I appear to be a rather insouciant type of guy. Not the sort to be overly bothered by a small piece of gristle in his filet mignon. But, like most of us, I consider my life to be precisely that; mine.

With this in mind, it could seem strange that I’d get involved with anyone whose purpose was my improvement. “Wes, you don’t look good in black turtlenecks.” “Wes, try to avoid this..or that.” Those sorts of relationships have had a limited life span.

But as most men will declare ( when nobody is looking), young men learn an awful lot from their female friends, wives, and lovers. So over the years, we took to heart and made our own much that got suggested to us.

The method of suggestion is critical. We often emulate or mimic what pleases us and those close to us. Appreciative looks and compliments go further than being told that my blue jeans and black turtlenecks are soooo Steve Jobs! I wore mine in Greenwich Village while he was still in diapers! Comments like that enforce the opposite; I like my look in black turtlenecks. 

So, much of what I like came from helpful, appreciative, loving, and kind women. But it’s so much more than new things learned or some lost. It’s also about the nuance of having encouragement as you struggle with a new song or a tricky bit of art. Sometimes, I’d of tottered off the edge if it hadn’t been for an encouraging word or presence.

In great appreciation, I’d like to say to you all, and you know who you are: Thank you more than can ever get expressed in words.


While in the Navy, I served with a former professional bull rider named John. He described a bull ride as the most dangerous eight seconds in sports. But, he said, it paled in comparison to his weekly Saturday night fights with his wife, Lucille.
John had me write a song about Lucille. I thought comparing your life with a woman as a bull ride was awful, and only with great trepidation did I perform it for Lucille with John standing next to her. Watching them melt into each other’s arms, cooing in love, opened my eyes to the strange range of possibilities in human relationships. Lucille later told me that the song was positively bodacious and captured their love perfectly. So it goes.
You can’t wave a wand, say magical words, and get a good loving relationship. Except in the movies, and I’m tired of perfect relationships forged in the fires of three scenes in a Hollywood potboiler. John and Lucille had wooed and wed on the rodeo circuit of the 1950s. John said that before Lucille, his favorite bar weapon had been a tall neck bottle of Budweiser. With Lucille, he had found sobriety, a lasting relationship, children, and Saturday evening knockdown and drag outs with the “missus.”
John and Lucille may negate an entire generation of Television relationship counselors. But for them, it works. If you happen to be in Lubbock on a Saturday night, listen for them, and say hi from Wes.

Facebook Endings

Endings can be full of angst or be quiet fadeaways. The angst-ridden ones are the ones that leave the sharpest of memory. Sometimes it’s the quiet ones that get you awake at four AM with tears in your eyes because you had no chance to say goodbye.
Yelling out your distaste for someone has a much more final feel to it than two people just gradually drifting apart, never noticing when the fade is so complete that you have trouble calling their face to mind.
As I said, it just fades away, until one morning you awake with tears in your eyes because that back part of your mind never really went along with the front of your mind. That one section refused to forget. You get up to stumble to the computer and enter the name in a search; about a hundred possibles pop up. You refine the search on Facebook, and there she is. Like you, she is fifty years older, happily married, mother, and grandmother. The lines of happiness are etched on the features that you almost remember. In the profile photo, she stands next to her husband, who you also almost recognize.
You pause over the tab to send a friend request, think about it, and then move to Messenger.
In the end, you smile and stumble back to bed, happy that things turned out well. Not a bad end at all.

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