Wednesday, February 23, 2022

It's A Bird! It's A Plane! or The Pentagon!

This is The Cousin Nancy Show transcription for my Episode 13 (2-23-22) It's A Bird! It's A Plane! or The Pentagon! podcast and I hope that you will enjoy it. To listen to it please click on The Cousin Nancy Show, on the side bar. Or please click below:

Episode 13 (2-23-22)

IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE! or The Pentagon!

Today I am going to tell you a funny story about my dear friend Henry B. Gonzalez, from Austin, Texas who passed away a few years ago. But 1st, before I do that I want to give you a Cousin Boomer update.


A few weeks ago Cousin Boomer came over, because he needed to borrow a ladder from us, which I wasn't real thrilled about, because he is prone to accidents, because he isn't  the brightest crayon in the box.

When he arrived both of his ears were bandaged, so Tony asked him what happened to your ears?

Boomer told him "the other day is was ironing my Wranglers when the phone rang and by accident I picked up the iron instead of the phone."

Then I asked him "What happened to your other ear?"

And he said, "As soon as I put it down—it rang again." 

The title of this episode is:  It's A Bird, It's a Plane! or The Pentagon!

In 1986, My late husband, Jim, and I had an embroidery business in Austin, Texas or better said in Westlake, Texas. The wealthiest neighborhood surrounded by Austin.

It was a fun business and we usually had to work 7 days a week just to keep up with the demand, because we had so much business. 

The best part or most fun part of our business was working with celebrities, musicians, artists, the film industry, night clubs & bars, radio stations, etc. And not to brag, but to brag we did business with the University of Texas, Austin City Limits, Willie Nelson, the Broken Spoke, Ben Crenshaw, Joe Ely, The Geezinslaw Brothers, the Belamy Brothers, Grateful Dead, Austin Rodeo, Henry's Bar, Desert Rose Band, Jerry Jeff Walker, Asleep at The Wheel, etc. And the Pentagon.

And that is how we met one of the nicest, kindness and multi-talented man, Henry B. Gonzalez, who was one of the members of the famous Armadillo World Headquarters— Armadillo Art Squad. A group of young artists who created all the posters, handbills and print ads that promoted the performances at the Armadillo.

Henry was also an integral part in the Austin Music Scene, too. Including working with the Austin Opera House and in 2004 he was part of the founding group of the famous South Austin Museum of Popular Culture.

And when Henry wasn't doing one of those activities he was either a stage hand or a stage manager or was off touring with several national and local bands, including the late great Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Jim & I first met Henry when he came into our embroidery shop to pick up two huge boxes of Asleep At The Wheel's embroidered caps, for the band to sell and also five tour jackets for the band members. And that was the day we instantly became best of friends with Henry.

And from that day forward Henry would stop by our shop at least 2-3 times a month for fun visits. And we always loved seeing him, because we loved Henry, as did everyone who knew him. 

Henry would often tell us hilarious stories, about him being on the road with the bands and they were so funny our backs would often ache from laughing so hard. 

So now I am going to tell you one of my most favorite stories that Henry told us when he had been on the road working with Asleep at the Wheel, in Las Vegas, in 1991. It went something like this:

One night after doing a late show, Tim Alexander and a couple of other band members and Henry weren't tired, so they decided to go outside to get some fresh air, and take a walk on The Drag.

They were walking and feeling no pain when they looked up and saw down the Strip, these huge, flashing lights crisscrossing the sky, so they decided to walk down there to check it out.

It turned out to be several big search lights that are used for events and grand openings, etc. And there were all of these people gathered around, in this roped off area, in front of the hotel. And all of these people were all looking up and watching the sky.

They asked a security guard what was going on and he told them that they were shooting a scene, for the movie Honeymoon In Las Vegas, starring Nicholas Cage, Sarah Jessica Parker, James Caan and Pat Morita and then he invited all of them to join the crowd of onlookers, because they needed extras for the crowd scene in the movie. 

So they joined the crowd and looked up towards the sky, too. Then minutes later there was an announcement for everyone to look up and start applauding, because they were fixin' to shoot the Flying Elvises scene.

So they looked up and saw the plane and then they watched all of these Elvises jumping out of the plane and opening up their parachutes.

