1919 American Dr #111 Lago Vista, TX 78645 US
bluebonnet road

Script for Radio Version

Book by Louise Richardson

Music by Louise Richardson, Ron Kewin, Richard Paul Thomas, Rick Bell

Lyrics by Louise Richardson

Additional Songs by Ron Kewin

Guitar Arrangements by Richard Paul Thomas

Dramatis Personae

OLIVE TRUNDLE, 47, an Austin, Texas divorcee

NOAH TRUNDLE, 27, Olive's older son, a successful local Austin, Texas country-rock musician

JOSEPH “JO JO” TRUNDLE, 19, Olive's younger son, a budding musician
MISTY STRAND, 17, Jo Jo's girlfriend

Time: April 1979

 Overture

The cast sits in a horseshoe arrangement facing outward to the audience on three sides. The playwright stands before the audience.

LOUISE 

Good evening and welcome to our musical “Bluebonnet Road”. I’m Louise Richardson, the playwright. This is like a radio show, so sit back and imagine what’s going on. The month is April. The year is 1979. Noah Trundle is a fairly successful Austin singer/songwriter. It’s early morning as he stands in his Mom’s front yard calling out to his younger brother, Jo Jo. Jo Jo holds on tight to his girlfriend, Misty Strand. Olive Trundle reluctantly follows them. (exits)

Act I, scene i.

NOAH

(stands and calls out)

Spring has sprung. The bluebonnets are waiting for us. Come on, Pilgrim! We're burning daylight!

JO JO and MISTY stand.

JO JO

(to MISTY)

Big brother likes to think he's John Wayne. Just ignore him, Misty.

OLIVE

(stands)

I don't know why I let you talk me into this, Noah, and the sun's barely up.

NOAH

Mom, where's that plucky Olive the farm girl of yesteryear?

JO JO

(to MISTY, kissing her neck)

Or maybe he's an old-timey radio announcer today. It's hard to tell sometimes.

OLIVE

That plucky farm girl of yesteryear is where I left her thirty years ago. By now she'd be thirty feet under the San Gabriel River along with most of her farm and about all of Howdy, Texas.

NOAH

Well, I think we've got enough provisions.

MISTY

(kissing JO JO on the neck)

We spendin' the night, Babe?

JO JO

(lifts a backpack, looks inside)

Looks like but I don't think so. Let's see...Sandwich bread, baloney, mustard, chips, Grandpa, beer...

NOAH

That's for me, Jo Jo. You still have two years before you're legal.

JO JO

(to NOAH)

Bet I could drink you under the table, old man.

MISTY

(to JO JO)

Babe, I always meant to ask. How come your brother is so much older than you? He's like almost thirty.

Jo Jo

Well twenty-seven and change, anyway.

OLIVE

No beer for your breakfast, Joseph Oliver Trundle...again. We had to pump your stomach that one time.

JO JO

Maw, I was nine.

OLIVE

Don't call me "Maw", and the farm, if it's still there, is barely fifty miles away. We won't need provisions.

NOAH

I'll drive the pickup. Mom, you're shotgun. Jo Jo and Misty...

OLIVE

Not on your life. Give me the keys. Misty's got shotgun.

NOAH mimes tossing keys. OLIVE catches them.

OLIVE

You could have brought them to me. Careful with that backpack, Jo Jo, that's your grandfather in that urn.

NOAH

Hold on to your guitar, little brother! Mom'll have us flyin'. Bluebonnets, here we come!

ACT I, scene ii

“Bluebonnet Road” music begins. OLIVE and MISTY sit.

NOAH

(sings)

"Bluebonnet Road"

Chorus:

 Bluebonnet Road, here we go,

 Blue skies above us and below

 As we roll past fields of cotton, fields of corn.

 Blue and white blooms line our way

 On such a sunny Texas day

 And you'd be no place but here sure as you're born.

JO JO

(speaking)

What cotton? What corn?

NOAH

Plenty come fall. (sings)

Verse 1:

 Winding 'round the back roads

 Through black land prairie farms,

 Bluebonnets just a-wavin' in the breeze,

 You get a giddy feelin'

 You're right where you belong

 And you can do anything you please.

Chorus:

 Bluebonnet Road, here we go,

 Blue skies above us and below

 As we roll past fields of cotton, fields of corn.

 Blue and white blooms line our way

 On such a sunny Texas day

 And you'd be no place but here sure as you're born.

JO JO sits as the music fades out and OLIVE stands.

OLIVE

Hold on, Noah, are you sure you know where we’re going?

NOAH

We're not there yet, Mom.

OLIVE

Well, how do I know where we are? Nothing is like it was thirty years ago.

NOAH

Trust me, Mom. It's just a little farther up the road. You know, the old Pruett place.

OLIVE

What do you know about the old Pruett place?

NOAH

You used to tell us, remember, the farm with the high iron gate? I brought Jo Jo there all the time to shoot beer cans with his BB gun.

OLIVE

And when was that?

NOAH

About six years back.

OLIVE

You brought a thirteen-year-old out here to shoot a gun? I suppose you know you were trespassing.

NOAH

Nobody comes here anymore, not until they start developing the land, anyway.

OLIVE

I can't believe we're doing this.

NOAH

It's Grandpa's wish to have his ashes sprinkled over the old farm. 

OLIVE

We don't cremate and sprinkle in this family. We box and bury the way God intended.

