Excerpt from my short story "The bad, bad luck of Judson Worley"
“It all started back in the spring o’ the year of our lord nineteen hundred and fifty two; howdy-doo, a fine year that was right enough, right e-nough! I - and Jud for that matter - was twenty one years young, Harry S. Truman was sittin’ in the White House, Al Martino and Frankie Laine were on the radio; those were the days boy, those. Were. The. Days! Heee-hoooo! ‘Course, the town o’ Makersville weren’t much more’n a dirt track back in those days, but still, a fine time to be alive, a fine time! Anyhows, ‘round that time, Old Pop Worley, Judson’s daddy, gave that boy his first gee-tar – a real junker, must o’ been sittin’ around in the old Worley house since, oh, before anyone could remember. Now, before I go on, I gotta tell ya – Judson Worley, good enough feller though he was, wasn’t quite all there upstairs, ya hear me? In other words, that boy was a simpleton; had the brain o’ a child, true enough. Now, Me an’ him grew up together round these parts, but I never saw much o’ that boy after he started playing that gee-tar, save whenever I took a walk past the jetty down by the river on the east side o’ town; Jud was down there every single day I heard, sittin’ with his feet danglin’ in the water, pluckin’ at that old gee-tar. Sounded like hell, boy couldn’t play a damn thing, but what ya gonna do, he seemed to be enjoyin’ his self so everybody jus’ left him to his own business. This went on for, oh, a month or so. Then one night - a Saturday in the month o’ May I think it was – I was sittin’ here, at this very bar! ‘Course, in them days, this place was jumpin’ on the weekend, hooo-haaa! Town might o’ been nothin’ but a dirt track, but it was our dirt track, ya get me? So I was sittin’ here, right here, when I heard a commotion down in back. That meant jus’ one thing an’ one thing only – the band was comin’ on! Heee-haaaw! Now, rest of the good ol’ US of A was doin’ they thing and doin’ it good, but round these parts… well we play the blues, the blues, and nothin’ but the blues, ya hear me boy? So, it was Saturday night, every feller in town lookin’ to blow off some steam, and sure enough, local band by the name o’ “The River Snakes” strode up on the stage. As was the usual, everyone in the place was up on they feet, a hootin’ and a hollerin’ ready to forget what ails ‘em and have a darn good time, ya hear? But then… well, sends a shiver down ma spine thinkin’ about it even now, all these years later, but… well, who strode up on that stage right alongside the River Snakes, clutchin’ a bran’ new Fender electric gee-tar – a Tele-ma-caster or some such – yeah, you guessed it son, it was Jud Worley!"