The 11th Day of Christmas

Pen in hand, with no thought in mind, but I start writing anyway. Most of the time when I write these blogs, I know where they are going…if I can figure out how to get there in words. Today, I have no clue what I will say but if I write long enough, I will end up with something…maybe.

No one is up yet and I have gone thru my morning routine of bathroom, coffee, computer, and cig.

First of all, I want each of you 2 know that I love you and appreciate your time you spend with me reading my blogs and visiting me at home and at work. I have met and loved many people in my days, but I can say I have never been treated any better than right here in Pickwick.

Pickwick....and one of those sail boats is ours...I love me some Pickwick

Running a restaurant is the dream of many and the nightmare of a few. There is nothing easy about the restaurant business.

It’s 8 a.m. and Daryl, my main “clean up” guy is reaching through the door to get the keys to begin the opening procedures. It takes 3 hours just to clean bathrooms, mop floors, ice beer and cola machines, run the snake in the sewer, and clean the parking lot.

together we work

Then the cooking begins as all eyes and ovens and fryers are turned on. Raba Baba is my day chef. Raba Baba is Robert Barbour, a renaissance man, and one of the people I always wanted 2 hang out with. He is Lu Anne’s age and 2 years older than me, so in high school he was way, way cooler than I was and his crew, Hillsman Williams, Bill Oates, and Trent Kernodle and a few others were the smartest and the coolest group in school. They played music, hung out in Dr. Jim’s garage, and I never really knew what 2 say to this guy, I was so much in awe.

Robert is a poet, a writer, and an artist, as well as a chef. He can name dishes I cannot say and cook them most excellently. When Raba Baba left Jackson, Tennessee for the Navy and I was attending Texas A & M, we lost track of each other and if we spoke, I don’t remember it. Then came Facebook and there he was and we talked and I invited him over for a few days (70’s style).

Raba Baba

He said, “Do you remember the 1st thing you ever said to me?”

I laughed in my head, I said, “no,” and Raba said, “I won’t ever forget it.”

And he tells me his memory of my 1st words 2 him. Now let me stop right here a minute and tell you when I see friends, they nearly always ask, “Do you remember what you said to me?” (at this or that time).

And I have 2 say no every time. And then they tell me a story of what I said meant to them at that time. It floors me every time that someone has held onto words I have said; loosely without plan or forethought I said something somebody keeps forever. Some say those words I said 2 them were life changing. If floors me every time…because I didn’t know anyone was listening 2 me anyway.

But believe you me, somebody’s hanging on your every word and mine. You never know who thinks you are “cool” and wants to be like you.

me and my son..Nick

I lived my entire life trying to be like my idols and I hang on their every word, so how could I have been so blind, so long to the fact that I might be somebody’s hero, or model or inspiration. I was just going thru life following dreams and chasing women back then. I had no clue anyone cared what I said so I said anything and everything.

Back 2 Raba Baba’s visit and our conversation of my 1st words to him.

I’d just moved to Milan, a little red-headed, freckled face preacher’s kid and the he kinda had a crush on my older sister Lu Anne, so I had seen him around and he knew who I was.

So I walk in the Big Star on Liberty St. and Robert was a sackboy there working. I got what I wanted and checked out and as we visited the past he says, “And I’ll never forget what you said to me. You made me so mad I was speechless. Some little squirt gonna make fun of me.” I interrupted and said, “What did I say?”

Raba said I said, “‘Where’d you get that pink shirt?’, real smart like and man it got under my skin.”

“Your little red-headed peckerwood ass, making fun of my shirt. I thought that shirt was the coolest thing, had those puffy sleeves and long collars.”

And I said, “Yeah, and you had the pink socks to match it.”

What Robert didn’t know was I really wanted 2 know where he got that shirt.

I didn’t have any “cool” clothes when I moved 2 Milan, but everybody there did. And I wanted 2 know where 2 get some so I could be “cool” 2. And maybe hang out with some cool people.

So I had a big belly laugh with Robert when I told him I was serious about wanting 2 know where he got the shirt.

Young and fearless yet nearly speechless, I spoke and somebody held onto it like a thing and floors me to think about it.

You know in your world somebody is hanging on your every word. And now that I see that, I stay in constant hope my words ring true and blow freely without forethought and planning.

And that’s the way this blog began and now I see where it’s going. And I sense you do 2.

Amy Lu was tired yesterday, so she started throwing a little girl fit after her mom, Nana, and Enzi and her had made Christmas cookies. And Ashley hollers out, “Amy Lu, Santa Claus is watching. You better be nice.”

Ya’ll, on the 11th Day I give 2 you the surety that “Somebody is watching,” therefore you are a Hero. Don’t shrug it off. This is a Hero-centered society on all levels. And on one level or another, you are somebody’s hero. And they are watching, just like Santa.

I had a friend I used 2 party with tell me one day, “You know my son thinks you are the greatest and told me he wanted 2 be like you.” My friend’s son was 7 years old. I was floored. I thought how long has this young boy been watching me and listening to me.

Had I already ruined the kid with bad behavior or had I been a positive influence and fun? My life up to that point with these friends flashed before my eyes in an instant and I say quickly, I needed to adjust a few things, mainly cursing, but overall I felt sure my example would not hurt anyone.

As this young kid grew up, he did his own thing and still does. He is brilliant and witty and well schooled and I won’t name him because I love him.

I know folks are watching me now, but for years and years I had no clue anybody cared or watched. I lived freely and partied hard and was good at it.

I study the Book of Love and lived it. And I still am not afraid 2 do things you don’t agree with or say things you don’t believe 2 be true…If I believe it to be true. I believe in watching and caring but I don’t believe in judging and intolerance. I am never afraid to teach and the biggest challenge is what 2 teach and when 2 teach and when 2 shut up.

Watch me but be you. Follow the only good advice I can give you, that is this:

“Do what you want 2 do, that’s what I do.”

costa rica....and me

I don’t know your situation or your list of problems and concerns, but this advice will never fail you. You are special and what you really want to do is special…2 you. I love 2 follow my heart and go with my gut and let the chips fall where they may, in what I do and what I say.

My words may have hurt you in the past and knowing this to be a truth, I sincerely apologize. For those of you who held some of my words dear, I am honored, and for those of you that I have not hurt or helped…you are not missing much. Just remember you’re somebody’s role model or hero, and I sense the ones that want 2 be just like you…are your children, or cousins, or siblings. One doesn’t have 2 look far to see who’s watching and hanging on your every word.

I hope ya’ll know, I am trying to keep my words and subjects light, but I don’t always succeed…and I know that now that I know “somebody’s watching.”

Things are not always the way they appear when we watch life and people, so be careful not to judge those you don’t understand, and be tolerant to those who seem intolerable, be forgiving and a peace maker if you can, and remember there are 2 sides 2 all of us. The Good and the Bad, and we can recognize them the minute they appear in our behavior.

Now that I sense this, I am even watching myself and I’m good with it. Can you stand the sight of yourself?

Merry Christmas Time and remember, Santa’s watching!