Blue Jackets, Bull Buttery and the Choir

A Blue Jackets, Bull Buttery and the Choir

Sound Track from the Era.

The Blue Jean Jacket Gang was formed in my backyard on Princeton Street, where all those bicycles were parked every school day at San Jacinto junior high.  I formed it.  Names of the miscreants extant that afternoon will be held in abeyance.  All were 9th graders.  The idea was to wear a blue jean jacket and a white shirt, the jacket most important.(sound track 1) 

Paramount to every rebellion is an antagonist.  The San Jacinto vice-principal provided this essential element.  His bullying enforcement of the dictum “memorize your lines and move as directed” spawned loathing and earned him the pejorative Bull Buttery.  Bull especially despised our music.(st2)

Adding to this abhorrence was his practice of punishment – failure to honor his thought control occasioned a summons to Bull’s office, where independent behavior was rewarded with licks from a paddle inflicted by Hitman Buttery and witnessed by a wincing principal Slagle.  Bull had inherited this method of reprisal from his predecessor, the pernicious pantswarmer Evil Stegall, and Bull eagerly carried it forward like a subservient zealot.  Our Blue Credo was to resist Bull’s Bull.

Gang activity focused on annoying Hitman.  Insolence and disrespectful body language were employed daily in the halls.  Routine examples included wearing jeans too low, slouching against the wall, blowing gum bubbles, spitting snot on the floor by Bull’s office, scrawling vulgar soap messages on the bathroom mirror, and making smooching or flatulence sounds when passing by the principal’s door.  Advanced gestures incorporated soaping Bull’s windows, mashing blue spitballs on his door, taping rude cartoons on the hall walls, and, of course, the obligatory bathroom firecrackers.  After a short time, just seeing blue jackets served to drive Buttbuster Buttery into a lather.

The inaugural gang numbered few at the outset, but the movement to insurrection spread quickly to all grades, proven by the school halls turning blue denim between classes.  The jacket was a badge of belonging.  Even if you did not know the member donning one, and I did not know even a tenth of them, you knew that the wearer was an aficionado of the resistance, a rebel with a cause.  The attraction was to be part of something that was bigger than you as an individual.

Hidden inside our mischievous menagerie operated a stealthy squad I named the Choir.  I purposely and clandestinely selected these special forces because they represented an element that would never be suspected to be plotters.  All three members of the cabal were straight-A students, without any blemishes, introverts lacking any desire for notoriety, invisible to the social crowd, non-jocks but with fast feet, all choirboys, all diligent, loyal, sworn to secrecy, all invaluable to conspirators.  The Choir’s code word for the vice principal was Mule Ahab, or just Captain, as mocked and memorialized in their sneering theme song played before missions.  Students opposed to the Blues were scorned as “waterboys.”  The Choir called themselves the Skinners.(st3)

The Choir directed its first mission at Mule Ahab himself.  At times dances occurred in the gym.  Chaperones included teachers, coaches, Slagle, and, of course, Bull.  While activist gang members hugged their honeys and sleep-walked in full view of all these authorities, confirming their innocent presence inside the gym, outside in the darkness lurked the Skinners, decorating Bull’s car with blue crepe paper and painting his windows with white soap.  When the dance broke up and the blue bullmobile was spotted, more surprised than even Hitman were the gang members, who wondered about the identities of the covert interlopers, a secret never divulged, then or now.(st4)

As the gang grew in number and fame, some MHSers, known as “Mushers” by the Choir, felt compelled to challenge us.  Initial engagement involved Mushers dousing a Blue Jacket with soda water.  This prompted an attempted confrontation, halted by Buttbuster, but with no settlement reached.  Word spread through the Tall City that the Blue Jackets had called out the Mushers and that a retaliatory rumble was about to transpire.  Bull summoned me to his office and delivered a stern warning, putting me on notice that the cops had been alerted and that patrols would increase, especially around San Jacinto, the presumed battle ground.(st5)

