It is just one of those Sundays, gang, where it is so humid and likely to rain off and on all day, that I have decided to forego the treadmill this morning and just take the day off from working out.
Yay!! Makes me happy enough to want to swing a cat…
The weather is actually pretty interesting right now. The tiniest hint of a breeze, otherwise everything is really still and really quiet (except for the crickets) and it’s completely cloudy and not a person or a car is in sight.
Just so totally still. (Which means that any moment, the loudest train whistle on Earth will probably come screaming by…)
I have been so busy working on the new erotic short story (“1954 Powder Blue Pickup”), that I haven’t been spending much time online at all and so I missed the fact that yesterday was the anniversary of Johnny Cash’s death. (“Anniversary” sounds like such a happy word, though, doesn’t it? “Commemorate” is probably a better word to use there.)
Well, I would rather just remember what it was like when he was alive, and how much I loved him when I was a little girl.
It’s one of the (many) things I really regret about not having been raised in my birth family — they all loved Country & Western music so much. And were a part of it, as professional musicians, as well. The type of music it was before it became the “Country” music we have now in America, which is much more middle-of-the-road rock music than true Country music.
Although now they also give us the option to like “Americana” music, which to me, is more like folk music than anything else. Authentic Country & Western is simply gone and there was just nothing like it. I loved that type of music so much, and I was the only person in my entire adoptive family who did.
Once, after my birth father died, and I went to visit his brother, one of his sisters, and his nieces, nephews and cousins (in rural Indiana), at one point, after lunch, we were all out on my cousin’s front porch, and one of them took out an acoustic guitar, and we all sang Hank Williams’ “You’re Cheatin’ Heart”. I still lived in New York City back then (and had been a singer there for a long time) and none of them could believe that I knew all the words to that song. It was so not New York.
But I knew all that stuff — even the more obscure stuff. The true honky-tonk singers of the 30s & 40s — I had all those records, knew the words by heart.
And even though it doesn’t seem like it, because I live alone now in the middle of nowhere, I have always been a truly family-oriented person. I always just wanted to be surrounded by family (but it turned out that I would have preferred not being surrounded by a really abusive family…). And I loved being around children and always assumed I would have a big family of my own — well, to finally be able to sing the kind of music I really loved, surrounded by a family who was really loving to me, that I was actually related to by blood and not by the randomness of the Adoption courts — that day meant so much to me.
It was fitting, of course, that it was a Hank Williams song we were singing — based on his life and death and legend. Both sides of my birth family definitely had all of that in their blood. And I know that had I been raised by them, I would have wound up a Country singer instead of a folksinger, and I would have had just a rip-roaring alcohol “issue,” and probably a bunch of illegitimate kids. (As it was, even isolated within a non-drinking adoptive family, I had just an amazing ability consume bourbon. I began to have a true fondness for bourbon and cigarettes when I was eleven years old. And by the time I was twelve, I developed a real fondness for barbiturates, too.)
Considering that I started writing songs on my acoustic guitar by the time I was eleven, as well, I was just a true Country & Western legend waiting to happen…
Anyway. That’s not how it worked out.
I got this truly weird other life instead. That seems to have no real “course” or purpose. Although, considering that my birth parents were basically still children when they conceived me — (my mom was 12 and my dad was 14) — and they barely knew each other and were just horny and wanted to have intercourse for about five minutes…
I guess I lived up to that heritage, in a way. I mean, considering all of my writing. And even though I do all kinds of writing, its my erotica that readers usually prefer. Hands down.
Anyway, I find it amusing. And I’m okay with it, actually.
Okay, well, I guess on that lofty note, I’m gonna get back to writing my new dirty story here!! I hope you guys are having a great Sunday, wherever you are in the world and whatever the weather! Thanks for visiting. I’ll leave you with a later song of Johnny Cash’s that I always just loved, especially because I was living in NYC when this version of the song, “Ballad of Barbara,” came out. (On his album Johnny Cash is Coming to Town, 1987). Enjoy, gang!! Okay. I love you guys. See ya.
“Ballad Of Barbara”
In a southern town where I was born
That’s where I got my education
I worked in the fields and I walked in the woods
And I wondered at creation.
I recall the sun in a sky of blue
And the smell of green things growin’
And the seasons chang’d and I lived each day
Just the way the wind was blowin’.
Then I heard of a cultured city life
Breath takin’ lofty steeples
And the day I called myself a man
I left my land and my people.
And I rambled north and I rambled east
And I tested and I tasted
And a girl or two, took me round and round
But they always left me wasted.
In a world that’s all concrete and steel
With nothin’ green ever growin’
Where the buildings hide the risin’ sun
And they blocked the free winds from blowin.
Where you sleep all day and you wake all night
To a world of drink and laughter
I met that girl that I was sure would be
The one that I was after.
In a soft blue gown and formal tux
Beneath that lofty steeple
He said, “Do you Barbara, take this man,
Will you be one of his people?”
And she said, “I will.” and she said, “I do.”
And the world looked mighty pretty
And we lived in a fancy downtown flat
‘Cause she loved the noisy city.
But the days grew cold beneath a yellow sky
And I longed for green things growin’
And the thoughts of home and the people there
But she’d not agreed to goin’.
Then her hazel eyes turned away from me
With a look that wasn’t pretty
And she turned into concrete and steel
And she said, “I’ll take the city.”
Now the cars go by on the interstate
And my pack is on my shoulder
But I’m goin’ home, where I belong
Much wiser now and older.
© 1977 Johnny Cash