Welle was Correct

Some years ago, I completed the work to obtain a teaching degree. There were several steps that were necessary to obtain our teaching degree, which seemed superfluous to us as students. One of these obligatory steps was to attend graduation. There was nothing that said that we had to be sober
We were lined up in alphabetical order. John Welle was more angry about the superfluous steps than the rest of us. He just happened to be next in the line before me. And he showed his anger by showing up late. And drunk.

By the time that we marched into the lawn area, I already wished that John had skipped the ceremony. The ceremony began with the national anthem. At the conclusion of the national anthem, John shouted, “Play Ball!”

The students who were within earshot of John, turned to get a better view of the shouter.  At this point, John shut up. Our neighbors didn’t know who did the shouting.

John expressed his opinion to the quality of many classes when he laughed out loud when a speaker’s comment that “we know you have all worked long and hard” to obtain your degrees.

In this case, John Welle was correct.

Penny Smokes a Cigarette

A few years ago I was in Barrett for the 24th of June celebration*. Several of us were sitting in a pavilion booth, including Penny, who was sitting next to me. Penny was smoking a cigarette.

She nodded her head and continued her conversation with some of her friends. She was considerate of them; she held her cigarette in her left hand, away from her friends, but toward me. 

Her hand moved such that her cigarette ash burned me. I said, “Excuse me” with the hope that she would do something about her cigarette. I got no reaction from her. 

I pulled the burning cigarette out of her hand; still no reaction from Penny.

I burned Penny’s hand, and she jerked the her hand away but still continued her conversation oblivous to the cigarette burn.

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The 24th of June is the annual celebration of Barrett.

Dressed Up

There was a different crowd at the Grand tonight. The musicians consisted of two guitars augmented with computers.

John came into the bar with an entourage of mostly young women. The women in the group were dressed in colorful winter clothes.

I heard him remark to a friend, “And to think I even got dressed up for the occasion.”

He led his entourage to the table that has the worst acoustics in the saloon.

Baseball and the Stock Exchange

On a recent weekend the Copper Cities Classic was held in Bisbee. The Copper Cities Classic is a tournament of Vintage baseball teams.

On the Saturday night there was a couple of blues acts at the Stock Exchange* in conjunction with the baseball events. I went to the Stock Exchange for a while. I talked to one of the guys who told me that a couple of their players were injured.

The Stock Exchange has a table shuffleboard but the bar was too full for it to be used that evening. Somebody had propped a crutch against the table shuffleboard.

With all the people in the bar that evening, it was almost inevitable that the crutch would fall….several times.

Somebody suggested that I just put the crutch under the table shuffleboard. It just so happened that the crutch belonged to Clint, and somehow I realized this.

At a break in the noise I introduced myself to Clint. He looked at me strangely. Obviously in context he initially thought that this has a baseball connection.

Then it clicked. He said, “Pilates”. I nodded and as soon as I was about to say something the music resumed.

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* The Stock Exchange is a bar that used to be a stock exchange.

Marvin’s Move

Marvin and I had a conversation as we walked along Tombstone Canyon Blvd toward the High Desert Market. He said that the “block” seemed to be getting longer all the time.

Marvin is moving to southwest Missouri to live with his sister. He won’t have to pay any rent because his sister’s house is paid off. He will pay half the utilities.

They don’t always see eye-to-eye but then they each have someone to look after each other when necessary.

He is also excited about having a pickup when he has things to haul.

Yeah, in Missouri it snows and rains a lot.

Dog Gone

Wednesday was the Open Dress Rehearsal for the Bisbee Obscure Production of “Death by Design”. In keeping with Bisbee “take-your-dog-everywhere”, the guy sitting next to me had his dog with him.

The highlight of the performance for me was when the cast broke into a dance, with the music turned much louder. The dog was startled and began to howl. The audience howled as well.

The guy took his dog out of the theater. Give the cast credit, they carried on without a break.

An Itinerant Musician

I was at the Grand Saloon the other night. Becky Reyes was playing.

After several songs Becky Reyes finished her set. Immediately when she left the stage, the itinerant musician flagged her down. [From what transpired next I assumed that he had asked whether he could play during her break.]

He settled into a nook which wasn’t amplified. Because of the lack of amplification he had to play much louder than he would normally play. Because of the volume at which he had to play to be heard, he caused the patrons to have to talk more loudly than usual.

Becky returned to the stage. The itinerant musician quit playing, deposited his guitar and washboard with a friend, and ordered a drink.

How old are you?

How old do you have to be, to be old? As far as I can figure it out, old is ten years older than you or me.

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One night I was at the Stock Exchange, and a band was playing. When the band started playing old 60’s rock songs, several couples began dancing. My immediate reaction was that these older couples really can dance, and they suddenly were 10 years younger.

If they would have noticed me, they would have thought that I was the old guy.

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When asked how old he was, Satchel Paige answered, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was”?

Report from Backstage

This past weekend I had the opportunity to be a part of the Bisbee Obscure Productions comedy show.

When the show began the members of the audience were asked to turn off all their electronic devices. Meanwhile, backstage, many actors are texting while they wait for their cue.

Some actors arrived in full costume, while others dressed backstage shortly before their performance.

Different actors have different ways of dealing with nervousness. Norma has the most acting experience. She said that she just does her part. In general the rehearsals can be quite rocky, but when it comes to show time, things usually come together. People generally put on their best performance when push comes to shove.

Carmen on the other hand is a good actress, but has a serious case of butterflies, especially before opening night. She tries to read a book although the only light available is the light that is being used for make-up. She asks the emcee if she needs some help. [Yes, she does, but she’ll have to put it together herself.]

The acts varied from very polished to works in progress. The acts varied from stand up routines to a large ensemble.

The skit that pilloried the Bisbee plastic bag rule was the most innovative, although a bit chaotic. Before the city meetings, citizens can have 5 minutes to address the mayor and council. Why not present a comical reaction to the issue?

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Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

Jazz Musician

Johnny Capers, Jr, is a musician who just arrived in town. He is scheduled to play in the Grand Saloon. He is a jazz musician.

He is a self-promoter. He talks to people on the street, and gives them flyers advertising his shows. He goes into every business, to tell people about his show.

He also happens to be black. I was talking to Andrew, and Andrew tells me that Capers talked to every white woman on the street.

Andrew says that Bisbee already has its quota of blacks. Capers will stay until he makes a mistake. Then he will move to another town. [Perhaps one that is more tolerant than Bisbee.]