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A long, long, time ago.....

She'd been singing the blues for a long time. She was not generally a sad person, in spite of the vein of sadness that ran inside her periodically. Not particularly inclined to remorse, nor to regret, she had that scrappy optimism that comes from having had to pick up and start again periodically.

She'd known him 20, 25, 30 years ago. A boy, then a guy, then a young man. Never really as an adult.


When I was a young girl, I had me a cowboy


She had finally tracked him down, not with the intent of stirring up trouble, but only, perhaps, to mend fences and renew aquaintance.


But that was a long time, and no matter how time flies


But sometimes, histories have an odd way of recrossing. Seven degrees of separation. Here be dragons.

So a cascade of history fell out of her memory, to the tune of several songs from high school.

They were young lovers, both still in college, on two different sides of the country. There were a few misunderstandings, but nothing major. He disliked her best friend, and refused to meet her again. He was a republican, she was a democrat. She would get speechless with fury when they talked about politics, but at the time, she was not very good, to say the least, at expressing it. (She suspected that he often did not have a clue what was going on in her mind.) She had never been to a prom, and was very disappointed to miss the opportunity to go one with him.
But the biggest misunderstanding, the beginning of the end, was on a trip to West Virginia, where he said:

"My father thinks we should get engaged, but I don't, so I'm not going to ask you to marry me before you go back out west."

She didn't say anything much at the time. But it troubled her for two reasons - she would have been a lot more secure being engaged, since she still had six months left in school, and he always seemed to have girls all over him. He'd been much more the popular kid in high school than she.

But the second part was more troubling. Why hadn't he consulted her? This, in the clear light of hindsight, was probably the biggest deal breaker of all. He didn't ask her, he told her. Coming from her liberal upbringing, this made her doubt that this was a partnership. He shall be unto her as god is to his church, and she shall be to him as the church is to god.

So she went back west, and finished school, and they broke up, in the most miserable and awful way, and she didn't move back east after all. They lost touch, and she rarely found that she had a case of the might-have-beens, until she managed to get back in touch. 20 years later.

But years later, it becomes a hell of a lot more complicated. She didn't spend much time jonesing over lost loves. Maybe one or two, but it didn't seem like it was worth the trouble, most of the time. She'd spent enough time digging around in unhappy stale emotions to know which ones were productive and which ones weren't.

They still speak the same language. He calls up, leaves a message on her answering machine, and she about falls out of her chair, it is so pee-in-yer-pants funny. They joke about Cats. About violists. About trombone players. They talk in peculiar dialects, which really makes no sense for a yankee and a southern boy who first kissed in seventh grade.

Does she long for him? Probably. Will anything ever come of it? Probably not. All else is fantasy, and that would have to appear elsewhere.


I'm sorry to say that there's no happy ending to the story. She's single, he's married, she chose a path that was non-traditional, to say the least, and tradition is what he's all about.

How the hell can a person
Go to work in the morning
Come home in the evening
And have nothing to say?
Is this what it all devolves to, then? She broke his heart. He broke her heart. Another node about some girl.

I am an old woman
Named after my mother
My old man is another
Child that's grown old.

If dreams were thunder
Lightning was desire
This old house would have burned down
A long time ago.

Chorus:
Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
of an old rodeo

Just give me one thing
that I can hold on to
To believe in this livin'
is just a hard way to go.


When I was a young girl
I had me a cowboy
Weren't much to look at
Just a free ramblin man

But that was a long time
and no matter how I fly
The years just flow by
Like a broken down dam.

Chorus

There's flies in the kitchen
I can hear them buzzin'
and I ain't done nothin'
since I woke up today.

How the hell can a person
Go to work in the morning
and come home in the evening
and have nothing to say.





Angel from Montgomery, words and music by John Prine, popularized by Bonnie Raitt and many others.

I choose love.


CST Approved

As God is my witness, this is a true story.

