“One For the Money, Two For the Show….”

..Three to get ready, now, go, Cat, go!!!

Goals are like rules, meant to be agonized over and pondered and parsed and pummeled and pounded and discarded and then, darn it, plucked right back out of the bin and dusted off for a rethink!


So let’s get after it!


One for the Money!  Practically, Blogging gets me in the game and having folks not just read, but critique and think and offer their own thoughts, and even head down their own new paths, well, that’s the best sort of currency (albeit, maybe more of a barter system…!)  Comments (good or bad or offhand) are my way of keeping score!  As for a concrete amount, I’m flummoxed, as clearly, some (again, good or bad or offhand) have way more value than others…..and THAT depends on the day!


Two for the Show!  Using the format and clever prompts so graciously served up by the Happiness crew, my aim is to play with words, play with style, and be satisfied I crafted something worthy of carrying forward.  So practically, I aim to write five days weekly, produce a piece of a puzzle or a complete picture.


Three to get Ready!  Moments abound.  Ripe and ready for the picking, and poised for the telling.   The prompts decide which story to tell, but that weird bubbly feeling in my belly tells me I’m flush with a few!





(Decided my Blog Title this go’round is “Let ‘er Rip!”  Who knows WHERE that will take us?!)



Belles and Whistles (Pobre Tomat)










“Cuttin’ It Fine”

“I’ll Fly Away….”


Grandpap, that spiky white-haired feller’s always plumb full o’ tales and recollections.  Part of this family’s entertainment come evenin’ is to get him a’goin’.  Don’t take much, just a prod here and over there, then I tell you what, he’s off to the races and all us kids, all we Goodwells, well, we all look to one another with that special deep eye smile what speaks of knownin’ and not a’guessin’.

That his recallin’ gits grander with ever’ tellin’, why, that just adds to the jolly-fication.  We don’t mind one iota.

And this here grandson o’his, why, I take it all fer gospel, you bet.  My Grandpap, he’s lived hisself a long and robust life.  Over and over again.  Them memories o’ his sing out deep strong!

Here’s one o’ my favorites.

And I’ll swear (don’t tell Mama) I will hereby lay down pen to paper an honest recountin’, faithful and true, jest the way Grandpap recounted it to all we Goodwells.  On more’n one occasion.

That I cain’t account fer Grandpap’s po-tential stretches of them truths, well, that jest don’t count fer much. Way I figure is he’s jest a rememberin’ a little more each tellin’.

Fine by me.

So here’s the deal.

Our family, we Goodwells, we long been stalward residents of Denton County, Missouri, up north o’ Kansas City and east some of St. Joe.  Grandpap was born here, and his grandpap, and even his grandpap before.  We lived high on the hill and high on the hog, we lived in the river bottoms with no livestock ‘tall to speak of.  But all the while, we been kit and kin and tied tight like families is s’posed, and our history is wove through the history of this here durned county and state theyselves.

Ain’t a slew o’ recollections ’bout Grandpap’s grandpap’s grandpap.  Only he come over from Scotland with him a German wife, settlin’ here long ‘fore near anyone else but Osages and Wyandottes.  Claimed them a little bit o’land and built them a little bitty cabin down to the bottom of a right purty green hill.  Remains o’which we Goodwells, we play in and out of right regular.

Brother Lawrence, he burned some o’ the logs fer a weenie roast when he was knee high to a tall Indian.  Let’s jest say he ain’t never makin’ THEM sort o’plans a’gin.

Well, Grandpap’s Grandpap, he fought in the War ‘Tween the States, Confederate blue through and through.  Fought firm ‘gainst his own kin who took they the Union side.  He was known fer the ac-cumulation of all the Goodwell land stretchin’ near county line to county line and clear to the top o’ that purty hill and beyond.  He was known too,  fer these massive potlucks, set up out ‘neath a grove o’ oaks  up on that there hill, beaconin’  Goodwells far and wide ever’ Sunday afternoon come summer, Union or Reb.

Then, they was Grandpap’s daddy.  Hear tell, he was some sort of trouble, renegade and cowboy, a’livin’ the Wild West clean with shootouts and dancin’ gals out to Kansas and Colorado.  Made it back eventual, less the bottom half o’a leg, married the daughter o’ the judge, ‘n then raised hisself a slew o’boys, Grandpap bein’ the apple o’his eye.

