…the parrots begin to jabber

This is what Willis was talking about!

You remember that Cool dude in school that just kind of kept to himself?

Richrath busy being great

Richrath busy being great

Well, he’s gone now.

Gary Richrath passed away a month ago and it’s high time that I quit moping about it and register more than a mention on my Facebook page.  The rule is that when writing about a historical figure or someone you don’t know, the writer is obliged to refer to the subject by their last name.  Well, Mrs. Gonzales, 10th grade English teacher, no dice.  He is ‘Gary’ because of that tone. He is Gary because the singer was in the spotlight and he was happy to be slinging that Les Paul around.  He is Gary to me for the rest of my life because I still hear that gritty tone from Keep Pushin’ through my Walkman headphones while lifting weights in high school, the power meets agility of his solos and his Midwestern, wild hair, blue jean wearing, laid back coolness.

Gary was my first guitar hero.  There were others. I own everything that the Dutch import from Pasadena with the striped red guitar ever recorded but it took a backseat to Gary.  For those uninitiated, here is an earlier mention of the man from years ago.

Growing up in the 80’s, I found myself defending Gary’s music routinely.  “REO Speedwagon isn’t the band of these radio ballads”; I’d say over the sound of the piano intro to ‘Can’t Fight This Feelin” during couples skate at the Moore, OK skating rink.  I didn’t care.  Gary wrote the rockers, man.  Take It On The Run, Follow My Heart, Only The Strong Survive, Ridin’ The Storm Out… You could hear one of his songs a mile away.

I could hear him whenever I got into my brother’s car, whenever I needed a break from the hair metal in my high school days, when I was away in college and wanted to remember being at home in my room and whenever I ran into another guitar player that realized that the sunburst Les Paul was not the sole property of Led Zep and Ace.

This tribute isn’t exhaustive.  It doesn’t even seem fitting.  But one month ago, it became soberingly clear that there will be no new music from Gary. But for the rest of my life, there will be the music of that cool dude that kept to himself all around me.

RIP Gary Richrath < Hit this up around the 3:40 mark to see what all the commotion is about.


October 14, 2015 Posted by | Music, These made the man | , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye to a legend

News today from Athens, Ga of Larry Munson’s immediate retiring.  Munson was a legend in college football and will be missed all over Dawgdom.  The 85 year old has been calling only home games since last year but health problems must have gotten worse.  I can think of nobody (save cousin Ken) that would rather be there than Munson for a home game against unbeaten Alabama. 

Already miss him.  <– Click link for some greatness.

September 23, 2008 Posted by | College Football, social, Sports, These made the man | , , | Leave a comment

two and a half hours with 5 and no college football mentioned?!

Met 5 for lunch then across the way to Starbucks for some coffee and conversation. Snapped this pic of the fireplace while 5 hit the bathroom. The following is the list of categories on this blog. I’ve scratched through the ones we didn’t hit on. Great day!  *Bold type indicates when we spent the most time.  (not listed story of me almost killing myself with a gasoline fire in my backyard from the day before)   

“News stories”
Book Shelf
College Football
I’ll take that punch in the face now
Spare time
Stabbing deaths
Stupid complaint letters
The Mick
These made the man
Web brilliance
Wha had happened was…
What the…
What would you do?

May 3, 2008 Posted by | "News stories", Blogroll, Book Shelf, Church, College Football, I'll take that punch in the face now, Music, Politics?, social, Spare time, Sports, Stuff, The Mick, These made the man, TV, Web brilliance, Wha had happened was..., What the..., What would you do? | 1 Comment

Goodbye to an American thinker. William F. Buckley (1925-2008)

Rest in peace, William

Just a small sample from Buckley:

“Back in the thirties we were told we must collectivize the nation because the people were so poor. Now we are told we must collectivize the nation because the people are so rich.” 

“There is an inverse relationship between reliance on the state and self-reliance.” 

“I would like to electrocute everyone who uses the word “fair” in connection with income tax policies.” 

“Liberals, it has been said, are generous with other peoples’ money, except when it comes to questions of national survival when they prefer to be generous with other people’s freedom and security.” 

“I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth.” 

“The majority of the senior class of Vassar does not desire my company and I must confess, having read specimens of their thought and sentiments, that I do not desire the company of the majority of the senior class of Vassar.” 

“Truth is a demure lady, much too ladylike to knock you on your head and drag you to her cave. She is there, but people must want her, and seek her out.”

Not new to this bandwagon (Link)

February 28, 2008 Posted by | "News stories", Book Shelf, Politics?, social, These made the man | Leave a comment

Evel Knievel takes the biggest jump ever!

Part of my childhood just crashed into a row of busses today.  This guy was the king!  My buddy, Kevin and I were Evel Knievel on our bikes up and down Brentwood Dr.  He even had the lunchbox!  I remember watching this guy crash into more things than Ted Kennedy after $1 beer night at Bennigan’s. 

I hope this isn’t a trend for my childhood icons.  If so, watch out Bo and Luke Duke, KISS, The 6 Million Dollar Man, and The Incredable Hulk.  I’d be really hard to find if I were any member of The A-Team too.  Lay low, boys!  

RIP, Robert “Evel” Knievel (October 17, 1938 – November 30, 2007)

November 30, 2007 Posted by | "News stories", social, Sports, These made the man | 2 Comments

I used ta do a little but a little wouldn’t do

If it’s new, I hate it.  I have just (in the past few years) “discovered” the Seattle sounds that I hated so badly in 1991.  Part of this is an influence from my old, decrepit brother and his musical, uh taste?  Six year olds should probably not have to sit in a Plymouth Duster and be force-fed ELO and Fleetwood Mac (Go Your Own Way: the greatest song ever recorded).  Thank you, 5.