I was sitting at my local watering hole last night nursing a couple of cold ones watching a hockey game and catching up on some local bullshit when something really strange happened.

The jukebox normally clicks on after awhile if nobody puts any money in it and plays a random selection of tunes. When that happens it’s usually something that I would deem as “contemporary” music by some artist or band that I’d never heard of and I tune it out .

Imagine my surprise when I heard some soft guitar and the sound of Bonnie Raitt’s voice when she started singing:

I am an old woman
Named after my mother
My old man is another
Child who's grown old

It’s funny how you associate can a song with a person and I got a chill up my spine and thought to myself,“Holy fuckin’ shit, has it already been two years.” Bartender, please, another round on me.

If dreams were thunder
And lightning was desire
This old house it would've burned down
A long time ago

The internet’s a weird fuckin’ place. I only met Grundoon a couple of times in real life. Once was on the so called ”hike from hell” and the other time she was passing through C-bus on some kinda cross country jaunt and crashed at my place for a couple of nights. I introduced her to my local saloon and she fit in with the regulars as if she’d been coming there for years.

Awhile later, she told me about a vending machine in the ladies room and asked me to try and craft a story about it. I hope I did her proud.

Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery,
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold on to

To believe in this livin'
Is just a hard way to go

I was never fortunate enough to meet Kevin in person or even talk to him on the phone but I have the feeling after knowing him here in his online persona, even though he’s a Brit at heart, we’d have hit it off just fine. He hasn’t logged on now in close to a year (I check his h/n on a fairly regularly basis) and if he does I hope to hell I don’t miss him if and when he decides to rejoin the flock.

When i was a young girl
I had me a cowboy
He wasn't much to look at
Just a free ramblin' man
But that was a long time
And no matter how i tried
The years they just flowed by
Like a broken down dam

I’ve been writing here for over twelve years now and like most people who started out I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing or what this place was about. Sometimes I still wonder if that holds true today. Kevin had me beat by about six months but it might as well have been six years. I can’t begin to count the numbers of times he advised me about such things as subject matter, vocabulary, syntax and a host of friendly advice that helped along the way. I think he told me to “write what you know” and that pretty much opened the floodgates for me to chronicle a whole host of events that either blessed or haunted my past, was about my kid or just some every day shit that I felt the need to put down in writing.

I owe him, and many, many others, a debt of gratitude that I hope one day I will be able to repay.

Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold on to
To believe in this livin'
Is just a hard way to go

Not long after I joined grundoon came along. I think we shared many of the same experiences when it came to being a single parent and I wish to God I would have saved some of our conversations so I could fall back on them and read what she had to say when I sought out her advice. Sadly, those words are floating around somewhere in the ether along with grundy herself.

There's flies in the kitchen
I can hear them there buzzin'
And I ain't done nothing since I woke up today
But how the hell can a person
Go on to work in the morning
To come home in the evening
And have nothing to say

Between the both of them I think we sorta shared the same worldview. We laughed and shed tears over many of the same things and weren’t afraid to let those feelings be known. Now, due to circumstances beyond her control, one of them is silent (unless she took up temporary residence in that jukebox last night) and the other has gone missing (hopefully on a temporary basis) and I’m the poorer person for it. Perhaps in some strange internet kind of way, we all are.

Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold on to
To believe in this livin'
Is just a hard way to go

Many of us were heartbroken when events transpired two years ago to pluck grundoon from our midst. I hope that many of us can still take some solace in either reading her stuff for the first time or re-reading it again to either get some inspiration, perspective, or some new found wisdom in her words.

The same goes for wertperch.

I also knew this was one of her favorite songs (as well as one of mine) and I hope I did her a bit of justice by trying to add to what she said in the previous write up here. I also remember expressing my hope that one day when my time comes we would meet in the ether I mentioned earlier and do a kickass version of the song.

If you’ve ever heard it performed as a duet by Bonnie Raitt and John Prine, you’d know what I’m talking about.

I too, choose love.

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