Saturday, January 10, 2009

What a drag...

Swanny and I were both working at Vetters Cycle Repair on Edith when this bike was finished. The bike was taken to Denver that weekend and won first place in the Denver Bike and car show. That year we were New Mexico points champions. I was the starter of the bike, mixed the nitro and Donny was the crazy dude who strapped this thing on and rode it down the track. Swanny and I had many biker adventures throughout New Mexico in those days. Santa Fe, Taos, Angle Fire and beyond. We decided one night at Russells house that we should road trip to Taos and around 'the loop'. We left at about midnight out of Albuquerque and made it to the rest area on the high mesa about 8 miles outside Santa Fe. We crashed for the night. We woke with stiff bones and tumble weed in our hair, what a sight. We went past Santa Fe abit to a roadside cafe that I knew about for some breakfast. It was early and the OPEN sign had just flipped, perfect timing. We went in, sat down and ordered. Within 5 minutes, about 4 New Mexico State police cars pulled in. Swanny said, "great Vance, bring us to the morning roll-call for State Police. We never ate so fast in our lives. We made Taos in great time, so great in fact we could not get a motel room because it was too early. Actually, the first motel, Jack Denvers Motel took one look at us and said they were full. We sneared and the neon sign flashing "vacancy" as we pulled away. The next place gave us a room but we would have to wait a couple of hours for the maids to finish. No problem, we went to sleep on the grass in the court yard. After checkin and a quick shower, we headed out again, this time with a belly full of old Indian folk medicine and some citrus for that extra little zip. We stopped in Red River, had some beers. We stopped in Angle Fire, had some beers. After 8 hours of riding, sitting in the sun with ice cold beers and generally laughing our asses off, we headed back to Taos were we enjoyed the night life. Why can't every road trip be that much fun?

Jones Story #1

"Jones Stories." We've all got them. Stories of things Jim Jones has done over the years that defy the law, reason, logic, and nature. This is my favorite Jones story.

So, back in these days, neither Jones or I had a car. I got around on my ten-speed and Jones had a go-cart. It was a ratty thing, held together with duct tape and spot welds, but it ran. For a while anyway.

One day at school, Jones comes to me and says, "You'll never guess what I got? A 50cc cement mixer engine!" Well, that was pretty typical Jones. He was kind of compulsive that way. He would take stuff just for the sake of taking it. But, he had bigger plans this time. He was going to mount it on the go-cart.

It was a very jerry-rigged affair - the throttle was just a string that he pulled to accelerate. I don't even remember how he mounted it on the frame, since the engine was far to big to fit in a space designed for a Briggs & Stratton lawnmower engine.

The big test run was to be held in the school's parking lot on a Saturday. I rode over on the back of Pissant's Honda 350 and Jones rode up the back streets on the go-cart - slowly so as not to attract to much attention.

It seems that it ran kind of slow at first. I don't know if it was the combined weight of Jones and the engine or what, but with a little monkeying around with the governor, he had the engine roaring. This would be the big test. Jones got in, revved the engine and took off. He was flying! We couldn't believe the speed he was now getting. The cart ran great.

Well… it ran great until he tried to turn. At that point, two things happened. The first being that the tires dug in to the asphalt. The second being that the engine, which sat up rather high and weighed in the neighborhood of a hundred pounds, decided to follow that law of physics that has to do with and object in motion. While Jones wanted to turn left, the engine didn't, and when he cranked the wheel, the engine mounts ripped free, the engine skidding along for a few feet before coming to a rest, sputtering then dying. The cart along with its driver turned on its side. Jones was thrilled. This had gone much better than he had planned.

Well, the welds were hopelessly ripped so there was no putting the engine back on. The frame wasn't in the best of shape either. But, Jones wasn't through. Not by a long shot.

We got a piece of rope and Pissant towed Jones and the cart up Deer Trail. For those not familiar with this street, it is one of the steepest roads in town—with a couple of hairy switch-backs—nestled in a canyon in the mountains. It's got something like an 80-degree incline (at least in my memory it does). The road runs down about fifty or sixty yards and then you can either go up another hill, or turn left down another (slightly less steep) hill for about 20 yards and then turn right onto a reasonable hill that was about a quarter-mile long.KJones' plan was to ride the go-cart down this hill.

Now, in theory he could have done it and ridden for miles. In theory he could have.

