I got an email yesterday that asked me what made my mind think the way it does? I’m not sure if it was a compliment or a dig. I can only answer by saying I have thought the same about some musicians minds whose song writing I admire. Among the many benefits of being under the tutelage of John Neely at USU for my MFA was his deep collection of books and CD’s. There was rarely a week went by when I wouldn’t wander into my space to find a stack of CD’s and a pile of books.
Since I was the first there in the morning I could get the music going before the undergrads arrived and cranked up the head banger nonsense. USU in the heart of Mormon Land would be thought to be a white shirt and creased trousers zone. Yep that’s true except for the Art Dept. That’s where you might find tattoos, piercings, and funny clothing. The smell of good coffee and loud music set us apart. It was often the sanctuary for fringe Mormons who kinda liked what was going on in there. Many of my students in the white shirts and creased trousers chose to do their homework on the tables in the Art Dept.
John introduced me to Terry Allen who remains one of my favourite singer songwriters. How his mind works is a puzzle to me. The song “Beautiful Waitress” makes me laugh every time I hear it. How a guy wants to touch and get the attention of a waitress and does it with the crunch of a cracker just breaks me up. Then his song “Give me a ride to Heaven, Boy” about a guy picking up Jesus Christ hitchhiking and JC turns out to be a car thief cracks me up, big time. Kicking the beer cans under the seat so JC won't notice is hilarious. Some people enjoy life. I'm one of them!
USU entered my mind today when I read the blog of Bobby Free who was an undergrad at USU when I was there. He is off to South Korea. I love Bobby and wish I could relive the times we had together at USU. It really was a cracker crunch.