‘Course next they came Langston Goodwell, my Grandpap.  Famous far and wide, and near all ‘cross this beloved state clean to the Mississip’, well, he’s always been known as a hard worker, a straight shooter, a smooth talker, and faithful friend to all mankind, and ladies and children and animals, too.

He also per-fected his own daddy’s recipe for a real good ‘shine.

And this is where our story commences.


“Oh, Glory!”


“Cuttin’ it Fine!”

Hi, Everybody!

(Does anyone else get a “Simpsons’ moment” when they say that in their heads?)


Thanks for stopping by.  I’m using the Blogging 101 and 201 exercises to stretch my work a little.  It’s a great way to organize thoughts and play with words and styles.

I’ve been working on speaking through my Dad, relating old family stories (and variations of the same) for a year or so.  Thanks for any comments you may have.  One day, I may publish in a more cohesive and formal manner.  For now, though, I’m actually eager to just get them all out there.

Three goals

1.  Gather the family tales.

2.  Goad my daddy into telling me more!

3.  Guarantee they’re written in his voice!

There are heaps and piles, so I just keep pushin’ in that shovel, and tossin’ it over my shoulder.  Who KNOWS what’ll come flyin’ out!




Whoppers and Yarns and Story-tellin’


We’re havin’ us some time, aren’t we?

Some o’you I met, some o’you I ain’t.  And if I ain’t, why, howdy-do!

A red-bloodied USA American boy, it’s 1942, I live in Denton County Missouri, one’ o’whole slew o’family I got one end the county to the other’n.  I’m thirteen, got me seven rascal brothers and even rascallier sisters.  I got a brother Lincoln, he rides rodeo.  I got a brother Lawrence handsomer than the Devil hisself and muscles bulgin’ and tensin’ top o’his head to his dirty feet,  and a big ol’ smile drawin’ girls like flies.

He seems to like that.

I got me a sister Livvie who giggles and prisses and dances like a demon when ain’t nobody lookin’.

Luce, she’s another sister.  Tougher than a junkyard dog.  Don’t be crossin’ her at night nor any other time neither. You’ll thank me.

Loreen, she’s ten.  She keeps to herself most times.  She’s a deadeye with a weapon, let me tell you.

Louis and Lawton, they’s the twins, aged seven.  Havin’ them two ’round’s like swattin’ flies, they don’t do nothin’ but pester and buzz in yer ears.   And they’re plumb sneaky, them two.

And me, I’m stuck between Luce  and Loreen.

My name’s Liam and I got me some tales to tell.





Like White on Rice-Grandpap’s Revery

(Take your time, these words go down better deliberate and slow…..)



Grandpap’d sit all us Goodwells down near ever night.  Jest fer a spell, he’d say, jest fer a spell.  Most always ’twas just Grandpap holding court, requirin’ only we be real good listeners and  answer the odd question, when the situation called for.  Weren’t no discussion. really,  so much as a ponderation of the world hindsight and henceforth.  Lord A’Mighty, and I ain’t cussin’, I’m callin’ down His praises, we durned reveled and delighted in these come-togethers.

Sometime’s, Grandpap,  he’d be a’totin’ his Bible. and don’t never place anything on a’top his Bible, not even a Sunday School quartlerly.  You’ll get some attention right now, I tell you what!  And o’course, them lessons was fine.  Can’t never find ana-thang askance when it comes to the Word o’ God.  Sometime other, he’d fairly poke finger holes in some disappointin’ bit in the Denton County  newspaper.  ‘Shore don’t see eye to eye with them Republican fatcats, Grandpap did not.  “See here?” he’d seethe?  “See here?”  Them lessons was more’n likely pepper hot, all us kids suckin’ in guffaws and waterin’ out our eyeballs.  

Like as not, though, he’d pull his woodcarvin’ tool out his overhall pocket, a special skinny blade give from his own Grandpap last century or so, then he’d go to commencin’ t’whittlin’, say,  a pair of hound dogs for Lewis and Lawton, or a proper shim for that crookedy dinin’ table.  All the while just a’shootin’ the breeze.  Whatever come to mind.  Them times is always, time past and comin’ a’fore, my clear on favorite.

