transmitting from "just east of the west"

RadioFreeTEXAS presents:

Crowley, some Aleister

I grew up in Crowley, Texas, population 583 (1960). Nobody seemed to know why the town had that name. Years later I find it was named for the railroad bigshot who setup the encampment for the railroad laborers. With its humble beginnings, it was a real company town. The railroad was built, the town grew, civil servants proliferated, and I showed up (1952).

To me, the son of a Tax Collector and his beautiful wife (a cosmetologist) the town was filled with contradiction. Good people were supposed to go to church on Sunday, even if they were gonna go to the lake that afternoon and get drunk. God himself had appeared to a tax collector, who repented his EVIL ways and became a spokes-person for The Church, and I learned early on that beauty, though only skin deep, could also be a lucrative business.

As for the Magic, I didn't really notice too much. Seems to me all the cloaking of information, be it for religeous matters, state security, or whatever, was counter-productive to what we were trying to do at learn stuff.

I began a search for 'new' religion about age 15...hell, I had a driver's license and who could deny a kid the right to look around for God, if he couldn't seem to find Him in town. My lifelong association with the Presbyterian church was soon to be over. It was basically because I could not swallow a premis my sunday school teacher(also my aunt) tried to teach me. She quoted that part of the Bible where "because Cain had killed his brother, God had put a mark on his skin.........that's how come we have niggers.....the color of their skin was to be a warning, a sign from God himself that inside this dark skin lived something truly evil.

I could not go for that.......I was on the hunt for new digs. I had been to the Baptist church and seen their deal.....If you hold somebody under water long enough, sure, their life flashes before their eyes......sort of a pastorally marshalled near death experience, that would give anyone who survived it a new beginning. So I skipped the Baptist church in Crowley and pressed on.

The, If they had really figured out a 'method' that works, then all those kids I knew from school would have been better behaved. I had observed their method of worship as a guest of the family down the street, but it looked much like the place I had started. One thing though, dancing was ok with them, but they didn't incorporate it into their service like the Holy Rollers I had watch from the hay-field next to their place.

I asked around about the Episcopals.....and was told the were sorta like Methodists for whom drinking was cool. Sounded good to me. The only service I attended was a shock. Guys wearing long goldie spangled robes and some sort of helmet looking thing, followed down the isles by kids filling the room full of acrid smoke from a brass pot on a fishing pole. I couldn't breathe. Maybe it was another type of NDE via suffocation.

After looking around for a few months, and finding my ritual and gossip, I guess I sorta lost interest. It wasn't till years later that I experienced a bit of personal strangeness. Upon relaxing on the couch at my Mom's, I found myself in a peculiar dream......... I'm in the back seat of a yellow car. Well, first of all, I'm a Texan, and a Male Texas at that. We drive.....we don't ride in the back. I realized I was dreaming and thought to myself "hey!, You don't usually know your dreaming when your dreaming, but your dreaming now and you DO know it.........this ought to be fun....enjoy this one.

I'm in the back seat of this yellow car....... I had just sold my 1970 (yellow) Toyota Celica in advance of moving to NY City. Ok, I thought, Im in the back of MY car, but who is driving? The guy had a really gruff voice......very curt with me......and when he turned to ask me "Where you going?" his face was unfamiliar and unshaven. I had a hard time making out the workds he spoke, but finally figured out he was asking me where to go. I fished in my shirt pocket and produced a scrap of paper..."624" I said, "624 West 72nd".

He drove like a madman, throwing me from side to side in the back of MY car. It was beginning to piss me off. Again he badgered......."Where you go?, huh?" I returned fire "624 Wset 72nd" I searched for somthing to hold on to. Then something outside the car changed. It seemed so strange to me. On my right was a beautiful meadow. Huge trees, flowing grassland, but behind them, even larger buildings. Off in the distance there were huge buildings. My attention turned to my left and again I was given a start. Just across the street from this wonderland of 'near forest' proportion was a massive city. The buildings seemed to reach up forever. I was only 24 years old , but I had been to the city. Fort WOrth has some pretty big buildings and Dallas, now that was abig city.

While I was busy with my amazement, I was flung into the right hand door as Mister Gruff hooked a hard left. What a strange place this was. We were on a one wasy street and one side of the street (the left) was covered in cars. On the other side of the street was nothing but places to park. How strange? Everybody is parked on the wrong side of the street. When you go?" he belched again. "624 West 72nd" I retaliated. He stopped a moment and thrust ahead a few yards down the street.

He stopped the car, got out and opened the trunk, threw my stuff on the ground and held out his palm. Next thing I knew he was gone, and I was standing in front of a building with a sort of small patio just below street level. Above the door was the number 624. This must be the place. I grabbed by bags and walked slowly down the steps to the door. I rang the doorbell and very shortly the door swung open. Before me were two beautiful women. I told you, It WAS a dream. The girl of the left was tall, thin, with whispy blond hair. Her eyebrows seemed thin, delicate. On the right, the other woman was (of course) another beautiful blonde. Yet her beauty was of a different nature. Classic round breasts, long blond hair seemed to dwarf her shorter frame. Someone said "You must be Gary..Come in." I awoke on the couch in my Mom's living room and though to myself.....nice dream..... two blondes!

