Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
I grew up in a small town that could be called second-rate,
A tiny pimple on the hiney of the Show-Me state..
Had just two streets that formed a crossroads - that was our Main Square
No busses stopped....no matter...no one going anywhere.
Funeral parlor on the corner and Ike Friedman's general store,
John Deere tractor dealership....and that completes the tour
Except for Nita's Tavern on the corner of the square
And I could talk for years about the things that I saw there!
Old farmers sat and sipped their Buds and traded memories
Recalling storms or twisters or some brutal winter freeze.
They never talked to strangers who, by chance, would happen by.
(You had to live there twenty years before you got a "hi")
I learned to play the pin-ball just as soon as I was able,
Learned to handle pool cues soon as I could reach the table.
I played Bid Whist and Gin and Hearts before the age of ten
And sat quite proudly at the bar with all the older men.
On Saturdays, Hornbuckle's Band would bring a rowdy crowd.
They lacked a bit in talent but they sure were good at Loud!
It really was amazing how they butchered up a song...
They made the cows in pastures so riled up they sang along!!!
Behind the tavern wa a park with one huge movie screen.
On Thursday nights they showed the oldest movies ever seen
But they were free so benches filled with everyone in town
While some spread blankets on the gravel where they settled down.
On Friday mornings I'd get dressed while it was still quite dark
And, by the time the sun came up, I'd be down at the park.
I'd get down on my hands and knees and then I'd spend my time
Sifting through the gravel for some nickels and some dimes.
Some coins would always fall out as the people watched the show.
Amid the noise and darkness, there was no way they could know!
With candy just a nickel over at the general store
I'd find enough to keep me going for a week or more!
So that sums up my childhood - finished school and moved away...
A perfect town for growing up but not where one could stay..
Took midwest love of country and gave it to Uncle Sam
Then wound up dodging bullets in a place called Viet Nam.
When I got back I took some jobs....too many to recall
From management to office clerk...I must have tried them all.
I made a decent living, thanks to some ability
But never seemed to conquer my "small town" mentality.
I married twice but failed and I know it was my fault..
Not used to showing feelings, I just lost them by default.
I couldn't seem to be the man they wanted me to be
And never had the will to lose the small town boy in me.
So here I am - the end is near - the lights are getting low.
The curtain slowly falls down on the end of this man's show.
The many years have come and gone to take their toll somehow,
Not even strength to sit up straight and take a final bow.
Friends stop by to sit and talk to me once in a while
And never seem to understand the reasons why I smile.
They cannot know, inside my mind, I'm living happy times
By sifting through that gravel for some nickels and some dimes....
[This message has been edited by Balladeer (08-10-2011 06:01 PM).]