Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rubbers for my Cowboy Boots

Ever since I was a kid I loved the west and cowboys. I always had boots. Why my dad took me to Shoe City for some Easter shoes and we came home with a pair of red cowboy boots. It sent my mom into a tail spin, but she spun out of it.

I wear cowboy boots everyday. I don't even own a pair of shoes, except for gym shoes. In the winter with the snow and ice and all the salt it presents a problem. The leather soles of the Noconas soak through and your feet can be uncomfortable. I usually wear a pair of rubber shoes or boots and change when I get to work.

On the way back from a work trip I stopped at a western store in Warsaw, Indiana. Along with some boot and hat care chemicals I bought a pair of rubbers for my cowboy boots. I got that winter thing licked now!

The whole experience set me to thinking.... When I was in school we learned to read with the Ginn Reading series featuring Tom, Dick and Jane. Oh yea, and Spot, the dog. I was not the best of the readers. I think it was because I couldn't relate to Tom, Dick and Jane. I mean their families were so "white bread" compared to mine. I even remember reading about Tom, Dick and Jane putting their rubbers on. I had to ask Ila Jane about it. She said they put them on their shoes so they wouldn't get wet. I wondered why they just didn't wear their hunting boots to school like I did.

The whole "rubbers for my cowboy boots" experience set me to thinking:

1962 I went to school
Tom, Dick and Jane
was the rule.
Reading was a struggle
Them Ginn kids weren't the same as me.
They had a spotted dog
I had a blue tick hound,
The neighbor a black and tan
with a gold tooth.
Them Ginn kids weren't the same.
Their Daddy worked,
Their momma stayed at home.
Both my parents worked.
Weren't nothing in the book
about paying bills.
Them Ginn kids weren't the same.
They worried about their
rubbers when it rained,
Ila Jane had to explain.
They put them on their shoes - boy!
Them Ginn kids weren't the same.
They played games and
They played nice.
I played dominos, learned my math facts fast.
"Play Damn it!" Grand Dad said.
Them Ginn kids weren't the same.
I seen Dick and I seen Jane,
Run Spot run,
but it ain't the same.
Cowboys and Injuns,
The Blue and the Gray,
Crafts and engines
I did learn to read
when I had the need.
B.S.E., M.S.E. and a whole lot more
without them Ginn Kids
I did a whole lot more.
Fifty years later,
I get it now.
Got that rubber thing down.
Even got 'em for my cowboy boots!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Derby Day

"Well they fell in love in holding tank
The first Friday in May.
It was their first offense so they got out in time
To whoop it up on Derby Day."
-Tim Krekel
Folks it is the first Saturday in May and that means it is Derby Day! One of the greatest sporting events around and cultural happening. Or at least as far as I am concerned.
I am not one of those who bets the horse. I have not even been to a track. But I grew up with horseracing in my family. My dad would go to Oaklawn race track every Saturday during racing season. I would sit on the from porch and play games with the betting cards. Why sometimes I even called a race in my imagination. Win, place, or show! I was into it cuz my daddy was.
Derby Day is an event for gawilli and I. We watch the Derby and follow the winner through all the Triple Crown races. We even make crab cakes when they run the Preakness.
We woke up this morning and check all the contenders on the Kentucky Derby web site. I usually favor the winner of the Arkansas Derby. This year that would be Curlin who not only won the Arkansas Derby but the Rebel as well. He is the Derby favorite. Hard Spun and Street Sense I like too. Hard Spun has run well in the mud and it's likely to be muddy. I also like NoBiz Like ShoBiz and Tiago primarily because I saw them run in the Wood Memorial and the Santa Anita, on tv or course.
My Dad always like the gray horses and so does gawilli. She also likes the ones that have a heart gripping story. For gawilli it is Storm in May. She says the horse runs well on a wet track, finished second in the Arkansas Derby (no match for Curlin) and is blind in one eye. There's the story. Read all about this gray, one eyed, second place Arkansas Derby finisher that runs well on a wet track over at Back in the Day.
The other thing about Derby Day that I like is that I always remember my dad and those cultural things he shared. So come post time when they blow the horns I be in front of my tv with cowboy hat on smoking a big cigar. I raize my annual shot of whiskey and salute the horses and my dad.
Hope you enjoy the Kentucky Derby as much as gawilli and I.