HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Friday, March 19, 2010


It has been one week since the orthopedic assistant sawed the cast off my left ankle - and by now (silly me) I was hoping to be able to return to normal activities, but my body has other plans.

Indeed, the swelling is nearly gone, but the sensation of a severely sprained ankle remains. Not only that, but my fibromyalgia has kicked into Spring high gear and consequently my ever increasing arthritis is the star of the show. Every joint hurts - fingers elbows, shoulders, upper leg muscles, knees - especially the knees!!!, ankles and even toes have joined the pain chorus.

After working with the band on wednesday night at The Red Parrot, I thought it important to follow through on the harangue I laid on the audience that night about organizing large parties to come out to the Red Parrot to support the one true music club that now exists in Eau Claire.

So Kim helped me wrap my aching lower legs in compression stocklngs and we pulled in shortly after the Sue Orfield Band took the stage at 6:30 PM. One of the features I like about the Parrot's music schedule is that Terry Voss, owner, is smart enough to know that people no longer stay out late mid week and drink copious amounts of alcohol - not with drinking/driving laws as they are now.

This coupled with the fact that we are no longer spring chickens and appreciate a last set finishing at 9:30 PM, make it all the more appealing.

We were surprised that Terry was not charging a cover charge at all and to my way of thinking, if he is going to survive, and there are some hard core live music lovers who want the club to prosper, it only make sense to be charging a cover - and I don't think that $5 or even $10 is too much to pay to hear the likes of Sue Orfield's great sound or the many other hot bands that Terry has booked in for the coming months.

I would estimate the crowd at around forty happy souls who were into the great music and no smoking atmosphere - another blessing to musicians who have in the past had to battle sucking in secondary smoke for most of their professional lives.

(Actually last night we did have a smoking incident when a woman at a table adjacent to ours got her hair too close to the crystal cocktail candle fixture on the table and her "do" momentarily caught fire.)

My wife, who has the nose of a thoroughbred blood hound, this time did not catch the smell before I did - I didn't even have to turn to look as I recognized the terrible smell that burned human hair emits immediately. "Someone's hair is on fire!" I shouted at Kim over the sound of the band, and by the time we turned to look, she had, thankfully, extinguished her smoldering tresses.

The smell hung in the air the rest of the night and I could still smell it in my nose on the drive home.



Larry Heagle (copyright, March 20, 2010)

The Ballad of Theron Joseph Rubley
(as told to Larry Heagle by Mike Schlenker)

This is the ballad of T.J. Rubley,
And I’m gonna sing it like Mike Schlenker tells it
And it’s tragic as you’ll soon see

Rubley was born in Davenport, Ioway
That’s pr’bly where he shoulda stayed
He went to school in Tulsa, Oklahoma
And quarterback is what he played

(sort of)

Young men seek fame in the NFL
But that didn’t suit TJ
Instead of climbing all the way to the top
His career went the other way

He played for the Rams, He played for the Packers
and The Winnepeg Bombers Blue
And he might still be playing today
If he’d done what he was told to do

It was back in 1995, the Pack wasn’t far from home
They were just across the Mississippi River
playin’ in that God Damn Dome

It got late in the game and it was all tied up
at twenty four a piece
But then Brett went down on a real hard hit
by Randall wearin war paint grease

So Holmgren sent in that squirrel, Ty Detmar
Detmar - such a crazy guy
Two plays later HE went down
with a badly bruised left thigh

Then came the now infamous moment
Coach pulled Rubley aside
The ball was on the Minnesota 38
with less than a minute to abide


It was third and one
And Mike Holmgren called a quarterback sneak
which would have easily sealed the win
Adding to the Packer’s streak

Rubley he ran out to the huddle,
snapped his helmet to his chin
He knelt in front of his Offensive Line
and said “Boys, here’s where we shine!”

They all clapped, then they all yelled break, //
and sauntered up to the line
They had one eye on their opponent
the other on the waning time

Rubley looked to his left and then to his right
And the Queen’s safety caught his eye
That safety was cheatin’ up into the box
And T. J. thought he knew why

He paused in his count - then called an audible
About to throw a roll out pass
But he ended up throwing it across his body
And got buried up to his ... elbow

The pigskin did a fleeting duck
and bounced off a corner back’s hide
He hauled it in, ran to field goal range
Then did a quarterback slide


With time running out the Queen’s special team
put the pigskin down in place
The kick was high, the kick was true
You shoulda seen Holmgren’s face

The Purple went wild, that damn horn blew
You could hear it all the way to Sioux Falls
TJ might not hadda lotta talent -
but, man, he sure had balls

This is the ballad of Theron Joseph Rubley
and his last play with Green Bay
I’ve told the story just as Mike Schlenker tells it
Oh, and by the way

Rubley was cut the very next morning
A sad ending for the effort he gave
And let it be known that it was all the sadder -
It sent Lombardi spinning in his grave.

Thank you, baby Jesus!

Now I got to memorize it - why can't I write something with a chorus????


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