Monday, February 25, 2013

i've developed a kind of fascination for amarillo, another west texas town, slightly smaller than lubbock but with a better downtown, a little more character, and a major highway running through it, lots of songs too. one song in particular is panhandle rag which a lot of musicians in the area are fond of and play often, finally i decided i'd better learn it. turns out it's what's left of bob wills, really, it's his song, it's from the area, it's fast & it's good. people like to play it on the slide guitar which you set out in front of you on a stand.

playing a lot of music in the area i've come to like their high standards and general lack of good fiddlers, also people are very friendly & really know a wide variety of things. i can't play such songs as dixie soldier of course and they give you only a quick round before it's the fiddle's turn to take a run. i'm guilty of not knowing how these songs start, or what key they're in, so i can't lead much. but they have a whole brand of music called red-dirt and some of it is really fun. the texas persona kind of takes over, after a while, i guess.

so a whopper snowstorm-blizzard raked the area, and amarillo of all places got 17 inches of snow and 75 mph winds. we, an hour or so south, got only 5 inches, but that was still a lot for this area and everyone was kind of surprised. it's not like they'd never seen snow before, but, this late in february, it's still a bit unusual. school closed down for a day and won't open for a couple of hours in the morning while they check out the conditions. the storm kind of gathered up down here and then moved on up and out toward kansas which had already gotten quite a bit of snow. it was like a temporary visitor. high winds, violent skies, a warm southerly (from the south) wind hitting up against this wall of gray turbulence, temps crashing, a big wind & blizzard you could hardly walk in. they don't have plows, to speak of (somebody said they might have one at the airport), but it was ok because the sun came out as usual and melted places where the cars drove a lot. tomorrow it might be frozen over; it might snow again tonight and it might get pretty cold.

the weather maps show the panhandle - and it has maybe forty counties in it, texas has hundreds of these counties. they are the same size as counties in other states, it's just that texas itself is so big, if they want counties that are hundred-mile by hundred-mile, then they have to have hundreds. i'm not sure, actually, how big they are, but i know there's more of them, than i can count or keep track of, and it's probably pretty cool to be the guy who goes around and researches the courthouses of each one. one of these days, i'm going to go see a few of them.

off to bed...panhandle rag is still in my mind, and i want a way to play it again; I need to find me a steel-guitar player. chou

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