God blessed Texas with his own hand, brought down angels from the promised land

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since I was sitting on a fence at legendary Southfork Ranch, Ewing Mansion in the background; lucky enough to be an extra in the video for “God Blessed Texas” by Little Texas. It seems like it was maybe just 3-5 years ago – a bit further back than feeling like “it was just yesterday”, but still much closer than 20 years ago.

It was a gorgeous day in the mid-90°s, plenty of sunshine without being too hot. I was near Dealey Plaza Park in downtown Dallas, waiting to meet a friend, and then the two of us were going to head to the Fort Worth Zoo. While I was waiting for her, the country station I was listening to mentioned that Little Texas was at South Fork Ranch filming a video, and that they needed more people to be in the crowd, so to “come on down!”. I was frustrated, because I definitely wanted to go, but I already had plans for the day. A few minutes later, my friend paged me and after finding a pay phone to call her back, she let me know she wasn’t going to be able to make it. Talk about luck! I called another friend of mine, told her about the video shoot, and asked if she wanted to go with me — of course she was interested! I drove home, changed into more appropriate attire (thankfully I was working at a western wear store at the time, so I actually had “appropriate attire”), picked up my friend and headed up to Southfork.

By the time we got there, they had finished up shooting under the Southfork gate, and were getting set up in the field in front of the mansion while the band had lunch inside the mansion. My friend and I were directed to the fence just behind the make-shift stage, and told to sit there. From there, it standard video filming. They play the song, everyone performing/clapping/playing their part, then do it all over again to get more film from different angles. We spent a few hours out on that fence before we were released, and I loved every second of it.

When the video aired a month or two later, I was very happy to be able to spot myself multiple times in the background of shots. I was wearing some very bright turquoise Rockies at the shoot, and they made it very easy to find me.

It may be 20 years later, but this is still a very treasured memory; my one tiny claim to “fame”.

Continue reading “God blessed Texas with his own hand, brought down angels from the promised land”

Takin’ that ride to nowhere

This entry is coming out in slow stops and starts. But I’m determined to post it, eventually.

(Written: 10 April, 2013 – 12 June, 2013)
I love when Emily gets to come and visit, but I always hate it when she has to leave. Multiply that by a thousand-fold when I seriously doubt I’m going to be able to travel up to Canada this year (or heck, anywhere, really) and that makes me miserable. It doesn’t help my mood any that we’re just a couple of weeks away from when I normally would be heading up to visit her, AND that The Headstones have a show scheduled in Toronto on the first night of my summer break – aka the first night I would be in Toronto, if I could afford it. I’ve priced flights multiple times, hoping against hope for some sudden magical super low fare sale, but that hasn’t happened yet. I’ve also gone over my finances repeatedly, trying to find a way I could make it work. I went over my budget yet again after the concert announcement, but nope. Still no luck, no extra money is hiding anywhere.

What really bugs me most, is that this will be the first time in at least 17 years that I haven’t traveled somewhere (I want to say 21 years, but I can’t for the life of me remember if I went anywhere in 1995 or not). Yeah yeah yeah, sure, I went to Oklahoma with Emily when she was here in March, but that doesn’t count as ‘travel’ to me. For me, traveling has to be more than 3 hours (180 miles) in distance. Why? Well, growing up, my grandma lived in Shreveport, Louisiana. That’s a mere 3 hour drive, and we’d go out to visit her usually once a year or so. That was never “travel” to me; I mean, it’s about an hour drive for me to get across the D/FW Metroplex and that feels like a trip down the block. Three hours is just a jaunt across town. So I don’t count most of southern Oklahoma/Arkansas or northern Louisiana when I think of “travel”. 😉

Some people might take for granted getting to spend time with their best friend; but then those people probably don’t live almost 1,430 miles apart like we do; and have lived that far apart the entire friendship. I absolutely cherish the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to spend as much time with her and her family as I have. We’ve celebrated birthdays together, taken dual-family vacation to Niagara Falls; I’ve spent Christmas with her and her family, and celebrated Canada Day with her, watching fireworks over the Vancouver Harbour with her. No, there’s not really a point to any of this – other than the fact that I’m nostalgic over past vacations since I don’t get to travel anywhere this year, and I loved every trip we’ve had.

(Written: 25 July, 2013)
I was already grumpy while on Mass Break at the beginning of the month, because I wasn’t able to afford to travel; and then I came down with a nasty sinus infection. I spent almost all of 2+ weeks in bed, yet getting very little sleep since the coughing and congestion would continuously wake me. Granted, I was glad I wasn’t traveling while being that sick, but at the same time it just rubbed salt in the wound: I couldn’t travel, AND I couldn’t enjoy the time off in some other way. To top it all off, on the very last day of Mass Break, I ended up taking a spill that led to some pretty spectacular bruising. Thankfully most of the bruising was hidden, so I didn’t go back to work looking like I’d been beaten senseless. (I’ve been having more intense bruises than normal lately, but I think that ties into some medical stuff I haven’t yet rambled about in here. I’m not that worried about it, but I still need to remember to call the doc and double-check my thoughts. heh.) Mostly, though, I’m still just despondent over the lack of ability to travel. Being able to get away, the feeling of freedom and escape (even if brief), the chance to relax and unwind and forget about everything else, the lure of the open road, beckoning me to drive… there’s an intoxication in that, that just can’t be replicated by anything else. And I miss it. Desperately.

I know this entry is all over the place, so I’m going to stop it here so I can figure out a title lyric, get it posted, and start work on something new. Something, hopefully, a little more cohesive.

Oh what can it mean to a daydream believer…

Back when I was a kid, MTV used to air The Monkees, and my brother and I absolutely loved the show. I always had the HUGEST crush on Davy – he was just too fricken adorable for words.

Then, in 1986 (I forget the exact date), mom & dad took my brother and I to our very first concert: The Monkees. I believe it was their first reunion tour, and the concert was after a Texas Rangers game, back at the (long-since demolished) Arlington Stadium. The Grass Roots, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, and Herman’s Hermits opened for them. That was an absolutely amazing show, and got me hooked on concerts – I’ve since attended well over 300 concerts.

July 4, 1996 was my second Monkees concert, at Six Flags over Texas, with Tara Hammond. We had third row seats on the side, but the way the rows angled, it was pretty much front row. During one song, we were dancing, and Davy spotted us, pointed, and then started imitating us. That’s one of those moments that will forever be in my memory.

RIP Davy. You are missed.