BrooksLooks @ George Schuster

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George Schuster

greeted my share of kings and queens
those who star on movie screens
dined with rock stars, heads of state
the notorious and the now quite late

but a face encountered eons ago
with steely eyes I didn’t know
has stuck with me, haunts me still
his rare achievement of iron will

just a kid, I crossed the road
met him there at the end of his life
kindly, willing to the garage he strode
of course he’d sharpen my kid jackknife

he stepped on the metal treadle
the big stone wheel would start to spin
sparks commenced from the metal
fascinated, i would stand and grin

he asked if it was sharp enough
as if i really knew
these fleeting moments our last
i think he probably knew

back across the road,
sharp shiny blade in hand
my mother had her doubts with me,
and the knife
not with the kindly old man

see, he was a master mechanic
in the automobile’s dawning age
and back in nineteen aught eight
he drove onto the world’s biggest stage

around the globe in his Thomas Flyer
he drove with grit and plenty of tires
to Paris–an American Victory
George Schuster set the winning pace
Champion of the World’s Great Race

that’s the story unabridged and whole
simple kindness from a once great soul
a moment in two lifetimes
a sliver of each life
memorable moments shared
with only a simple knife

Copyright © 2013 Brooks Bradbury | BrooksLooks
http://brooksbradbury.com
Photo Credit: Jenn Czapla, 44 East Avenue, Springville, NY

BrooksLooks @ Why?

WHY MY BELOVED COUNTRY?20190114_153943

ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING

ONE MORE TRAGIC DAY

ANOTHER MADMAN TERRORIST

LOST, GRIEVING

WE PRAY

THE MEDIA DRILL

ROLLS OUT THE SAME

WHO DID THE SHOOTING

WHO DID HE KILL?

WHAT WAS HIS NAME?

AND WHAT ABOUT MOTIVES?

ON HALLOWED GROUND

MORE FLOWERS LAID

WITH FLICKERING VOTIVES

SYMBOLS OF LIGHT

OF EACH LOSS PROFOUND

THERE IS A FIGHT

AHEAD

WE MUST FIGHT

WHY MY BELOVED COUNTRY

HAVE WE NOT YET RESOLVED?

THIS ISSUE OF GUNS

HAVE OUR LEADERS DISSOLVED?

WITH TEARS POURING OUT

FROM SO MANY EYES

ARE GUN RIGHTS MORE PRECIOUS

THAN OUR OWN CHILDREN’S LIVES?

TOO LITTLE ACTION

TOO MANY WHY’S

THROUGH RIVERS OF BLOOD

OUR GREAT NATION CRIES

WE CAN’T HOLD BACK

A GREAT NATION CRIES

THE FLOOD OF TEARS

IN OUR AMERICAN EYES

© Brooks Bradbury 2013 | BrookLooks

BrooksLooks @ Tears in Chiricahua

TEARS IN CHIRICAHUA

Brooks Bradbury

November 2013

ANCIENT CHIRICAHUA

SACRED LONG AGO

NOW CALLED ARIZONA

THEIR ANCESTRAL HOME

THEIR MOUNTAINS AND

THEIR GRASSLANDS

THE PLACES

THEY ROAMED THEN

NOW ONLY TRACES,

OF ‘NDE CHOKONEN

GENERATIONS CAME BEFORE THEM

UNKNOWN APACHE HEIRS

NATIVE BLOOD SPILLED TOO OFTEN

DEFENDING WHAT WAS THEIRS

WHO THEN ONE DAY WILL ATONE

FOR THEIR BROKEN HEARTS

EACH APACHE BROKEN BONE

THEIR BODIES DIED YET SANCTIFY

THEIR CHIRICAHUAS STILL

UNBROKEN NATIVE SPIRITS

UNBROKEN NATIVE WILL

THEIR VOICES WHISPER IN THE SILENCE

SPIRITS ROAM NOW WITHOUT FEARS

WHEN IT RAINS IN CHIRICAHUA

IT RAINS APACHE TEARS

© Brooks Bradbury | Innspired Hospitality

BrooksLooks @ Chiricahua Cowboy

CHIRICAHUA COWBOY
Brooks Bradbury
September 2013

THE COOK REPORTED LONGHORNS
WERE COMING IN THE GATE
BUCKAROOS AT BREAKFAST
SOME WERE IN THE BUNK HOUSE
SOME WERE SLEEPING LATE

