Friday, November 17, 2006

Tuesday in the talk back, after the show, a girl in the audience tells me she is from Lubbock, Texas. A lot of people are from Lubbock, Mac Davis, Larry Gatlin, Buddy Holly and me. It is a college town and not unusual that a person from Lubbock would find their way to New York. It became more unusual when she said she had a gift for me from the Mayor of Abernathy, Texas.

Abernathy, 20 minutes straight north of Lubbock, is the little town in Texas where I grew up. We moved away when I started high school. I talk about Abernathy in my show. It is a little town of two thousand people, mostly farmers who live in the country. A joke that was cut from the show goes like this. “Abernathy is so small that when a baby is born they shoot someone so they don’t have to change the population sign”. Okay, now you know why the directors cut it from the show.

Anyway, the mayor of Abernathy, Texas happens be my uncle Hoppy Toler. I said to the Lubbock girl, “How do you know Mayor Hoppy” and she tells me he is her uncle. I have never met this girl before and at this point can’t possible believe we would have an uncle in common, but it is a fact. Her name is Robyn Struve Bulham. She’s at the show with her husband Bobby, and I think we are cousins once removed.

Now here is how it works. Her father, Mike Struve, is the younger brother of my aunt Mona who was a Struve before she became a Toler by marrying my uncle Hoppy, who is my mother’s youngest brother.

You sort of keep up with the Struve’s cause Arno and Minnie Struve, Robyn’s grand parents, Mike and Aunt Mona’s parents, are the patriarchs of Abernathy. If Abernathy has royalty, well I guess Arno and Minnie qualify. So I knew Mike got married and had some kids. Obviously Robyn is one, and there you have it. We both have an uncle Hoppy and an Aunt Mona and they are the same people.

So Robyn and Bobby are on vacation and come to New York. Since I am the only Abernathy boy on Broadway they make it to see my show. They say they tried to get Mona and Hoppy to come with them, but Mayor Hoppy has to officiate at some sort of legal dispute over his Jamboree. The Jamboree is a country western show that Hoppy produces once a month in downtown Abernathy for the local crowd. (You thought I was the only person from my family in show biz?) I am proud to say I have a standing invitation to perform at the Jamboree as soon as this Broadway show is done.

Well the gift Robyn has brought me from Uncle Hoppy, is a “gimme cap” in the school colors with Abernathy printed across the front. (If you don’t know what a gimme cap is, then you should stop reading now). I put the cap in a small trunk on stage so I will see it every time I open that case during the show. Thanks Hoppy and Mona for the cap and thanks Robyn and Bobby for bringing it all the way to New York.

Get a cup of coffee and settle in! There’s more.

As if that weren’t enough Abernathy for one week, the very next night I get a note backstage from a lady who says, “Hello from Gid and Marie Addkisson, signed Linda Addkisson.” Gid and Marie are two of my parent’s best friends from high school and still live in Abernathy. Gid Addkisson owns a cotton farm outside of town and was my junior high school principle. I told you it was a small town; everyone does double duty.

We used to go out to the Addkisson farm and play with the masses of Addkisson children. There were five of them. If you add the three kids in my family, we qualified as a separate county in the Panhandle of Texas. Linda is the youngest daughter of the Addkissons and was a three-year-old child the last time I saw her. Well, she is a lovely lady now and lives in Denver. It is great to see the lady you have become, Linda, and boy does it make me feel old.

It just goes to show you, you can take the boy out of Abernathy, but eventually Abernathy will find you… even on Broadway.
As you were,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Remember the line from "Company" that Pam Myers sang..."Another hundred people just got off of the train...some come to work, some to play...a city of strangers." Yep, they all find their way to your city and will find their way to your show. Keep "presenting" it. Wish I could have heard the radio blast.
Carry on,