Never one to miss an opportunity to challenge authority, soon after that warning, late at night while avoiding cop cars, JR and I raised a blue jean jacket, bought at Nix Trading Post, on the flagpole at San Jacinto, ensuring its distinction and duration by padlocking the pole chain to the pole.  Hitman with paddle had me in his office before the first bell the next morning.  The janitor cut the chain and removed the rebellious symbol, but the glory had been accomplished – all the students had seen our defiant emblem.  The bellicose Blues had taken a big bite out of Bull’s butt.(st6)

The following Friday night was rumored to be the rumble.  Cops cruised all the streets around the school, stopping anyone suspicious.  JR’s mother, a devoted gang mom, served as our innocent chauffeur.  With JR and I and our two girlfriends in the back seat, Mrs. JR, with her yappy Chihuahua pooch riding shotgun, drove us around the neighborhood for purposes of reconnaissance.  Several times the Redlights pulled us over, but each time Mama JR covered for us by expressing ignorance of any gang or rumble, indeed, voicing disbelief that such a thing could be happening in conservative Midland.  No rumble occurred that Friday night.(st7)

On Sunday night after the failed Friday rumble, the Skinners and I slipped onto the Musher school grounds and hoisted another Nix blue jacket up the flagpole.  In the jacket pocket was a note reading absens haeres non erit.  That affront resulted in another summons to see Mule Ahab on Monday morning.  MHS dean Jack Mashburn was present for the inquisition.  I recall his reaction as one of tongue-biting amusement. As for the blue finger flying on the MHS flagpole, despite threats and intimidations from the Mushers, the bitch-slap remained unanswered. 

Later, in my high school years, the dean became my mentor.  During a light moment I reminded him of the meeting in Bull’s office, pointing out his amusement.  He said he was laughing at animated Bull pontificating his Bull, not at the mischief.  Very sternly he then admonished me for my lack of leadership.  “I saved your skins.  To my office I called the Bulldog Posse, all of them bigger, meaner and faster than you juveniles and told them to lay off.  I told them that you Jackets were just brats, punks, and wannabe thugs not worthy of scuffed knuckles.  They could settle up the coming fall during football scrimmages.  Now what’d I say!”(st8)  Wow!  And all that time I had thought there was no rumble because none of the Mushers could read Latin.

The Choir considered the lack of response to the MHS jacket hoist a failed mission.  They approached me with a provocative plan designed to expand gang fame beyond the schoolyards.  The Skinners dubbed the plot Mission Moby.  I gleefully bought into it, praising them for their cunning. 

Mission Moby required assets to be employed in several steps designed to lure dupes to a sting.  Assets included firecrackers, smoke bombs, Roman candles, balloons and whistles.  One of the Skinners procured the fireworks from a truck stop in Big Spring, aided by a friend attending college.  The unwitting friend contributed transportation to Big Spring, an ID proving she was old enough to buy the pyrotechnics, and concealment as a conspirator because she would be back in college when the plot transpired.  A different Skinner bought the whistles and balloons, all blue, at Woolworth in Odessa while on a trip with his mother.(st9)

The Choir carefully selected two strategic attack locations, all utilizing the area around Sam Houston Elementary and the football stadium, all chosen because traffic could appear from only two or three directions and failsafe escape routes existed.  An attack was the ignition of dozens of firecrackers and a few smoke bombs at a selected spot on an otherwise quiet Sunday night.  The purpose was to draw in the cops.