PRIT’ NEAR EIGHT MEAN CORRIENTE
AMBLED RIGHT UP THE OLD DIRT ROAD
POINTY HORNS A GLINTING
THEY LUMBERED TO AND FRO

THEY WERE FREE RANGE BEEF WITH ATTITUDE
AND IN ONE BY ONE THEY FILED
DANGED IF THEY DIDN’T GIT PAST THE CATTLE GRATES
LIKE A FARSIDE CARTOON GONE WILD

CHIRICAHUA COWBOY
HE’S ON HIS HORSE AGAIN
WE NEVER KNOW WHY
WE NEVER KNOW WHEN
BUT HE’S THE HOPE OF ARIZONA
LEAST FROM GLEESON TO PORTAL
THE CHIRICAHUA COWBOY
HE’S THE ONE THAT GETS THE CALL
ANY TIME ‘R OYSTER’S ARE UP AGAINST THE WALL
THE CHIRICAHUA COWBOY, HE WILL SAVE US ALL!

ONE WAS UDDERLY FEMALE
IT WAS PLAINLY CLEAR TO SEE
QUEEN OF THE RODEO HEIFERS
ANOTHER RATHER BULLISH ONE
HE KEPT EYEING ME

THE CHIRICAHUA COWBOY
HE SAUNTERED INTO VIEW
HE WORE HIS LEATHER JACKET WITH FRINGE
SMELLED LIKE BEER AND LAST NIGHT’S STEW
BOXER SHORTS AND COWBOY BOOTS
HIS PANTS STILL IN HIS ROOM

HE HAD SPURS, A WHIP, TWO FORTY-FIVES
AND HE WAS ITCHING FOR A FEUD
THE CHIRICAHUA COWBOY
LOST BIG AT POKER AND LOVE LAST NIGHT
HE WAS ONE BIG ANGRY DUDE

HE WAS READY TO SETTLE THE SCORE
AND PUT THOSE BEEVES BACK IN THE PEN
A BEEFLY DUEL WAS COMING ON, IT SEEMED
WHILE IN THE SAGE, FRESH COWPIES STEAMED
THE HEIFER HUDDLED THE OTHERS THEN
WEIGHT WAS SHIFTED
HORNS WERE POINTED
THE BEEVES THEN THUNDERED IN

ALL OF A SUDDEN THE BRAWL COMMENCED
BULL WHIP CRACKED AND BULLETS FLYING
EIGHT CORRIENTE TURNED TAIL TO RUN
IN THE END THEY MET THEIR BOVINE MATCH
CHIRICAHUA COWBOY WAS SMILIN’
AS HE BLEW SMOKE FROM THE END OF HIS GUN

CHIRICAHUA COWBOY ROUNDED ‘EM UP RIGHT THEN
THEY WERE BEATEN LIKE HAMBURGER AND LOCKED IN THE PEN
“NEXT TIME YOU COME ROUND HERE
THE BUTCHER’LL MAKE IT CUT AND DRIED
AND MAKE LITTLE PARTS OUT OF THOSE CARCASSES
AND WALLETS FROM YER HIDE!

CHIRICAHUA COWBOY
HE’S ON HIS HORSE AGAIN
WE NEVER KNOW WHY
WE NEVER KNOW WHEN
BUT HE’S THE HOPE OF ARIZONA
LEAST FROM WILLCOX TO PORTAL
THE CHIRICAHUA COWBOY
HE’S THE ONE THAT GETS THE CALL
ANY TIME ‘R OYSTER’S ARE UP AGAINST THE WALL
THE CHIRICAHUA COWBOY, HE DONE SAVED US ALL!
CHIRICAHUA COWBOY–NO ONE RIDES AS TALL!

