only friends

The first day of school in my senior year, I walked up to my buddy, Carol Bryant, and greeted her. She was talking with someone who hadn't caught my eye, as of yet... a very cute and petite, blonde girl in a California, hippie styled dashiki. I clearly remember turning my eyes on to her, and can clearly recall to this day everything she was wearing (you must also understand, being 18 at the time, remembering everything I wish she wasn't wearing also!) I recall her laughter was very attractive to me. Carol introduced me. Her name was Lynda Norton. I knew the moment I met her, someday we would be married. That would have sparked even more attractive laughter from her, if she had known what was going on in my head. I was a goofball back then, the less I attended school, the more I liked it. She was a straight A student, and I assumed part of the "proud crowd." So there was this intense love-hate inside of me that drove me wild for her. One day, I got the nerve to invite her over to my house after school... she accepted. I tried to impress her with my Bob Dylan albums, but when she heard a song she liked, she said, "Oh yeah, the Byrds do that one... I like it by them." It seemed I couldn't impress her even if I had set myself on fire and didn't flinch. But I was determined! So about the third time she came over to the house, she sat in an armchair, and I bravely sat beside her, put my arm around her, looked her in the eyes, and asked," I wonder how your lips taste..." She just nonchalantly answered, " Why don't you find out..." It was to be my first real romantic kiss in life, and being pre-nosejob, I kept planting my long proboscis in her left eye. But she said I was a good kisser, yet could use her help in learning a little better. I had a great thing going, and didn't know it, and I spoiled it by demanding that we go steady. She suddenly said, "I can't date till I'm 16....." You talk about a confused young man! One day my friend, another oddball, Richard Lunn, knocked on my front door after school, and when I opened it, he announce, "I saw Lynda Norton holding hands with such n such, in the hallway at school!." Richard had a knack for getting under my skin, and he seemed to be heralding this latest finding with glee. Having his face pressed up to the screen door, his nose took the full brunt of my jealousy. "Whadja do that for, I didn't steal your girlfriend!" I asked Lynda about it, and she said, "We weren't dating, we were just holding hands..." I had to make this girl mine, so I sat down, and wrote a very cheesy love song called, "Lovely Lynda." When I played it to her, she immediately told me I was the second guy in her life to write a song about her. "But what about the song?" I demanded. "Oh, it was nice, thank you." I jumped in the armchair and planted a huge kiss on her lips just as my dad walked in the room, and muttered, "Well, okay..." He then left, and drove off. After she had gone home, my father returned and said, " Well, I saw that you were busy so I went to the store for about a good hour." Lynda and I continued to go out, but she was always quick to remind me that it was never a date, that we could be nothing more than friends. Enter 20 some odd years later... Lynda and I are taking our grandchildren home from a Christmas play. Reminding her of our teenage years, I asked her, "Well, are we finally on a date?" She thought for a minute, and said very tongue n cheekly, "I can't date you, I'm a married woman."

clueless

Not many people get to meet someone famous in their lifetime... and not many meet someone famous, and not know them from a hill of beans! Unfortunately, I fit in the latter category. In 1986, I took a trip to Nashville, to try to pawn off some of my music. I landed in the office of a producer named, Kitt Johnson. In her office was a gray haired old man with his feet propped up on her desk, choking on one cigarette after another. Kitt listened to several of my songs and commented, "oh, you're a poet!!" Suddenly the old man, whom I assumed was her assistant, commented, "You got some good songs there, boy..." I him-hawed around and said, "Thanks, are you a singer?" He took a choking drag off of his cigarette as Kitt said, "This is Faron Young!" I just blubbered, "Well, what to you do, Mr young?" Needless to say I didn't sell any songs that afternoon, but as I left the office, I turned around and noticed I was in, "THE FARIN YOUNG BUILDING" So I figured Mr Young must have been pretty important. Well, later I found out Mr Young was quite famous. In fact, in 1961 he had a massive hit with Willie Nelson's song, "Hello Walls." It was the first big hit for Willie. And I didn't get so much as an autograph...