A week later a caught a ride to New Mexico for what was planned as a one week vaction before my arrival in NYC. I was soon to be off to the big city, but I was gonna chase that Austin blonde for one more week before the move. The week in Taos was uneventful, but before departing the airport to fly to JFK, I called my friend John in New York. Our plans were set. His friend Roy (who was a big-shot at the NYC public TV station) would be bringing him to meet me at the airport. I gave him the flight number and felt assured that things would be easier from here-on.

After a couple of hops to regional airports the pilot announce that we were circling JFK. In my excitement, I peered out the window on my left and saw ocean....nothing but ocean. Looking the other way, I could only see sky. I hoped the pilot knew what he was doing. We arrived at JFK shortly thereafter. Up the ramp and in to the terminal, I was searching for the face of my college buddy, John and reading signs to figure out how to get to the baggage claim area.

When I finally arrived at the baggage area something occured to me. I was the only person in sight. I walked toward the baggage handler, a huge oval of grinding metal, in fear of haveing already had my bags( 2 suitcases and 2 guitars) stolen, There was nobody there but me. To my amazement, my belongings awaited my circling slowly on the worn metal oval. "Great!" I though, I grabbed my stuff as quick as I could, not wanting to wait for another revolution of the handler. Then It struck me. "Where is John? and Roy? WHere's my greeting party?" There was no one. I managed to get my stuff together, one guitar and one suitcase with each hand and walked toward the signage. "Telephones this way." OK, they probably just got delayed. I had better call just in case...

I called John's apartment. "God, I'm so glad you called. Roy can't get a car, it was a crazy news day here in the city and there just isn't a car available at the station. You cn take a cab from there faster than I could come and get you, and Neuryev is dancing at the Met, so take a cab....don't pay more than $20 and I'll be back almost before you get here."

"Almost?" I hesitated. "Look, my friends Sandy and ANdy live a couple of doors down from me and Sandy is home. She is expecting you. Let me give ou her address. It is 624 W 72st. Sorry we missed picking you up, but I'll be just moments behind you." What could I say.....I scribbled down the address and hung up the phone. A cab? I had seen them in movies, I could figure this out. Looking around the terminal I began to feel better. At least now there were others walking about and the fear of 'alone' was passing. I dragged my gear toward the light and saw a sign through the glass. "Cab Stand", it said. I approached slowly and saw no cars. Then someone darted out a door ahead of me and walked briskly to the stand. I cab screached to a halt, the cabbie threw the bags in the trunk and they wer off. Someone else managed to get there before me and they too were wisked away as I arrived at the cab stand.

When I finally put my stuff down on the sidewalk, a shiny yellow cab pulled up. The driver ran to the curb, grabbed my luggage(my guitars!)chuked them into the trunk, and slammed the lid. "He's got my stuff, I better go with him." It seemed I was barely inside the cab and we were gone. I'm thinking "He is hauling ass and he doesn't een know where I want to go." The cabbie was of some soft of middle eastern guy with a heavy growth of beard from not shaving a few days.

"Where you go?" he rumbled... "What?" my studied reply. "East side/West side? Where you go?" Now to be realy honest about this, I was too busy trying to hold on as Super Mario lead-footed his way into Manhattan. But as we turn on to Central Park West someing changed. To my right. Central PArk in all its glory. Beyond it was the East Side. To my immediate left was what would be my 'neighborhood' for the next 2 years.

The ride had been a seeming verbal assault from Cabbie McGruff laced with prro driving skills and his own death-wish driving style. He made left on 72nd. "Where you go?" he bellowed. This is really starting to piss me off. "624 West 72nd"! When I saw the cars parked on the left side of the street only (something they call 'alternate side of the street parking', I was stunned. My God, It IS that silly dream! It all cam flooding back. The park, the sky scrapers, the freakin' beligerent cabbeie. Now what? The blondes!....eVER ONWARD...MOrE BLODES!

Across the intersection at Columbus Ave, and we were there. He slammed the transmission in park, jummped out, and threw my bags on the curb. I meter read $14 and change. I gave him a twenty and waited. He left. Lucky I hadn't given him anything larger. Now what happens?, Oh yeah, blondes!. I took a deep breath and hit the steps down to the sub street level patio that was the front porch at 624. Ring the bell, the door swings inward, and of course, there they are. JoAnn, on the left, Sandy on the right. The descriptions need not be repeated. "You must be Gary, come on in, how was your flight? I was still flying!

John's arrival was pretty quick, although after the sudden realization of the nonlinear nature of time, I had some studying to do.........I've been studying ever since.

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