Flash Bam

An old song has come to my mind today. I think remembering it has to do with being stuck in the house in self-exile so long so long this recently passed Kentucky winter. I have the desire to experience another time, another place. So, I drift backward in my thoughts in the direction of warmer times and things, way back!

The first warm thing that popped into my mind was a song, "Orange Colored Skies" remember it; I doubt that you do, it was popular when I was a 12-year-old girl in Texas. It was warm and dusty in Abilene in those days, no paved streets to speak of, so I skipped down the dusty streets, to go to the downtown movies, singing along the way, "I was walking along minding my business when out of an orange colored sky".........., love that song. “Flash, Bam, Ali-ca-zam”, I breathed a little, then clear my throat with a hearty muddy spit, and keep on moving and singing.

A few main streets had sidewalks and you could jump over the tumbleweed that occasionally made its way to the ‘citified” part of town. They were always blowing around in any open field, and with the wind, they had a little rhythm, so they didn't mess up my tune…“wonderful you came by" Nat King Cole sometimes joined me in my head, that is. I would echo his beautiful tones with my wobbly, albeit loud sincere vocals, and we would duet all the way down that long street. I noticed that during the street concerts at times my Mother and Brother if they were indeed with me, would drop back a few feet, and I am sure it was to give the singing sensation the proper space due to a star.

At times the sunny sidewalks caught my special attention, "as I was hummin' a tune drinkin' in sunshine," they were all stained purple from the ripe fruit plopping down from the Mulberry trees, the only trees that I remember in that town in those days other than the spindly looking little cottonwoods. Who needed trees, I needed the sunshine, and I got it, my dusty tan Kentucky freckles had turned into great Texas (everything is bigger in Texas) terra cotta freckles!

I also sang while on my wheels (roller-skates) those long hot days. My skates were a little off kilter and I was way out of tune, what a pair. “When out of that orange colored view, I got’a look at you,” the song had to come out. Around the block I would go, I felt sure I was entertaining the neighborhood.  Oh yes, I was sure! "One look and I yelled timber watch out for flying glass, cause the ceiling fell in and the bottom fell out," oh yeah! I lived out that song to the amusement of much of my audience while on my rounds with a crying baby sister in tow. "I went into a spin and I started to shout, I've been hit, this is it, this is it, I've been hit!" A few heads would turn certain that, in his embarrassment, my brother or some neighborhood bully had attacked me.

About this time I did experience great surprise, “I was walking along minding my business when love came and hit me in the eye,” and, oh yes it did! He wore cowboy boots and balanced a rather large cowboy hat on his blonde curls, and he was beautiful. However these were the days that I was not quiet ready to admit that boys were human, or at least on the same level as girls. I didn’t know what to do with these feelings, I didn't have to worry long. Suddenly a day came and it was like “Flash, Bam, Ali-ca-zam out of that orange colored, purple striped, pretty green, polka-dot sky," big finish now, "Flash, Bam, Ali-ca-zam and goodbye,”, and Texas was over.

It was time to go home to Kentucky, the dry heat had done it work and brought the miracle healing for my brother; the reason we sojourned to Texas in the first place. I have been cold for eight months of every year every since those Texas days, I walk around with curled up frozen toes. I'm so happy that song of old found its way to my memory today, I needed the orange, the heat, the "Ali-ca-zam and goodbye!"


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