Friday, September 3, 2010
Walt, The Storyteller
“Sit down and talk to us” Walt Perryman told me. So I did. Walt retired from working in the oil fields for 30+ years (or something close to that). I walked over and introduced myself after hearing him recite some of his stories-in-poetry I guess you’d say or “Cowboy Poetry” they call it. It was more “Country” than “Cowboy” to me, though. There were 2 other guys playing songs to maybe a dozen or so people under these beautiful moss covered live oaks all the while roosters strutted around on the dusty ground and “crow-ed” through out the playing. Walt’s "poetry" spoken through his really strong Texas drawl had such a heartfelt impact on me and his insights really hit home: “We die three times, there’s death n then you’re buried that makes two, the third is when there’s no one left… to remember you”-From “My Grandmother’s House”. He leaned in and kinda looked down when he recited some of his favorites stories to me and said “I remember ‘em cuz I did ‘em and I remember ‘em like yesterde. Can I share one with ya’?” (and this came out): Today I went into an ol Antique store, I ran into a lotta ol stuff, that don’t look so old anymore (This line is close as I can remember). Today is yesterde’s tomorrow. Live today and have no sorrow. Tell somebody you love ‘em, that’s all you really gotta say. You might not have tomorrow, you can’t tell ‘em yesterday. Live and love and go to Luckenbach everyday, cuz life goes by real fast. Rest assured the day will come will be your last.
He said that they (poetry) were telling the stories of his life. He’d never read books much or any poetry. He started thinking of these things and writing about ‘em while in Saudi Arabia for 26 years working in the oil fields and missing home. I’d asked him wasn’t he nervous when he started doing this? “Heck I’m retired. What were they gonna do (if they didn’t like it), fire me?”. I coulda sat there and listened to him forever.
He moved to the area about 8 years ago and “got big into church”. . “Then after a while I kept coming to Luckenbach and it might sound terr‘ble but there’s a God out here too, ya know. I stopped goin to church, (Since then) but I bet I’ve done 4 funerals (memorials) out here and one cat memorial.”
Walking back to my car there was an old man (holding a cane) sitting out front with no one else around and he was singing an old gospel song to the roosters that were pecking around. It was like somebody was slowly turning the volume down the closer I got to my car. It was just like something out of a movie. A good walk to the car that made for a beautiful night. Thanks for the stories and beer, Walt.
P.S. I really love small towns. By the way, under my "band" links you can listen to a little bit of Walt's youtube to get an idea of what I heard :)