Pissant and I watched as Jones nudged the cart to get it going. We laughed as it rapidly picked up speed. Gasped as he made the first left turn without slowing. Some tall weeds growing along the roadside obscured our view. When we heard the rattling scraping sound and a car horn, we jumped on the Honda and slowly rolled down the hill. Jones had apparently made the second turn, and as we came around it we saw him lying there in the middle of the road. The cart a good ten yards beyond, lying upside down.

"I would have made it," Jones said as he stood up, slightly scraped and bruised, "But a car was coming up the hill and when I swerved to avoid it, I rolled."

That he hadn't done more damage to himself was a miracle; I believe he had suffered some severe brain damage. "Tow me back up again!" he said. Fortunately for him, the cart had suffered enough damage that this feat would have to wait for another day.

Jones is still alive and kicking out there somewhere. I'd like to think that along the way he's learned a few lessons and is taking care of himself. But, I'm sure even now he's planning some way to top that ride.

LEXICON: "Bogart"


Not the actor who when asked why he had come to Casa Blanca replied, "I came for the waters". His drinking partner said, "theres no water for miles around here." Bogart simply replied, "I was mis-led."

Anyway, Bogart...a term used to warn the others in the group not to hog the doobie. "Don't Bogart the joint." The term Bogart was used to discribe how Bogart would 'steal' any scene he was acting in, getting the most attention. Hence, if you lingered with the joint before passing it along, you were Bogarting the joint. Always remember...puff, puff,pass. Puff, puff, pass..
~From a comment by Vance.

From the Archives

Back in 2001, I began another version of The Moonpie Chronicles Online. This was before cool free programs like Blogger. You pretty much didn't put stuff online unless you paid for it.

I had just taken an HTML class though, and was building the site in hopes of one day being able to post it. I had created a set of icons representing me, Vance, and Martin.

The art had been lost on one of my other computers, but it just turned up again. So here it is in all its glory.

The more things stay the same the more they never change

Lakeland International Raceway!!! I-40 and Canada Road!!! Nitro burning funny cars with Shirley Cha-Cha Muldowney!!!!

LEXICON*: "Couth"

Cool. Simple. Simply good. To be used without excitement.

Usage: "That's couth."
NOTE: This word was never used in a hyperbolic fashion. (i.e., That's the most couth thing ever. Ginny has the most couthest poontang.)

*As part of an ongoing series, we, the managerial folk at the Moonpie Chronicles, present this lexicon of words and phrases used by the heterogeneous subculture whose base of activities was located just past the stairs at the east end of the Freak Wall at Eldorado High School in the mid-1970s.

Another review

"It was so awful it would make Jesus drink gin straight from the cat dish."
~Anne Lamott, Author

There is some debate as to whether Ms. Lamott was actually referring to the original Moonpie documents, the blog in particular, or Rick's breath when he woke up this morning.

Nonetheless, Rick feels that this may be one of the greatest quotes of all time and should become part of everyday public usage.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Hit the brakes

Sometimes in life you have to hit the brakes.... HARD. Just knowing what is right and doing what is right are two differant things. But when the lasso of life is pulled tight around your neck, it tends to get your attention real quick. Have you ever known someone who is a great guy but they keep doing stupid shit? Me too. Let me say only this to you my friends. If you have been going through life with a golden horseshoe up your ass for years, that same horseshoe WILL rust, sooner or later. Putting off til tomorrow what you know you should do today will cost you BIG-TIME, sooner than later. Not a sermon, just a thought.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


As a history note, I wanted to mention fashion in a strictly cool-with-my-heterosexuality sort of way, as well as include a few fashion photos for those of you who were not born yet, but are still old enough to drink, vote, and kill foreigner. But when I looked for 70's fashion on the internet, this was what I found. I'm serious.
I personally don't remember dressing this way.

Wikipedia has this photo of Vance and some chick wearing a "crop top", and this is getting a little closer. Note the lack of a belt on the trousers though. In mid-70s Albuquerque, anyone who went without a belt, especially a wide leather belt with a heavy buckle, would have been found buried in the desert. (The fate for using the word "trousers" was probably even greater.

We stole this family photo one night at a party in the heights. We don't know them, but their complete lack of taste (note the plaid pants) indicates that they were "hip" in the 70s.

