life is funny, part 389

We’re driving to Marfa on one of those tiny Texas roads that stretch in a straight line to forever. I’m sound asleep, enjoying a pleasant nap while I drive, when Mo yells “TURN AROUND!”

I’m scared of her, so I make a U-turn and find myself staring at a huge James Dean.

He’s part of a plywood tribute to the movie “Giant” built by artist John Cerney in 2018. I’m not sure about it at first glance. Built at the site where part of the movie was filmed, it’s huge and seems a bit out of place in the emptiness of the desert. But Mo, being an arteest, is smitten. She leaps from the car, running to various spots for differing views. I wait in the car.

And then she says “IT’S PLAYING MUSIC!”

I’m a sucker for a song in the middle of nowhere, so I walk over to the plywood car where the music is coming from.

As if on cue, it launches into a fine version of “Texas Morning.”

It’s a beloved anthem from our past, one that Rick and I first heard when Mr. B.W. Stevenson played it at a long-ago Kerrville Folk Festival. A wistful song about driving across Texas at 5 a.m. in search of something. It’s the song Rick named his Standard-Times column after, and the one song i requested from the Chicken Pickers for his memorial party.

And now, on a trip in which we brought him along in a cigar box for one last waltz through West Texas, it’s playing on a speaker from a plywood car in the middle of nowhere.

I walk around in disbelief, recording the last part of it in on the phone with dubious results.

The song ends with

“Outside, the sun is up
and the wind blows me
like a dixie cup
down the highway.”

It’s all too perfect.

I wipe away a tear (allergy), wave goodbye to Elizabeth Taylor, and we get back in the car and continue down the little ribbon of road.

How did the perfect song come on at exactly the right time in our favorite part of the planet? Skeptics would say it’s coincidence. The exhibit features a solar array that continuously plays music by former Monkee Michael Nesmith. There aren’t that many songs; maybe it’s random.

But Rick was famous for his pranks. Hearing this song in this place at this time was the perfect cure for the ache I’ve been feeling.

I’m not sure what happens in the afterlife, but I like to think he’s up there somewhere, metaphorically coming along for the ride, messing with me all the way.

Later in the evening, the quirky band at the bar we visit plays “Wish You Were Here.”

And I do.

Life is funny …

About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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1 Response to life is funny, part 389

  1. That’s amazing! Sometimes things seem way too coincidental to be coincidence. 😊

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