Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 6, 2010, A Vacation in Beautiful Valley Junction, Oregon

I visited the Grand Ronde Station near Spirit Mountain casino and ate some fry bread and rewrote a rant I composed eleven months prior glorifying the lifestyles of the poets Dylan Thomas, Raymond Carver, Charles Bukowski, and Harvey Goldner (http://www.cincopuntos.com/authors_detail.sstg?id=84) in order to transform it into a slam poem (http://www.poetryslam.com/). Carver is my least favorite of the four to read.

On the way back to my folks’ place nestled a mile up Rowell Creek Valley, I chanced across an old rusted steel sign laying in wildflowers beside a harvested wheat field. It reminded me of a story my mother told me from fifty-some years ago when she worked as a waitress at the restaurant this sign was attached too called Gillespie’s. The cook was an balding crusty old pervert who swatted all the women on the bottom as they passed who my mother thought was a pedophile. He always had a huge dip in his lip and spit down into an old Boyds coffee tin on the floor beside the grill. The corners of his mouth were slightly stained tobacco brown.

Across the street from Gillespie’s Restaurant & Bar, on the north side of hwy 18, was my grand parents restaurant called Wimpy’s.

After mom’s folks closed up their restaurant they would go over to the Bar at Gillespie’s and drank till it closed. My mother was embarrassed of her parents’ behavior. All her friends went to the Nazarene church a few miles away Grand Ronde. Her friend’s parents did family stuff with their children instead of spending their evenings in dens of inequity.

My aunt Karen was married in that church when I was a little boy in the early 70’s. My first introduction to Gospel music happened there as well when a traveling choir passed on through. The restaurant burned to the ground a few years prior to my birth in 1968.

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