Some of us were just a bit hipper than others, as Martin's Eldorado High School yearbook photo shows...

Guys like the fellow in the middle, while denounced as a total homo-wad for his prissy attire, probably got ten times the ass any of the rest of us did.

On the whole, regardless of how we dressed, this was the face all teenage males saw staring back from the mirror each evening....

Gimme a little LUV

This is the indestructible Chevy LUV. (Light Utility Vehicle.) Vance and Blane each got one in, I believe 1975. Their mom (The Jacqueline)made them have a picnic in the beds of the trucks... ummm.... parked in the driveway. Their's didn't have the surfboards in the back, but I think Blane's had some sort of custom trim package.

When I say "indestructible," what I mean is "destructible." I'm assuming that everyone who owned one of these babies was as rough on it (read: coming down from three feet of air on a standard suspension) as Los Hermanos Deniston were. I say this because about 8 years ago I was looking for one to restore, and it seemed they don't exist. You can find a few online these days, but as to their shape, who can say? I did note that this tiny little truck had a V8 production version. A V-Fucking-8?! I'm surprised the drive train didn't rip out every time you accelerated.

The blog, Marooned named the LUV one of the ugliest vehicles of the 1970s. But he's a self-proclaimed right-wing gun-nut, so there you go. Apparently, this truck was just a re-badged Isuzu.Also apparently, the modern descendent of the LUV is the Chevy S-10, also known as the GMC Sonoma, the truck I drive now.

I'm not sure what happened to the two trucks, or whose lasted the longest. This was the truck that Vance, Me, and Virginia drove on the famous "Amarillo Road Trip." It was also the truck that we sat in and discussed driving at top speed into a brick wall, but then smoked some hash and went to see Annie Hall and learned how to tell a cup of Dr. Pepper from Coke because, apparently, Dr. Pepper doesn't fizz.

The Bongs in the Cave

In comments on the previous post, we discussed bongs and other paraphernalia. These two photos are from a trip Vance and I took to Red River in 1979, just after I got back from Germany. We stayed with a friend of Vance's who lived in an abandoned gold mine. (I'll let Vance tell that story.)

Anywhoooo, circled, you will see one of the bongs I purchased from the General Store with the money I got when I got out of the Army. It was blue ceramic, pistol-grip. Around the bowl was a sort of tray, or storage area for "tobacco" so you didn't have to expend too much effort for your next hit by having to reach anywhere.

The other photo (which is actually a photo of a photo) shows Vance sitting in the entrance of the gold mine. It's not the sharpest of images, but one can plainly see what is either an oddly-placed erection, or a bong, between his legs.

Note also, the macrame wall-hanging in the upper right corner, clearly establishing this as an image from the late 1970's era. (Had it been earlier, the macrame would still be in a university-area apartment and/or would have held a pothos, or some other hanging plant.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

No, walk THIS way.....

Vance has reminded me of a classic routine he and David Lewis used to do. It was this funky little dance to the tune of Walk This Way, by Aerosmith.

Seesaw swingin' with the boys in the school
And your feet flying up in the air
I sing hey diddle diddle put your kitty in the middle
Of the swing like you didn't care
So I took a big chance at the high school dance
With a missy who was ready to play
Wasn't me she was foolin'
'Cause she knew what she was doin'
When she told me how to walk this way
When she told me to

Albuquerque 1985

This is from a blog I (Rick) occasionally follow by a guy named Raoul Severen. This is what he had to say about Albuquerque in 1985, though it really can work for the Mid-70s as well. I met Severen a few times. Cool guy. He was stationed at the Air Force base here back at the end of the 70's.

{Albuquerque 1985}
from Closer to Fine by Raoul W. Severen

There were giants in those days and Albuquerque still had abundant wildlife. If, in the mid-1980s, you were to scramble through the Loco Weed and the Datura, the Buffalo Gourds and the Spanish Bayonet, crawling on hands and knees through broken bottles and blown-out birth control, to the top of Piedra Lisa on a summer’s eve and peered back at the city, you could not, in all real honesty or concern, tell which was up or down. Albuquerque reflected back a perfect mirror image of the Canis Latrans galaxy – not the nearest, but certainly the most mischievous galaxy in our little corner of the universe. It was a wild and wooly town. Tumbleweeds blew freely through the streets and bears and coyotes were everywhere.

