Rambling rose: song by Nat King Cole - RAAAMBLIIIIN ROOSSSEE: punch line of a joke by Duck Bennett.
There was a new African-American preacher in town that bore a striking resemblance to Nat King Cole. The new preacher was making house calls, introducing himself and inviting people to church. He as almost always greeted at the door with “why, Nat King Cole!”
The preacher would explain that he was not the singer and that he was a preacher and so on.
Then one beautiful day, a beautiful, young, high-breasted, black lady opened the door with, “why, Nat King Cole!” - “RAAAMBLIIIIN ROOSSSEE”.
People our age tend to ramble a bit, conversationally speaking, so with your kind indulgence, I shall ramble some with an update to my bio.
Things have changed in the last three years. I have not watered any flowers in any public places but there was this one lawyer who is now in federal ground. I really don’t need any federal offences, --- see ADD #2.
MFS traded the theatre to Richard Griffin. If anyone can restore the theatre, he can. After ten years, I did all I could do. We acquired 3 empty lots across the alley from where I live, built an outdoor bandstand, concession stand, 2 h/c restrooms, on-site parking for 25 cars, unlimited off-site parking. It is for rent for outdoor events for not much and free to good causes. Also we have a 4000 watt PA. 782-4754.
Something that happened in 2000 that for some non-sensual reason embarrasses. I broke my neck in the summer after the 7th grade and in the late nineties I begin to have motor skill problems and went to a neurologist. My wife sent his report to Social Security and I was declared 100% disabled.
Moving right along, my ol’ buddy Paul Shaver visited me a few months ago. With a bottle of Tequila on the table we reconnected after 25 years and Paul spent some part of the time telling me that life was just beginning at 66. Paul has always been a big influence in my life, in that he is one of the two smartest people that I have ever met and he could say what other fools dare not whisper. We used to argue about predestination while going down the road on his Cushman Scooter. However, when we came to a hill, the arguing stopped because I had to get off and push us up.
Taking Paul’s advice and council, I have gone back to work without the pressure of earning a living and what fun! I am now working on utilizing wasted and non-used energy in homes, business and industry. Right now our notions are like picking up pennies out of the driveway but in the near future we expect those pennies to become dollars. These notions are not new to me. I first became interested in wasted energy during an HVAC class in 1963 when I was told that 20% of the heat in a fossil fueled household furnace went straight out the flue.
To end this rambling prose, my family has talked me into starting a website. It will be a tell-all epic narrative packaged in 200 word entries that are posted every two or three days. The stories are relating, my and others experiences directly associated with the Anthem. I have asked my 44 year old daughter to write her impressions of actually living in the building when she was 13 years old. That should be interesting. Anybody else that visited the shop or anybody that never set foot in the joint, we would love to have you write your impressions in segments of 200 words to be possibly included on the website. I remember Kitty Binns coming in once and after locating me she said “John, you never hurt me before and I thought that I would be safe.” What the hell did that mean? Another time Judith Ellestine brought her kids in. Judy spent the whole time looking in the pipe showcase with her kids wandering around. “We are just curious” she said.
Right now, I have a bottle neck of finding someone to transcribe audio tapes into the written word. I’m looking for ‘talk to text’ software to try to solve that problem. Also, on the site I shall hustle leather products like I use to sell, like the visors, belts, and purses and anything else I could make a buck on. Once at the anthem looking for something to do that day, I had a scrap piece of plastic 1 & 1/2” diameter by 30” long pipe. I covered it with a very rich looking, red, suede leather. Installed a walnut pipe bowl with a brass, rope-pipe stem and decorated it with pheasant feathers on beaded-leather strings, also glued jewelry findings on it. It had a pocket for extra brass pipe screens. It was the most bodacious-looking bong ever made [Tommy Chong would have been proud]. It was really a stand-alone piece of art. I put a bodacious price on it [$125.00], thinking it would never sell. But, back then, pot crossed all social boundaries. It wasn’t long, it sold. I inquired as to who bought it. I was told one of those DeWitt kids [I have always referred to anyone younger than me as a kid]. I wondered if I should build another one. I did not wonder long. The person was in the shop the next day to order another one, just like the other one, cause his dog ate the other one.
Boy, I drifted on that one. Back on course. We hope to officially open the site to the public, January 1st. we are still working on it and it has quite a few bugs - todaysanthem.com - check it out. In addition we will use the site to blog a bit about our oligarchies form of government disguised as a democracy. By the way, my email address is - firstname.lastname@example.org .
Kids. My only daughter, Gretchen has a Masters Degree in Finance and does well except her husband has terminal cancer. That's really rough on her and everybody else. My oldest son, Bumpas, joined the Army as a private, went through Desert Storm in a helicopter, returned as a Captain and now lives next door. He is a double 'E' major at UAFS. Starr, my 25-year-old son is working as a Chemist at the University of Tulsa and getting married soon. Sam, my youngest is 15 years old, a junior at Northside and going to UAFS in the afternoon, pre-architecture.
That is about it, but I must mention something that I am really proud of. Fifteen years ago I founded a 501(c3), Music Fort Smith, Inc. The purpose of this charity is to aid young musicians and other performing artists. I now have hundreds of kids. During the recent NYC Blackout I got a long distance call and was told that there was a Block party in Harlem being held in my name. How about that, warm and fuzzy. I should also mention the Malco Theatre, a real vaudeville theater. MFS first tried to buy it from John Yantis, a great guy. He started off wanting 125 grand for it. We negotiated the price and cut it down, he died. His son, Marshall sold it to MFS for 10 gees. The New Theatre will cost about 4 mil to restore it to its 1911 appearance. MFS has spent 2 or 3 hundred thousand by way of grants and fundraising and the labor of a whole bunch of people to get it in shape for restoration. Now, I read in the paper, the City of Fort Smith will use its power of eminent domain and take it from us. If this happens and they restore it to its 1911 appearance it will be the greatest thing for the city and downtown. People will come from all over the country to see this jewel. Anybody that will support this effort, I will be in their debt.
I wish everybody peace, love, truth, and beauty, except a few that I hope I live long enough to piss on their graves.
John Horne - Addendum - 2007