Mandatory for Mission Moby was that the Blue Jackets receive credit for the attack.  To accomplish this the Choir covertly enlisted what they called their “crickets.”  These were goody two shoes students prone to spread rumors to teachers.  The procedure was to initiate gossip about a pending gang disturbance, ensuring that crickets would chirp to teachers, who would then apprise Buttbuster of the trouble ahead, who would then alert the cops.(st10)

For a full week before of the planned Sunday night attack, the crickets chirped in the hallways of San Jacinto.  Confused gang members, none save one knowing about Mission Moby, wondered what was going on.  Then, as forecast, came the Sunday night outbreak designed to draw cops to the scene.  Ready to roll.(st11)

The first attack did exactly that.  The fusillade immediately brought on house lights, followed soon thereafter by a patrol car.  We watched the cop car approach in a rush, the spotlight scanning all around, the car stopping near the smoke.  Crouching in the darkness, encircling the smoke, we could hear the crackling radio in the car.  When the cop stepped out, flashlight in hand, all four troublemakers let loose with their whistles.  The startled cop jumped straight up and hurried back to his car and grabbed his radio.  By that time we were all on our way out.  We took note of the direction from which came the cop, the elapsed time between fireworks ignition and cop arrival, and the direction in which the cop departed.

On Monday the Choir continued using their crickets to spread word of the attack, attributing it to the Blue Jackets, and announcing yet another outbreak for the coming Sunday.  Consequently, Buttbuster interrogated a number of gang members and warned them that the cops were prepared for the provocation.

The following Sunday night, on the same hour, we attacked again at the exact spot.  A patrol car arrived from the same direction as before, but faster.  A second car arrived from a different direction, just as we had anticipated and prepared.  The two cars paused for a while as the cops spoke to one another out their windows and scanned their spotlights.  We could hear the static of the radios.  When both cops stepped out and walked to the smoke, the Blue Bombers let loose with whistles and a barrage of blue water balloons that sent the cops scampering to their cars.  And, like before, we vanished into the night.

The crickets created a chirping frenzy on Monday.  The Blues had water bombed the cops!  Buttbuster issued more summons, but learned nothing.  The Choir fed the crickets another dose of intelligence foretelling of a disturbance for the coming Sunday.  Feeling that they had set the trap, the four bombers prepared for the next attack.   

On Sunday night, each bomber took a position to monitor police activity prior to ignition of the fireworks.  After three patrol cars parked in darkness where they could view the previous attack point, we grouped a last time.  Then three of us moved to a new attack spot that allowed access from only two directions, and was located where all three cop cars would arrive from the same approach.  One Skinner remained at the first attack site.  Light the fuse.(st12)

On the witching hour we shot off three Roman candles from the new attack spot.  The surprised cops headed that way in a hurry.  We ignited the crackers and smoke while they were en route.  They arrived in triple tandem, spotlights scanning, this time with sirens screaming and lights flashing.  They jumped out of their cars and we unloaded water balloons and whistle screeches.  Unlike before, two of the cops did not retreat to their cars, rather they chased us in hot pursuit.  But we were ready for that, having prepared an escape route requiring a wall to climb and a backyard swimming pool to avoid.  The cops gave up and we made a clean getaway to arrive where we had stashed other Roman candles, which we quickly ignited, shooting them into the night while blowing our whistles.

The second round of candles were the sign for the Skinner back at the first attack site to return candle fire and ignite his crackers and smoke.  His actions drew the cops that way, but by the time they arrived, he was gone, back with us, hidden in the upper rows of the football stadium, laughing and shaking at the flashing lights scurrying around the neighborhood.(st13) 

The next Monday afternoon we noticed cops at San Jacinto.  Over the next several days, Mule Ahab called Blue Jackets to his office, where a paddle lay in threatening display on his desk, surrounded by a number of busted blue balloons.  Nobody knew nothing, of course.  And, of course, no Skinner was summoned.  Buttery’s Bull was blued, busted and in retreat.(st14)   

At that point, success could have been declared, but the Choir enjoyed an encore.  Using blue nylon cord, blue balloons and blue whistles, a long garland was fashioned.  The Blue Bombers hoisted that garland up the flagpole Thursday night and padlocked the chain to the pole.  Everyone saw it Friday morning before the janitor cut it down.  Mission Moby accomplished.(st15) 

About fifteen-years ago, a former teacher at MHS got my contact information by calling an oil company I owned.  She communicated with me in order to gift me some photographs.  While congratulating me on my success, from her memory of over forty years past, with an elderly chuckle of curiosity about a past troublemaker, she asked me what those blue jackets were all about.  It was the first time I had thought about the gang since junior high.  My response is unimportant.  The salient point is that even after almost a half-century she remembered the group, attesting that the Blue Jean Jacket Gang is part of folklore and mythology.  Additional affirmation for this assertion, per Juan Gigante, is that in 2019, “We even had the ladies at the last meeting asking about doing a section on the Blue Jean Jacket Gang.”  Clearly, the legend lives on.