The ebb and flow of wildlife had to do with the fact that Albuquerque was a prime example – albeit a rapidly sinking version – of a sky island. It was a little ecosystem that extended for up to ten miles outside the city limits and had, at one time, connected to other regions of the state via riparian corridors.

Topping this island were the Sandia Mountains, those watermelon-colored majesties that distracted Coronado ever so briefly in his bloody quest for the Seven Cities of Gold. The Sandias exerted and influence of place over those of us who lived in their shadow. Like a full moon with an ocean tide, they tugged us toward them, making us think we could never elude their grasp. We would escape sometimes, though. We might get as far away as Lubbock or Topeka. But even in those flatlands, the Sandias called us back. Hell, fleeing to exotic locales in Europe, Asia, or South America did little to dampen their influence. Perhaps the drinking water contained some base ore that the Sandias acted on as a magnet. The far side of the world was no hiding place as they worked their spell, pulling us homeward.

In the foothills, the aptly named Arroyo del Oso, or Bear Canyon, was a veritable freeway of ursine traffic, with Mama bear and Baby bear taking daily strolls through town. (Presumably, Papa bear stayed at home watching the game.) Antelope bounded freely through the parking lots of the shopping malls and, though rare by then, there was still an occasional traffic snarl on the freeway caused by a migrating herd of buffalo.

While the source of much of the wildlife was the sky island, its catalyst was summer. Summer in Albuquerque. What the June 30th, 1974 issue of Time magazine called “an internationally acknowledged magical time in this little burg that sits in the middle of the second most famous rift valley in the world.” It was summer that brought out the wildlife, both two and four footed.

The tumbleweeds were a particular embarrassment to those of us who income relied on daily dealings with the summerly spate of turistas. We’d had a bad enough time back then with the mayor of New York City referring to us as a “dirty little back-water shithole of a town” on national television. Having tumbleweeds blowing across the street was mortifying. Out-of-towners saw that and expected Marshall Dillon to be facing down the bad guys in a gunfight at High Noon over yonder at the OK Corral. Never mind the fact that High Noon was a restaurant in Old Town and that historians not only believe that Marshall Matthew Dillon never came to Albuquerque, but in fact, may have only been a fictitious character on a long-running TV show. In our cabs we would be driving down a road, a New Yorker as a fare, and a tumbleweed would blow in our path – invariably one of those five foot in diameter monsters. “Jesus Christ!” the passenger would exclaim. “What in the hell was that?”

“A tumbleweed,” I’d mumble.

“Jesus Christ! Mayor Ed was right. This is a stinking shithole.”

Albuquerque, New Mexico, celebrated in song, cartoon and… well that’s about it. We didn’t make the song Route 66, but we’re right there between Amarillo and Gallup. Neil Young would still find it a good place to eat fried eggs and country ham, but by the mid 80s he’d twisted that last number for the road and split for Santa Fe. The Sons of the Desert and Jim Glaser kept trying to get back here in their songs, though aside from the possibility of a little nookie, no one knew quite why.

Albuquerque: hometown of Ethel Mertz. Albuquerque: where Bugs Bunny felt he should have taken a left turn. Many of us who did take that missed left discovered why New Mexico is oft-times called the “Land of Entrapment.” People just got stuck here in low wage service industry jobs. An ex-wife and I found that out the typical way. Drunk one night and sick of our dead-end jobs in Tacoma, we packed our car full of random possessions and split in the middle of the night, tires rubbing on wheel-wells. We floated some checks for gas money and left town. Plowing through the Washington night, we began to sober up, realizing what it was we’d done. There was no turning back then and on and on we rode, one Walkman and an aspirin bottle half-full of amphetamines between us. We wound up in Albuquerque, cruising into town on the proverbial fumes. With a $20 bill and a car full of clothes and books to our name, the plan was to work for a month or so and then head on back east to live with her family.

Month singular turned to months plural. We would try, but we just never could quite get together a decent running car or enough money to get much further than Amarillo. We might have a car with enough of a tune-up on it to get us to Ohio, but we’d try to parlay our cash funds into a fortune by investing in a half-pound of pot. Or we’d spend the car repair money on eight ounces of weed. Or sometimes we wouldn’t have a car at all. In those times we would buy some dope.