Then Henry told us that while many of the Elvises were landing on target—some of them weren't that lucky.

They watched one Elvis crash into the side of the hotel. Then another Elvis slammed into a balcony knocking over a table and chairs. And then another Elvis landed on top of the crowd and his parachute got all tangled up in the crowd…It was absolutely hilarious. And fortunately no one got seriously hurt…"

Then Jim, Henry and I all started laughing and we could not quit laughing for several minutes making silly jokes like—It's a bird. It's a plane…

Now here are a couple of thoughts that I have about skydiving:

  1. If at first you don't succeed—skydiving is not for you.

    2.   What's the hardest part of skydiving? The ground! Or slamming into a Las Vegas hotel wall or balcony.

Folks, since this podcast involves Jim's & my embroidery shop, I am going to go ahead and put it on a bumper sticker, so to speak, and tell y'all the story about us working with the Pentagon. And don't worry—it is not TOP SECRET.

Jim and I were good friends with Patrick, who lived in Westlake. He was a highly successful, powerful attorney, in Austin. And he used to love to hang out at our shop and visit with us.

Patrick was also a reservist or something like that for a high security, government naval agency that worked out of the Pentagon, in DC. 

Anyway, he had asked us to embroider a few dozen shirts and caps with this agency's logo, for some kind of upcoming event. Because he wanted to give them as gifts to his friends and team members.

We told Patrick that we could do that, but we would need to get some kind of permission, clearance or official authorization, from this government agency, and Patrick had no problem with getting us that information. Because within just a few days we had received authorization from a General that worked at the Pentagon.

Bottom Line__We embroidered Patrick's caps and golf shirts. And Patrick told us they were a big hit and in the future he would be ordering more caps and shirts, etc. 

Patrick also told us that his friend, a General, at the Pentagon, would be calling us soon to order caps, hats and jackets from us, and that we had his permission to sew them for him, because Patrick had paid for the set-up cost of digitizing the logo.

Several weeks passed by since our last talk with Patrick and his General friend still hadn't called us.

Anyway, one afternoon two, rich, obviously young-gold-digging women came into our shop with a bag of towels to be embroidered. And Jim waited on them, because I was in the middle of sewing corporate logos on Ben Crenshaw's golf shirts and I was working on a tight deadline. 

(FYI: Ben Crenshaw was a 2 times Masters Champion and in 1995, when he won his 2nd Masters tournament, he was actually wearing one of the golf shirts that I had embroidered for him, with all of his sponsor's logos embroidered on it.) 

Anyway, as I was sewing Barton Springs Country Club logos or Nextel's or one of Ben's other sponsor's logos on Ben's expensive Bobby Jones' golf shirts— I watched these two, rude women giving my husband a hard time and talking down to him—like he didn't know a thing about embroidery and I was getting madder by the minute.

I wanted to stop sewing and go over to the counter and handle these two, obnoxious, you-know-what, but I had to keep sewing.

Anyway, minutes later, as they continued to waste Jim's time, because she was unable to make a thread color decision, our telephone rang. So I paused the computer and I answered it. "PDQ. How may I help you?…Yes, please hold for just a moment." It was the General.

Then I loudly interrupted one of the women and I said very casually, "Excuse me Jim, it is the Pentagon, again. I'll take over with your customers, because the General said it was very important."

Oh my goodness, you should have seen the shocked expressions on these two women's faces. And I am pretty sure that they were thinking—"The Pentagon calling? What? Who are these people?" 

Within three minutes, as Jim was quoting the General the price for his caps and shirts order, I had finished taking the woman's embroidered towel order. And I am embarrassed to admit this, but I charged the snob double the regular price. 

Because Jim & I used to always brag to our customers and friends—that we never posted our prices—because we charged by the attitude.

And that is about it for today's podcast. But before I leave, please remember my favorite quote—"Life is short. And so am I!"

For pictures and more information about the late, great Henry B. Gonzales, please go to and click on the link to my blog. 

And lastly, I want to say, "Dear God, please bless Henry B. Gonzalez, because he was a true friend of mine and I will always love him." 

Y'all take care, keep on laughing and thank y'all for listening!