This Paradox’s Blog

Posted in alabama, Cherokee, mountains, short stories, short story, Uncategorized

As She Lay Dying

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Maw grew up around here. She had seen a lot. She had lived a life and was one of the strongest and meanest women I have ever known.

As She Lay Dying…

It was after her stroke.

On Ancient Cherokee land.

Her own son, as she lay dying… planned how to make more out of her home. He had a strong love affair then. A love affair with money. Still does, I reckon.

He wouldn’t sit with her like the rest of his family. It would cost him too much to take a day off his commercial construction job.

Well, he decided to do some renovations to Maw’s old house to make it sell for more. You, for when she dies. Cause she’s going to. While Maw lay dying in the bed. She could hear the saws cutting her walls, she was forced to live the last months of her life knowing she’d lost control of her own house.

Maw was tired but she couldn’t rest from the sound of the hammers. If she had been able to run him out of the house with her cane, I believe she would’ve. Betrayed by blood. Damn shame it happens all too often with the Cherokee. Back in the day tho, it was punishable.

I was too young to do anything about what happened to Maw as she lay dying. The profit-maker had his way.

The profit maker is no longer my family. He betrayed his own mother. He’s betrayed me.

He’s Godwin in name only…

 

Jamie Godwin

FireKeeper

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in alabama, art, blog, concert, entertainment, music

Alabama Music

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In the last couple of years living on this mountain, I have become well versed in the local music scene. Musicians are everywhere. Alabama has her share of talent sprouting from her land. If you know anything about music history or current music, you know that.

I sank my teeth into Fort Payne, AL some time ago, got to know some of the musicians around Sand Mountain and beyond. Showed up to their shows, introduced some of them on stage, introduced some of them on my radio show, even sang with a few.

I saw Rob Aldridge perform at the DeKalb Theater, a few months after interviewing Adam Hood there. These guys are great Alabama talents, then recently, Guntersville native Joe Cagle opened for a “Rob and the Proponents” show in Huntsville, AL.

I had met Joe, but had never seen him play, so I went to check him out. So old Joe has a really cool combination of “Mumford and Sons” meets Jim Morrison vibe about him on stage. They band was pretty young, made up of the aforementioned Joe Cagle, Jason Murphy, Lee Rosalie, and Jason Mann.

The song “Mountains and Moonshine” was like easy listening for the working man. An unusual combination they somehow pull off. Then later in the set when they played “Live 85” and it went from relaxed to kick ass. I have to say, he made a good showing for Guntersville. I could imagine hearing “So and so… on the radio. He needed a tip jar and some merch, but he had some good originals.  Definitely worth the trip.

Then of course the Robs took the stage. That is Rob Aldridge, lead man of “Rob and the Proponents” and his Steven Tyler-mouthed Rob Malone guitarist.. I didn’t catch the bass players name, he made some joke that didn’t pan out but he was alright.

So Rob Aldridge sat cross-legged on stage and duct taped his lyrics to a speaker like the pro he is, got up and they started rocking. People stopped drinking at the bar and walked up. Made me stop a minute and ask myself “Is this Muscle Shoals music from its Hey Day?”

Their new music is harder rocking and better than their last album “Anything and Everyone” that caught my attention when they opened for the SteelDrivers. Rob Malone’s hair cut is not the only thing that had changed.

Thanks for carrying on the legacy of the Shoals.

Rob Aldridge said he was “really proud of it.” That he and Rob Malone had been “thinking about it (the new album) for a long time.” And I could tell.

I got a lot more to say about Alabama music, its talent, the venues. I actually have blog posts brewing that include an idea for Fort Payne’s alcohol scene, a story about John Wilcox, and the Lake City.

Thank ya, Thank ya,

Jamie Godwin

Posted in alabama, author, blog, Keepingitreal, nature, writer

Rat Maze?

I have curly hair. It has always been a maze of spirals. I felt like “Baby” from “Dirty Dancing.” Kept it shoulder-length, and it bounced when I clogged.