Sometime after the months passed one year, we divorced. I heard she made it out eventually. Went home to Cleveland and started the family she’d wanted. Hell, we both wanted the family. Just not with each other.

I’d blown through a half a dozen jobs and as many girlfriends since I’d been back in town. Both my labor and my loves revolved around cooking food or pouring drinks. The girlfriends were generally waitresses or barmaids I’d meet at a string of hash-slinging shit jobs.

I’d had my fill of cooking and waitresses both, so when I saw the ad in the paper looking for cab drivers, I thought I’d give it a shot. I filled out an application and they sent me out to train for two hours and then had me drive a full shift that night. I had no cash for change and no map save the one in the back of a shredded phone book I found in the trunk. I got both lost and yelled at, but at the end of the shift I didn’t have to mop some drunk’s puke out of the bathroom.

To read more of Raoul's Confessions, go to his Closer to Fine Blog

Reviews of this site to date

I wanted to see what our stats were looking like. Here is what others have to say about the Moonpie Chronicles blog:

"Moon Pie is rapidly improving. She is eating very well & won't need a transfusion after all. The vets have been giving her daily Capstar, antibiotics, ..."

" Moonpie needs deoderizing Sargent Beach."

"Mater needs a Moon Pie. With the move getting closer I have been watching Mater play with his brother Noodle. They have a great time but after awhile one ..."

"MoonPie is a figment of modern marketing, thank you very much) go here. Posted by CrankyProfessor at November 2, ..."

"Moon Pie will do great in a home that will love ..."

"Moon Pies and Movie Stars, take the reader back to the 1960s ... However, it needs a little more oomph to keep the story moving. ..."

""Another CHOKE JOB by Coach Moonpie. -. Rookie badge PHILLY FLY BOY. Reputation:34 ..."

"Local blogs are also lighting up with the Moon Pie furor. One blogger writes "Richardson is acting like Marie Antoinette. ..."

"our schools is going towards a big friggin moonpie?! whats next, ..."

"I thought you had a hockey puck in your mouth! now you just need an RC cola to go with that moonpie."

"Moon Pie model will drop instead of a ball. ... Brother, can you spare a clue? Fat Matt Amorello needs one ..."

"Moonpie needs a room that she can't mess up anything or crated when you go out for awhile as I don't know if she'll chew anything up and she is at that teen ...

"Luckily she has loving parents that can offer her what she needs to make her life as comfortable as possible. Keep your chin up Moonpie.....we're rooting..."

"LOL@moonpie!! Maybe someone needs to check the local police department to make sure he isn’t on their pedophile list because he sounds ..."

Pretty unanimous opinion, I think.

A note to n00bs and historians

In case anyone is coming here expecting the truth - which none of you can handle anyway - you should know you'll come away sadly mistaken. Or at least 50% sadly mistaken.

You'll need to get on boots - tall ones - before wading into this cow byre of memoir. In the modern parlance, this is known as Creative Non-Fiction. Thirty-five or so years ago, Bill Cardoso dubbed it Gonzo Journalism to describe the style of reporting used by the (now) late Hunter S. Thompson.

Now, what Vance and I did - at least in the original book - was to create a melange of words, drawings, and photos that reported on our progress. Progress was ostensibly meant to refer to achieving our goal of raising the money to go to Memphis. A close scholarly reading of these manuscripts, at least at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, is more likely to reveal a Progress towards the frightening world of adulthood; a world some of us didn't actually enter until at least our 40s. Even then, it was more of a vacation destination.

The continued remaining Moonpie documents are a portrayal of a wild, even vicious time. Our paths diverged and converged over the years like a double-helix strand of DNA. The diverging was especially true of Vance and I. Other friends, Martin, Jones, Blane (Vance's brother) Schactner, Lewis, Corbin, Lampson, the Eskew brothers, etc, seemed to stay in a revolving circle of contact and friendship. I guess. I've been back in this town since 1982, and I've only run into any of them once in all that time, and that was a deliberate meeting, so I really don't have much of a clue as to what goes on a round here. But those people, those are the people who became the Stormtroopers. Vance and I seem to come back into contact with one another about once every seven years.

But, as is my wont, I digress. My point is that the creation of the Moonpie experience was based on making shit up as well as reporting it as it happened (with a buffer of eight hours to sleep off whatever was consumed while "it" was happening.)