Recounted December 2019 at Palenque Tepeztate in the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca at Tamazulapan Yogovana.

Afterthought

About a dozen years after the Blues broke up, while sipping at Ruby Red’s across from the old U. S. Mint in New Orleans, an apparent stranger walked up and called my name.  I answered, “Do I know you?”  He grinned and said, “You should.  I was a skinner.”

Our chuckling conversation lasted through several rounds.  I learned that he had recognized me by my voice, not my appearance.  He told me that he was an associate professor at Tulane.  Of the other skinners, he knew about one.  “He’s also in academe, in Illinois.”  I named the third skinner.  He shook his head.  “Don’t know what happened to her.”

Our mutual musings averred Blue Socks to be distinctive, unexpected, precocious, disparate of the other girls.  She was haughty, the one who would taunt the cops, the individual quickest to devise ways to challenge authority, the fastest afoot of all of us, smart and sly, cautious and cunning, fearless, daring, solitary, invisible except to the few she reluctantly trusted.   

The skinner at Ruby Red’s asked if I remembered why we called her Blue Socks, and I shook my head.  He mentioned his colleague at Illinois, claiming that it was him that tagged her after the famous Blue Stockings Society of England, a group of intellectual women, possibly the first feminists.  I laughed that only he would even know about such a society.

After the skinner left, the redhead herself came to the table.  “Couldn’t help overhearing,” she apologized with a sardonic smirk.  “No offense, but neither of you look like any gang members I ever saw.  I sure would like to have seen Blue Socks though.”

Addendum inspired by Dr. McElligott

After reading my recollection of the Blue Jackets, Dr. McElligott wrote me:  “Wow!  Now that needs to be sent to the girls.  They or everyone doesn’t have a clue!!!  Blue Socks!  MHS grad or LHS??  Some may want to see what she became.  Just like me!!!”  Okay Doctor, here are some memories of the Skinner we called Blue Socks.

My fascination with Latin America began at West elementary.  My first-grade year included a field trip to Lorenzo de Zavala elementary school.  My teacher and one of the mothers escorted two girls and two boys to a folk dance there.  We all enjoyed refreshments and a piñata.  The de Zavala teachers taught us the folk dances, movements that included prancing and hopping.  My unfortunate partners suffered kicked shins, for which I felt embarrassment and offered apologies, but the polite young ladies dismissed those regrets with laughter and gaiety – they were just happy to have us there.  All the students and teachers smiled and welcomed us.  It was my first intercambio cultural, cultural exchange, and I never forgot it.

Playing Little League baseball introduced me to Manchado, a Mexican slinger with a frightening fastball that came at righthanded hitters from their left side, encouraging them to get out of the way rather than take a swing.  Manchado had a smile pure Midland water – no white teeth, rather a mouthful of golden stained fangs, a distinction that created his nickname, “Stained.”  He was my first Mexican friend.

My parents were members of the Midland Country Club.  Weekend parties were routine there.  During my season with the Cubs in the Central League came announcement of a costume party with a Mexican theme, and parents were encouraged to bring their children.  My parents agreed that I should invite Manchado to be my guest.

Most likely is that Manchado’s mother made his costume from his father’s festival clothes.  Manchado was authentic tricolor.  Slim fitting black charro pants, pointy toe picuda boots, embroidered red vest, ruffled white ascot, shiny green shirt, black matador hat.  Hell, he was the only real Mexican there!  He was likely the first, last and only Mexican that some of the most affluent Midland matrons ever danced with.

