Thursday, April 30, 2009

For some reason, an old song from the '40s popped into my mind today. When I was 11 years old, in 1943 a song came out on the country/western amd pop music stations called "Pistol Packin' Mama". I remember when we would listen to this song on the radio on the farm in Wilson County Texas. It was about the same time the REA brought us electricity. But we already had a battery radio we listened to. The song was written by a man from East Texas name Al Dexter. In 1939 there was a shootout in Cherokee County when the sheriff Bill Brunt was killed by a bootlegger Red Creel. This happened near Rusk. Creel also died. Brunt's wife, Mary was appointed sheriff. Mary put on her pistol and took over her husband's duties. That's when Dexter wrote "Pistol Packin' Mama" and recorded the song with Gene Autry's band as backup.

The song was released in June 1943 and though controversial because of the lyrics, went straight to #1 on county and western juke boxes and #2 on the pop charts. Billboard rated it #1 for three weeks in 1944 and it sold a million copies the first six months.. People never got tired of the song.

I listened to the Hit Parade on Saturday Nights back in the 1940's, and I can still remember this recording from those days - Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters singing it on the Hit Parade. I loved the Grand Ole Opry and the Hit Parade on Saturday nights. Things were so simple back then. Now this song would be called "politically incorrect, and Al Dexter might be sued for talking bad about women carrying guns. Here is the song on Youtube!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I went to the "TEA Party" the other night. I went to the Veteran's Home to visit my husband, then dropped by the Wilson County Courthouse to see what was happening. I was pleasantly surprised. The crowd was not rowdy, angry or rude. People were sitting around the grassy lawn on quilts and in lawn chairs, or standing. Everyone was listening intently to each speaker, who were not politicians but just plain old folks. Every once in awhile applause went up. It was not a happy, fun group. It was a serious, worried, concerned group of plain old country folks wondering what was happening to our nation.
I saw a spattering of signs like "Congress hasn't earned a pay raise" and "No more bailouts". I saw children sitting quietly with their parents on the grass, behaving and obedient, quiet but sometimes giggling like kids do.
These appeared to be middle class Americans who went to work every day and came home to their families and were trying to make a living. They were not expecting the government to bail them out every time they couldn't pay their bills. Mothers pushing baby strollers and grandmas and grandpas holding on to each other as they slowly stumbled to their cars as the night grew dark, the street lights came on and the speakers wound down for the night.
To me this was freedom in America. All these people were hoping and praying for Texas and our country. I could see tiredness in many faces. I sat on a bench and rested and listened to the speakers and everyone who walked by me smiled as they headed for their homes. This was small town America.
When I walked to my car as the darkness set in, I felt content and blessed, but a little sad. How much longer would our country be free? Only God knows.