One further note is that we've all done our 50 trips around the sun. We're getting up there. Memories do tend to fade out. Or we remember a better way for things to have happened... "Dude, I had hair down to my ass and one night I drank an entire keg of beer and smoked a half-pound of weed, ate sixteen tabs of acid, and snorted a dozen lines of blow and then got it on with ten teenyboppers named Gretchen. I shit you not."

Here's your grain of salt, chums. Take it while reading.

Theme from "Jones": The Motion Picture

[Funky bass line here]

Back-up girls: Jones!
Issac Hayes: Who's the white private dick
That's thinks he's a sex machine to all the chicks?
Back-up girls: Jones!
Issac Hayes: You're damn right

Issac Hayes: Who is the man
That would risk his neck for his brother man?
Back-up girls:Jones!
Issac Hayes: Can ya dig it?

Issac Hayes: Who's the cat that won't cop out
When there's danger all about?
Back-up girls: Jones!?
Issac Hayes: Right on

Issac Hayes: You see this cat Jones is a bad mother--
Back-up girls: Shut your mouth.
Issac Hayes: But I'm talkin' about Jones.
Back-up girls: We know. We know. Would you shut up about him already?

Issac Hayes: He's a complicated man.
Back-up girls: No, serious. Shut the fuck up.

Issac Hayes: But no one understands him but the Professor.
Back-up girls: And we're not too sure about him, actually.
Issac Hayes: Jim Jones!
Back-up girls: That's our part!
Issac Hayes: Shhhh!
Back-up girls: But-
Issac Hayes: Shhh!
Back-up girls:It-
Issac Hayes: Shh!
Right on.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tim Foster

Hey, remember Tim Foster? That guy that used to terrorize Jim Jones?

He's a friend of my sister Jennifer's now. He's really sick and tired of people telling how he used to beat them up in high school. He's in a band now. I've seen him play at parties a couple of times. I'm too old for that shit now. I must be because it's too loud!

Hell no, I didn't work today.

The 'rents

This is believed to be the only known photo of Martin's parents. It was taken in a Soviet Siberian gulag, moments before his birth.

The Hill

In the future, there will be references to "The Hill."

This is what's left of it thanks to urban sprawl....
View Larger Map (You'll have to click in a few to see it. For the uninitiated, it's the big brown space in the middle of the houses. In the larger view, almost directly north, one can see the location known as UTK (more later.) Continuing north is White Wash, and eventually, Alan's house.
Back in the 70s, the area around the hill was all open mesa. Granted, it was a dumping ground/race-track/party grounds, but it was our dumping ground/race-track/party grounds.

Here is a Google Earth Street-Level Shot..
View Larger Map

Hey, Hippie. You got a watch?

I know you ain't got no watch, cuz if you did, you'd know it's nighttime, and night time ain't no time to be in this neighborhood.

Yeah, Cheech and Chong. I mean, it was the 70's after all.

Point of inauthenticity on That 70's Show: the kids never listened to Cheech and Chong.

What is this? #1

Did you ever watch This Old House on PBS? They have a little thing they do called "What is it?" where they try to stump one another as to the purpose of a particular object.

I believe the above object is a custom-made ceramic left-handed window crank for a '63 Karmann-Ghia.

I can't imagine what other possible use it could have.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Famous Quotes

"Where do you guys go when you ditch class? The Tastee Freez?"

~ Tim Burns. Art Teacher. Eldorado HS mid-1970s.

We dissed this dude mercilessly. Then we had the nerve to get all pissy when he fucked with us and wrote a fake note from Vance's mom. Not C00l, Tim!

I ran into Tim Burns about 20 years later at the State Fair. He was selling bronzed baby shoes.It was funny at the time, but in retrospect, that could be me now.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Day One: Rick's Version

It was 1975 at Eldorado High School and it had just snowed. A pretty good dump for Albuquerque. One of those rare snows that didn’t shut down the entire school system. Jones, in his infinite wisdom, thought it would be a great idea to go throw snowballs at cars. Me and Pissant didn’t really want to do it, but Jones, and this new kid, Blane were up for it. Someone else was there too, but I don’t remember. It might have been Alan “Hairlip” Schactner (so-called by Jones because Alan had an actual moustache.) This other new kid, some guy called Gallini, showed up and he seemed willing to go along with the whole thing.