© Brooks Bradbury / Innspired Hospitality

BrooksLooks @ Chiricahua Cowgirl

CHIRICAHUA COWGIRL
Brooks Bradbury

UNDER POWDER BLUE SKIES
A YOUNG ARIZONA GIRL RIDES
ON HER PRIDE AND JOY PONY
THEIR RARE LOVE ABIDES

HER MOTHER’S FINAL DYING HOPE
A GIFT TO HER A LARIAT ROPE
AND A LEOPARD APPALOOSA COLT
HER DAUGHTER NAMED HIM LIGHTENING BOLT

SHE FIGHTS THE PAIN EVERY NOW AND THEN
CHIRICAHUA COWGIRL RIDES AGAIN
TO RECONNECT WITH EARLY DAYS
AND HER MOTHER’S LOVE AND SIMPLE WAYS
IN APACHE LAND OF CHOKONEN
CHIRICAHUA COWGIRL RIDES AGAIN
GET UP, GET ON YOUR HORSE AND TELL ME WHEN
CHIRICAHUA COWGIRL RIDES AGAIN

THEY ROAMED THE DESERT RANGE FOREVER
TWO YOUNG HEARTS TOGETHER,
SMELLS OF PIÑON PINE AND LEATHER
DAYS GO BY AND THEY WOULD KNOW
LIFE’S SUPRISING SUDDEN BLOWS
SHATTERED BONES AND BROKEN HEARTS
PAINFUL FALLS AND LOVER’S WOES

SHE FIGHTS THE PAIN EVERY NOW AND THEN
CHIRICAHUA COWGIRL RIDES AGAIN
TO RECONNECT WITH EARLIER DAYS
AND HER MOTHER’S LOVE AND SIMPLE WAYS
IN APACHE LAND OF CHOKONEN
CHIRICAHUA COWGIRL RIDES AGAIN
GET UP, GET ON YOUR HORSE TELL ME WHEN
CHIRICAHUA COWGIRL RIDES AGAIN

A HANDSOME COWBOY RAW AND TALL
BROUGHT HER FLOWERS, CHANGED IT ALL
HER LOVE GREW STRONGER
THEN ALL FELL THROUGH
ENDING SOME MONTHS LATER
BECAUSE HE WAS UNTRUE

THE WILD WEST BECAME WILD THEN
UNBRIDLED ANGER AND WILD EYES,
SHE SET OFF TO OUTRUN HIS LIES
NOTHING COULD CONTAIN HER RAGE
SHE TRIED HARD TO TURN THE PAGE
RODE HER HORSE LIKE A LION FROM A CAGE

THE RIDE WAS FAST AND FAR AND HIGH,
TEARS FROM LOSS AND CRIES OF WHY
BEYOND THE LIMITS OF HORSE AND GIRL
A WILD CRAZY DERVISH WHIRL

A SCORPION SURPRISED THEM
HER HORSE REARED UP, SHE FELL DOWN
ONLY HOURS LATER CAME AROUND
HER HORSE STAYED BY HER
THEY STOOD THEIR GROUND

SHE DRAGGED HERSELF UP
FROM THE GROUND TO HER STIRRUPS
BROKEN BONES AND AN UNYIELDING SPIRIT
HER LAST RIDE? SHE’LL NEVER HEAR IT

CHIRICAHUA COWGIRL RIDES AGAIN
GET UP, GET ON YOUR HORSE
AND TELL ME WHEN
THE CHIRICAHUA COWGIRL RIDES AGAIN
CHIRICAHUA COWGIRL RIDES AGAIN

BrooksLooks @ Appalachia Rising

APPALACHIA RISING
Brooks Bradbury
6.11.2011

BORN IN A HOLLER
RAISED IN A SHACK,
LEARNED TO GET BY ON
WHAT THE LAND GAVE BACK
NEVER KNEW THE WORLD
OF THE GREAT BEYOND
APPALACHIAN MAN FOREVER FOND
OF THE SWEET BLUE RIDGE LAND
HE GREW UP ON

