South Texas Stomp: A New Age Odyssey

To dream a dream…..

And, to actually build the ships, hire the crew, and take the voyage…a rare sort of mind like the archetypal Odysseus, our son, Dr. Edward M. Robiinson dreamed a dream he never dared to dream…..from AUSTIN TO ABBEY ROAD.

The beginning was Haloween, 1983, a newly formed rock and roll band, naming themselves “Scurvy Otto and the Ricketts”, played at Young’s Pizza in Kingsville, TX.  Their songs fit the times.  Crowd favorites were, “Bang, Bang, It’s Alright” and “Rita, Rita, Won’t You Come on Home”.

Twenty-five years later, one of those band members dreamed a dream–to get the band together again.  Like Odysseus who took a hero’s journey around the Grecian Seas, Ed created a voyage, first in his imagination and then, in real time with real money.  Ed has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and other degrees in Physics, but his lifelong passion for music is a creative force in his world.

Returning from a successful adventure in the world of high tech, he came back to his roots.  Geographically, that meant returning to Texas and emotionally, it was a return to the world of music and his college days with the Ricketts.  He had another band in those days, which he named, “Special Ed and the School Bored”.  We enjoyed many nights out in Kingsville, listening to his music.

And, so the ship set sail in summer of 2008.  The result is an album called South Texas Stomp.   I admit I am prejudiced, but I really like listening to it.  I’m the Mom, so I confess to being biased.  When I watched this young man re-capture the spirit of that time 25 years ago, placing his venture capital in the support of the adventure, I was touched with the dare of the dream.  He risked an amount that could have been used for an Astin-Martin or top of the line Porsche.  He termed it his “mid-life crisis” but a car would have depreciated and the memories the band created will be forever adding value to the lives of all who were there.

Ed hired his sister, Kaye Barlow, to manage the details.  Another sister, Cynthia Barlow, was chronicler and photographer.  Yet another sister, Anna Brown, was hired to be an assistant back at home.  Mike Morgan, Bobby Aycock, Alan Barnette, who were the original Scurvy Otto and Ricketts, were recruited and brought to performance and recording standards at Five AM Studios here in Austin.  Robert Thompson, Cynthia’s husband,  was all around go-for rounding out the crew.

So the trip was made and they created a song to tell the story, “From Austin to Abbey Road,” complete with sound effects of the flight and the streets of London.

Family is a priceless gift.  Paul told me early in our marriage that all we can give our children is memories.  Now the children are returning the favor.  Ed’s creativity was the source of yet another memorable family story.  The band will be in Kingsville on Haloween this year, performing again at Young’s Pizza.  We are going to be there with bells on.