willie for texas energy czar, auntie rita for president
tonight auntie rita took me (tho i drove) to the tachi tribe's palace casino in lemoore to watch willie nelson (future texas gov kinky friedman's energy czar). aunt rita is an apple-shaped, copper-toned senior citizen with a mischievous smile & crow-black eyes that twinkle. she starts talking & crowds gather. she is loads of fun, likes to stir the pot, & can beat anyone at spinning a yarn. men love her & they always will, even when she's 90 years old. in her day, she was gorgeous & wild as they come & had more fun than 5 wild women could've. when i was a baby, she told me i would be a go-go dancer - now, she says my little cousin meredith will be a pole dancer (times change). she & my mom are fiercely devoted to each other in the love-hate way opposite personalities are - sisters, on top of it! they cook feasts for each other & the family, go on obscene shopping sprees, worry, yell, fret, laugh, & talk s**t about whoever's not in the room.
i enjoyed myself, both of us chowing "rez dogs" & a butt-burning pepper at the casino, me watching aunt rita play the slots, walking around amidst the jingles & flashes of the dark casino world while sipping free douwe egberts coffee (a tasty brew!), waiting forever & ever in the late-summer sun to see willie, worrying a bit about my aunt standing all that time as she chewed my butt for not working the security to let us in (razzing me to "flash some boob" or "show 'em your g*d* indian card!" as people in line laughed & laughed), but then once inside, everything being ok as the friendly, musty, jazzy, country-blues washed over everyone. usually the slow stuff makes me want to rowf! but willie's mellow show had much heart & soul. the music was laid-back, but definitely not sappy; the songs were romantic & felt authentic. i loved the sloppy elegance of it, how the band seemed to fall down the stairs, then all land at the bottom, soundly & together: ta-DA!!
willie's band was billed as "willie nelson and family" & that's how it felt - like watching a bunch of old friends playing road-weary, nose-tweaking, tough but good-hearted backwoods tunes, with a touch of big city. the church songs were especially rousing, but then willie said, "i'm gonna try an instrumental now, somethin by django reinhardt."
"that was bee-YOO-tiful!" aunt rita said at the end of it.... & it WAS.
john fogerty followed, but we didn't stay. aunt rita wanted to beat the post-concert traffic, she had more wild & funny & crazy stories to tell, & i was just along for the ride... tho i was driving. so off we headed for home, into the dusty, humid, dairy-stinking, but somehow lovely valley nighttime moonlit fields.