Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gladys Reelz in Reality

Lately for some unknown reason I have been watching more television than normal. Maybe it’s the fact that the sun sets at noon or perhaps it is because I need the distraction. I don’t really have a good excuse I just am. I do have to say that my choice of television fare has been a little, unique.

I am usually a Turner Classic Movie kind of girl. Oh you know what I’m saying I watch Father’s Little Dividend or It Happened One Night even though I’ve seen them a bazillion times and can recite the dialogue line for line. Lately, though, I have been indulging in the equivalent of television fast food.

I am addicted to watching the gold mining, ice road driving, crab fishing, oil drilling, hog hunting, alligator wrestling, dirty job working heroes that are all over Discover, History Channel and A & E. Not to mention those guys out in Vegas buying our treasures, the two guys who dig through barns and of course we can’t leave out Rick who rebuilds it all. Oh don’t think I’ve forgotten the Storage Bin Bidders, YUUUUUUUP, I watch them too.

I know what Chum Lee bought and where Mike and Frank found that really cool whirly gig.

I do have favorites and feel especially sad when their season ends. I look forward to watching Jack, Todd and the Alaska Gold Rush gang run around totally clueless trying to extract that precious metal from the frozen tundra only to be foiled again. I mark my calendar to remind me when Troy, Elizabeth and the crew will be in the swamps of Louisiana. I do have to admit they also can be very frustrating.

Who doesn’t want to remove that wad of snot from Jack’s throat on Gold Rush so that he doesn’t have to talk through his nose? Oh and I want to just tell everyone that as a native Texan I do not need subtitles when I talk to people. Honestly, Mr. Campbell from American Hoggers can you not remove that wad of Redman so we can understand what you are saying.

This does not even include my biggest question are these people really this stupid? Do they not plan things out? Do they not research and get advice before venturing off into the wilds of Alaska or sail off into the frozen seas? I sit and yell instructions at the television as if Hugh and Rick can hear me yelling that the ice on the lake is too thin don’t chance it or for Frank and Mike to look in the corner of the old warehouse because there is a Sinclair Sign in perfect condition.

Yes this is how I spend my days and nights checking in on my favorite REAL Reality Stars. I don’t know who this Snookie person is or why there is a Situation. I don’t really care what the Kardashian family is up to or who is in celebrity rehab. I want to know if the Pawn Stars guys bought a deal or a dud. I want to watch Barry and Jarrod stick it to Dave, Yuuuup.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Francis, A Tribute

When the phone rang I almost didn’t answer it. I saw Trooper Bob’s name on the caller i.d. but I knew this time it wouldn’t be one of our normal calls. It was the news that was inevitable but not at all what I wanted to hear.

You see with that call I knew she was gone. I knew that that part of my heart was going to have to break and that I would have to be an adult and accept the fact that she had gone to the big swimming hole in the sky.

Most of my memories of her are around water. She, being one of the greatest ladies I’ve ever known, loved the water. Even though she couldn’t swim she would shimmy into her swimsuit and strap on her life-vest. She would grab my little hand and bellow her boisterous laugh “come on Gladys let’s get wet!” Off she would run with me down to the lake not to be confused with a tank and make a big splash. She would grab me and her youngest son, John-John, and drag us down to the water to splash and float and play. Encouraging us to explore and be brave.

My earliest memory of her involved a hot summer day and nectar served in a glass jar. I think I may have been three or maybe four when she offered me a mason jar full of a golden substance that tasted nothing like anything I had before. Nurse Meme made sweet tea, but hers did not taste like the cold liquid gold she poured. I was convinced it was the jar that made the tea taste so good. She laughed and told me of course it was all the while smiling out the window admiring her water softener.

Mostly I remember the freedom of her home. I remember sitting cutting out flowers and horses in the middle of her living room creating a mess that would have never been allowed in my own home. She urged creativity, she encouraged imagination and she didn’t mind the mess it made. Her words were encouraging and uplifting and when you needed to be brought to reality she did it with love and compassion.

She was my family, my kin, a part of my heart. She would wrap you in a hug that would make your sadness disappear and make you laugh until your face hurt. She will forever be in my memories and my blood. She was my Aunt Francis and I will miss her dearly and remember her fondly, yet somehow I know she will always be with me. I will forever hear that full-bodied belly laugh and feel her joy in my heart.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's Been Awhile

The text conversation went something like this.

Gladys: What are you wearing tonight? I’m trying to figure out how to transition from wedding to club

Lola: Me too. I’m starting out in plain black dress right now.