HE KNOWS THE RIDGE
LIKE THE BACK OF HIS HAND
PAIN, DROUGHT AND HUNGER
MADE A BOY INTO A MAN
HE’LL NEVER BREAK FREE
OF HIS BLUE RIDGE BOND
HOME IS HERE IN THE LAND HE’S ON

LIVING ON A MEAGER RATION
PUT DOWN, DISPARAGED–
PROUDLY APPALACHIAN
IT’S A SIMPLE LIFE IN TIME
WHERE I FEEL THE BEAT
OF NATURE’S RHYTHM
AND THE TIES THAT BIND

BORN IN A HOLLER
RAISED IN A SHACK
LEARNED TO GET BY
ON WHAT THE LAND GAVE BACK
NEVER KNEW THE WORLD
OF THE GREAT BEYOND
APPALACHIAN MAN’S SACRED BOND
HE’D NEVER LEAVE THE LAND
HE GREW UP ON

HERE IS WHERE HE HUNTED
UP ON THE RIDGE,
LEARNED ABOUT FAMILY
LEARNED ABOUT LOVE
LEARNED TO MAKE THE MOST FROM A LITTLE, AND TO RISE ABOVE
APPALACHIAN MAN KNOWS WHAT HE’S MADE OF
THANKFUL FOR THE PRIVILEGE
WHEN GOD MADE HOME
HE MADE MY BLUE RIDGE

HE MADE OUR HOME LIKE HEAVEN
GAVE US BLUE GRASS AND WINE,
FOX GRAPES AND PINTOS,
SUGAR AND ‘SHINE
EVERYTHING NEEDED
UNDER THE SUN
WHEN GOD MADE MY BLUE RIDGE
HE KNEW HIS WORK WAS DONE

LIFE HERE’S A CHALLENGE
NO OUTSIDER KNOWS
THE PEACE OF THE MOUNTAINS,
AND THE WAY THE WIND BLOWS
REAL SILENCE EXISTS ALONG
OLD COUNTRY ROADS
BUT THE WAY IT’S ALWAYS BEEN AIN’T THE WAY THE STORY GOES
THE TREES BEGIN TO WHISPER,
WE’RE ALL REALIZING
THE TIME’S HAS ARRIVED APPALACHIA’S RISING
THE TIME’S HAS ARRIVED FOR APPALACHIA RISING

BORN IN A HOLLER
RAISED IN A SHACK,
LEARNED TO GET BY
ON WHAT THE LAND GAVE BACK
NEVER KNEW THE WORLD
OF THE GREAT BEYOND,
NEVER LEFT THE LAND
HE GREW UP ON
APPALACHIAN MAN FIGHTS
FOR THE LAND HE’S ON

BrooksLooks @ Beer

The Beer Poem
Brooks Bradbury
2 August 2011

I NEVER UNDERSTOOD THE REASON
WHY WHEN YOU COME NEAR
ALL I WANT TO DO IS TO, DRINK BEER
ALL I NEED RIGHT NOW IS TO DRINK BEER

AND IF YOU COME BY HERE MORE OFTEN
I ‘LL NEED TO DRINK A LOT MORE BEER
I ‘M GONNA START RIGHT NOW
AM I THE HEADLIGHTS OR AM I THE DEER?
JUST DON’T TRY TO TOUCH ME MISTER
THERE JUST AIN’T THAT MUCH BEER

LIQUOR, LIQUOR, WINE AND BEER
THERE AIN’T ENOUGH FOR ME IT’S CLEAR
BECAUSE OF YOU MY WORLD’S A BLUR
OUT OF SYNCH, ‘BURP’, AS IT WERE

WHEN YOU PASS BY MY FRONT GATE
I HEAD FOR THE SHELTER OF AN ALTERED STATE
WHY CAN’T YOU GET THE MESSAGE?
I DON’T LIVE HERE ANY LONGER
I’M OUT LOOKING FOR SOME BEER
OR EVEN SOMETHING STRONGER