growing up in california

Growing up in Southern California in the 1960s as an adolescent was everything a kid could wish for. Although much of Santa Barbara County was rural, my mom, dad, and my older brother, and I, were a days drive from San Francisco, and about two hours away from Los Angeles. We lived in the small town of Lompoc, as my parents were working at Vandenberg Airforce Base. Our street, in the Mission Hills district, rarely had any traffic, so it was perfect for Sandlot baseball games. Being born disabled from spina bifida did not enter my mind at this age. I tried to play along with the rest of the kids; some were okay with it, but the neighborhood bully, Herald Dover, would always call me, "crippled butt" when I'd try to come up to bat. One day he got under my skin, and I followed him up to his front porch, and punched him in the eye. His mama came out and I boldly stood there, and explained everything as she whooped the tar outta him. Moments later, while at the dinner table, the doorbell rang. My father got up to answer it. It was Mrs Dover coddling her precious Herald, who was now sporting a black eye. My father calmly came back to the table after shutting the front door, stirred his potatoes, cleared his throat, and said, "Scotty, first of all, I'm proud of you... but don't do that again." It was the last time I had trouble from Herald Dover, in fact, we became buddies after that. Everyone knew everyone on our street. No one was a mystery... except for Mrs Deconcho, who lived at the end of the block. No one ever saw her, we'd just hear her voice yell, "you kids get off my sidewalk, or I'll call the police!" A group of kids egged her house from time to time. Rumor was that she was a witch. But one day, Herald and I were playing the ring her doorbell game, and before we could get away, she opened it and invited us inside. She was a real nice old lady; gave us cookies and soft drinks... She had furniture from Africa and told us some great stories. Cool stuff to a ten year old boy! What I remember most about living there was when they'd fire a missile off from Vandenberg AFB. This was in the space age infancy, so a lot of them would blow up in the sky, and create a sonic boom. As kids, we'd pretend the Russians had just nuked us, and we'd roll around on the ground. It would be three years later that we moved to the "big city" of Lawton in Oklahoma. I am thankful I no longer live in the Golden state, and now call the Sooner state my home. Funny thing, when I first moved here from California friends jokingly called me a "prune picker" because of it. Well, I have to say I have fondness for my hometown in California, but I call Oklahoma my home... I guess that makes me a "Sooner-Pruner."

the open door

My grandmother Velma lived to 96. Visiting her in her nursing home room, shortly before she went to be with the Lord, she wasn't all there anymore; but she still had her vim and vigor. Convinced she was a lost soul, I reminded her that she was baptized, attended church regularly, was a cheerful giver; there was no doubt in my mind she was bound for heaven. "Why in the world would I want to go to heaven for?" She looked up at me with one eye open. "Well, why wouldn't you???" I queried. She thought for a moment, and said, "Well, all my friends are in hell!" I had a hard time refraining from laughing, but she didn't know what she was saying. No one wants us to go to heaven more than God. You may say "but I don't deserve it" and God is saying "but I want you to!" He wants you there so much that he sacrificed his only son just so you could. I know my grandmother is in heaven, and so are many of her friends. We serve a gracious God, who if we're covered by the blood of his son, forgives our shortcomings. The next time you feel too evil to approach God's kingdom, realize he's begging for you to come to him.