We crossed the Montgomery Boulevard to, what was then, a vacant lot. Cars would drive by and we’d half-assedly chuck snowballs. I had to admit, that I wasn’t trying hard. I was the good kid. Jones was the type of kid who loved trouble, but hated doing it himself and so always made the rest of us join in. When I say “made us” I mean he’d call us pusses or something.

I remember at one point, someone saying “here comes a car.” Out of the corner of my eye I saw the others throwing as I bent down to pack some snow in a ball. I stood up and saw everyone running. I started after them, and as I did, I looked back over my shoulder. There was a car stopped. The driver had what looked like a broomstick shoved out his window.

There was a cinderblock wall that bordered the empty field. All we needed to do was hop it into someone’s backyard and we were free. There was a POP-POP-POP sound and I looked next to me. This Gallini kid was about ten feet away.

“Fuckin’ Jones!” I shouted. We’re getting chased and he’s lighting off firecrackers!”

As Gallini and I approached the wall, chunks off it exploded. The broomstick we’d seen was a rifle, and the fucker was shooting at us. We vaulted the wall in unison and kept on running. We hooked up Nassau and ran East for a half-mile. And cut a wide arc around the school, heading to Gallini’s house over on Tracy Court to lay low.

There was no way we were going back to school that day. We just sat around an shot the shit. Got high. I think it was the first time we really talked. I found out that he was into skiing and rock-climbing. That he had just moved to Albuquerque from Memphis. Oh, yeah, and that his name wasn’t Gallini. It was Vance Deniston. He was Blane’s brother. Gallini was just slang for a cigarette, something he was always bumming.

That’s what I remember as the first day that Vance and I became friends.

And then, now for something completely.....

Every week on Channel 5 in Vance's living room. Included were bong hits. For some reason, Corbin though it was a good idea to reuse the water, so he kept it in a squeeze bottle.

Soul Food. Soul Music.

We're still not quite putting things on here contextually, but that's cool. There are so many ways for us to go. The links, particularly the ones regarding Moonpies, the NRBQ song "RC Cola and Moonpie," and the City of Memphis all play a role in the leadup to this thing.

And, of course, the above photo of Booker T. and the M.G.s crossing East McLemore Avenue (the location of Stax Records)is pure classic Memphis.

Right on. Right on. Right on.

Tribute paid to this Blog so far

Mr. Top Petty has written a song in our honor:

Tom Petty Moon pie Lyrics:
Written by: Tom Petty

Well who you callin' Moon Pie, my real name is
Richard I live in a little town you've probably
never been to before There's a post office
[ Find more Lyrics at ]
surrounded with gardenias And a pair of mud flaps
waggling out my door

I don't know what I want to say next but
somebody's got to help me Nobody knows I'm here Oh
please don't call me Moon Pie, my real name is

Tracy Byrd pays homage to our humble roots in his song Lifestyles Of The Not So Rich And Famous

Yeah our idea of high class livin'
Is sittin' on the porch on a cool night
Our Champagne and Caviar
Is an RC cola and a moon pie

Even the city of Mobile, Alabama is determined to cash in on our new-found fame:
Moon Pie hailed as 'idea for the ages'

* EDITORIAL Sweet home Alabama

The city of Mobile seems determined to squeeze every bit of publicity it can out of its plan to raise a giant electronic Moon Pie to ring in the new year.

Pissant and Jones

"Pissant and Jones." It sounds like the title of a hit 1970's Buddy Cop Movie

As promised, here is a photo of Martin "Pissant" Maskill. That's him on the right. To the left, and as out of focus then as he is today, stands James Horatio "Jones" Jones. Jones was the one who gave Martin the name of Pissant. Jones denies it, but we all think he got it from an episode of The Waltons.

The story goes that Martin was the one that came up with the idea. Original documents are on their way to the High Desert headquarters here for further examination and dissemination.

Connection-wise, I believe Jones and Martin knew each other from when they lived in Texas. I met Jones through another kid at school, Mike Clark. And I met Vance and Martin through Jones.

Jones will be referred to later. Jones is... well Jones. Everyone of us had Jones stories. When ever I would tell my son, "One time me and Jim Jones..." he would start laughing because he knew what was ahead.

Oh, yeah. And that's not a baggie of oregano in Martin's hands.