I took this steady diet of Van Journeywagon to high school.  Having more in common with my teacher’s music choices than my classmates made me want to punch myself in the face over and over just to make the Young MC, Wang Chung, and Warrant leave my mind the morning after going to a high school party.  I remember thinking (at a Poison concert with a friend) that they sounded ridiculous with Kenny Loggins’ “Your Momma They killed the “radio star”Don’t Dance”.  

I was always a guitar guy.  So I would just wait for the occasional glimpse of a Van Halen video on MTV (*note to those under 30 years old – MTV was at one time a music network which is to say, they played music videos / see note at bottom).  What’s a guy to do?  Warrant, Motley Crue, Slaughter, RATT, and Winger were the flavors of the day.  Bands that I actually look back on with nostalgia and longing now that radio thinks I would prefer to listen to crap.

This would change.  Soon. –1988’ish.  I was a starter on the biggest high school in Oklahoma’s football team, my sister was not completely nuts yet, and family life was fine (from what they told me).  Because I would not listen to FM radio by myself, I was not in the loop.  Like I was going to hear Yngwie Malmsteen’s version of Spanish Castle Magic on the KATT in OKC.

Few was his name-o.  Travis Few had a cassette tape piled in with Whitesnake and Motley in his car.  I popped it in while he was in a store.  What the…?  Who was this?  Where did those drums come from?  This had the power of Zep III and the punk/thrash soul that those slobs, The Sex Pistols sing about but never played on their albums!  Who was making this noise?  It must have been from a movie or something.  I was in love!  These dudes were going to make a dozen albums and be bigger than Zeppelin!  I looked at their picture.  They were wearing jeans.  No spandex, No hairspray, no s***!  The guitarist played a Les Paul, and the singer had a heroin habit.  Rock and roll was back.  Thanks for the following, guys.

Here I am and you’re a Rocket Queen (oh, yeah). I might be a little young but Honey, I ain’t naive. Here I am… And you’re a Rocket Queen (oh yeah). I might be too much but honey you’re a bit obscene!

*music video –noun

a commercial videotape featuring a performance of a popular song, often through a stylized dramatization by the performers with lip-synching and special effects.

July 21, 2007 Posted by | Music, social, These made the man | Leave a comment

Psychiatric help 5 cents

Julie Lopez was in my art class in high school.  She was as good looking as her name sounds.  She told me that her boyfriend (that went to the new cross-town high school) was her “soul mate”.  “I am him and he, me”; she’d say.  I saw them at a party where he cheated on her.  She was upset and decided to cry on my shoulder that Monday during a watercolors lecture.  I told her that it was okay.  I actually knew him before.  He was in my 3rd grade class at Apple Creek elem.  My biggest memory of him was that he was the kid that sh** himself in the lunch line one day.  So, if “you are him and he you”… I figure you saved yourself alot of baggage there.

July 19, 2007 Posted by | social, These made the man, Wha had happened was..., What would you do? | Leave a comment

We could run in Jesus’ house

When I was a kid, I had a friend named Jesus Elezando.  This was a friendship built solidly on the fact that (while he was a little candy ass) he did have a HOT Mom, a race car driving Dad, and was the only kid I knew with an Atari system.  One day, Jesus took out some dolls.  He called them “action figures” but they were dolls.  He had a cop, a construction worker, an army guy, and one other… I forget.  Besides the fact they were all tanned muscular dolls.  They looked like the fargin Village People!  I can take only so much.  Hot Mom or not, I had to draw a line.  I saw Jesus at OU when I was 22 years old.  He was a French lit major.  There goes the nature/nurture argument.

July 19, 2007 Posted by | social, These made the man, What would you do? | Leave a comment

What Goes Around Goes Around

When I was five years old, I would play in the backyard when 5 and what’s her name were in school.  Between the hours of 9:00am and 3:00pm , the backyard was my domain.  Mom agreed to surrender one of Dad’s shirts and draw 5’s baseball number on it with a marker as a football jersey.  Pine cones were my shoulder pads and Rico was the defense between me and the house.  One day, before the game started, I decided to “be the dude” on that crummy local cooking show that Mom would sometimes have on in the kitchen while I was eating breakfast.  The biggest pine cone I could find, a stump (for a table) and a pile of picked tomatoes were all I needed for my “show”.  After grinding all the tomatoes with the pine cone, the show was over.  Let the football game resume!  That evening, as I stood by watching Mom yell at Rico for eating Dad’s tomatoes, I had a real look of disbelief.  Rico, when will she learn?

Last year, I had a dentist appointment in San Antonio, TX.  They kept me in that chair for what seemed like a week.  How long does it take to get back with some X-Rays?  While sitting there, I discovered the little car wash wand-looking thing beside the chair that squirts water.  So, I did what any responsible adult would do.  I picked it up and started squirting it.  I got pretty good at it.  I filled up a Dixie cup that was across the room in the trash.  I shot the poster of “Dr. Tooth”.  I shot the “To Tell The Tooth” picture of brushing techniques.  I shot everything that would not be noticed until I broke the hose off of the wand.  The lady finally came back and started the cleaning.  She struggled with the wand thing until her shirt was wet with the flow from the hose.  This ended with a thud from her slamming it down and an exasperation of: “Sylvia breaks everything she touches around here”.  I had a real look of disbelief.  Sylvia, when will she learn?

July 16, 2007 Posted by | These made the man | Leave a comment