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1. Down By The Tracks
2. Daddy's Tattoo
4. Between the Rock & the Roll
In 1962 my family lived in Corpus Christi, Texas. I was in the fifth grade at Flour Bluff Elementary School.
My father, the late Jessie Brit, was a hard charging, dance hall loving, drinking and dancing grown up East Texas man in his honkytonking prime. My mother Ethel Jean, not so much. By which I mean not at all.
Daddy worked hard building tanks for Costal States Refinery and when the weekend came, well you know the story. It's relived every Friday and Saturday all over the world.
This particular Friday Daddy came in a bit but not too late. Mama greeted him with the usual after the beer joint distain. And since Daddy came in earlier than usual he thought he was making a real effort by not closing the dance hall down. The next morning Mama was still simmering and went shopping and visiting. Well, Daddy was feeling a bit sorry for himself and announced to me and my brother Bobby he was headed to North Beach and going get a tattoo. We would have to go with him because Mama was not home. Now since my Daddy had never talked about a tattoo and had been in the Navy in WW II without acquiring one this was a surprise. In those days tats we usually on ex sailors and a few tough looking guys. No one in either side of our extended family had a tattoo. So off we went.
We arrived at the tattoo shop that was in a pretty seedy cheap tourist bay front area. Daddy explained that he wanted the suits from a deck of cards and a banner reading Born To Lose running through it. My brother and I watched as this went on our Daddy's arm and it seemed that Daddy wore it as badge of honor.
My mother was less than impressed but everyone was over the pain of the argument however Daddy did whine about the tattoo pain a bit.
I grew up seeing that tattoo over and over on those huge forearms he had until it was branded in memory. Still today when things go bad I wonder if there is a genetic connection between the ink and my soul.
Copyright © Mike Childress Music