Skip to main content

Burnett's to Tulsa

Burnetts's Part 2

The Burnett’s evidently have the gas (not oil) rights beneath Booger Holler in Arkansas. But for sure – they came from this part of Arkansas to Oklahoma -- and  fairly recently in history. Why they have the gas rights and nothing else is a mystery to me, though why not is the obvious answer. I’m sure the truth is just as confusing, it always is.

Before Arkansas, they may, or may not, have been in Tennessee – like I said earlier, we have no history except that which we make – place falls before the altar of personality.

Some of the family have been to the Castle Burnett in Scotland – and though it’s easy to imagine Burnett’s in charge of people, it’s hard to see them putting up with it for too long. When the English attacked, we probably fought on their side, because if our motto isn’t “fuck ‘em,” it ought to be one of the salty variations that spring from well of it.

I don’t remember much about our Arkansas relatives, just nuggets:

I have an Aunt Vone and not many other people do.

I have an Uncle Cory, and when I was a teenager my parents threatened to leave me with him for the summer. He offered to pay me to work on his farm,  “A dollar a day and free haircuts.” (This was not an attractive offer in the late 60”s).

Atkins Arkansas is the “Pickle Capitol of the World.”

My Uncle Hobart might have been the biggest man I’ve ever met – scary big when you are five.

I don’t know how the Burnet’s got to Tulsa, but I do know they circled around it a bit first. Towns like Okmulgee, Vinita, Pawhuska and Inola come to mind from family rumbles over the years. They moved a lot, and at each house they moved to, (or chicken shack in at least one case,) grandfather Burnett salted with oil a forty-foot area around it to kill every living thing. I guess he worried about fires, or hated yard work.

They came for the oil boom – bigger than big back then. Then some stuff happened, and then I was born. The end.

As I write this I realize I don’t know enough about these people to make it up. My grandmother had five kids – Jim, Bill, Esta Lee, Randall and Linda – in that order. I know that my mom started the great depression and that the family needed Linda like, “they needed a hole in the head.” I know that Grandpa spent the early depression flat on his broken back, and that he made my grandmother cry – a lot. That’s not much of a tale to tell – I think I’ll pick the story up later when I’m in it.


Popular posts from this blog

Only once

For clarity, I think I will write this only once.I do not write confessional poetry, and I do not write things down as a form of therapy. I write because I have something unique to say in a unique sort of way, a way that I think is universal in an analogous manner, not as any sort of literal or digital telling of the truth.  I trowel spackle onto pages with a edged blade, I don’t paint aging widows with a brush. (My soul has been psychedelicized, but this shit’s not about me.)It comes in this form – that this relates to that, in this way – A form that I think illustrates things that are too true to be looked at straight on – personal truths that are usually discovered through interactions with other people – truths that are often relational, unreliable and subject to the weavings and debris of human beings. Truths that sneak out and become a miraculous surprise of insight – like a Zen master hitting you on the head with a baseball bat at just the right time.I don’t think I’m the only …

Wedding and Funeral

Went to a wedding and a funeral this weekend with Mary. Sacramento, Santa Rosa, then home– a whirlwind trip through weekend bay area traffic. The traffic was horrible – life changing horrible, but not unusual.
As with most things, it’s a balance of an the unnamed terror and an easy chair in a padded room that rocks. 
The wedding was delightful, part of an interconnected strong woman’s club that marries off their daughters to provably weaker men. And so, the cycle continues, but the company was nice and I’m too old to wonder at the process anymore.
The funeral was for another interconnected strong woman, who, by hinkey or dinky, was a scary woman that I used to work with as a nurse. She would have been surprised that I outlived her, much as Charles the cat was. Please pay attention out there – this is how life works.
(To be fair, she didn’t put up with shit and I liked to throw handfuls of it around as if I were Christ standing on the back of a broken piñata heaving candy cigarettes to the…

Jingo is as Jingo does

After I avoided watching that Zany new program, ‘Homeland’ on TV today, I told Mary:
“Someday when we as a nation are down and out and struggling for a bit of understanding and mercy our new overlords will pull out a show like Homeland and say, “this is when you had a chance to change things.”
The things that we do, and the attitudes we take while doing them, will all be used against us on the way down, and everyone goes down eventually. The barbarians will have their scribes repeat our own words to us and then say them out loud to our children as they do the things to us that we have done to them.
We are so powerful that we cannot see anything from anyone else’s point of view, and if we could, it would hold no value to us. Just as we now think that one American life is worth 60 Iraqis, our eventual fall will reflect a different changing math game of attitudes that our educational system has ill prepared us for. We will also become confused because all the words coming out of their m…