Sunday, January 20, 2013

I'm beginning to put together a better understanding of Lubbock sports. Of course I know that it's complicated, there's a whole history, etc., and that Texas Tech plays a pivotal role since so many people in the area went to it and remain loyal.

So, I have a number of questions. First, what happened to the Crickets? Presumably a town of 230,000 is big enough to support a minor league baseball team. Presumably it did support the team for a little while. Of course, the questions are: was the team any good? Did any famous players play on it? But, even more important, was the town unable to support the team when it fell on hard times? Did people just become less interested in baseball? Would a minor-league team have trouble if we got another one? What division did the Crickets play in, and was that the appropriate division?

Then we have the Lubbock Cotton Kings. Now I have always loved hockey, and would love it even more if we had it in Lubbock. There is no better game to watch than hockey, and it's really fun to play too though it might cost you some teeth. But I can understand why a place which experiences +100 summers, weeks at a time, might not take a natural liking to the sport. It's an interesting story how Dallas scored Minnesota's team, and it made it in Dallas, and that, I think, set off a wave of popularity of hockey in the sun belt; Phoenix has a team too, and maybe Houston, or some of these other towns. It does well in LA.

We're on the plains, and we actually have some cold weather, but the ice doesn't stick around long, on account of the sun, and the generally southern latitude. But I'm not sure it's weather so much as just culture. Hockey seems to have pricey entrance tickets so it likes a town like Dallas where a culture of wealthy spectators can come to a nice cool ice rink for a few hours.

So what happened to the Cotton Kings? Same questions. I'd like to know. They say that, for a while, people could skate in the arena, then the Cotton Kings would take it over and play a game. Presumably they had a zamboni and all that stuff. I like that stuff. I'd trade Tuberville and Kingsbury both for a good zamboni. But we'll see. I'm 58 and not likely to go into the zamboni business.

Then, they say that originally this was a women's basketball town. The time of Martha Sharp, etc., now they were winners, and they filled the arena, or they used as an arena at that time, before the United Spirit. Then the team fell into hard times, and they thought, by pumping up the men's team, and getting that new arena, they figured they'd bring women's basketball back.

I'd like to know more. What can you do? A sports crazy town like this needs pro soccer too, I figure, but I'd be wiliing to start small. I'd be willing to support sports in all its iterations, as I'm already over my head in basketball support, football support, etc. It's natural here. People like sports and they love Lubbock. I'm sure I've missed stuff: Tech football, Tech volleyball, Tech baseball. I'd just like to know what really gets people, and if that can change or does, over time.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

lubbock haiku

ok I'm coming out: I'm a poet. I have this haiku book (see right) and now, naturally, I'm making Lubbock haiku. If you make haiku about places, what better place? Lubbock is, as I would say, very real. So here goes:

loop lifts at quaker
geese call and circle their find
unfrozen water

bag o' 'spresso beans -
plane circles over frigid
fields, lubbock recedes

from bitter plains chill
scrub bush his only shelter
yellow house canyon

More to come!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's a rainy night in Lubbock, and I'll say it again: this town doesn't handle the rain well. Lots of towns, you get a huge thunderstorm, it floods the streets for a while. Here, if it rains at all, it floods the streets for a while. What, does everyone get used to it? Cars are going through three feet of water here. I wouldn't want to live on a low part.

On the good side, I took a break, and, flying back to Lubbock, was happy to notice that everyone on the plane was in a good mood when we took off from Dallas, as if, it's all going to be ok now, Lubbock is a lot more relaxed, you can live your life here and enjoy yourself. I felt that feeling on a plane once leaving Miami and going to the Dominican Republic. It's like, we don't have to put on a show anymore.

In the new year I want to learn about a few people. Some are not in Lubbock anymore. For example, what happened to Meat Loaf when he was here? Flunked out/dropped out, maybe, from Lubbock Christian. Or Natalie Maines? I don't want to rub it in, but she's an excellent musician, hometown girl, but everyone's really mad at her, and it can't just be about Bush. But that's ok, if they don't want to tell me, I can handle it. It's not like I run a publicity blog or anything. I'm just curious. And I'm a musician.

Then you have Buddy Holly, who lived here, went to school here, and sooner or later I'll actually find the houses he occupied, etc. Now he has staying power, fifty or sixty years later, and people are still leaving flowers on his grave. I think there's more to him than meets the eye. I'd like to know a little more.

Bob Wills and Woody Guthrie both spent a fair bit of their lives in the Texas Panhandle, and though I know we can't claim we're the panhandle, we're still West Texas and I'd like to know a little more. To be specific, I'd like to know who's still playing music like Bob did, or what they do to celebrate Woody. We'll see.

Then there's a diversity of just Texans, though Texas is a huge state, I'd still like to know a bit more about some of these folks. This list includes Willie Nelson, Kinky Friedman, Jim Hightower, and a few more. Can't even remember some of the ones who have caught my eye. Some have written books about Texas, and I fully intend to get a few, and others just keep cranking out good music. I have a couple of dreams: one of these days, I might open up a Texas bookstore, or at any rate a place that sells Tex-arcana (you heard it first here)....and, one of these days, I want to play Austin. Now there are a couple of local dreams for ya. Time goes by, I become more of a Texan every minute. That could be bad for both of us!