The girl with natural curly hair on “Charlie Brown” made me like having curly hair and I fluffed it up like she did. Seemed to me it was special.

Until, at the tender age of four, or so, the adults in my life started telling me I had rat beds in my hair. What the hell are rat beds and why in the world are they in my hair?

I thought on it. Waited till they told me enough times for it to be believable. We occasionally had rats in the house and I knew what you did with rats. You set the rat trap and killed them. Rats ain’t no good for nothing.

My paw-paw had given us some of his government cheese cause it was real good in scrambled eggs. That’s about the only way I would eat an egg back then, was if it was cheese eggs.

So, little miss here put two and two together and decided that if I had rats living in my hair and it made everybody cuss while they was brushing it, I’d just go right ahead and catch them varmints.

So, I got up out of my mahogany bed after everyone in the house had gone to sleep and put a big chunk of that government cheese in my hair. Right in the back and mashed it in good, real good. Damn those rats for living in my hair, and went back to bed.

The next day when I got up I kinda thought everyone would be proud of me.

I had come up with that all on my own. I was intending to solve the problem. But, turns out they apparently didn’t mean it literally. They should have been more clear. I hated my hair after that for several years.

I hated it when I got lice for being nice to the dirty kid. I hated it when my hairdresser pointed out how dry it was. I hated it when my step mama actually tried to help me fix it.

Now, I love it. It’s a damn shame though I took me till I was a grown up to not give a shit about what they said my hair should be like. It’s the way God made it, I am just the way God made me. And, I think its pretty. It is part of what makes me unique.

I’m still the girl with the maze of curls and I still hate rats.

Jamie Godwin

 

 

 

 

Posted in alabama, art, creative

Lady Liberty

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Hey.  I wanted to take a minute and explain my recent art piece, “Lady Liberty.”

She is made shiny and new along with the freedom she represents.

The world around her is old and covered with patina.

I am an idealist.

Jamie Godwim

 

 

Posted in alabama, author, blog, short stories, short story, writer

Abnormally Turbulent

 

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It was a spring day, abnormally turbulent. A storm system crept up the map like a lake monster and covered the tri-county area.

I stopped to asked a neighbor if they needed help. It was clear they did. Their trailer had been hit. The place looked like a Wal-Mart junk yard. I don’t even know how many people lived in that double wide. Six or eight?

The mama came out and met me at the road. Or, I guess she was the grandma. Her kids had kids. She was dry. She kept asking for her sun visor. She looked like she hadn’t ever missed a meal. But, no. They don’t need no help.

Maybe she’d been laying in the tanning bed too long. That woman needed help bout as bad as anybody I’d ever seen. A kid went running down the dirt road crying. Some big ol gal, obviously her daughter, chased after the kid and whooped her.

“Somebody’s coming in from out-of-town to help us.” She said. “They’ll be here later.” she said.

“What about right now? What about the rest of your shitty life?” ran through my mind, but not my lips.

I went on down the road.

About a month later, I heard she was getting a brand new trailer courtesy of the church or one of the preachers. She’s registered at Wal-Mart.

Hmm… I didn’t get an invitation to the household shower but I wouldn’t have went.

Another a month later, the preacher is kicked out of the church. It was something about sexual misconduct. The fat obnoxious woman is sitting on a new front porch in her sun visor. She didn’t say anything at all and her husband never missed a day of work.

 

Jamie Godwin

 

 

 

Posted in alabama, author, short stories, short story, writer

Story About a Chicken

story about a chicken

 

He was raised on a farm, and tilled the land. Working from sun up to sun down, one of those types. Taught by his mother to pray everyday. As a boy, they barely had enough. The garden was their bounty.

The dust and dirt, he worked. At the age of fifteen, he fell off the tractor and it ran over him, breaking his hip. Round here, fifty years ago, you didn’t go to the doctor. Not for a broken hip. You get up and make it work.