As I intend to withhold all Skinners’ real names, I shall call the Choir members by the names Illinois, Tulane, and Blue Socks, the first two after their subsequent groves of academe, the latter as anointed by Illinois.

Blue Socks was, at that time in Midland, what white citizens called a Mexican.  She went to Austin junior high – the only Blue Jacket that was not in San Jacinto.  I met her during the summer Junior League baseball season before I entered the 9th grade.  Blue Socks attended every game, participating in the warm-ups, hitting fungos for the outfielders to shag, testing the catcher’s arms by stealing second base, daring runners to race her to the fence and back.  The Mexican players called her Profa.  When I asked Manchado about that, he tapped his head and said “smart.”  The English spoken by Blue Socks lacked the heavily accented West Texas dialect, so I knew she was not raised in Midland.  Regrettably, I did not learn anything about her personal history.    

I could immediately sense her power – now I do realize that the Spanish expression for what I recognized in her is sangre pesada, thick blood, but I did not know Spanish at that time.  When I formed the Blue Jean Jacket Gang during my 9th grade year, what I did know is that Blue Socks should be in the Choir.  Who would ever suspect?

The Choir always met at Illinois’ house.  He had a huge library of 45 rpm records, and his mother tolerated loud music, which we employed to hide our treachery.  Blue Socks arrived with me the first time the Choir met her.  The two white boys just stared at her, speechless.  I introduced her by her real names, all four of them, telling them that she was on the team.  Nobody responded.  Illinois broke the ice by putting Mule Skinners on his record player and turning the volume up as high as it would go.  When the anthem ended, silence filled the room again.

Abruptly, the deeply accented West Texas parlance spoken by Illinois burst out.  “Whadaya wont with her?  Kaint you see she’d have to ketch up all the time.  We’d have to go git her.  Does she speak English?”  Unaffected, Blue Socks stared icily at Illinois, and with her voice dripping the syrup of sarcasm, she shot back, “Can you pronounce English?”  Tulane and I burst out laughing.  Feisty!  She was in.

The Choir’s first mission that included Blue Socks was to avenge humiliation inflicted upon Illinois by his English teacher.  Illinois’ essay had been disgraced with red ink and marked “D,” the first non-A grade he had ever received, one blinkered according to Illinois.  Proper retaliation was vandalizing the trees and the car at the teacher’s house with blue crepe paper and white soap.  The Sunday night raid was successful.  Illinois teased Blue Socks for wearing a knit cap to hide her hair, while cynically extolling her for keeping up.

The Skinner’s followed the revenge mission with an attack on a gathering attended by MHS sophomores.  During those years, Johnny Mathis parties were fashionable.  These socials were sanctioned in parentally approved darkened living rooms, locations devoted to deep, wet kisses and heavy breathing hastened by Johnny’s seductive murmurs.  Such group-gropes normally included about six necking, panting couples.

Coitus interruptus served as the objective of the Skinner attack.  First, all guests’ cars were decorated with blue crepe paper, this, of course, to identify the raiders.  In those days, car horns were honked by pressing on a ring inside the steering wheel.  This made jerry-rigging horns easy.  Bricks attached to cords served as weights to pull car horn rings into a honking position that would endure until the cord was cut.  Each Skinner was assigned a car horn to detonate.  The prank was to lure the neckers from their cuddles into the street, where, hidden in the dark, stealth Skinners could jeer and hoot at them before slipping into the night.

After four Skinners had attached their weights to the horns, Tulane, the torchman, using his flashlight as a signal, beamed for us to drop the bricks and hide and jeer before meeting at an assigned rendezvous.  On command the horns blared out and we all waited to watch the gropers rush from the front door of the assignation abode.  They did and our hoots and heckles rang out.