Gladys: Well, I’m behind the camera so I’m not sure how dressed up I’ll be.

Silence, for a very long period of time.

Gladys: You still haven’t told me what to wear to the hip disco.

Lola: Wear whatever you want. I’m probably just going to wear my black dress.

Gladys: So I take it by my lingo you can’t tell I haven’t been to a night club in a while. Do they still do the Hustle?


Anyone have a jumpsuit and some platform shoes I can borrow?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gladys Got Hope

Gladys looked at herself in the mirror one last time not actually knowing what a golf cart driver should look like but she was as close as she was going to get. She straightened her pink Izod polo shirt, smoothed her golf skirt and tied her sweater around her neck as she headed out the door.

Her mentor and employer had requested that she, Gladys P. McGuillicutty, escort the celebrity guest through the celebrity golf tournament. He had entrusted her with the auspicious duty of escorted one of her all time favorite and most revered movie stars around the golf course.

She pointed her little sports car towards the country club so nervous she shifted into second gear twice. She slowed at the entrance and read the banner “Celebrity Golf Tournament” along with a list of minor celebrities and then in large letters the name of THE celebrity. Her heart pounded just thinking she was actually going to meet one of her idols.

She drove up the tree lined lane breathing in the smells of early spring and admiring the finely manicured lawn. She arrived at the stately columned building and checked her make-up in the mirror. Smiling she handed her keys to the valet and grabbed her tote-bag full of goodies. “Where are the golf tournament people meeting” she asked as she skipped up the steps to the main building.

The valet stopped just as he was about to squeeze himself into the small cockpit of the car. “Are you a golfer or a helper?”

“Oh, I’m supposed to escort the main celebrity around the golf course” she said with importance.

The young man smiled a knowing smile “oh….well, in that case you need to go around to the back and they will have a VIP cart for you.”

Gladys took a deep breath said her thank you’s and ran back down the steps to the back of the main building. She heard some mumblings and as she got closer saw a group of young people in khaki pants and green jackets. Gladys looked down at her white golf skirt and fidgeted a little.

“Hi, I’m here to, um…” she stopped when she realized all the green coats turned to stare. She started again “I’m here to um, drive for um…”

“Oh, you must be Gladys, yes I have your name right here. You are to take the Rolls cart. You do know how to drive a cart don’t you?”

She cleared her throat “of course. I mean I guess so, it’s just like a car right?”

A few chuckles ran through the crowd and the man with the clip board walked toward Gladys “I’ll show you where the Rolls is parked.” He put his hand on her shoulder and maneuvered her toward a small building with garage doors. As he rolled up the door he quietly said “you put your foot on the accelerator to go and take it off to stop. It’s electric so just go slow and you will be fine.” The sun caught the front of a small vehicle designed to look like a Silver Cloud Rolls Royce.

Her breath caught in her throat as he walked up to the vehicle. She would be spending all day with one of her favorite celebrities in this carriage. It would be just the two of them alone together. She placed the bag in cart and looked at the man with the clipboard. “Where do I go now?”

The man looked at his paperwork and then back at Gladys “they didn’t tell you that you were supposed to dress in Khaki did they? I guess it’s ok just make sure you wear your name tag” as he handed her a sticker with Gladass printed on it.

She didn’t care, she was just so excited. She climbed into the driver’s seat and tried to familiarize herself with the cart. She stomped her foot down on the pedal as the little vehicle lurched forward with force knocking Mr. Clipboard off to the side. Instinctively she took her foot off the pedal and the cart came to a halt.

“Well it looks like you have the gist of it. So now go round front and pick up your guest. You will then need to proceed to the first tee.” He limped off cursing and mumbling.

She gently pushed down on the accelerator and maneuvered the red Rolls around the main building and up to the front door where the covey of dignitaries were gathered. She tried to slowly roll up to the group but jerkily stopped and started until she inched her way forward.

Then she saw him standing in the center of the crowd. He was unmistakable. His profile was like none other. Her heart skipped a beat. There he stood wearing plaid knickers, a bright yellow sweater and a cap with a tassel on top. He turned and their eyes met. He smiled his classic smile and started down the steps toward the cart. She jumped from the cart and ran around to grab his bag only it was bigger and heavier than she. He stopped and said “Oh no I’ll carry this…” then he leaned toward her, so close she could smell his shampoo “Glad-ass?”

That was how Gladys met the one and only Bob Hope.