Wudn’t never a time o’ year, nor a time o’day what couldn’t be used for the family gatherin’.  Now’days, neither.

Come Summertime evenin’s, we, all us kids, we’d stretch out on the almost-soft wide-bladed crabgrass huggin’ the base all ’round the big ol’ oak out back.  Now, Livie, she claimed grasses (and mowin’, and scads o’other things) made her sneeze, so she’d bring herself a blanket, tucked and smoothed and stretched and laid out just so.  Layin’ down flatbacked,  the rest us kids was scattered over here and over there, and near most ever’where, seein’ as there’s eight o’us children most times. We’d be a’gazin’ up at the purple twilight, maybe even chewin’ on a blade of that grass.  Mama and Daddy, they’ll slide up a chair from the back porch or old stump forgoin’ the choiceness of the yard.

Mama don’t like to dirty her dress if she don’t have to.  And Daddy don’t abide her sittin’ alone much.

And Grandpap, he’s like t’grab his ol’ three-legged milkin’ stool out the barn.  It’s a Summertime signal, that is.  We get all lit up when we see him anglin’ somewhere r’other with that ol’ thing.

Then there comes Wintertime.  Jest as heartwarmin’, with jest a little more crowdin’, seein’ as we all tuck inside ’round or near the woodstove for heat and comfort.  My spot’s just behind the parlor divan, neither too hot nor too cold, and hid from most the other children.  I had room to grab my knees and close my eyes, and jest see them tales Grandpap’d share.  Now, here, Grandpap sits in his favorite rockin’ chair, the one fairly forsaken of its fluff.  His bony backside plum wore that thing to near flat, but he does love it. And none o’us kids dare land there, ‘less he’s gone to town, plum outta shoutin’ range.   Mama and Daddy, they sit holdin’ hands like them folks down to the picture show, or like Livie used to do with that sly ol’ Nick down to the Arnold Brothers’ Feed and Seed.  I seen her. Turned my stomach upside itself. 

Springtime and Falltime, at the breakfast table, or long after supper’s been cleared, why, they’s catch as catch can regardin’ the time and location of our family gatherin’s.  Don’t make none o’us no mind, though.  Long as we got Grandpap.

Long as he gets stirred up, we don’t give no nevermind a’tall.

Long as we’re, all us Goodwells,  daisy-chained one to t’other.

Brings to mind that one time Grandpap settled in with one o’ his reminisces from his younger, youthful days.

He reminds us ever’ now and then his hair didn’t always be silver gray, it was once as red as Lewis and Lawton’s is now.  And Grandpap ain’t one to lie.  Still remains fair hard to believe and I give him my sideways squint when he goes there.  

This time, he just let slip a cackle and moved right on, then frosted over.  Some haze o’ historified recollection overtook his mind.

“It was ’bout this time o’year Deputy Sheriff Meyer P.D. Higham run his o’l Model T Po-lice car up to the house, hollerin’ ‘The Revenuers!  They’s comin’,  Langston, they’ll be here tomorrow!’  Little sideways grin, then,  eyeballs refocused, pinpointed on ours, “I ever give you that ex-position?”

You bet he had!  As we was, all us Goodwells, ready to re-hear it again!

Lord A’Mighty!  (And I ain’t cussin’, but don’t tell Mama.)







Like White on Rice

Blogging! WHAT?!

I’m eager to get my arms around this, although this is just free-thinking.  Choosing three goals, just ASKING me to choose three goals, gives me guidance….and opens the world even more.

Succinctly, and simply, then….

I am writing a blog because I WANT:

1.  …..To remember and document our “Family Story,”  as wide and broad and narrow and minuscule and messy and precise and all-over-the-map as it is!  It may become a book.  It may become a weekly blog.  It may be hidden away in a box for the next generation or the next.  But mostly, the story can’t be lost.

2…….To share and broadcast those stories, encouraging others to think within and without the bounds of these little moments.  There’s just something heartwarming about sharing a moment without even knowing it!  My heart warms near to overheating when I DO know!

3……To get it all in!  So many stories, so little time!  I need encouragement and honest comment.  It’s gas in my tank, battery life in my phone, cupcakes in my tummy!


So, I shall begin.  I don’t know what I don’t know, but I’ll accept any and all comment and aid!  

Be well, friends!