then rinse and dry hands.

More stupider than most.

Creative language arts.

I was not an English major in college.  Rarely spoke in public.  Couldn’t spell.  Not good at diagramming sentences.  Didn’t know parts of speech.  Had a hard time understanding punctuations and where to place the Period.   Grammar was mutilated.  Took two remedial English classes and had to drop both or take an incomplete.

So, to say the least, English was a second language.  My mom and dad, the red dirt farmer and his wife, taught me more better Okie speak.  Speaking in short broken and incomplete sentences with lots of dot dot dots.  It worked okay until I finished sixth grade.  These days, I can get by with dictating into my iPhone and sending a cryptic text and blaming the corrupt verbiage on SIRI.  “Boy howdy! If that don’t beat all I ever saw,” my Okie dad would say.

Know where you are going


If I were to leave a legacy for my grandkids, it would be this:  books are cool.  Reading books help us to discover where we all have come from and where we are going.  Most of all discover who you are.  What is most important to you and why it matters.  “Know thy self” someone once said.

 Put down your shiny metal device and read a book.  Turn the paper pages.  Smell the printer’s ink.  Write something in the margins.  Dog ear the pages you especially liked.  Or if you have to, download a book on your device. 

Then let it all sink in and challenge your brain.  To know the past is to reveal the present.  And give creation for the future.  Read old classics.  Read Mark Twain, Herman Melville, Robert Frost, Jane Austin, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Jack London, and more.  Read Gone with the wind, Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Thorn birds, Roots, Gods and Generals, Winds of War, M*A*S*H, Hawaii, The Holy Bible, and more.  Read about Abraham Lincoln, Abigail Adams, Teddy Roosevelt, John F Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Mickey Mantle, James Garner, Sandra Day O’Connor, Steve Martin, Michelle Obama, Jesus Christ, and others. 

All of these marvelous books and authors to place a frame around where we’ve been and how we got here.  And hopefully to give you a road map to where you wish to go.  Trying to answer the question, “Who am I?”  Who do I want to be?  Who do I relate to?  Give depth and definition to your life.  Read.  Read a book.  Are you listening Grandkids?

Her hands were doing something wwhile endlessly talking

I don’t know how she did this.

I had my teeth cleaned yesterday by a certified dental hygienist.  So, I was accompanied by my wife in the tooth cleaning room.  All the while I was being scraped and flossed, the young dental person talked endlessly with my wife.  How did she do that?  It was something like talking without any ‘periods’ between sentences.  None the less, it was almost as if she was just doing the dishes in the kitchen while chatting with a neighbor.  Yackidy yackidy yack.  How does one talk forever about her preschool kids and do her dental work as well?  Truly amazing.  Is this one of those “I could do it in my sleep” moments?  Jumping Jack Flash!  How could she ever do this while babbling on and on?

Quality control lost its feathers.

Chicken prepared out of compliance.

I asked for the original Kentucky Fried Chicken.  What I got was Kentucky Fried Crud.  Something like summer camp chicken on a stick.  Not anything like the original baked chicken prepared with “Eleven secret herbs and spices” as advertised in the 1960s.  None the less, KFC has certainly refined its marketing strategy and knows how to sell “chicken.”  All the while they forgot how to serve up the original tasty Colonel Sanders famous recipe chicken.  This is to not mention the lame school cafeteria-style mashed potatoes and something like a canned biscuit now served with the so-called ‘Original KFC.  KFC just like other corporations back in it’s time started up with a reasonable product but, quickly figured out how to just sell something representing fried whatever.  Never mind serving up something really tasty.  Colonel Sanders must be revolving in his tomb with great anguish.  Now I know why the chicken crossed the road.  To get to Chick-Fil-A.

No girly politics for me.

But I liked Senator Warren.
My wife said she was a really cool dresser. Hip but not flashy. Some said she had a very good campaign organization. Smart and young. Then some said but she is a woman. Plus she knows way too much. Then some said she is not a Republican. No self-respecting conservative would ever vote for a woman. What would her husband think? She would have to submit to her husband’s politics. Just couldn’t work.

They were like a family pet but laid eggs.

We had a backyard full of chickens.  Dozens and dozens of hens and a few roosters.  All behind

our little adobe house in East Los Angeles.  It’s what Okies did in the big city 1952.  So we had eggs.  So we had fried chicken after church on Sunday.  The main beneficiaries from chicken droppings were the three peach trees in the same yard.  If you know what I mean.  Huge sweet and juicy California peaches.  Well fertilized.

This Okie enterprise only lasted for about a year or two.  But, living in an urban residential neighborhood, the rooster crowing and chicken smell must have gotten to one of our neighbors.  We got a call from the county health authorities and instructed us to cease and desist.  So we had to sell off some of our livestock and eat the rest.  One dispatched and rendered chicken was my youngest sister’s favorite pet rooster.  On one Sunday when eating a plate full of fried chicken, it was revealed to my sister what we were eating was indeed her favorite poultry pal.  Upon that discovery she immediately broke down in tears.  Certainly understandably so.  None the less it was completely eaten.  I love my mom’s fried chicken. 

Who needs an ordinary Taco Truck?

So here is my idea for a food truck.

Make it local.  Make it Oklahoma.  Historical recipes taken from my southern Plaines ancestors.  Recipes handed down from generation to generation.

It would be called “The Big Bean Boy.”  Fresh ingredients grown local.  Brown beans, onions, garlic, chicken broth, buttermilk, and cornmeal.  A food truck for “Beans and cornbread.”  An Okies delight.  Served with plenty of bean toppings.  Chopped onions, chopped jalapeno pepper, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and salsa or BBQ sauce.  Served with a variety of plain or spicy cornbreads along with the best processed margarines.  Washed down with very sweet fresh brewed ice tea.  Again, The Big Bean Boy” food truck.  Found only in Wal-mart parking lots and parking lots at your nearest thrift store.  Only in Oklahoma.  Ask about our crumbled cornbread in buttermilk drink.