I was able to recover my writing from my work computer. Turns out, I e-mailed it to my old address. Whew! Day one of Blogtember is "Where you come from."
I guess I’ll start with some information on the city I am
Lubbock is the biggest town in the area (West Texas
Panhandle), but not very big at all. When I was growing up, there was one mall,
one main roadway (the loop), 1,001 churches and just as many restaurants (just
about all of them national chains).
For a town full of
Christians that like to worship so much, you would think there would have be
more tolerance for differing religions. Not always the case. Just ask my Jewish friends.
For a town that likes to eat out so much, you would think
there would be more local restaurants. Not the case. But if it’s a national
chain, you can bet your gut it was in Lubbock.
Lubbock also had an impressive amount of musicians and
bands. Everybody knew somebody who could pick a guitar or bang a drum. Plenty
of singers and many knew how to hit the keys.
For a town with so many musicians, you would think there
would be plenty of bands of different genres playing original tunes. Not so
much, but you can see plenty of people cover just about any blues or classic
rock song out there.
There really is a lot of musical
talent in Lubbock. (I guess the citizens don't have much choice but to turn to music. People say
there is not much to do but play music and drink beer. : ) )The way I heard it
told, the University crowd is
responsible for demanding that the bands play cover songs. Those bands have
originals but you play what the money pays, sister. The Lubbock music scene
redeems itself with The Sunday night Jam held at the Spoon. Any given Sunday,
the musicians of Lubbock flock to the Jam to play both covers (Blues standards)
and originals. I have been blown away time and time again by the musicians that
play the Jam. Serious talent,
y’all. If you are from Lubbock and
you are reading this blog I have two words for you: John Sprott. While I'm at it, here are a few more names: Michael (Lefty) Lefkowitz, Chuck Brown, Sean Frankhouser, and Jessie Ballew. Yeah buddy! Arnold Wells and Paul Akin. D.G. Flewellyn. ANd on, and on, and on.
They even let me get up and sing a time or two.
My least favorite time of the year in Lubbock is the spring.
The wind kicks up something fierce and blows the dust relentlessly. Soon enough
the showers kick in and mix with the dust in the air causing the bizarre weather
phenomenon Lubbockites refer to as “mud rain”. It’s exactly how you imagine it would be.
A lubbock dust storm (source
My favorite time of the year in Lubbock is right now….the
beginning of fall. The mornings are crisp, clear, and cool. A little break from
the heat of the day.
Lubbock’s best feature is it’s sunsets. They are just so beautiful. Large, vast, and saturated with color the magic of the Lubbock
sunset has to do with the extremely flat landscape and the dust particles in
the air. It’s really gorgeous. Simply breathtaking. An honorable mention goes
out to the lightning storms. Boy howdy, those are an event! People sit outside
to watch the show off in the distance. They aren’t going to sit outside if the
strikes are close, but you can be safe and watch the lightning bolts chase each
other across the sky if those bolts are miles away. I miss the show.
I know I started off with the negative but that is because
there are negatives to discuss. They shaped my life just as much as the positive experiences did.
Despite the negatives, I am glad I was born and raised in Lubbock.
It has given me a unique background and perspective. Whenever I tell people I
am from Lubbock, they tend get a superior expression on their face as they say
“I’m sorry.” That just pisses me off because nine times out of ten they have
never really experienced Lubbock (beyond traveling to Texas Tech for a football game). Shoot, most of these fools have never even been to
Lubbock. Don’t get me wrong, I left Lubbock for a reason but I’ll be damned if
someone thinks I missed out on something or had it so hard growing up there. Shoot,
let me tell you what I had. I lived right next to a cotton field that served as
my playground (dirt clod wars anyone?). I attended a church that was so
amazing, I have not been able to find it’s match since. I understand I am
trying to replicate a past experience, though, and that is just about
impossible. Still, I wish I could have that same church life. I really, really
wish it were possible.
Growing up in Lubbock allowed me to be able to experience
working on friends’ farms. I rode horses, bottle fed calves, played with goats,
stacked hay, and collected peacock feathers. I observed llamas and miniature
donkeys up close and personal. Emu’s were abundant and DAMN THEY LAYED BIG EGGS! I attended
plays at the university and parties on dirt roads in the middle of nowhere. I
hung out at the air force base where I met people from all over America. I had it pretty good, so don’t be sorry
that I am from Lubbock. I’ll just be sorry that you are small minded.
Saint John Neuman Catholic Church. My Church. This photo was from 1988, the Feast Of the Assumption. (Source
) Boy, that is another story right there.
On Family and Influences of others:
My family was and is a little crazy. Seriously… a lot crazy.
I mean, members of my immediate family have a clinical diagnoses with meds to
boot! Mom, I’m not just talking about you so don’t get upset. Those of us without a diagnoses probably
could use one. ; ) We had fun,
though. We knew how to laugh and how to make others laugh. My mom could sing
with such purity and truth that it would break your heart. My dad could deliver
a sermon (he was a Deacon in the Catholic church) or a lecture (he was also a
history teacher) that would engage and retain the attention of even the most
what had the biggest impact on my childhood was the death of my younger brother
Joshua. Joshua died of cancer (lymphoma) when he was about two years old. I was
4, my little sister was an infant, my brother was around 8 and my older sister
was about 12. This had a big impact on all of us. It was painful for many
years. Yes, watching my brother die sucked the big one but watching my parents
deal with it hurt even more. I
really believe that if, as a child, you experience the death of an immediate
family member (especially a sibling) you gain 1000points of empathy. People in
need (in terms of mental and physical health) can sense that you have a surplus
of empathy and will be drawn to you. It is up to you (the person with all the
empathy) to decide how you will use this “gift.” I work with special needs
children. My brother pours it into his art. My sisters are loving mothers. One is great with animals and the other
is drawn to song. I still miss
Joshua and think of him often. I imagine I will think of him for the rest of my
life. I carry a little bit of him inside my heart.
Wow. This thing has gone on long enough. I could write so
much more! I have had great, great friends throughout my time in Lubbock.
Rachel and Margaret, Clint, Amy, Adrianne, Jeff,
Danny, Mike, Josh, Cody, Lee, Erin, Dina, Lynn, Charlotte, Genel, Matt, Ethan, etc. I could
write chapters on my relationship with each and every one of them.
The most important friend I had in Lubbock became my
husband. That is another story for
Ok, that is friggen' all for now. Fri-gg-en' all.