Who Is Steve Lucas…

I was born in a small, west Texas town called Seagraves.  It was a place surrounded by cotton fields and oil wells.

My mother was a school teacher.  Since it was a small place, at one time or another, she taught me, my sister, who was two years older than me…and my brother, who was two years younger than me…and most all the other kids in town.

Seagraves is located in “Gaines County” which was considered, what they call, a “dry county”.  I was never sure why dry counties were established.  Even though it was illegal for a business to sell alcohol, it seems that there were plenty of people that liked to drink alcoholic beverages.  And, they obviously had no trouble finding alcohol to drink either!

My dad was neither a cotton farmer or an oil man.  But, he was a pretty important man.  If you managed to get yourself sick and needed medicine, you would find him behind the counter in the local drug store (that’s what they called them back then…and not pharmacies) filling prescriptions.  I later found out that he was never actually licensed to do this kind of work.  But, his boss taught him the correct way to do it and he did as he was told.

If you managed to drink too much of that alcohol that you were not supposed to have and you got yourself in to a car crash…well, my dad would be called to the scene as he was also the ambulance driver…and on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.   He would rush out and pick up whatever was left of you and, depending on the shape you were in, he would take you to the hospital or, a less desirable place called a mortuary.  The truth is, I saw a lot of people go to both places while I was growing up.  I probably even saw things as a kid that…kids probably shouldn’t even see.  But, as it was, I was the oldest son and sometimes, I was all the help that my dad could find at a moments notice.

If you were one of those unlucky people that got yourself injured beyond repair and you ended up at the mortuary, well…my dad was there too!  He was the local mortician.  This was a job that he DID have a license for.  I often wondered why anyone would want to go to college to become a mortician.  Now that I’m older, I can see how it would  probably be a lot less stressful than being a doctor.  And you certainly wouldn’t have to listen to the people you worked on complain!  But, on the downside…I know it didn’t pay as well as doctors get paid either!  Otherwise, I think we would have lived in a nicer place and had more growing up.

However, since we’re on the subject of my dad, it is only my opinion that we didn’t have a lot.  It was my dad’s opinion that we had plenty.  I was told that time and time again.  I especially remember when I would ask my dad to pass me some more of those fried potatoes, he would tell me, “Steve, you’ve had plenty!”

I’m not going to hurt my Mom’s feelings by saying that she wasn’t the best cook.  She was a GREAT school teacher but her cooking was rather limited.  Not to mention that my Dad was probably one of the most finicky eaters of all time.  But one thing my Mom did cook well was fried potatoes.  My Dad loved them as did we kids.  And, all the neighborhood kids loved them too!  There were several of my friends that would come over especially for the fried potatoes!  Isn’t it funny how you always love the foods that are not the most healthy?  Of course, back then…nobody knew.  Or, if they did know…it wasn’t talked about much.  Anyway…according to my Dad…we had plenty!

Fall was always a tough time of year in Seagraves, Texas for me and my Mom.  We both had severe allergies and when the fall crops were harvested and the cotton gins were running in full swing, there was a lot of stuff in the air.  It seems that no matter how much allergy medicine we took, we couldn’t start coughing for days and days at a time.  It was a miserable time of year.

In the summer time, we would go to Colorado for a week or two for vacation.  My parents were in the process of purchasing a small log cabin on 160 acres of land and the whole family just loved it there.  We also discovered that my Mom and I did not suffer from allergies there.  Long story short…by the time I was in the 8th grade in school, we moved to Colorado to live.  I made lots of new friends there and there was always something to do.

I was at the age that…I was becomming more and more interested in girls than I was hanging out with my buddies.  A friend of mine played guitar and, as a result, it seems that he also had more girls interested in him than a lot of other guys.  So, I decided to learn how to play guitar!  I was musical inclined so it didn’t take me long to learn.  We formed a band and played for all the school dances.  It was a great time!  And, yes…I even had girls interested in me!

Between music and high school football…I had little time for studies! (smile)  Fortunately for me, I was the quarterback of the football team!  In fact, from the time I was in the 10th grade until the time that I graduated, I was the first string quarterback.  Football was a big deal in our school.  Lucky for me, I got special treatment from the teachers and I really can’t remember ever taking a book home from school to study.

I didn’t graduate with flying colors.  But, I did graduate in 1967.  I was offered a scholarship at a nearby college to go and play football.  I decided to pursue my music career instead.  I figured I could go back to school later.  After several years, I realized that I should have done those things just the opposite.  But, I decided that it was too late to go back and change.

(to be continued)