Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Preface To Howard Gently Year Two (Continued): Looking At Pictures Of Places You Once Lived

(image from Gurgle Murps)

This week on the show I will play more bits created for the show with my friend Russell, whom we lost last year. That sad story is here. He pretended to be my spiritual mentor the Rev. Dr. Howard Gently & we improvised ridiculous segments based on the show's themes. I am playing them in the order they aired (which is also the order in which they were recorded) out of love & respect for him. He was so very creative & funny. I wish more people celebrated that about him when he was alive.

A few years back we were looking at a computer together - I don't remember the context - & we looked at the house he lived in when we met. I can't entirely be sure but I think it's the picture above. This place in Garland was where I think he lived from the ages of maybe three or four until he moved out of his parents' house in the early 1990s. They sold the house & moved to Sulphur Springs, Texas. Russell did not possess the weird sentimentality I do & never was curious about what happened to that house. When I am in Garland, if I have time, I haunt most of the places I lived &/or frequented.

He mentioned to me changes in the house's facade & some trees that had been removed, we were looking at a picture of a place he had not seen in two decades or more. When we were young, I didn't visit his house frequently but I did visit a few times. When I was in twelfth grade & he was in junior college I went over at least three times to make "music" - it was me yelping into a microphone while he played guitar - those sessions were improvised, too - & I remember going over to his house at some point after we were reacquainted - after he had left his born-again faith behind - & watching him practice with his friends Garry & Tania as they were hoping to form a band.

It's interesting that music is what I think about when I think of Russell's house. The first time I went there was to see Russell & his neighbor Dwight put on a concert as the band Black Locust. It was a hot summer day & it happened in his backyard. My little brother came along & the rest of the "audience" was neighborhood kids. I remember only one Black Locust song, called "The Fireman," which had the memorable line:

The fireman starts the fires.

Listening to Russell's bits today, editing them from old shows, I miss him very much. I miss talking about music with him. & I regret that, around a year ago today, I was in Dallas but didn't get to see him. He was not doing so well mentally & I did not want to pressure him into uncomfortable situations. Now I wish I had been more pushy. Now I wish I had just stopped by.

That may not even be the house he spent his boyhood & teen years in! I am a ridiculous & maudlin dope.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

we will always be texans