Simle! You’re 40 and back in your home town!

Yes, kids, I turned 40 the other day. And, I turned it with my mother in town of my birth in Texas. I had not been to Texas since the summer of 1997 and I had not seen my mother in over two years. So, there I was. Turning 40 in Texas with my mom. I wish I could tell you that turning 40 was no big deal. You know, that it’s just a number and one is only as young (or old) as one feels but I have to tell you that I didn’t enjoy turning 40. I know it is just a number and that I am in better physical shape than I’ve enjoyed since my early 20’s AND I am happier now than I’ve ever been BUT turning 40 sucked for me. It just sucked. Sorry. And, you know — I’m really not a negative person. I am a fairly up-beat and positive-oriented sort of person who likes to laugh. But, um, 40 is not much of a laughing matter for me. However, I am still processing thru it. I shall not bore you any further with my bitching about getting old. But, turning 30 was much easier. I shall leave it at that. Now, I shall tell you a few things about my trip back to Texas.

Much has changed in my birth land since I left it back in 1991. Poverty appears to be quite high. No more “boom” left at all really. Tho, to be honest, I don’t really recall it ever “booming” much. However, you know things have changed when Goodwill has three locations and one those is at the mall next door to Macy’s. Odd, that. True, the little town was just about destroyed by that bitch of a storm, Rita, last year. One can still see folks trying to re-build their homes and more than a few businesses. However, I don’t think the storm is fully to blame for the down turn. I am not sure what is going on. My mother kept insisting that things were great for my home town and that the economy was looking up. She just sort of stared at me when I asked if it was a good thing that the Hilton was now called “L’Elegante Inn” …I don’t think that is good indicator that things are looking up, but I could be wrong. One thing that never changes are the cows. There are plenty of cows. Let’s call the one above “Bertie” …At least that is what I called her when I took the picture.

…There used to be a really nice jewelry store but it is now this place. At first I thought it cool and even entertained the idea of finally getting that Hello Kitty tat I’ve been talking about for so long but then my mother casually mentioned that the town’s Hep situation was not so good. And, then I saw what I can only describe as a Crack Pimp and his prize Crack Ho drive up in a “soup’d-up” Honda truck. I am fairly certain that there are more trucks, cowboy hats and silver belt buckles in my home town than anywhere in the South. I could be wrong. However, I do not think so.

I had wanted to re-visit a few of my old haunts. One of which was my Head Shop. More than just a friendly little head shop, Sunrise was my childhood/teenage oasis of fun. This is where one could find great LedZep/Who/Fleetwood Mac bootleg LP’s and neat shirts! It was one of my fave places and it still stands! However, it had just been raided and I could not go in. My mother told me that they had been busted for selling child porn. But, later, when I was hanging out with one of my dearest friends on the planet — she told me the truth. Yes, kids. It is still illegal to sell sex toys in my home town. Now, one can still sell pipes and roach clips so the wise town elders opted to bust Sunrise for selling dildos since they can’t do a darn thing about the fact that many folks opt to smoke a bit of weed from time to time — they can stop ’em from pleasuring themselves with Devil Sex Toys. I found it amusing that my mother thought it had been child porn. Support Sunrise Records!

This is a fun place. Home of the Original Pig Sandwich! Hungry yet? Anyway, I thought it amusing that they were advertising the Graduating Class of 1966 — the year I was born. Cops love this place. My friend reminded me of the time she went in with her date a wee bit stoned and began to become amused that there were so many cops enjoying Pig Sandwiches. When I was a small child — you could drive up and a lady would roll out on rollerskates and present you with a Coke Float. It was like that George Lucas movie crossed with THE LAST PICTURE SHOW. Both me and my mother declined from actually going in but I took a picture.

Now, it is always about 95 to 100% humidity, but it can get cool from time to time. Cool translates to the 60’s. It was cool for one day while I was there. It just happened to be the day that we ventured to the joint built on the bayou. There were no gators to be found. It was too cold and they were burried in the mud. Oh well. The food was good, tho. I think I gained 25 pounds. Things really do taste better when fried in pig lard. Yes, it’s true.

Seriously, it was good to see my mom. We had some heavy discussions. We laughed a bit, too. I hung out with a dear friend who made me laugh so hard I cried. I took a look at where I had come from with both humor and respect. I had to laugh as I tried to take a picture of an odd store which had the inscription of “A Christian Store For Christians” under their home-spun logo — and heard a cowboy/shit-kicker type say, “Hey, look at the Jew Boy taking a picture of Kristy’s store!” …I opted not to take the picture and just got back in the car. Yep. Welcome to my part of Texas! Of course, I guess I was taking that picture to make fun of Kristy’s store. Tho, I had planned to go in and determine what defines a “Christian Store” as “Christian”

As I walked out of the San Francisco Airport and saw B driving toward me to pick me up, I realized how happy I was to be home. This is home. The place from which I came has a place in my history but it is not ever to be my future.

November 15, 2006. Uncategorized.


  1. matt replied:

    Oh, my God!!!! Sandy Farina posted a comment to my blog posting about her! THE Sandy Farina! I’m all excited! Wow…

  2. ing replied:

    Who’s Sandy Farina? Was she in The Fantasiks?

    Texas sounds dangerous! Bad for the cholesterol levels, and just plain scary. Why is it so scary when someone in the south says “Jew”?

    I’m taking a nap! ZZzzzzzzz!

    But first I’m going to google Sandy Farina.

  3. matt replied:

    Sandy Farina was the star of the film version of SGT PEPPER”S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND!!! She played Strawberry Fields!!! Anyway, I wrote about her back in October of 2005 and she just posted a comment to my blog — if you go to 10/18/05 in my archieves! I’m so excited!

