In the ‘Things that Work’ category and a blast from the past.
After more than a year I finally got around to installing our small instant hot water heater in the upstairs shower area. Since my brother-in-law’s arrival here a few months ago we have had two units. Formerly we had been hauling one device between Xico and Puerto.
Before Permanent Installation – A HOT Item!
The installation went smoothly – also in part thanks to my BIL’s arrival. He brought a very handy tool. One that has never been part of my arsenal of many tools (located in many places).
Tidy Installation replete with holes in block wall
A hammer drill, also known as a rotary drill, is truly an indispensable tool in Mexico. This device has the unique ability to hammer and drill carbide tip masonry bits into cement. A task as simple as hanging a picture can be quite frustrating here in Mexico. You see the ubiquitous concrete and block walls are not receptive to nail pricks – at all.
A small Tapcon screw device can be installed using a standard hand drill motor and bit (maybe) – but substantial holes absolutely require the hammer drill. If you are moving to Mexico don’t leave home and head here without it!
When I started writing this piece I was listening to Merle Haggard music. I had not dug out any of my collection of his huge catalog of music in a while. When I do listen to any of his music I am reminded of his great talent.
I have eclectic taste in music to say the least; I was in the music making business as my prime career venue for many years. The love of music may or may not be inherent, but for sure if you have that bug it never goes away.
A Confession – I like Country Music! I worked with some of the greats in that musical genre: Buck Owens, Glen Campell, Leon Russel. Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, Kris Kristofferson, Wanda Jackson, and Jerry Reed just to name a few. It is hard to single out one great act from the many. However Merle Haggard certainly rates high on my list.
Haggard has as pure voice as any in his field. He has an incredible amount of product out there – and it is all good in my estimation.
Yes, I have a few excellent Merle stories to tell – but I think they are best saved to when he has left the planet (perhaps best when we both have left to bring it out One story I can tell goes back to the early 70’s.
At that time we at Capitol Records had recently built a remote recording console. I headed up much of the technical end as well as the ergonomic design of what was a pretty unique piece of gear in those days. A virtual maiden voyage for the console was a trip to Bakersfield from Hollywood. Merle Haggard was hosting a party for Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys at his house (plantation might be a better descriptor).
I think the house was modeled after the mansion Tara from the film “Gone with the Wind”. Really!
The famous King of Western Swing Bob Wills was wheel chair bound and not in good health. He would live just a short time after this event. It was an honor to meet him and listen to Merle and the Texas Playboy’s band honor Wills that weekend. I actually saw Wills giving Merle a few tips on fiddle playing – (please indulge my nostalgia here).
King of Western Swing – Bob Wills
I cannot recall if any of those recordings made it to release. But I remember Merle playing some fine fiddle and recall my being wowed by his rich voice; as I am still to this day. I also continued my education on just how much cowboys love to party!
Haggard circa 2009
Merle who has been married five times was married to Bonnie Owens (Bucks former wife – oh those country boys!) at the time. She was a great talent as well and as I recall a very gracious hostess and generally kind person.
Well, a man’s gotta give up a lot to keep a woman satisfied
You gotta give ‘em everything you’ve got or they’ll kick you aside
It don’t take much they take ‘em home with ye
It takes a whole lot to keep ‘em there with ye
A man’s gotta give ‘em some ground to keep ‘em around.
Some lyrics from “Man’s Gotta Give Up A Lot” song by MERLE HAGGARD
We were set up in the garage with the recording equipment – recording ‘blind’ as the band was in the house somewhere. I believe Merle’s trains did track out to the garage however. A great lover of trains, full size and models alike,
Merle had track designed into his entire house! The track traveled from room to room. On this day the large scale trains, O Gauge I think, included flatbed railway cars loaded with cocktails that traveled throughout the casa waiting to be unloaded. CC water back or tequila sunrise delivered by rail
Merle Haggard is now a legend and still out there somewhere playing music – that is very cool! Stay Tuned!