On The Road: Tulsa, OK

Sunday, Oct. 26, 2:20 p.m.

Tulsa, OK

I drove an insane number of hours and miles (1,400) to arrive in Tulsa, OK in time for the Ani Difranco show at legendary Cain’s Ballroom tonight.


Ani DiFranco

Cain’s, opened in 1924, is an old-school music venue (dive) where everyone has played, including Hank Williams, Elvis Costello, Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Cramps, Jerry-Jeff Walker, The Police, Waylon Jennings, the Sex Pistols.


Tonight’s show is to benefit education programs by the Woody Guthrie Center, a museum opened last year with a current exhibit of photos of Bruce Springsteen and his band.



Cain’s and the WG Center being part of Tulsa’s Brady District, home to arts, music and fun – including a “cosplay” yesterday at Guthrie Green, across the street from the museum.


CosPlay Organizers

Also, StoryCorps had set up one of its oral history vans.


Can’t wait for tonight’s show!!

Tomorrow: Downtown Tulsa has an amazing number of art deco office buildings from the early 1900s. That, and the famed Route 66 blazed through the middle of town – until it was largely lost to the Interstate Highway system.

PLUS – tomorrow afternoon a “cold front” is supposed to hit town, dropping temperatures into (gasp!) the 60s (today is almost-record heat – maybe 90F or 30C, give or take). Crazy for the end of October in Oklahoma. Still, the humidity is low so it’s pleasant for me either way.

Almost forgot: Sunday brunch at the Chimera (also downtown Tulsa, walking distance from Cain’s and the Guthrie Center). Serving delicious iced water with fresh lemon and basil from a huge jug by the door (trust me, it’s great!). And, low-fat, no-meat, non-dairy breakfast scramble.



Part of the weekly Vinyl Brunch – locals spinning favorite vinyl selections.


Fat Girls In Des Moines

I first read “Fat Girls In Des Moines” in 1988 in Granta, a literary magazine (yes, I know, save it). It’s still around. Anyway, Bill Bryson, the author, was an American ex-pat at some point who later moved back to the States. Wrote books. One about his travels in Australia. I did not think it particularly good. But that’s not the point.

The point is this: The opening paragraph of “Fat Girls In Des Moines” is one of my favorites. I laughed aloud – something I rarely do while reading. Yes, I laughed a lot when I read A Confederacy of Dunces. But that was years ago and I digress. The point, again, is that I remember Bryson because of this one paragraph. I’m sure there’s a lesson there.

Here’s the paragraph:

“When you come from Des Moines you either accept the fact without question
and settle down with a girl called Bobbie and get a job in the Firestone
factory and live there forever and ever or you spend your adolescence
moaning at length about what a dump it is and how you can’t wait to get
out and then you settle down with a local girl named Bobbie and get a job
in the Firestone factory and live there forever and ever.”


White Trash-Talking

Florida: The Dumbshine State

Today, on the bus back from ****** – a trip that is typically at least productive because I get to read – an overweight, ugly obnoxious woman sat behind me, got on her cell phone and talked LOUDLY … incredibly loudly – even though I was trying to read and had earphones in and meditation music was on – pointless. So loud that if I turned around and started talking at her as loud as she was talking she’d think me very rude because she could not have her phone conversation. Instead of telling her to shut up or punching her in the face – my instincts – I turned my tablet into a recorder and recorded her conversation. Trying to make something positive out of a mess. Amid numerous “fucks” and “shits”, she covered these topics:

* Her possible $50,000 settlement from a big lawsuit. Or it might be $500.
* Her upcoming divorce
* A man who (I’m not sure here) is married to a friend – or an acquaintance. Or whatever. He overdosed on heroin. Recently. Paramedics found needle marks in/around his knees.
* She has never tried heroin.
* A female friend/acquaintance, a one-time dancer of some sort, who is now “all messed up” once hit on her by sitting between her legs during . . . a beauty parlor visit or something, dancing around and then licking her inner thigh.

All of this in 12 minutes and 23 seconds. There was more. But . . . .

Head pounding, I stepped off the bus early and walked home. I planned to do this anyway – but it was an extra relief because the woman was still yapping a thousand words a minute as I exited into . . . four-inch-high grass. Bus stops in suburban Florida being, on occasion, a bit primitive.

I have the recording but it’s going to take some skills with audio software I do not have. And I really do not want to spend time learning how to work this software just so someone else can hear this white trash-talking.


Osceola Has Ebola (Pass It On)

During a recent high school homecoming game – typically the final American football game of the year and a big event – Northeast High (the Vikings) in St. Petersburg played Osceola High from nearby Seminole (the Warriors), both in Pinellas County, Florida – the most DENSEly populated county in the state.

Northeast High students made many signs such as the one pictured. I know this because I’ve helped a friend – a NE High student – with journalism aspirations.


[Click to enlarge]

It’s like John Waters and David Lynch (think Hairspray and Eraserhead, respectively) meet Florida high schools, 2014.

And then there’s this:

Note: Just to be clear – as far as I know, NO ONE at Osceola High School has tested positive for the Ebola disease which, if you were a fan of the The X-Files, is a/k/a Ebola hemorrhagic fever.

I’m not going to bash a bunch of teenage high school students.

I’m just saying, welcome to Florida.

Give Peace A Chance – Or – Keep Em Guessing



Ahead of me in traffic two days ago.











John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band


 Give Peace A Chance


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She’s A Rainbow

[Note: After a brief digital exchange with the artist who said creating a collage of her work was OK - as long as it is credited - I decided to republish this. She had not complained - but I had removed it because of concerns about copying someone's work without permission.]



She’s A Rainbow – The Rolling Stones


Digital Photo Artist Laura Bello

She comes in colors everywhere
She combs her hair
She’s like a rainbow


Bello In Digital Photo Mag





“I really don’t find myself modelesque.” – Laura Bello


All photos are property of Laura Bello.

“She’s A Rainbow” Music and lyrics by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger

Performed by The Rolling Stones.


ASCAP and the associated logos are trademarks of
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers




Photo collage made at Photocollage.net.

Fall; All The Young Dudes; Goodbye A.

Today: The first real Fall day.

The temperature dropped to 62F (approximately 15C) overnight. From a high of 88F three days ago. And the humidity fell.

So here it is . . .

Neighbors drinking porch coffee this morning. Smiling. Waving hello. Relaxed. Everyone happy summer finally seems over.

Because I no longer feel imprisoned  . . . ["indoor depression" to a California boy] . . .

Because I’m energized, rebellious . . .

Because I’m sad . . .

My friend/acquaintance, A., leaves soon for Kentucky. A family obligation. I give him a framed photo of the Ospreys as a farewell gift. We will all miss him.





A: You might not know it – but you’re a dude, man.


All The Young Dudes

by Mott The Hoople

David Bowie: Lyrics

Boogaloo, dudes!



 ASCAP and the associated logos are trademarks of
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers