The Anchor’s Chain

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The morning dawns
lightning strikes
and black sky,
we’re leaving now
to catch the tide.
hoisted sails
and fishing poles,
black coffee
and jelly rolls,
like mallard wings
we shed the rain
and leave behind
the anchor’s chain. Continue reading

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The QuickTurtle Walk’n Blues

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Image and QuickTurtle shoes by Mary Rensberry

Down on the waterfront
where lovers stroll in twos
QuickTurtles buy QuickTurtle shoes Continue reading

TBone Ditty, creator of the QuickTurtle® Band (continued)

Golfing Turtle

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®

TBone Ditty, creator of the QuickTurtle® Band

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TBone Ditty was born on a north country farm.  He was surrounded by home craftsmen and influenced by their skill and assortment of hand tools from an early age.  He built tree houses and soapbox cars out of the scrap lumber he rummaged from old coops and dilapidated barns.  His beech tree house was where he formed his first band.

He was eight years old.  He created a xylophone out of an assortment of soda pop bottles and a set of drums out of old metal milk pails and creamery cans.  He found an old whiskey jug in their farmhouse basement and a Hohner harmonica that had been sat on way too many times.  One of the neighbor boys brought along a rusty old cowbell they incorporated as well.

They called themselves “The RagTag Boys” even though TBone’s older sister Carla did the vocals.  She was a screamer but could carry a tune well enough to get them by.  She also took a liking to ringing the cowbell and yodeling at opportune times.

Music wasn’t just a flash in the pan for TBone.  He convinced the other kids to come to the tree house almost every weekend to practice and help write and perform his silly songs.  It wasn’t but three months later and they played in a talent show down at the local church.  They didn’t win but they raised some eyebrows.  They became a hit among their school friends and were invited to play at birthday parties and family picnics.  They even earned some pocket change.

TBone kept the RagTag Boys musically motivated for a couple of years and then his mates seemed to outgrow the simple instruments and TBone’s overbearing devotion.  Their were baseballs to be pitched and hit over the fence.   There were girls that needed teasing and kissed.  Those things, chores and homework absorbed their precious free time.  The RagTag Boys disbanded and went their separate ways.

TBone himself continued along his musical path by toying more and more with woodworking and the building of sophisticated stringed instruments.  By the time he reached his twelfth birthday he had built his first fiddle and an acoustic guitar.  Both were functioning instruments when he formed his second band called “The BuzzCuts”.  It was made up of a batch of new friends with the exception of their lead singer who was once again Carla.  She had blossomed into a pretty and bodacious entertainer.

The band graduated into the realm of being a bonafide garage band until the fateful day when Carla was accepted and called away to acting school.  TBone tried to forge ahead, but without Carla the band lacked the vocals necessary to carry them forward and the BuzzCuts went the way of the RagTag Boys.

TBone was 16 years old.     (to be continued)

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®  http://www.quickturtlebooks.com

The QuickTurtle® Band, My Blue Guitar

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Beneath fluorescent lights

in crowded terminals

nothing to do but drink

and piss in urinals

too many times too remember.

All the hotel rooms

and tasteless airport food.

Nothing to do but joke

and buck up to the rude

vibe of  Security.

I strum my blue guitar

and fiddle with a verse

to vocalize my angst

and rawness of my nerves.

“My name is TBone Ditty

older and akimbo

pretending that I’m witty

with my blue blue guitar.

I’m feelin awful shitty

but I sing from the heart.

On the road here in Limbo

I’m lookin none too pretty

but I sing and I shout

it’s a pill of a city

where my fans hang out.

My name is TBone Ditty

and I’m down for the count.”

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®