Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 30, 2010
On our last night in Lubbock my producer Jeff Hildebrandt and I went to a fave local hangout called Gardskie's, which is in an old house, near the downtown. Very nice meal, had the salmon. Afterwards we drove around the downtown area looking for the Buddy Holly statue. Couldn't find it.

My host from the National Ranching Heritage Center told me more people come from all over the world to see the Buddy Holly statue and museum than to see anything else. Tons of people come from England. The other favorite sons are Mac Davis and Waylon Jennings. Our hotel is on Mac Davis Way.

Took a shuttle in the morning from the Overton Hotel to the airport and asked the shaved-head-kid driver if he could take me by the Buddy Holly statue on the way to the airport. He said he didn't know where it was. I asked him how long he had lived in Lubbock and he said "four years."

This really irritated me. Here's a kid in the hospitality industry, working for tips (I would have tipped him an extra $5 for the side trip) and he doesn't know where the statue of Lubbock's favorite son is?

So I say, "Don't get out much?" And he says, "He's before my time, Man." And I say, "Well, so is Davy Crockett but I hope you know where he is." He didn't, said he was from Dallas. Said he's a geology major and wants to work for Exxon and drill Alaska the "right way." I asked him what the right way is and he said, smiling proudly, "Polar bears go bye bye."

So I adopted him and he's living at our house.

Not really.

Got to the airport and tipped the little Bastard $5 anyway. Took off for Albuquerque at 11:10, sat next to a couple from Lubbock who were going on vacation. I asked them where they were headed for fun and they said, "The Ronald Reagan Library" in California. Interesting choice. When I think of California I would put the Reagan Library somewhere between Disneyland and, oh, say, the Barstow recycling plant. They asked me how I liked Lubbock and I said I really enjoyed it but it's a tad windy. He smiled and told me they call that "Yankee repellent."

We laughed. I thought that was funny. Later, as we flew over Ruidoso they told me their son was snow skiing there, and I said, "You know what they say about poor New Mexico, don't you? So far from heaven, so close to Texas." I got the courtesy laugh. That's a laugh that is forced and only done to be polite. More like a short burst of grunts.

Landed in Phoenix close to noon and got my truck out of the parking garage ($93 for four days!), called my son, Thomas Charles and asked him if he wanted to have lunch on his old man? We met at Such Is Life Mexican Food on north 24th Street. We both had the mole and talked Final Four (Anybody but Duke!). Tom told me about a certain person we both know who isn't as funny as he thinks he is. My son says, "Dad, I couldn't even give him a courtesy laugh."

That's my boy—the humor snob.

"I once lived in Lubbock. Tumble weeds were King, dust was Queen, and you walked with your eyes shut when the wind kicked the land into a rumble."
—Celeste Sotola

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