When the Buzz Cuts disbanded, TBone joined the golf team. He quickly established himself as a scrappy competitor willing to take the risks to win. He became less serious and more happy-go-lucky. His performances on the golf course seemed to be a placebo for his need to entertain. He was soon dubbed with the nickname, Turtle Woods.
Musically, TBone journeyed more into himself. He wasn’t particularly in a funk, he was just very introspective after dealing with the difficulties of trying to hold together two bands at such an early age. Yes, bands were fun, but they were all encompassing entities that were as fickle as the weather. He had needed a break and golf afforded that outlet.
While working his way up the leaderboards, TBone spent his downtime focusing more on song writing. He learned the piano. He dabbled in the blues and had developed a special liking for punk music, but in the end his tendency was the down home feel and sound of folk. His lyrics were oriented around the social issues of the day and the escapades of falling in and out of love. He would often pull out his acoustic guitar and play a few ditties for the golf team while they were holed up in some cheap motel on the road. It was his first foray into what it would be like to be out on tour in a touring band.
On senior ‘Skip Day’, TBone hauled his guitar and an old banjo down to the park. He soon became the focal point for the more artistic crowd as he played some of the popular hits of the day. He interspersed the hits with some of his own creations and got lots of compliments especially from the girls. His song writing had matured along with his performance skills from the hours and hours he had seemingly spent in front of a mirror. Having the attention of a rapt crowd rekindled the performance bug and his dire need for a band. He didn’t have the makings of going it alone; he considered it just too lonely.
Fortunately for TBone, Robbie Slade had decided that he’d had enough of Algebra and skipped off to the park with the seniors. It was a very brave thing to do as a sophomore, not only because he was going to get detention but also because he was traipsing into senior territory where no male sophomore had a right to go. Robbie looked like a geek. He was sarcastic and strong willed with a short fuse.
It was a blessing that TBone had everyone’s attention when Robbie showed up in the park because Robbie walked unscathed and ignored. No one saw the need to confront him or chase him off as he slowly edged his way to the front. He listened attentively to several songs before he latched onto one of TBone’s originals. He had brought along his harmonica and boldly pulled it out. He skillfully bent some notes and folded them subtly into the second verse of TBone’s; Too Fat Shuffle.
TBone was quite impressed. He quickly taught Robbie another of his songs and once again Robbie wove the harmonica in superbly. They intuitively began to play off of each other with skill and comfort. They played for over an hour, egged on and applauded by the gathered crowd.
As the seniors finally wrapped up their ‘Skip Day’ in the park, TBone didn’t hesitate to invite Robbie over to his garage for a little jam session. He was intrigued by the skinny sophomore and not only did they hit it off musically but they were also bonding as friends.
The seeds for the QuickTurtle Band sprouted that day in TBone’s heart.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®