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An Autograph An Autograph
by Leah Sellers
2010-06-04 07:20:23
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My sisters and I were tickled pink about being a part of the opening act for the well known country western star Willie Nelson.  We had been asked to sing two songs at the opening performance of his huge outdoor concert at the Air Force Base outside of Del Rio, Texas.
 
Our manager, Happy Shahan, had persuaded the people producing and directing the movie Barbarosa (starring Willie Nelson and Gary Busey) to make the film at John Wayne’s original movie set for The Alamo.  The Alamo’s movie set had been built upon the Shahan Ranch outside of Brackettville, Texas.  The Shahan’s were enterprising folks and after the film was completed created a tourist hot spot out of the old movie set named Alamo Village.
 
My sisters and I entertained at Alamo Village three times daily with other talented performers.  We were Rock ’n Roll Babies who eventually wound up in country western music because of our tight familial sound and fresh, down home, good looks.  Plus, the girls and I had been raised to appreciate many and all forms of music.  So, our transition from Rock ‘n Roll to Country-Western was rather seamless.
 
All of the entertainers at Alamo Village put on three music shows and three western shoot-out dramas daily, while working on the Shahan Ranch, clerking at the Village’s various Arts/Crafts and Jewelry stores, and waiting on tables in the large Cantina in between shows.  Happy got his money’s worth while training and promoting young talent.
 
Working and performing at Alamo Village, and the other spots we were sent to entertain at around Texas, was an interesting ’real world’ learning experience.
 
When the movies and television commercials came out to Alamo Village, all of the performers working for Happy got paid by the movie and/or television folks to do bit parts or minor roles in whatever was being filmed.  It was fun, and it looked good on our resumes.
 
My experiences definitely took the shine off of movie making/music making industries, and how seriously the movie makers/music makers take themselves and their created worlds of pretense and vanities fair.
 
But all Human Beings have the tendency to crave self importance and giving importance to their chosen worlds of ’Work and Pretense’.  It’s innate to Our characters.  It’s a seductive hunt, chase, and hunger that we all pursue at one time or another within our ’made important lives’.
 
In fact, we even create Systems and Bureaucracies wherein we bury ourselves beneath endlessly oppressive Paperwork and Managers to prove that we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing (or at least the Bureaucrats’ or Bureaucracies’ versions of what we should be and should not be doing).
 
Our once cherished Individuality is rapidly dying within the pen strokes and computerized binary codes of paper laden Bureaucrats, Bureaucracies and their underlying and/or overshadowing Systems.
 
Grinding Machines and Industries.  Huffing and puffing Pistons and Rods, and stealthy Tooth bearing Cogs.  Stifling and Destroying Individuality, Creativity, and Innovative Thinking and Action.
 
It’s the Way of the World (or so we‘re told - so we‘re force fed).  It’s all about Someone Else’s version of Reality.  Someone Else’s Control and Power.
 
You’re either a Mover and a Shaker or the Moved and the Shaken.
 
An Autograph.  An expression of self important Individuality.  A simple few lines of a Name squiggled on paper at someone else’s request, because they think you’re Special - somehow better than they are - somehow above them.
 
Something inside me has always been uncomfortable with the self important ritual of Autographs.  I never ask for An Autograph.  And in the past, when asked for one, only gave it if I could have the person requesting my autograph, give me An Autograph as well.  An even trade of Mutual Acknowledgement of Life Energies in a specific Space and Time of Appreciation.  An Autograph.
 
After singing at Mr. Nelson’s concert many folks came up to my sisters and I afterwards, and asked for An Autograph.  When I asked them to Autograph my concert flyers as well, many of the folks laughed and asked, “You want my Autograph ?”
 
“I sure do.  I’d like to remember that we Shared this event and the day together, too.”
 
“But I don’t sing.”
 
“That’s alright.  What do you do for a living ?  Carpentry ?  Well, sir, I can’t build a house.”
 
We’d both laugh and I’d give and get An Autograph.
 
However, not Everyone took kindly to my Point of View.  One pretty teenage girl squinted her eyes uncertainly at me and asked,  “What’s wrong with you ?  Are you making fun of me ?”
 
“No ma’am, It’s just that I’m not any more special than you are.  We all have different gifts and talents.  I’m looking for a fair exchange that honors both of us.  One Autograph for another.”
 
“You must be crazy, lady.  You don’t make sense.  I don’t want your crummy Autograph any more.”  And she flipped her long hair dismissively at me and strode away without another word.
 
Throughout my music career and many performances I ran into other folks much like that disappointed young lady.  But it did not change my Point of View.  Even my managers telling me that I was being “ridiculous and self destructive” that I was “undermining myself and the industry” did not deter my Point of View.  It’s also probably one of the reasons that I eventually chose not to be a part of the Music Industry.  All I ever wanted to do was write songs, sing and inspire and entertain folks.  Just that and no more.
 
Life is all about Point of View, and the Truth depends upon where you’re standing at any given Moment.
 
Rich Human/Poor Human, Home Owner/ Homeless, Young/Old, Employed/Unemployed, Man/Woman, Insured/Uninsured/ Hero/Coward, Protector/Assailant, Lucky/Unlucky, Winner/Loser, Prosecutor/Defendant, Lime Light/Lightless, Builder/Destroyer, Lover/Hater, Musician/Non-Musician…….
 
Everyone has An Autograph to Share for one reason or another.
 
What’s Your’s ?

 


   
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Asa2010-06-04 13:21:17
Thanks for sharing this... do you want my autograph?


Leah Sellers2010-06-05 18:04:34
Ha ! Very funny, Sir Asa. I must admit that your quick and poignant wit, and willingness to open the door to the various realities of day to day whimsy are just a couple of the many reasons I enjoy reading your writings.
As for autographs. Sir - to each his or her own - to each his or her Shared Experience - to each his or her own.......
Thanks for all you do Asa.


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