Several authors are coming out with stories based on three songs by Marty Robbins: El Paso, Feleena and El Paso City.
This is a follow up to our first "Invitational" in the fall of 2006 with entries based on the Statler Brother's song, "This Bed of Rose's." If there is continuing support we might make this a regularly semi-annual event.
As always I would like to thank my editors, LadyCibelle and Techsan, for their continuing editing of my stories.
Chapter 1: The Beginning:
I'll start off by saying my name is Bill and I'm twenty-five years old. I'm a general contractor; I do all types of home repair and improvements. I've been working in Louisiana for over two months now helping to rebuild homes for the needy. I'm self-employed but hooked up with a contracting crew to do this work.
I got a call from my dad the other day asking if I could go to El Paso, Texas for a combination family reunion and the celebration of my Grandfather turning ninety. I was the youngest of all the grandkids in the family. I told my dad I would be sure to be there.
My grandfather might be old but he had a memory that wouldn't quit. He was great when it came to history but had a hard time remembering what he had for breakfast that morning. He and my grandmother were married for seventy years. She was eighty-seven and they still lived in their own home down in El Paso.
I told Meek Contracting that I would be leaving them at the end of the month. I wanted to give them time to find a replacement. I was good at what I did and could find work just about anywhere. I dated a lot of girls in the cities where I worked but didn't have anyone that I was overly serious about. I moved around too much and most women seemed to want to stay put.
I looked back on my schooling and knew I wasn't the smartest kid in the class. In fact I just got by on average grades. I knew I wouldn't be going to college so I took up general contracting in our tech schools. Got my diploma and set out working.
I found that I was good working with my hands. Home repair, electric to plumbing, I could do it all. The reason I brought all this knowledge stuff up was because since I got out of school, I found I was interested in history. Being down in Louisiana I learned a lot about the past of people living there. Now I kind of wished I would have listened a little more in school when it came to history. I began to find the history of the different regions of the United States fascinating.
I had been watching the HBO series 'Deadwood' with my dad when I was home. It was something about the way they lived back then. I wondered how much was made up and how much might have been true. Dad told me to ask Grandpa when I saw him. If anyone knew anything about Western history, it would be Grandpa.
I headed down to El Paso to see the family. About half our relatives still lived in the state of Texas. The rest of the family lived all over the United States. This would be the first time that almost all our relatives were going to try to be there for the family reunion and Grandpa's birthday.
I had one uncle that owned a motel in El Paso and he had it all booked up with relatives. Other family members were staying with relatives who lived in the area. Mom and Dad were going to stay at Grandpa and Grandma's house. They told me that I could stay there too. At first I was just going to stay at a motel, but since I spend half my life in motels, I told Dad I'd be happy to stay at Grandpa's.
They had a finished basement that no one used anymore. My grandparents were too old to climb steps. The room was mainly used for storage now. I had to move a lot of stuff around just so I could get near the bed.
The house as a whole needed some work done. My grandparents kind of let it go. A couple of my aunts and uncles as well as my dad pulled me aside and asked if they could talk with me. They asked me if I would be willing to fix up my grandparents' house. They would all chip in and buy all the needed material. I could live in the basement for as long as needed to get the place fixed up.
I figured I could get it done in about a month; new windows, siding and a new roof. They offered to pay me but I told them that it wouldn't be necessary. It's the least I could do for my grandparents. I wasn't hurting for money and I was going to have free room and board as it was. I told them I would start on it as soon as the reunion was over. I figured if I did need any extra money, I could easily pick up a remodeling job or two in the area.
I came up from my room in the basement when I started hearing laughter coming from upstairs. A lot of the relatives were arriving. The reunion was to be the next day and the birthday party for Grandpa was on Sunday. Most everyone would probably be there for all of it. As I walked upstairs I saw some of my cousins, aunts and uncles.
It was great seeing all my relatives. Many of them I met for the first time and others I hadn't seen since I was a little kid. Overall we were a damn good looking and friendly family. I had three older sisters who were coming in with their families in the morning. There sure were a lot of people arriving.
As I was looking around, my dad came up to me. He was a great father and always stood by me. Of course I was his youngest child and his only son. While we were talking I looked toward the door and said, "Holy shit!" My dad looked toward the door to see what grabbed my attention. There stood the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. Of course it was just my opinion, but if there was such a thing as love at first sight, it just happened to me.
She looked to be Mexican or of some type of Guatemalan descent. Shoulder length dark hair and deep brown eyes. I saw her smile and she had those beautiful dimples. The best way for me to try to describe her is to say she wasn't dressed sexy but she looked sexy. If she had on a potato sack she would draw my attention.
"Dad, who is she? Is she a cousin or relation of ours? Everyone else here is a relative or married to one. Damn, Dad she takes my breath away."
"Easy, Billy," my dad laughed. "She isn't a relative, but she is here to see someone."
"Just my luck, Dad. I see someone like that and she's with a relative. Who's the lucky guy, Dad?" I asked.
Dad started laughing. "It isn't funny, Dad; it's just something about her." I was always able to talk openly with my dad that way. He wasn't just my dad but was probably my best friend. I could tell him anything and he would do his best to help me out. Most sons don't have fathers like him.
"I'm not laughing at you, Billy. It's just that I've never seen you fall for a girl that you haven't even met. She is a cute one though. The person she's here to see is Grandpa. She's his and Grandma's nurse. She stops by every day to make sure they are okay."
"So she's not a relative and not a girlfriend of a relative. Gosh, I sure hope she's single, Dad."
"She's single, Bill," Dad laughed again.
She had walked up to Grandpa and was talking to him. Grandpa saw me watching her and he waved to me to come over to him.
"Billy," Grandpa always called me Billy. He was Bill, my dad was William and of course that made me Billy. We were all Williams and I was the third. "Billy, I want you to meet Corinna. She may be beautiful on the outside, but once you get passed that soft beautiful person you'll see this horrible mean nurse."
"Oh, Grandpa Bill," that's what Corinna called my Grandpa. "I'm not that mean. Someone has to get you to take your medications and help you with your diet. Besides, underneath that gruff exterior, I know you love me," smiled Corinna.
Corinna looked over at me. "So, I finally get to meet you. Your Grandfather has talked about you for the longest time. He told me that I was going to... never mind, it isn't important," spoke Corinna.
"Yes, it is! What did he say?" I asked to a blushing Corinna.
Grandpa blurted out, "I told her that after you saw her that you would fall in love with her just like I did. I told her that one day the two of you would get married and she would be my granddaughter. You two would have the most beautiful offspring."
"I'm sorry," said Corinna. "I should have never mentioned it. I'm so embarrassed."
"Hogwash!" said Grandpa. "What do you think, Billy? Was I wrong?"
"Corinna, Grandpa's right. I don't want to embarrass you since we just met, but you are one beautiful woman and over the next few days, maybe we can get to know each other a little better."
"I told you, Corinna, didn't I? Billy and I have the same taste in women. Billy, don't let this one get away. I've been saving her for you."
"Grandpa Bill, stop it. You're embarrassing me," smiled Corinna. "If you don't behave I'll give you a shot in the behind in front of everyone, or I'll tell Grandma Louise and she'll set you straight." Corinna called my grandmother Grandma Louise. She told me later she didn't feel right just calling them Bill and Louise since they were so much older. That's when Grandpa told her what to call them.
Corinna had graduated from nursing school about a year ago. Her mother was also a nurse and she took care of Grandma and Grandpa for the last six years. After Corinna graduated, her mom asked my grandparents if they would mind Corinna taking over their account. Grandpa said he knew Corinna from the day she was born and would be glad to have her help them out.
.... There is more of this story ...