Then came the surprise of the night.  In the street directly in front of the honking horns streaked a fleeing figure, taunting and gesturing at the gropers, several of whom, though taken by surprise, burst into futile pursuit, but were soon outdistanced by, of course, Blue Socks.  We three boys were so stunned that we just stood there and watched, hidden in the bushes.  Later, at the rendezvous spot, we found Blue Socks awaiting us.  She looked straight at Illinois and said in her best imitation of Espanglish, “Jew got jew fas chooz?”  “You got you fast shoes?”

The stunt by Blue Socks energized the Choir.  Also it relaxed the mood between Illinois and Blue Socks.  At that time Illinois tagged her with the nickname Blue Socks.  He refused to explain the origin of that label, declaring that it would only make her head swell.  Tulane finally pried it out of him.  I only learned it from Tulane years later at Ruby Red’s in New Orleans. 

Blue Socks also marked us with monikers.  Illinois became Beso.  Why?  “Because you want to kiss me,” she answered.  He probably did.  Tulane instantly distorted Beso into Bozo.  To Blue Socks, Tulane became Dude.  Why?  Because it sounds like your real name.  Later we learned she spelled him Dood.  I was Greeto.  Why?  Because you call the shots.  Later I learned that it was spelled grito.

Blue Socks proved to be an imaginative innovator who greatly enhanced our pranks.  Regarding the Johnny Mathis Passion Parties, she pioneered two embellishments.  One addition was to tie the cars together.  Tulane, the true mechanic of the Choir, fabricated black ropes with hooks that could be attached to the rear drive axle of one car and to the front axle of the car behind.  Passion puffed drivers received a severe jolt when they attempted to pull away from the curb.  Watching from the bushes, we could see that drivers were dumbstruck and had no idea what had happened, most of them not even stepping outside the car to investigate, instead hitting the gas again, producing a second shockwave.

Many yards in Midland had underground sprinklers controlled by a long shaft with which to turn the water on or off.  Blue Socks suggested that we turn on the water before setting the horns honking.  This improvement served to cool down the gropers who rushed out the door.

Perhaps the paramount contribution by Blue Socks was the Smudge Pot Caper.  Several of the fathers in Blue Socks’ neighborhood worked for the City.  From local gossip she learned that the City was retiring the devices we called smudge pots.  These were round, black cans holding oil that served to fuel a wick so as to produce a flame.  The pots performed as flares to warn of road damage or construction ahead.  The discarded pots had been tossed into the dump on the southeast side of Midland.

Blue Socks proposed a traffic control caper using the abandoned pots.  Her plan centered on the usual Friday night MHS football game and the traffic associated with it.  The pots would be used to block intersections and divert traffic to a street dead-ending at a building displaying a provocative banner.

The design called for twelve pots, two per intersection to be blocked.  Blue Socks convinced some of her neighborhood boys with cars to retrieve the pots from the dump and deliver them to a hiding place in the alley behind Hank’s market across from the football stadium.  On Thursday night before the game, Tulane and I checked the pots to see that they worked and had enough oil to burn for a while, and then we carried all of them to selected spots in other alleys where they could be easily placed at strategic intersections.

To create an alibi, all Skinners except Blue Socks attended the football game until after the third quarter.  Then three boys slipped away and found Blue Socks.  Each Skinner had been assigned an intersection to block, with instructions to meet at San Jacinto after the pots were lit.  The Skinners hurried toward the hidden pots.  The caper commenced.     

Fortunately for us, the score had been close, and fans stayed for the entire game.  Leaving the stadium parking lot, most traffic turned east onto Cuthbert.  Within a short distance, L Street, on the driver’s left, dead-ended into Cuthbert.  The first two pots were ignited there, forcing Cuthbert traffic to turn left, or north, onto L.  The northbound traffic then crossed Country Club, Bedford, Harvard and Princeton before reaching Douglas.  Ignited pots were placed at all those crossings, discouraging traffic from leaving L Street.