LIQUOR, LIQUOR, WINE AND BEER
THERE AIN’T ENOUGH FOR ME IT’S CLEAR
BECAUSE OF YOU MY WORLD’S A BLUR
OUT OF SYNCH, ‘BURP’, AS IT WERE

GO GET A JOB AND LEAVE ME ALONE
I’LL NEVER THROW YOU EVEN ONE SMALL BONE
I’LL RUN FOR THE HILLS… THERE AIN’T NO REASON YOU SHOULD PHONE
WHY WHEN YOU COME NEAR
ALL I WANT TO DO IS TO, DRINK BEER
ALL I NEED RIGHT NOW IS TO DRINK BEER

IT’S A STRANGE CORRELATION
A CRYSTAL CLEAR INDICATION
BETWEEN YOU AND MY INTOXICATION
PERHAPS THERE’S A REASON
OR IT’S SIMPLY OUT OF FEAR
WHEN I SEE YOU, I THINK BEER
WHEN I SEE YOU, I DRINK BEER
JUST DON’T TRY TO TOUCH ME MISTER
THERE JUST AIN’T THAT MUCH BEER!

LIQUOR, LIQUOR, WINE AND BEER
THERE AIN’T ENOUGH FOR ME IT’S CLEAR
BECAUSE OF YOU MY WORLD’S A BLUR
OUT OF SYNCH, ‘BURP’, AS IT WERE

BrooksLooks @ Arizona’s Promising Wine Future

Out on the crush pad at 7 a.m. on a cool and glorious Arizona morning, winemaker Curt Dunham of Lawrence Dunham Vineyards brings out a hot pot of coffee before the day begins.  His thriving vineyards surround the winery against the backdrop of Chiricahua Mountains, with the peaks of Dos Cabezas and Mount Graham visible in the distance.

Along with affable assistant winemaker, Frank Price, the men are focused on organizing their well-sanitized equipment for a day of harvesting and de-stemming just as the process is about to begin.  A crew of six have been harvesting beautifully ripe grenache grapes by hand since well before dawn, and now the first giant one-ton tub of grapes is brought in on the forks of a tractor.

It was a cool night at this mile-high elevation and the first picked grapes are bursting with sweet juicy flavor.  Wielding a special pitch fork and a flat-bottomed shovel, each tub of thirteen in total is emptied into the mechanized de-stemmer as the clean-picked stems dump neatly out one side while the slightly mashed grapes (now referred to as “must”) make their way up a 4″ diameter clear tube rapidly filling a 300 gallon, slightly translucent industrial vat.  “25 Brix,” is the first report of sugar content, about what Curt expected of Mother Nature’s produce.

Nine full-fledged wineries now operate in Cochise County alone.  Five more are in the process of being planted as this very special terroir is being discovered.  Rich volcanic soil, and the moderating influences of elevation and nightly temperature swing contribute to Arizona new status as ‘wine country.’  It is a joy to witness  the surprised and pleasant reactions of our European and American visitors alike as they taste Arizona’s new craze crop–amazing wines!

Much of this corner of southern Arizona area is counter-intuitive, beginning with the quality of wine (and people!) one can already discover here.  Talented wine makers such as Curt Dunham and Peggy Fiandaca; Rod Keeling and Jan Schaefer; Sam Pillsbury; Bob Carlson and his family; Rob and Sarah Hammelman; Mark and Rhona Jorve and many more are perfecting their wines for all of America to discover.

For the adventurous tourist, one might also think of southern Arizona as the wrong place to visit in summertime.  After all, who hasn’t seen those extreme temperatures on the Tucson and Phoenix weather maps?

Think again! At over 5,000 feet in elevation, August and September are actually very enjoyable months of the year to visit.  Largely gentle monsoon rains create verdant vistas, flowers bloom and grasses come alive, and first-time visitors are stunned to see flowing creeks and filled ponds–in Arizona!  For both wine and visitors, the cool evening temperatures work their magic.

The giant vats are carefully loaded into Curt’s huge chilled storerooms–the winemaker’s craft well underway.  Curt’s enthusiasm is overflowing, and his impeccable attention to detail is obvious.  The future of Arizona wines is very bright indeed.