Monday Music: Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers Do 'Green and Dumb'

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One time the fuel pump in my Jeep quit working and left my wife and me broken down on a back road in eastern Arizona. We hiked 10 miles, half of it in the rain and the last mile in hail, to the nearest ranch in hope of finding help. When we finally reached the ranch, we found all the livestock and trucks and tools and we were relieved to have a glimmer of hope in the goodness of the sort of people who live on a ranch far from civilization. Except there were no people. We waited in the chilly rain with the horses and dogs and chickens. Hours peeled away until dusk. Hell yes we were worried and frustrated and helpless. Not knowing what else to do, I decided that my wife was going to at least have a shelter over her head for the night.

So I broke into the bunkhouse. It was mostly a dusty old place where the owners kept discarded furniture. So, bonus, we had some floppy couches, if layered in dust, to sleep on for the night.

Our plan was simply to wait it out until the folks came home, whom we'd seen and waved to and hello'd just the day before. By morning, they never did show. So we laced up our shoes again, hungry but refreshed and recharged, hiked another 10 miles to the next ranch. Near that second ranch a woman saw us coming down the road on our two feet and asked with genuine curiosity, "What are you kids doin' out here?" She had a long sandy brown braid, a hat, blue shirt and blue jeans.

We told her our tale and she flipped. Her name was Sharon. Sharon put us up in her bunkhouse and fed us, notified the sheriff, helped us make a phone call to our folks at the "phone booth," a bush on a hill with the best reception. That, in as short as I can tell it, is our experience with bunkhouses on Arizona ranches.

The song in this video, Green and Dumb by Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers (RCPM), is one that especially resonates with us when we think about that time we broke down. It's a love song mostly, but it's also about a dude who gets kicked out of the house by his wife and has to sleep . . . in the bunkhouse.

Give it a listen. It's a live version, and a pretty good recording by someone I don't know, so you get to hear the crowd crooning along to the outdoor desert imagery and, yes, falling in love.


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