Wednesday, February 28, 2007


It's hard for me to stay away from home for very long. I've been gone from Waco for a total of four days and I am already planning my early return.

A couple of years ago I became nostalgic. I've always been nostalgic, but a couple of years ago I became especially so and I woke up extremely early and drove to Carthage Texas, which is where my mother grew up and I spent a lot of time as a child. I wanted to stroll down the streets and eat breakfast at the tiny coffee shop just off the square that my grandfather would wake up every morning to walk to. Jason loaned me his laptop and I went to record my thoughts and I came out with a plan to write a book about growing up in church because I was so very cool.

I came to East Texas this time to become a little nostalgic again, but also to write about the last sixteen months of my life since Kyle died. Not because I'm cool, because since that trip a couple of years ago I've realized I'm not, but because I'm afraid I'll forget. In writing I've realized how much I have forgotten, and I want to stop the hemorrhaging of thoughts so I need to get them down.

I've done that, and I've also done things to rake up the nostalgia.

Jason, being a former local East Texas radio celebrity, will appreciate this:

I woke up early and left the amazing House of Damoff to head to Carthage. I discovered my one remaining (non/but you know how it works) relative was out of town, so I went to the tiny coffee shop again to have breakfast. It's run by Mexicans now who served the best Huevos Rancheros this side of the Neches river. Because I ate at a non-Caucasian run establishment, my grandfather did a couple of flips in his grave before I finished eating and visited it.

I walked around the graveyard and wasn't as sad as I had been in years past. I did become amused at a fact I discovered perusing tombstones that was previously unknown to me, which is that my great grandfather was 39 when he married my great grandmother, who had just turned 18. (You go John D., get you some!)

Oh, back to the part Jason would appreciate...

As I was leaving town my radio scanned over to Carthage's own KGAS, (yes, K-Gas,) and I spent the next thirty minutes listening to the "world famous" swap shop. (Note: Everything in deep East Texas is considered "World Famous." I think this has something to do with the proximity to Louisiana, which has a fairly high concentration of French people-- who could conceivably call their relatives in the motherland and tell them about KGAS's Swap Shop.)

On the WFSS (World Famous Swap Shop) callers relay information about goods and services they either need or offer and leave their telephone number for people to contact them. One lady had a couple of feet of linoleum she needed to get rid of and was offering a good price.

Another call went something like this--

Radio Guy: KGAS Swap Shop
Lady: Yeah, I still have this stump over on my property I need grindin'. So if there are any stump grinders, give me a call at 903-888-*78*.
Radio Guy: Alright you heard the number... If you have stump grindin' equipment, give her a call.
Lady: I need this done pretty quick, my little girl just got a divorce and she needs to roll her trailer over onto my property pretty quick. Oh, and I wanted to tell my husband I love him... we've been married 55 years next week.
Radio Guy: Well congratulations! That's wonderful.
Lady: Well, the Lord he has been good to us. But I still need a stump grinder, so call me!

As the saying goes, you can't make this stuff up.

I found the MySpace for the wrestling promotion I mentioned a few days ago. You can check it out HERE. And for Josh, Britt and Jonathan, my Happy Hour buddies, can anyone say "Field Trip?"

So I'm here in Tyler now just galivatin' around. I'll probably visit with my parents this evening then head back to Waco. I miss my dog.


jenA said...

please, i'd rather you just galavant instead.

Robyn said...

Hey, Craig. Glad you have had a good vacation and that you will be home soon. Brenham has that same kind of radio show. Don't know that they claim to be world famous, but it is called The Country Store. Thanks for the memory and laugh!

tracey fields said...

guess what we're doing right now...moving into a new house...guess i won't see you this wk end...since you miss your dog. call us if you want to drop in on your way back. good thoughts on "not wanting to forget."