Thursday, July 9, 2009

Remembrances of Lukin, Texas-- "Good Time Charlie" Wilson

Mrs. Hicks, owner/operator of the famed Hubbard City Cafe, has shut it down this week for alleged "improvements". Billy Roy asked how can you improve something that's perfect? This past weekend I had a perfect plate of fried okra, macaroni and cheese, stuffed bell pepper, and cole slaw with my iced tea and chocolate pudding. So on a slow news week from the cafe, I digress.

Occasionally when I go with Mom to the Cafe I will do what out-of-towners tend to do frequently, and that is to try to impress the locals with places I have been and things I have seen or done.

Recently it was a particularly slow day. In fact, Butch Jackson, local philosopher and researcher of pertinent facts, had just informed the group that it was "impossible for someone to lick their own elbow".

I took this as an opening to tell one of my stories.

January of 1965 just prior to my 23rd birthday, Sue and I ,after 6 months of training, were moved by IBM to Lufkin, Texas. It was my honor to be the first IBM computer salesman in that part of the State of Texas. We bought a brand new 1,490 square foot brick home (with a car port) and took out a huge $15,400 mortgage (100% of the purchase price). Sue had been teaching for two years, so we cashed in her teacher retirement (100% of it) and bought $1,000 worth of furniture which filled the entire house and still left over enough money to sod the entire yard (front and back) with real San Augustine grass.

Just around the corner from us lived a young 32 year old former Naval Academy grad by the name of Charlie Wilson from Trinity, Texas. Yep, the same one as in the movie and book, "Charlie Wilson's War". Charlie worked for a brilliant man named Arthur Temple who ran Temple Industries, a large east Texas timber products company which was one of my many IBM customers. Arthur sold Temple Industries to Time Inc., became Co-Chairman of Time Inc., spun Temple Industries back out, and today it operates as a very successful company named Temple Inland.

Charlie Wilson went on to become a 12-term Democratic Party United States Congressman from Texas' District 2. He, more than any other single person, was responsible for the Russian defeat in Afghanistan as he appropriated close to $1B annually which was matched by the Saudis to deliver weaponry to the Mujaheddin. The book, "Charlie Wilson's War", is an excellent read with great insight into the covert operations of Charlie and the CIA. It is also informative as to how Wilson became known as "Good Time Charlie".

In the mid 1960's Charlie was more concerned with his election to the Texas House. When we knew him and his lovely first wife, they were masterful campaigners. For example, they would hide their new Buick Riviera and drive an old beat up Chevy during the weeks prior to the election so they could better mix with the folks.

Being new to East Texas I was amazed to find the big issue during one of Charlie's hard fought elections was an accusation from his opponent that, if elected, Wilson would enforce the law making it illegal to hunt deer with dogs. Not only did Charlie buy local TV time (black and white, of course) but he held a rally at a football stadium where he mounted the stage with several borrowed bird dogs. His speech was short and to the point, "my granddaddy hunted deer with dogs, my daddy hunted deer with dogs, and I will continue to hunt deer with dogs long after this election". The result was one of many landslides for "Good Time Charlie".

Later in D.C. Charlie's office staff was known as "Charlie's Angels" since most were former beauty queens. It is reported that Bill Clinton, then President, said that Charlie Wilson is the only person who can come to the Oval Office unannounced-- as long as he is accompanied by his staff.

It is my understanding that Charlie (now in his 70's) has since married a former ballerina, recently received a heart transplant, and is living in Lufkin. Some think liquor did Charlie's heart in, but I think it was his passion for life and his love of country.

They just don't make em like Charlie Wilson anymore. If Charlie would have followed Congressional rules, the Soviet Union would be in tack and threatening the Free World.

Oh by the way, at least 75% of you people who have read this blog will have already tried to lick your elbow! You guys are so silly.