a common ally

I often have said: if given in the chance, I would never revert back to the days of my youth again. Who wants all that drama, who wants all that frustration, who wants all that self-centeredness? But of late, I think back and appreciate that we lived in much simpler times. Drama, frustration, and self-centeredness are today the norm of many adult's worlds. Though our generation dealt with the constant fear of "the bomb," when in reality, we lived virtually in safer times. The Cold War was largely fought on foreign shores away from both America & Russia. We as Americans had a common enemy, and it wasn't us. The Russians, truth or not, were the devil. We were ALL Americans... Yes both sides were guilty of spreading propaganda, and we may have saluted many a tainted flag as trusting Americans, but I'd personally give anything to go back to my blind days of youth, during the Cold War, as apposed to the reality of today's Cold World. Today's America is so polarized, that drama, frustration, and self-centeredness is the name of the game. A pandemic that should bring people together in spirit, has instead become politicized on both sides of the aisle. It's a sad fact, but when some people don't have a common enemy, they turn on each other. Maybe it's human nature, but it's time to grow out of it. It doesn't matter who sits in the Whitehouse so much as who reigns in your heart. We are not only Americans, but children of the universe. How petty and small is our concerns in the scope of the Creator's vast creation. Instead of looking for common enemies, we should focus on our Common Ally.

time's game

Known eyes, 
A stranger in disguise- 
I know no one  
But those who hurt; 
Time has dealt a final card, 
I walk away from the game... 
Keep all of my chips, 
Do with them as you wish- 
It's your game anyway.

(C) 2021 by Scott Endsley

wildebeest of security

I've hunted the wildebeest  
Of security refusing to flinch, 
But persistent,  I die often... 
Am I the hunter or the hunted? 
No other species can allude 
A false sense of its attributes, 
Yet swallow whole your pride... 
Security is only a desert mirage, 
The closer you come, it fades: 
The wildebeest is harmless, 
Yet when traveling in a herd 
Can be a power to contend with... 
So live as you live, and don't  
Mistake security for something  
You have to hunt down and kill.

(c) 2021 by Scott Endsley

instead of pointing fingers...

For all the rhetoric that has been recently spouted about the so called " hypocritical" churches and Christians needing to do more for the homeless during this cold spell, I'd just like to add my two cents worth. In defense of many of the churches in Lawton Oklahoma, they have done an exceptional job helping people of need. You just don't read about it much because they are not busy posing for photo opps while doing so. I personally know many brethren who have taken into their homes people of need, and ended up with bedbug infestations. And they never have thought twice about helping them! Not many complaining dogooders have even lifted a finger, but decided to point one instead. Jesus said when you help the poor, don't blow a trumpet and announce it (very paraphrased). So before someone goes on about who should be doing what for whom, perhaps they should shut up, and help out themselves.

body language

The knees, ankles, & back complain: "Look, we've been through this before, you're gonna have to wait a damn minute!!!!!" 

The mind rebuts: "But it's only to the kitchen and back, and I'm just as hungry as you all are; let's do this!!!" 

family lore

Genealogy is a fascinating thing. My daughter has been doing some investigatory work over our family history. We have always supposed we were part Comanche because of my great grandmother, Sally Deel, was supposedly half white, and half Indian. But my daughter has just unearthed that John Deel, her father, was a confederate soldier who saved John Bell Hoods life and was physically disabled, and awarded 1200 acres in Texas for it. This flies in the face of the family lore that my Grampa's dad received Indian land by marrying John's daughter. So, to my disappointment, I may not be Comanche at all; unless of course John's wife was full blood Comanche, and he already owned some Indian land. So when doing genealogy, you may be surprised what you find out. You may be a Smith trying to keep up with the Jones's, when in actuality, you may very well be a Jones all along!

heart & mind

Both entities born of extremes, 

The heart can rule the mind 

If one does not stay vigilant- 

Always searching for Heaven, 

The heart tends to settle for Hell's 

Flattery, and its self-gratification; 

An easily breakable ornament, 

The heart is at once crestfallen 

And tells the mind to capitulate- 

And fight no more, once assaulted... 

But the mind incensed, tells the heart 

That she is foolish, and prides up! 

Taking charge, he fights for respect, 

Making a flame a complete firestorm... 

The love affair, now a war of words, 

Was once so much simpler until 

Both the Heart & Mind, entered the nest. 

(C) 2021 by Scott Endsley