General Fiction posted July 26, 2020

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Songs my mother sang to me...

I Wish I Was a Fascinating Bitch

by judelesemann

My mother was such a hot ticket. She was always ready to play a tune on her piano or her ukelele. She could break out into song at a moment's notice or a fervent request from her "public". She was a party girl to be admired or avoided. She loved singing the bawdy songs from the '20s and '30s. When she was sixteen she was hitting the speakeasies in New York City and proud of it.

We live in Tombstone, Arizona, "The Town Too Tough to Die". No, we are not a ghost town as some gringos believe. We and about 1,500 townsfolk are alive and well. On a busy weekend, we can swell to over 2,500.

Dressing up in the 1880's garb is a common occurrence for most of the townsfolk. My husband, Don, and I have a closetful of interesting apparel, everything from schoolmarm to preacher, hussy to a cowboy. We were members of the Boothill Gunslingers, the gunfighters who did the reenactments of the shootout in the OK Corral. In the show, I hid a derringer on my leg and got to shoot my husband when he refused to pay his two bucks for my services. He'd fall in the dust and I had my retribution...but not my $2.00. This continued until his knees wore out at which time we retired.

One Saturday we decided to dress Mom up and called her "Madam Ruby, The World's oldest Hussy". She loved it. We got her all gussied up with satin, lace, and feathers and headed for Tombstone.

She was so in character that the cowboys hugged her, tourists requested photos and autographs. She played the tambourine with Johnny Bones who played the ancient bones on the streets of Tombstone.

We bar hopped all over town. In Big Nose Kate's Saloon, the bartender picked up her tab and blew her a kiss. She charmed everyone she met...she mesmerized her fans. Cowboys gave her warm hugs and kissed her hand.

The height of the afternoon was her arrival at the Dragoon Saloon where her grandson, Carey, was the barkeeper. He immediately greeted her and she ordered him to bring her a beer.

"Come on Grammy, sing us a song, implored Carey. Little did we know what was coming. The bar patrons encouraged her to sing a song and so she did...

"I wish I was a fascinatin' bitch
I'd never be poor, I'd always be rich
I'd live in a house with a little red light
Sleep all day and work all night
Once every month I take a little rest -- drive my customers wild
I wish I was a fascinating bitch instead of an illegitimate child."

Yes, my mother was a fascinating lady.

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