Elgin gets a kick out of Kinky

Author, musician and humorist Kinky Friedman signs autographs following his Nov. 21 talk in Elgin, Texas

Kinky Friedman is many things: a musician, a humorist, and a prolific author. On Sunday, Nov. 21, he was above all a Texan.

Friedman spoke before an audience of approximately 120, giving his take on what makes a real hero. He read from his book, Heroes of a Texas Childhood and spoke on other topics. Friedman signed autographs and posed for photos for an hour and a half. He also gave a $300 donation to the Friends of the Elgin Public Library, the group that sponsored his talk.

Friedman peppered his talk with one-liners that got laughs from the audience. “I’m 66, but I read at the 68-year-old level,” he said. He joked that he planned to be cremated and have his ashes “sprinkled in Rick Perry’s hair.”

Friedman’s 23 heroes included the likes of Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, Barbara Jordan, Willie Nelson and his own father Tom Friedman. “These people are my heroes, not because of who they were, what families they were born into, or because they worked hard or were brave,” he said. “I chose these people because of their tragedies and challenges and how they dealt with those challenges.”

Friedman said he showed the table of contents of his book to a group of college graduates, who only recognized three out of 23 names. They had never heard of Congresswoman Barbara Jordan or WWII hero Audie Murphy. “I think people need to know upon whose shoulders they stand,” he said. “If I ever become governor, I’ll make my book mandatory reading in public schools.”

At times, Friedman’s talk entered the political realm. He said he hoped that Governor Rick Perry, being a staunch conservative, might have the ability to end the death penalty in Texas. He noted that many believe Cameron Todd Willingham, was wrongly executed for arson in 2004. “Christians, I apologize that you have to hear it from a Jew, but remember that’s who you heard it from the first time,” he said.

Friedman said one of his main goals when he ran for governor was the “De-wussification of Texas.” He cited as examples of wussification, or weakening character, the arrest of drinkers in a Dallas hotel bar by undercover police, and the scandal caused when he was photographed drinking a Guinness beer during a St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “I drank it, but I did not swallow,” he said.

He quoted Jordan as saying that political correctness “is going to drown our culture” and said the term was popularized by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Freidman’s reading was about his father, who grew up in Chicago during the 1920s, earning money by working for a peddler in a horse-drawn cart, running groceries up to tenement dwellers. His father went on to became a Navigator on a bomber plane during WWII, a college professor and owner of a summer camp in the Texas Hill Country.

Friedman said his father taught him to “treat children like adults and adults like children.”

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under humor, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s