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fifty ain't so old

I am the oldest of three siblings born of Janice and Billy, the younger two being bratty little brothers named David Lee and T Harold respectively. They couldn't be more different if they tried...I'm just sayin'.

Bubba turns 50 today, Big Ernie willing and the creek don't rise. Ours has been a gradual meet and greet over the years, each of us learning to embrace the past and work to preserve it for the future that is our family heritage. The one birthday of his that stands out in my mind is when he was about five and had pneumonia. He sat on the fireplace in his jammies looking like the really sick little kid that he was and blew out the candles on his birthday cake. I believe there was some significant snow the night that he turned six and went to the hospital under Dr. Don's supervision. He continued to be treated by that good hearted pediatrician until he was about thirty.

He and Daddy roam the farm everyday checkin' on the cows and what not. Between 'em they've got three trucks and a tractor to care for the cattle and the land that we call home. Don't tell anybody but we've got clean ditches to carry the rain downhill. I think my Bubba might have had something to do with that little irrigation project. I will thank him every time the trusty old Camry doesn't have to drive through the lake that was formerly the end of Pecan Lane. Really!

Me and my brother spent an intense year or so up at the club formerly known as Velocity and then Midnight Rodeo and I can't complain a bit because I heard a lot of kickass live music for free and met some very interesting people all because I am Bubba's sister. Mama sent me this joke one time about the Pope and it goes something like this.

^j^ ^j^ ^j^ ^j^ ^j^

Bubba was bragging to his boss one day, "You know, I know everyone there is to know. Just name someone, anyone, and I know them."

Tired of his boasting, his boss called his bluff, "OK, Bubba how about Tom Cruise?"

"Sure, yes, Tom and I are old friends, and I can prove it." So Bubba and his boss fly out to Hollywood and knock on Tom Cruise's door, and sure enough, Tom Cruise, shouts, "Bubba! Great to see you! You and your friend come right in and join me for lunch!"

Although impressed, Bubba's boss is still skeptical. After they leave Cruise's house, he tells Bubba that he thinks Bubba's knowing Cruise was just lucky.

"No, no, just name anyone else," Bubba says.

"President Clinton," his boss quickly retorts.

"Yes," Bubba says, "I know him, let's fly out to Washington."

And off they go. At the White House, Clinton spots Bubba on the tour and motions him and his boss over, saying, "Bubba, what a surprise, I was just on my way to a meeting, but you and your friend come on in and let's have a cup of coffee first and catch up." Well, the boss is very shaken by now, but still not totally convinced.

After they leave the White house grounds, he expresses his doubts to Bubba, who again implores him to name anyone else.

"The Pope," his boss replies. "Sure!" says Bubba.

"My folks are from Poland, and I've known the Pope a long time."

So off they fly to Rome. Bubba and his boss are assembled with the masses in Vatican Square when Bubba says, "This will never work. I can't catch the Pope's eye among all these people. Tell you what, I know all the guards so let me just go upstairs and I'll come out on the balcony with the Pope." and he disappears into the crowd headed toward the Vatican. Sure enough, half an hour later Bubba emerges with the Pope on the balcony. But by the time Bubba returns, he finds that his boss has had a heart attack and is surrounded by paramedics.

Working his way to his boss' side, Bubba asks him, "What happened?" His boss looks up and says, "I was doing fine until you and the Pope came out on the balcony and the man next to me said, "Who's that on the balcony with Bubba?"

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