Over time the pain faded but he carried the limp with him the rest of his life.

Fresh back from the war, he met a woman. She looked like Olive Oil. She was nervous and wrought with grief. She carried a baby on her hip and one followed along behind her. As they walked down the road, the child wandered off, never to heard from again. I don’t know her name. No one does.

They married and raised the baby in a necessarily cold home. Ederd got a check and still worked. They always had a garden. Dot helped work it. She toiled over the rows and canned so they would have enough for the winter. She was too afraid to drive to town.

Ederd’s limp got worse. Soon he began sitting outside. Staring over the garden, into the sunset. He couldn’t walk anymore and repeated that routine for a couple of years.

His mean old neighbor gave him a chicken. A cocky little rooster that would sit with him and peck the ground around him. The chicken chased visitors away and was proud of himself. He was too small for the cock fights, but he didn’t know that.

One day, Ederd went to bed. He had one thing on his mind, and one thing only. He was going to die.

Ederd refused food and water. Soon he began to smell. The stench filled the house. But, you better not call the doctor.

He got what he wanted. Seems like he always did.

He called on me before he died. But, he never said why.

The same day the coroner came to peel him from the bed sheets, the rooster also died. Call it a coincidence if you want. They weren’t buried together. But that chicken gave up the spirit on the self-same day.

 

Jamie Godwin

Posted in alabama, country, country music, entertainment, Keepingitreal, leadership, women, women leaders, women in business, lyrics, music, realwoman, tennessee river, Uncategorized

Used to be Radio Host

I left my position as founder of ACR and Radio host of this internet radio station last year. I have been a music lover since childhood and actually tried to play my mama’s acoustic 50’s Gibson SG as a teen.

When my friend from Texas asked me if I wanted to be involved, I thought it would be fun. He lived in Waco at the time and wanted it to be a country music station. I said sure, I’ll help however I can and began producing my own show. The idea of American Crossroads Radio was pretty simple. We discussed how it would be older county and developed a Gospel show for Sundays. We kept it old-timey sort of for a while.

My show though, was to be unique. It was to play hand picked songs by me and include my commentary and stories. I had complete creative control.

First we started out with a three hour time slot on Friday night, then later, due to my other obligations, dropped it down to one hour and it played several times every weekend.

At first it was pretty easy to find songs I liked to play and could come up with something to say to introduce myself to the listening audience. I’m pretty adorable and have intentionally kept my southern accent just the way it is.

After a few shows, I noticed something.

I noticed that it was becoming increasingly difficult to fill 1 out of every 5 songs with a female voice. I thought that wasn’t too much to ask for: one song in every block I produced.

So, I had to dig. I wanted to stay true to the vision of ACR and play older classic country as much as possible but still retain my own creative integrity. I started pulling from other genres to fill the need.

County has always been played in my life in Alabama. I was familiar with the current country music attitude towards women. You hear it in almost every song: “tan legs, get in the truck, drink this, let’s kiss under the moonlight.”

Honestly, we’re more than that.

My friend that invited me to join for no other reason that he believed in me then began cutting me down and calling me names because I chose to play female songs from other genres to fill the gap while he began playing the newer country music.

You can bet I researched Country Music Hall of Fame,  and I was dismayed at the number of strong female role models in comparison to the male inductees.

There’s ya something to think about while you’re driving down the dirt road with the windows down. What kind of message are we sending to the women and young girls?

The last straw was when I played Alicia Keys and was ridiculed. I love her.. and I walked away from ACR. How’s that for full creative control?

I actually had so many listeners at one point my show shut down the TuneIn App, which is really cool so if you’re one of my radio show listeners – THANK YOU!!!

BUT…

How did the fifties way of thinking about women never change? Why is it so hard to change it now?

Jamie Godwin, used to be radio host, now one of the owners at Riverbank Productions.

www.riverbankprouctions.com

Let’s make some good music.

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