Fixen To Die In Oklahoma City

Capturing Beauty

by

John Presco

Copyright 2021

A writer, an old newspaper man, the grandson of a writer who knew the Black Mask Authors, could not have asked for a better stage to do his Swan Song upon, then what I seen with my very own eyes when I scrolled through the old black and white photos of downtown Oklahoma City. I never dreamed such a place existed. Here is the Emerald City the Wizard promised would be there at the end of your trail, your quest, your journey. Just stay on the yellow brick road, then park your Dodge Coronet in the Car Hotel.

Downtown Oklahoma City | OHS Research Center (okhistory.org)

The first thought that popped into my mind was….

“No wonder Hitler lost his life and his ambitious dream to be the Dictator of the World. Dicmundi.

While he sends a couple of Panzer divisions to secure the oilfields in the Crimea, Oklahoma oil tycoons are making Black Gold come oozing out of the ground. There are oil derricks surrounding this Prairie Town like the Ents in Tolkien’s book. Oil Men are erecting skyscrapers to compete with New York and Chicago. Somewhere down there, in the citified shadow, is Royal Rosamond’s newsstand. Royal kept the American Dreamers informed of the enemies every move. I’m sure he read Churchill famous speech as the Battle of Britain got under way.

Mr. Rosamond ran a newspaper stand located at 390 West Washington. He sold copies of the Times and the Oklahoman and died doing so in 1953. Only his daughter June came to bury the husband of Mary Magdalene Rosamond. She was the eldest, and got stuck taking care of her three sisters while her mother made hats for a living.

In 2000, my aunt Lillian and I found her father’s un-marked grave and we bought Royal a tombstone. We did not fly to Oklahoma to place it over old Rosy’s bones. He never met his grandchildren. I know he dreamed of having a son. Permanently parking myself in the same cemetery, is as good as it is going to get. We share the same insufferable loneliness many writers feel, as this calling comes with a built in abandonment by your family in retaliation for what they think you are doing, and did – to them! We fall in love with our subjects that we make do our bidding, while our children throw narcissistic tantrums, anything to be the center of attention.

Yesterday, a woman who once lived in Oregon, sent me a photograph of the columbarium I am going to purchase a nich in. At first sight, I was – appalled! Why do I want to be stuck out in the open? Thank God I will not be facing the convenience store watching Oakies on another beer-run. Maybe they’ll come across the street to do a drug deal – in the dark? I saw a dog on a walk lifting his leg, and peeing on me. I will be on the bottom of – a damn totem pole where I have been placed my whole damn life by people close to me who saw I was born with many gifts, they didn’t get! So, they had to whittle me down to size. I will never be placed on a pedestal. This will be my epitaph! Will a old hobo rest his weary head – on my little space that I was informed is eleven and half inches cubed, because I talked about doing a bust of myself – peering out at the losers who got to work on the damn riddle

“What’s life all about!”

Well, there I will be, the answer to most of the riddle…You live, and then you – die! Passing motorists will look at the odd-shaped monolith – that looks like it was made by NASA.

“Lucky Stiffs! They’re out of here!”

Then, I noticed the theatre markee. I googled the two hit movie – and am still blown away! This is where the Real Beatnik scene was born. Then it went West – and East. In ‘Teenage Thunder’ teenage sons are given lessons on how to rebel against your father who is making good doe. Check out the mother, the model for June Cleaver? She acts like the Home Waitress, she on some coping pills as she comes and goes from the kitchen like a robot with – more food!

“Aren’t you going to eat your pie, son?”

“Cant you see I’m busy rebeling aginst my father, the man you married. Why don’t you just stay out of it!?

I thought I had struck paydirt until I googled ‘Carnival Rock’ that was made by Roger Corman! What friggen luck. This is like the movie-musical I wanted to make in Belmont. They have a character named Christopher ‘Christy’ Cristakos. Are you kidding me! Didn’t he run for President. How like the name Miriam Starfish Christling. What I see is a virtual monument to 1957 Oklahoma. I will make a youtube tribute to the place I’m fixen to die in. Did Bob Zimmerman see Teenage Thunder in Minnesota? Did he ask his dad to buy him a hotrod, and he came home with a guitar instead? That Vespa is a sign of things to come. The Beatles?

We talked about how my remains are going to get next to my grandfathers remains. I thought about getting on a train a week or two before I die, and, check into a sleazy downtown hotel, where I’ll wait for the Grimm Ripper.

Bond of Nebraska | Rosamond Press

One of the signs I am fixen to die is spotting the lampshade I used to own. I had three of them and had to get rid of them when I got rid of my garage. If there is going to be a service I want if fashioned after a Twilight Zone show. All the men got to wear short-rimmed Stetson hats with gray suits. My pubescence began when Serling’s magical T.V. Trip appear out of nowhere.. My grievers will invent weird stuff to point out.

“Say! I ordered white roses not red!”

“What did you do with my lampshade, son? Did you take it to a drag race and have your pals run over it – for kicks?”

“I didn’t do nothen with – OUR stupid lampshade. I live in this house too! Why are you making me feel insane? Stop Gaslighting me, or – I will call the cops!

“You can’t call the cops on your own father. What kind of son did you give birth to, June? He’s a damn Communist, a born Insurrectionist!”

Rod Serling – Wikipedia

So, I’m wondering if you could sleep in your car at the Car Hotel, as long as you’re fixen to do some shopping in the morn, or, take in a picture show. Poor people’s money is just as good as rich people’s money. You got to lure them to town with free parking – and a snooze? Lot of farming families out there on that great flatness, that vast slab that God made in the middle of nowhere. I like the gray slab my space vehicle rests upon, like a launching pad. The hands are diving into – The Great Cosmos.

Bon Voyage!

Yep! My glorious days of rebelling against my father, will be over, alas! And, there will be no residue of he rebelling against – his father? And, so it goes. Every Thunder Teen, has his day. Hit it Bobby!

(2) Bob Dylan – Fixin’ To Die – YouTube

(2) Thus Spoke Zarathustra – Opening Scene of 2001 A Space Odyssey – YouTube

(2) Teenage Thunder (1957) – YouTube

(2) Carnival Rock – YouTube

A nightclub owner, Christopher ‘Christy’ Cristakos, falls in love with the club’s singer, Natalie Cook. However, the singer is in love with Stanley, a local businessman/gangster. After the gangster wins control of the club, Cristakos, the previous owner, begins to perform comic routines between the acts at the night club as part of his (Cristakos) plan to win Natalie back. Eventually, the gangster and the singer marry, which causes the previous owner to leave alone.[1]

believe I’m fixing to die,
Feeling funny in my mind, Lord,
I believe I’m fixing to die
Well, I don’t mind dying
But I hate to leave my childen crying
Well, look over yonder to that burying ground
Look over yonder to that burying ground
Sure seems lonesome, Lord, when the sun goes down.

Feeling funny in my eyes, Lord,
I believe I’m fixing to die, fixing to die
Feeling funny in my eyes, Lord,
I believe I’m fixing to die
Well, I don’t mind dying
But I hate to leave my children crying
There’s a black smoke rising, Lord,
It’s rising up above my head, up above my head
There’s a black smoke rising, Lord,
It’s rising up above my head
And tell Jesus make up my dying bed.

I’m walking kind of funny, Lord
I believe I’m fixing to die, fixing to die
Yes, I’m walking kind of funny, Lord
I believe I’m fixing to die
Fixing to die, fixing to die
Well, I don’t mind dying But I hate to leave my children crying.

Grit (newspaper) – Wikipedia

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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