Saturday, August 20, 2011

Prince Flowing Mane from Paint Creek

Another Texican running for President

“Heavens to Betsy,” Aunt Mae might have said had she heard the flowing mane-blessed present governor of Texas announce his intention of running for the office of the President of the United States of America.

To us nephews and nieces, Aunt Mae, along with her older sister, Aunt Martha, were viewed as powerful women. They had opinions and could care less if they were ignored. They knew what they knew and were proud of it. Only the stupid would disagree with Aunt Martha --- at least until out of sight.

Aunt Martha smoked. I don’t mean politically, I mean literally she smoked. She loved her Chesterfields. During the war she smoked Wings. The Wings brand had a war plane card in each pack. Once she knew that I knew she smoked, she saved the airplane cards for me.

Back in those days most ladies did not smoke – at least not in public. Aunt Mae took a dim view of her older sister smoking. But it never became an issue with them. It wouldn’t have made any difference “no how,” they’d say.

Uncle Louis and Aunt Martha got married after World War I. He grew up in Borger, Texas, and then went off to drive an ambulance in that “war to end all wars.” Ernest Hemingway described Uncle Louis well in one of his war stories. I can’t prove that, but am pretty sure he would have made a stirring character in a Hemingway book.

So much time has passed in Texas since these two aunts and Uncle Louis graced the scene. These were the depression 30s and war 40s. Compared to today it was like living on a distant planet.

They were probably Democratic Party believers. Then again, everybody was in Texas in those days. No self-respecting man, woman, boy or girl would be anything else. Republicans, in those days, were just a generation away from the Yankee carpet-baggers that did more harm to the south than any cotton-pickin’ boil weevil.

They knew first-hand what happens when a Republican president sets up business in the oval office. Ask those who have been there: What do you get? Whadeyeget? You get a full-scale, one hundred percent depression, complete with anxiety, misery, hardship, and utter hopelessness, that eventually led to another war.

When the carpet-bagger Republicans finally left, Texas could say the Civil War was over and Texas was safe in the hands of the Democratic Party.

It would stay that way for over 100 years. A veritable heaven on earth. Then in the late 1950s when justice prevailed and black kids could begin to get a better education, both Republican and Democratic whites fled to the suburbs. Avoiding the trauma of “mixed schooling.”

Democrats-in-name only also fled the party and became Republicans. And the Republican Party and its new “tea party” image has put a pall over Texas and much of the country.

“Heavenly days,” puts it too mildly as we think of another good-old-boy with Republican hues being in the White House. Having never been prone to the use of curses, gutter, low-life language, I can express it no better than exclaim, “Holy Moses, what’s next?”

According to right-wing Protestant radio stations, like the American Family Radio, Prince Flowing Mane from Paint Creek is already assured to bring Christianity back to the White House and free it of the not-really-an American, Muslim-loving, pretend president.

Heavenly Days. Saints preserve us. Whadeyeget? Another day older and deeper in (censored).

[Set to be published in Aug 26 edition of Brownwood (TX) Bulletin and San Angelo (TX) Standard-Times dailies]

No comments: