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Monday, July 5, 2010


barbara lucier

Had to skip 2 days. Up til 2:30 3 nights in a row, then 1:30 and about 3 hours sleep per night, on the go all day long from wake-up to fall-asleep. By today I wanted to sleep late, but couldn't. Went to take a nap and about the time sleep was creeping up on me I heard somebody speak from the door, T, which some people call me. I hollered, Yeah, jumped into shoes and went to the door and nobody there or in sight. No more time passed than maybe 3 rings of the phone. Maybe whoever it was went straight up. Maybe I heard something else and in half-sleep interpreted it a voice saying T. Maybe it was a dream.

Gave up attempting to sleep. Put on a movie Crystal loaned me to see, Cadillac Records. All true story depicted by actors and film-making crew of the transition in Chicago at Chess Records from blues to rock&roll, from the beginnings of Muddy Waters being recorded by Alan Lomax on a farm in the Mississippi Delta to Chuck Berry and the Beach Boys stealing his tune to Sweet Little Sixteen for Surfin USA. Beyonce singing Etta James. She did it right. I have a respect for Beyonce I never thought about before. At Last by Etta James is among the top 10 of my favorite recordings ever, of what I've heard, and Beyonce sang it right. She made a pretty fair actress too. Etta James came to life in Beyonce's characterization of her. The actors became their characters in one of the rare movies where that happens. The actor playing Willie Dixon was Willie Dixon. The actor playing Muddy Waters was Muddy Waters. The actor playing Chuck Berry didn't quite make it, but was good enough. Unless Chuck Berry acted like an actor acting like Chuck Berry. A good way to spend a couple of hours, cat on lap, a day when I don't even want to move.

For Saturday's parade, and reasons I'll never know, I was asked to be a co-announcer of the parade for WCOK standing on the courthouse lawn with Barbara Lucier. It was something that never ever occurred to me as something in my future. It came from out of the blue from someone who knows I don't share Sparta Revitalization Committee's agenda at all, not even the first iota. That's all right. All of us have our own projects and I appreciate that, applaud it, glad it's the way things are. Though I don't share that thinking doesn't mean the person thinking differently from me is unworthy of my attention or invalid. Asked to stand on the courthouse lawn and announce the parade came as out of the blue as being asked to take command of a space ship and told I can go anywhere I want to go in the universe. I'd pick a planet where the people are more advanced than the people on earth and living in peace their way of being so long they don't even think about settling any disagreement by hitting or intimidation. I'd be about like a chimpanzee learning to do tricks to amuse the humans. Throw me a banana and I'll jump over backwards and land on my feet.

I like out of the blue. It seems like, time after time, everything that has come to me in the past from out of the blue has come from God, directly from God. Sometimes it might be a deal-with-this moment that is something to get through to get to what's next. When she said with Barbara Lucier, I automatically said yes. It's been awhile since I've seen Barbara and I like her spirit, who she is, the whole woman. She's a mountain girl, a Busic, who spent much of her adult life in DC at a good paying job working for men in suits. She's retired back to her family home. And Sparta is all the better for it. In the way of a mountain woman she lets on like she misses everything that's going on around her and doesn't miss the least detail. No need to tell everything you know. We almost lost Barbara a few years ago. I believe it was prayer that brought her back.

We used a cell phone to broadcast what we were saying to the radio station and little clip-on mics for the Sparta tv station. Charlie Scott was filming it from George Sheets's cherry picker in front of Bobby Gilliespie's office, what used to be Northwestern Bank, diagonally across the intersection from us. The lawyers call that intersection the suicide crosswalk. It's much safer to jaywalk in Sparta than try to cross that intersection in any direction on foot. Jaywalking, the cars only come from 2 directions. At the intersection, they come from 4 directions, not always as directed by signs or laws or anything. The bronze head of Farmer Bob Doughton sees and hears it all. And he aint tellin nothin. You can tell him anything you want and he'll never tell it. You can stick a sharp pencil in his eye and he'll never feel it. He's worn sunglasses, hardhats, do-rags, what have you. I've seen him with pencils sticking out of his eyes. He doesn't mind. He thinks it's funny. It's the only kind of attention he gets any more, and not much of that any more either.

Last night, Fourthajuly, I watched the Sparta fireworks show. It was impressive. Big displays, fireworks that cost a bundle. They made me ask out loud how the people who make these fireworks get them to do things after exploding, like 2 intersecting squares, or a ring of white around a rectangle of red, or even the standard big ball that looks for a second like the Death Star in colored lights that dissolve in little trails of smoke. It was the end of my day. As soon after that as I could get my hind end in gear to get home and horizontal, I was running the roads in as close to a bee-line as you can get on a mountain highway up the mountain to home. Only one subject in mind, to lie down and shut down, forget any of it ever happened and wake up whenever.

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