Numchucks: The Legend Ch. 09byMy Erotic Tail©
Anybody who's ever heard of Luckenbauch Texas, has probably heard of Jerry Jeff Walker (Mr. Bojangles/Up against the wall Redneck Mother) and the Gonzo band. Or Willie Nelson and the Outlaws. Luckenbauch is just outside of Fredricksburg, Texas and an Icon for Texas ambiance and the spawning grounds for so many Texas songs.
Glenn and I were tried and true. That meant that we attended any concert or get together that Jerry Jeff Walker's (JJW) band had in our area. Well this particular concert was JJW's annual Birthday bash. The concert this evening was held in the dance hall in Luckenbauch. The bar and store/post office was across the street and that was the extent of the towns structure. Except for the porta-potties that were spread out to accommodate the crowd that had reservations for the annual event.
We took a small camper trailer that was equipped with kitchen, bathroom, air conditioning (that barely worked) and a pull out sleeping area and the tables seating that made another sleeping area. We had been planning for this for quite awhile. We made camp at the KOA down the road from Luckenbauch, Texas.
There were signs posted everywhere, "All dogs must be on a lease." Chucks was content being led around the massive crowd of tourists as well as those awaiting the evening concert. The Birthday BBQ was catered and the line moved swiftly. Glenn and I figured we would wait till the line dies down before getting a plate. The long line seem to bottle up in one area.
Then we noticed the gathering as we saw Gary P. Nunn (London Bridges) signing autographs while the BBQ line kept right on moving. The word was spreading around that Willie Nelson was expected to make an appearance to sing Happy Birthday to JJW. But, if Willie did make it that day, we didn't see him.
"Hey, don't I know you?" Glenn and I heard behind us while we were still gazing towards Gary P. Nunn. Walking past us with a big smile, was John Inman (JJW's lead guitarist).
"Hey John?" Glenn blurted out. Glenn talked John into letting us take a picture with him. I took the camera from Glenn and took his picture with John. Then I stood next to him and Glenn took a picture. Numchucks didn't have an understanding for celebrities. He went in circles around us and the lease tightened around our legs. Making for a slight uncomfortable situation to untangle the lease from poor Johns legs.
Of course a quick pat on the head for Numchucks and a hand shake or two for Glenn and I. John went to make ready for the evenings JJW's Birthday bash. They called for everyone to enter the dance hall. Once the hall was full and the police skirted the street to ask anyone else to leave for the concert was beginning.
They showed a short film that was made by Hondo Crouch. Hondo played both the good guy in white and the bad guy in black. A home movie that was done in black and white with a western tale. I don't recall the story line. But I do remember being impressed with Hondo's humor and wit. He had long been passed away. But he was remembered as the towns favorite Mayor/storyteller.
His antics on the big full Moon that Texas has is charming. Telling bout the little single couple that sat and touched the backs of their hands together. That scared Hondo. And how the most exciting thing to happen all week was to see the potato chip man when he came by. The poetry of Hondo had been played repetitiously for years (JJW's album "A man must carry on). But even more so while sitting in Luckenbauch with the Moon shining its magic.
The Concert was grand as ever. The usual yelling and shouting with hoarse voices from encouragement to play more. While gathering along the front stage to get another autograph. Seem to be as routine as any to have the tickets signed by any or all band members. The hand shakes and howdys were as regular as a tide.
Getting back to the truck and letting Numchucks roam a bit before leaving. Letting the mass of cars exit the field in one long line. Numchucks fetched a few sticks and Glenn and I tossed it out for Chucks to retrieve.
"Hey, you thirsty?" Glenn asked.
"Sure," I replied. The traffic made it obvious that are best bet was to find something to do for a short, while the cars thinned out some. I grabbed my Guitar and slung it around so it would hang from my back as we made our way towards the Luckenbauch bar/store. Chucks wasn't leased but then again the crowd was gone and the police were down the road directing traffic. As we got closer it appeared the town was closed already. The bar was all boarded up with some small noise coming from its interior, assuming they were cleaning and closing.
Glenn played the Harmonica. So a few tunes from a couple tipsy yet excited concert fans such as us didn't bother anybody cause no one was around. The few that walked by continued to walk as they passed and laughed at our attempts at some tried and true songs. After a while someone come out of the bar/store. Glenn made a dash to catch the door while it was unlocked. Glenn's nosey that way. Well so was Numchucks cause Chucks darted in the bar and that made Glenn go too. I ran over as the door shut closed and was locked again.
There I stood wondering how many things were going to shatter and break in the general store from Numchuck's strong wagging tail. Expecting yells and screams of "Get out of here Dog." Instead I heard a rally of laughter from a small group of people inside. Finally the door opened and Glenn stood there smiling ear to ear. "Come on, check this out."
I stepped into the Bar and looked around for my Dog first and second to find whom was laughing from with in. Glenn stepped through a narrow hallway and I followed. When the hall ended and opened up into another area, I saw the group with which was making all the laughter. The Gonzo band. They too were hold up till traffic died out. But I'm sure not too many people knew they were sitting right here or there would of been a flood of fans.
Numchucks was being petted by a very attractive lady who was sitting next to Bob Livingston (Bass Guitar). I sat next to John Inman (lead Guitarist) The drummer was in the corner and several others scattered out across the room. Lloyd Maines (steel Guitar). Jerry Jeff Walker was no where to be seen, but since I saw his wife at the show, I'm sure he was being good.
"I want your dog?" The lady said in a playful manner. Chucks was sitting in front of her while she massaged his every being. Chucks was soaking up the attention like a sponge absorbs water.
I just laughed and took the drink that was offered to me. "How much?" Glenn asked jokingly. He was always a fast one to play along for a laugh.
"How Much? I'm not paying for him. I want you to give him to me." She said seriously with a slight smile. I laughed even louder. The call was given for the Band to load up and we all dispersed. We had a nice few minutes with the Gonzo band and yes Numchucks stayed with us. I thought we were going to loose him to the Gonzo Band as a roadie or have a tambourine strapped to his forever wagging tail.
Navasota Texas~ Lone Wolf Ranch.
The trip was rememberable and very enjoyable. On the way back we stopped in Navasota and took a picture of Numchucks in the back of my truck pulling the camper with the word's, "Luckenbauch or bust" written on the back with a finger through the highway grime. While at the front gates of, The Lone Wolf Ranch, which belong to Chuck Norris.
The rolling hills of the Navasota area let us know we were close to home. The Black wolf howling over the entrance to the ranch came out clearly in the photo. Numchucks had on his rebel flag bandana and a big smile.
We did encounter Jerry Jeff Walker back stage in Houston off Washington Ave. He was in the back and the bar was clearing when Sandra got in a conversation with Bob Livingston about seeing JJW. Her little country charm and cute red headed smile and tight jeans got her an invitation to his dressing room. I sat anxiously awaiting of course till Glenn and I were excepted back stage as well. Numchucks was at home. It was way passed his bed time anyway.
But sure as shooting, Jerry Jeff walker signed our tickets and chatted with us about any question we could think of. I of course had to ask about the black lab in the family photo that was used on a cover of their Christmas album. JJW informed us that, that was a very expensive dog he had purchased and that somebody had stolen him. He informed us that he lost several dogs that way. And that from now on he was going to just get mutts and see if they still get stolen from fans or crazed people who take canines.
The little visit was exciting, to be among a celebrity but to be among your favorite singer/songwriter made it even more exhilarating. Numchucks was tried and true as I was. Perhaps not by choice but he attended all our trips to Luckenbauch or outdoor events that allowed it possible for Chucks to participate. But it seem that the band was as much a fan of Numchuck's as I was of theirs.