A Random Image

A bunch of stuff you prolly won’t give a shit about, but I’m occupied and that’s what counts.

First off, Glory Girl wins the Piggly Wiggly tee-shirt contest, WOO! She told me a juicy secret (which I will yell, “I knew it, I knew it before alla y’all!” about later on, but for a price I can mum’s the word for now), she got her number in the hat and Scouty drew her out. Thanks to all twenty of you for entering and occupying some of my more-than-plentiful spare minutes. I forgot how good the response to these contest-thingies are, as I’ve not done an official TACKY PACKtm in some time.

I have time on my hands! And empty priority mail boxes! And all manner of pre-purchased kitsch! Who knows what mayhemian pursuits may result??

So this morning I opened my inbox (yessss, you people, I do sometimes do that) and found an e-mail asking if I might be interested in contributing to a modest little compendium of stories by Southerin Bloggahs. Sure, I might, as I’ve not been ‘officially’ published in several, several years and this might be a jumping off point to get me back in the game. Er, so to speak. Plus, it sounds like plain ole fun and I’ll likely get a free book outta it. Adam asked those of us he e-mailed to peruse our archives or scribble something fresh, our pick. I set to combing through the five years’-worth of vast, wordy warrens I’ve erected and taking notes, intent on letting you guys help me decide by way of popular (and the pimply, unpopular others of you) vote.

I’m a giver like that. And I love me some Muffinasses!

Early on in my muddling about, I came across this entry, which is about a ‘Gypsy’ boy named Tommy Gorman and my fifteen-year-old despair at having been star-crossed lovers. If you know anything at all about Travellers and the Traveller culture, you know that in one clan you can find fifty or so folks with the exact same names, i.e. Tommy Gorman, Mikey Carroll, Pete Sherlock. As adept as I am at rooting people out of the ether, even if I wanted to find my Tommy, it would be nigh on impossible, given the Traveller’s wariness of outsiders and the veritable pile of Tommy Gormans I’d have to slog through.

Plus, they kind of tend to swap around identities. A little.

Of course, being a hard-head, I’d give it a shot anyway. Somewhere in Texas or somewhere in Memphis were the only two leads I had. Well, the long and the short of it is that there is a lot more information available out there than in the late eighties when I started studying the culture. Now there are even websites run by members of the Traveller community and there exist Romani scholars that are of Romani descent themselves. There are activist sites and resource sites and the like for the Gypsy community.

(some people believe that Gypsy is an inaccurate moniker for certain groups of nomadic people, but I’m not here to split hairs; frankly, I’m not educated enough on the subject to do so. I will say for the record, though, that the Irish Travellers within my scope of reference/experience introduced themselves as Gypsies and were proud of that particular label)

Reading some of the things I read, it got me to thinking. I’ve mentioned here before the story of my great-grandfather, who as a young Irish lad was stolen from his mother land –along with his brothers– and sold into slavery. They ran, one was killed in the process, they changed their names and forged new lives.

What was and still is remarkable (to me, at least) is that, so far as I know, they never looked back. There has always been an uncomfortable itch in the back of my brain regarding this fact, because he raised up a brood of children that were exceptionally close-knit and family oriented. My great-gran –by all accounts– did not speak of his family, his past, gave no hint as to who he had been. There was Before America and After America, and the door on Before America was decidedly closed …for whatever reason.

But I wonder, now that I’m thinking about it. I wonder, since the Travellers of back then were more nomadic and more circuitous than Irish Travellers of now (therefore more difficult to find), and since my ancestors were young boys (and maybe short on memories? resources to get them home?), could my great-gran have been a Traveller? This would provide several reasons for his secretiveness, not the least of which being the fact that Gypsies have been persecuted, despised and reviled for age upon age. Travellers are a proud, closely-knit people, and quite adept at building a mystery.

My people are proud, loud, resourceful, tough, musical, lovers of the land, family-bound, adventurers, bearers of great heart: All Traveller characteristics, so I’m thinking this notion may not be so far-fetched, yeah? I’d have no idea how to even go about researching it, though, since no records have been found that predate my great-gran’s Total Life Makeover.

But it gives me something kind of delicious to ponder.

In other completely unrelated matters, ZAKK WYLDE!:

He says, “Come on over here and gitchoo a big ole Muffinass HUUUUUUG.”

He’s pretty, and I always like eyeballing him, but he looks as if some questionable odors might emanate from him. So I’ll continue admiring him from afar, as I always have.

Love you people, mean it!

1 worked it out »

  1. brynne 6.1.2005

    yo soy un muffinass. hola.


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