    …and, yes. Most unhealthy food-wise in my home town. I am not allowed to eat for the next 3 months.

  4. digitic replied:

    OMG! Took me forever to remember my Blogger UserID and Password. Urp!


  5. matt replied:

    Milly — I miss you! Thanks! I’m old now. Elderly even.

    …Wow. I got a second comment posting from Sandy Farina. A childhood fave is reading my blog! I’m so excited!!! …and, she also wrote a song for Barbra which she recorded! I play it on my iPod all the time.

  6. Karyn replied:

    That was freaking hilarious. Kind of sad but oh my. Pig Sandwich. Dildo contraband. Jew Boy? The fact that you are not Jewish is not the crux of the matter – people really SAY shit like that? How did you ever come from there?

    You look fantastic though. Kisses to you, birthday boy –

  7. ing replied:

    I’m not napping — the sleeping giant has awakened. She will be expecting her cell phone to ring!!

    Are you coming over to see my cabbages? I better clear out all the dead soldiers and put fresh spring water in the bong, then, so my place will be presentable.

    My sewing machine doesn’t work! I’m going to take it to a repair place. Then I will sew a dress for your cabbage doll. But I’d rather make pajamas.

  8. Lubin replied:

    I would love to visit Texas someday, it is my “The Midlands”.

  9. matt replied:

    Karyn! I do so wish I had been able to get a shot of the Christian store for Christians. My mother seemed to think it was probably like a Disney store only for Jesus instead of Mickey Mouse. Not sure which concept is more horrific.

    Lubin! We should make some deal that you and your fella and me and mine could all agree to meet up — then we could give you a tour of southeast Texas and then you could give us a tour of The Midlands! I wanna see some Scully Boys at work like in a Triga video! LOL!

    Ing! You’re far too petite to be a giant! YES! I wanna come over and see the hot new pad! You know, we could play that game where the loser has to drink the bongwater! …or, not. Well, as I do not have a Cabbage Patch Doll (it is but a dream, you know) I would settle for some way cool Hello Kitty PJ’s but they would need to be sexy for my man. K? I’ll be callin’ ya soon! I had no reception at home. Return to work tomorrow!

  10. Sorted Lives replied:

    Happy 40th handsome. You look great and here’s to 40 more.

  11. ing replied:

    How ’bout some Hello Kitty shorty shorts. . . though I think men look cute in pajama bottoms (NOT shorty shorts. Or thongs, for that matter. Eeew.).

    The bongwater IS the drinking water, silly. I call it “tea”. You’ll love it.

  12. matt replied:

    Sorted Lives! Thank you! 40. I guess it’s too late to raise my head and harp out, “I’m 39!” LOL!

    Ing – Oh no! I draw the line at short shorts. …Unless in a parade, at a club, grocery shopping or hanging out in the Castro. Other than that — I ONLY wear classic PJ’s! Well, save some of that bong’d tea for me! You can’t have it all for yourself, you know! Matt (Moleskin Blog) saw LITTLE CHILDREN this aftternoon. It was a good film. Sort of. Well, maybe not. Still thinking about it. However, I thought of you as I watched it because I think you would like the way the first half of the screenplay is done.

  13. ginab replied:

    Funny how you didn’t enter a single venue you took a photo of. Must have made the home town seem like a movie set.

    I hope so in a pun kind of a way.

    Glad you’re home-home!


  14. matt replied:

    Gina — I know! I did so want to visit my old head shop but it was off limits. I didn’t really want to venture into The Pig Stand but we do go into the Gator place/beer joint. …but the gators were too cold to come out and eat the racoons. I had two chicken strips and a Diet Coke.

  15. ing replied:

    Wow, ginab’s observation is great!

    I’m really really interested in hearing about Little Children — will one of the Matts blog about it? I read the first couple of chapters of the Tim Perotta book, and it had an awesome beginning. But I didn’t get too far.

    Matty, soon we will grocery shop for turkey and stuff’n and all the ingredients for ambrosia. Will you wear your short short to Trader Joe’s? I saw on Josh Williams’s blog that people sell their partially-eaten roasted turkey in the want ads after T-day. Maybe we could skip the grocery store part. . .

    I have a date Saturday night! Yay! I hope I like this one. We talked on the phone for 45 minutes and he sounded like my type — hippy-ish, likes to camp, and a surfer!

  16. matt replied:

    Ing! Yes, anything to avoid a grocery store! I’ve got on my silver short shorts right now as I head out to work!
    A date with a surfer who looks like Iggy Pop! Whoo Hoo!

    Well, actually Matt took pix at the movies. So, I don’t know if he plans to blog on it or not. He made fun of the fact that I buy a large popcorn but only eat the top portion of the bag. I just hate that you can purchase a silo of popcorn for $5 but the small size (the one that I would eat) is $4. What’s up with that? I just can’t do it!

    Ok — time to return to work!

    …at 40.

  17. joe replied:

    happy belated!

  18. dbv replied:

    well, the pig stands all closed last week, so you got a pic just in time!!! what part of texas are you from? i guessing somewhere near houston… i try to never go outside the beltway unless it to the airport… it’s sooooo scary out there!!! lol…

  19. matty replied:

    Joe – Thank you!!!

    dbv – Oh no!!!! The Pig Stands are gone! What will folks do for their Pig Sandwich Fix!?!!??! LOL! I am glad I got a picture of it! I didn’t know they were closing down! I’m from Beaumont, TX — which is about 70 miles from Houston. And, yes, I avoid it too! LOL!

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