Hi, Rick. You don’t remember me, but I’m your brother Gary. We used to share an old blue Chevy and an 8-track of the “Easy Rider” soundtrack, back when MP3s sounded suspiciously like a military term and Chevrolet still made automobiles.
I miss you a lot. Having been raised as Southern Baptists (OK, we were mostly dating the two Rondas at church, we didn’t have much cash, and Sunday services were a cheap date), I realize a lot of people look to the Bible for comfort when they’re feeling down. But there’s too much smiting for my taste, and even though they said “How great thou art,” they never actually showed the art, so I couldn’t decide for myself.
Nah. Verily, I like to look back on the comments you left here over the years.
I mostly started writing the blog because you’re a writer and I tended to follow your act, that being what little brothers do. Of course, that meant I followed you into journalism and wandering on trails and music by obscure geniuses the world would never discover. Margarine became my little domain, a modest incarnation of your Texas Morning column, except for the brilliance and typos. Everyone needs a copy editor.
So it was always a joy when you would respond to a post here. I think I hit my stride in that 2009-2011 streak, one of those periods where words and ideas came together effortlessly. Those were fun times, but your comments always made me remember that while I was a monkey hammering away at my typewriter, you could make the angels weep. Angels are sort of sissies.
“A handy staple of short cowboys on cash-strapped ranches.” Genius. This could have made a fine screenplay. Your brotherly advice would steer me through life. I never went to an all-night truck stop cafe after this.
This was in response to a rant I had posted about the Kim Jong Un stealing my Lightweight Orange Racing Soup Ladle in transit to South Korea. You posted a couple of times in Korean, and when I questioned what exactly you were saying, given that the translation said “see you in a burrito that died as you go down the river at noon or suffer eternally suspicious and funny boy,” you were greatly offended.
How is a poet to speak to the world? As it turns out, exactly like this.
I remember the day you posted this. I always hoped you would look at stuff I wrote and smile. To know I made you laugh, and that you were goofing off reading my blog while pretending to work at the paper? I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Which reminds me of the Great Newspaper Vending Machine caper of 1977, and now I’m laughing uncontrollaby. Curse you, you grumpy old curmudgeon.
Anyhow, thought I’d say hey and that I hope you’re OK. Things are good here. I’m sitting at the 2021 version of the Royal typewriter, still pounding away trying to impress those damn angels, but mostly you. The sun is coming up over the palm tree out my window, not exactly a Texas morning but still close enough to the desert that I can find a mesquite bean without looking too far.
I reckon after the next move or two we’ll get to see each other again. I’ll bring the Scrabble board. I hope you’re not allowed to cheat in heaven. Surely they have Sonic milkshakes there.
God bless you too, Rick. And what the hell were you doing up at 7:44 a.m.?