At the intersection of L and Douglas, ignited pots forced traffic to turn left onto Douglas.  One block ahead, Douglas dead-ended into San Jacinto junior high school on N Street.  Headlights shining on the outside wall of the school revealed a big white butcher-paper banner decorated with blue crepe paper ribbons.  The word Buttery welcomed drivers.

We Skinners hid in the shrubs and watched.  Cars approached slowly, already confused by the unexpected smudge pot detours.  Quickly the traffic began to backup and come to a stop all the way back to L Street.  Surprisingly, no one honked their horns.  But residents began to come out their doors to see what was happening.  As the front cars cautiously turned right or left onto N Street, we heard sirens in the distance.

The first flashing lights arrived at the intersection of Douglas and L Street.  A second cop car quickly followed, then turned onto Douglas and headed toward San Jacinto.  That car stopped at N Street and the cop beamed his spotlight onto the Buttery banner.  We could hear his radio crackle.  The cop stepped out of his car and began to wave his flashlight to direct traffic to the right on N Street.

Suddenly, through the headlights illuminating the cop and the Buttery banner, streaked a cackling runner headed south toward Princeton.  Blue Socks had bolted from the shrubs to taunt the cop!  He was surprised and caught totally flat-footed, and she went flying by him so close that he flinched and almost fell down.  The three Skinners hiding in the shrubs were as astounded as the cop!  Hurriedly we slipped to a nearby alley and sprinted away as fast as we could.

My house was only a block from San Jacinto, on the corner of Princeton and N Street, so Illinois, Tulane, and I headed there, still laughing in disbelief at what we had seen, wondering where Blue Socks had gone.  We walked into the dark carport.  Suddenly from the silent blackness rang out a familiar voice.  “Jew got jew fas chooz?”

The Blue Jackets disbanded after our 9th grade year.  Blue Socks entered MHS after she left Austin junior high.  I saw her only briefly at MHS, then she disappeared entirely.  Oscár and Jesse, two players on the MHS baseball team, told me that she had moved away from Midland.  She was a hell of a Skinner.  She stamped an everlasting mark on me.  Preceding all the missions following the Smudge Pot Caper, she always asked Skinners, “Jew got jew fas chooz?”  I loved her.

Here in Oaxaca de Juárez, I frequent a sidewalk café called Chacho’s.  My compañeros there surround a wide, round table that, acknowledging their authority and covenant, I call the mesa de los caciquis, the Chief’s Table.  Normally present are at least one doctor, an engineer, two accountants, a banker, and the colonia mayordomo, all well-educated and well-traveled, all fellows of the clase politica, the ruling socio-economic class.  Seemingly a knowledgeable crowd to consult. 

I described Blue Socks to my compañeros there, asking them if there was a Spanish characterization for such a woman.  They proposed guerrera, jefa, cacica, cabrona, corajuda, machetona, chingona, and amazona.  However, all these received only mild support because they failed to address intellect.  I suggested tatamandón, but this was dismissed because the word always means a male, even if you add an “a” on the end.  Alas, that exclusive crowd offered no verbal portrait for a Mejicana like Blue Socks. 

Raúl, the head waiter, listening to us, carried the discussion to the kitchen.  There, the planchero, the untutored griller, told him that the sought depiction is mamá luchona, fighter mom.  Once apprised of this, the erudite round table roundly agreed. 

Back at my house, I searched the internet for Mamá Luchona.  ¡Que va!  Turns out she is a Mexican icon!  Moreover, not only did I find her, but also I found her blue socks!

Here she is.  Blue Socks, MamáLuchona.

Sound Track Blue Jackets

1.           Rebel-rouser

2.           Good Golly Miss Molly

3.          Mule Skinners

4.        Sleep Walk

5.          Curfew

6.          Mack the Knife

7.          Rumble

8.        What’d I Say?

9.          Apache

10.       That’ll be the Day

11.         Bongo Rock

12.         Beatnik Fly

13.         Whole Lotta Shakin’

14.         Waterloo

15.       Rock & Roll is Here to Stay

Leave a Reply