Friday night found The Armadillo Palace on Kirby packed tight with urban cowboys and their womenfolk, all geared up to catch a performance by the legendary Billy Joe Shaver, songwriter for the likes of Willie Nelson and Patty Loveless.
Billy Joe’s the real deal, currently out on bond after shooting a man in the face outside Papa Joe’s Texas Saloon in Lorena. (The man survived, and is reported to have been asked by Billy Joe just before being capped, “Where do ya want it?”)
As you might imagine, the ambiance was not one in which you would expect to find one of Houston’s leading society mavens. So you can picture Miss Pop Rock’s shock when the denim-clad Billy Joe announced from the stage, “Ladies and gentlemen, Carolyn Farb is in the audience tonight.”
I stared at Mr. Pop Rocks and our good friend who’d joined us for the evening, nearly dropping my Bud Light.
“Did he just say…Carolyn Farb?” I asked in bewilderment. Granted, The Armadillo Palace is the kind of joint that serves an eight dollar chicken sandwich, so it’s not exactly slumming it. But it’s a far cry from a table at Café Annie. (Or wherever it is that those society types hang out.)
Despite my initial surprise, I realized Billy Joe was right. Seated at a table down front was Ms. Farb, dressed in a little black number complete with her platinum blond hair in a cute little upswing. Over the course of the evening, she made her way to the front to give Billy Joe a hug and shake her tail feathers to Shaver’s immortal, “If the Trailer’s Rockin’, Don’t Come Knockin’.” She seemed to be having the time of her life, and, I have to admit, she can do a pretty decent two step. I glanced about, wondering if I’d catch a glimpse of Becca Cason Thrash sharing a cig with the busboy.
Maybe it was the beer talking, but as I watched Carolyn dance throughout the evening, I started waxing sentimental about the grande dame.
“I know she’s had more work done than the Katy Freeway, but my God, that woman is one of this city’s true power brokers,” I said. “I have to say, I admire her.”
My friend nodded in agreement, then gasped.
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“My God! She’s drinking beer…out of a bottle!”
And so it went for most the evening, Carolyn popping up out of her seat every so often to dance, and my friend and I whispering a running commentary about her every move.
Say what you will about the River Oaks set. If one of them can show up to down some bottled booze and dance to a real country singer, they earn my respect. Carolyn, if you’re reading this, Miss Pop Rocks sends her love. – Jennifer Mathieu
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