Think about it,


Dip Shits, Horse's Asses, and Dumb Bastards Disappear in Hubbard

Billy Jarvis has spent his life monopolizing the entire grain market in the Hubbard area while daily playing the stock market. His nick name in Hubbard is "Tickertape". Billy is super smart and regularly delivers economic reports at the Cafe. This week's report follows:

Celebrating his first 100 days in office, President Barack Obama told the American people: “One hundred days ago, in the midst of the worst economic crisis in half a century, we passed the most sweeping economic recovery act in history…One hundred days later, we are already seeing results.”

Tickertape says Obama's right, we are. Unemployment has risen to 9.5%, stocks fell to the lowest level in 10 weeks on Tuesday (Wednesday it got worse), and consumer credit delinquencies have hit a record high. Obama is taking a route of government spending and taxing while somehow promising future benefits that Tickertape describes nothing short of insanity.

Tickertape says Obama reminds him of Billy Mack Waller who owns the cafe across the street from the Hubbard City Cafe. Billy Mack has always seemed to take a different route than most. He has a big sign as you come in that says:
Mom says the folks at the City Cafe are delighted that Obama is out of the country this week "leaving us alone". They like it when Biden is in charge because as Billy Roy says, "he is dumber than a stump and can't even mess things up---- much".

Talk about taking different routes, how about this? Scott Riddle, local cattle baron , likes to drive my 7-year old granddaughter , Riley, around Hubbard when we are in town. She likes his big truck, feeding cows, stories about the old days, and waving to the locals as they drive by.

Recently Scott was out of town on his annual trip to Las Vegas playing in the Texas Hold Em World Championship Poker Tourney. His wife, Pat, came to Riley's rescue and offered to take her on a tour in her big Escalade. When they returned, Riley, anxiously ran in to give me a trip report. "Well, did you enjoy your ride with Mrs. Riddle?" I asked. "Oh yes, Papa" she replied, "and do you know what? We didn't see a single dumb bastard, dip shit or horse's ass anywhere we went today!"

I guess like the President and Billy Mack, Pat is taking different routes.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hubbard City Politics: Mostly about Beer, B-B-Q, and Baseball

It is probably good from time to time to remind the readers that most of my information comes from the Hubbard City Cafe where my Mom and Aunt Martha have coffee every day, except Sunday. They are joined mostly by local folks who consider themselves Conservatives. Unless you have a considerable amount of time it is best not ask the coffee drinkers about Conservative definitions and histories as Butch Jackson, local historian and statistician, will talk at some length about their origins.

It usually starts something like this, "Many years ago real men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement."

To be fair and balanced the reader should also know that a group of people have coffee, every day except Sunday, at the Hubbard City Drug Store. These folks enjoy fancy pastries and other delicate morsels with their coffee unlike the Cafe folks who just drink. These people are mostly Liberals as defined by Butch Jackson , "Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the Conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement. Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. Those became known as girlie-men."

Rarely is there a serious discussion that Smokey Brown doesn't turn the conversation to sex. On this day he commented. "that it was his observation that there was an interesting side note to these Liberals: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men."

This caused Aunt Martha to storm out again for the 8th time this year, even though no one will admit that they keep score of her departures. This one was really bad as her tires threw gravel from the parking lot into the cafe's front windows as she sped away. Enough said.

If you sense some hostility in Butch's remarks it is for good reason. As you know from previous postings Hubbard people are huge baseball fans, and they blame Liberals for inventing the designated hitter rule because Liberals felt it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat. Hubbard's best pitcher that year was also their best hitter. This district ruling was enforced on Hubbard costing them the Bi-District championship and thusly costing the Democrats 43 votes and control of the School Board. Got the picture?

Meanwhile, the Drug Store conversations are more International in nature as they applaud our new President's attempts to regain "respect in the World". This week of course Obama is patching things up with the Russians like he has already done with the North Koreans and Iranians. Butch says, "Liberals believe all foreigners are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when Conservatives were coming to America . They crept in after the Wild West was won and their achievements include the domestication of cats, moon walking, federal stimulation, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that Conservatives produced."

And to provide full disclosure, the Moderates take their coffee an average of 3 times per week at the Dairy Queen including every other Sunday. The Moderates are never discussed at the Cafe or Drug Store because no one likes them.

Sometimes it is good to review history as long as we don't look backwards,