NOAH

Just a little farther, Mom. I got my friend Kyle to leave his pontoon boat tied up and anchored there for us. I’ll holler at you when we’re there.

OLIVE sits down. The music starts up again.

NOAH

On the road again! Jump in when you feel it, Little Brother. (sings)

Chorus:

 Bluebonnet Road, here we go,

 Blue skies above us and below

 As we roll past fields of cotton, fields of corn.

 Blue and white blooms line our way

 On such a sunny Texas day

 And you'd be no place but here sure as you're born.

NOAH

Verse 2:

 Basking in the sunshine

  Of an early Texas spring,

 Still enjoying a slight nip in the air,

 You breathe in all the fragrance

 Of wildflowers in the field

 And new life is exploding everywhere.

JO JO stands and sings.

JO JO

Verse 3:

 Riding in the back bed

 Of a rusty pickup truck,

 Rattlin' and a-rollin' down the line,

 Dodging skunks and armadillos

 As you bounce along your way

 And every mile you go you're feeling fine.

NOAH

(speaking)

That's it, Jo Jo!

The brothers join together on the chorus.

NOAH and JO JO

Chorus:

 Bluebonnet Road, here we go,

 Blue skies above us and below

 As we roll past fields of cotton, fields of corn.

 Blue and white blooms line our way

 On such a sunny Texas day

 And you'd be no place but here sure as you're born.

 And you'd be no place but here sure as you're born!

ACT I, scene ii

NOAH

Hey, Mom, we’re here!

The music ends. OLIVE and MISTY stand. NOAH points over the audience.

NOAH

See? There's the old high iron gate. Says “Pruett”.

MISTY goes to JO JO and he holds an arm around her.

JO JO

Look, I can see the boat from here, and the lake.

NOAH

Okay. Let’s take a little walk.

OLIVE

I wish Daddy had told Mama and me about all this. We could have talked him out of it. Nobody knew what he planned until the reading of his will. By then the river was dammed, the land flooded and Mama was already gone. He'd probably forgotten about changing the will altogether. He was very forgetful in his last years.

JO JO

(holding out his hand palm up)

Feels like rain, Noah.

OLIVE and MISTY sit.

NOAH

That's why the boat has an awning, Little Brother. All aboard! Well, except for you and me, Jo Jo. We have to untie the line and weigh the anchor. Heave ho, Matey!

JO JO

(kissing MISTY on the neck)

I hope he's not going to play Captain Bligh all morning.

NOAH

Heave ho, Mr. Trundle.

JO JO

(after a mock salute kisses MISTY's head)

Aye aye, Cap'n Crunch!

JO JO straps the backpack over his shoulder and mimes throwing the line like a lasso.

OLIVE

Hey!

JO JO

Sorry, Maw!

NOAH

Jo Jo, let's shove off.

JO JO

(to MISTY, kissing her forehead)

I think I feel a mutiny coming on.

NOAH

(shouting unseen)

Brace yourselves! (grunting) Push, kid!

NOAH

Take the wheel, Little Brother. I'll start up this thing.

MISTY stands beside JO JO, who pretends to steer a wheel. OLIVE beside NOAH.

ACT I, scene iv

NOAH

Steady as she goes, Mr. Trundle!

JO JO

Whatever you do, don't call me Ishmail...And you can forget about that white whale.

NOAH takes his place next to OLIVE and they all sway side by side gently with the motion of the music for a few bars.

NOAH

Just take us to that big oak tree in the middle island, Little Brother. That's our port of call. Recognize it, Mom?

OLIVE

I think that is Comanche Oak. How did you know about it?

NOAH

You showed me that old picture hundreds of times...and told me how you used to ride out there and tie old Pinto to it, and how you would lie under it and read a Nancy Drew book until sundown.

OLIVE

You didn't need to do all of this for me, you know. I couldn't wait to get away from that farm. Your Grandpa and Grandma moved to Austin just as soon as they could after the war and leased out the place. It never did make anybody a dime. Good riddance to it. I couldn't wait to sell it.

NOAH

But Grandpa must have loved it. He wanted to be sprinkled over it.

OLIVE

Well, he never let on.

MISTY

(to JO JO)

It's starting to rain, Babe. (kisses JO JO's throat) But it's kind of nice, you know?

JO JO

It's misty like you, Misty. I can dig it.

NOAH

It'll blow over soon. At the worst we can sprinkle Grandpa, come back to shore and wait it out. We’re prepared with baloney sandwiches and Cokes.

MISTY

What kind of Cokes?

NOAH

Well, we've got Dr Pepper, Nehi Grape, Big Red...

MISTY

No Coke Cokes?

JO JO

And they're warm.

NOAH

I thought about that, Little Brother. We have a dip net aboard we can wrap it around the cans and cool them in the water. It will help a little bit.

OLIVE

Nothing fishy about that.

NOAH

(holds out a hand)

See? The rain's stopped already. Smooth sailing ahead!

Music comes up for “Sailing On”. Each of the them sings more or less to themselves looking straight ahead. They all sway more in time with the music.

“Sailing On”

  NOAH   

 Sailing on into adventure.  

 Sailing on into the day.  

 Nothing's gained 'til something's ventured.

 You've got to live your life to play.

 Who knows what lies before us,

 What this morning has in store?

 Why settle back and gather dust

 There's a new world to explore?

JO JO

 Great imagination, brother.

 Oceans from flooded streams.

 Fantasy like no other.

 To you nothing's what it seems.

  NOAH   

 Sailing on into adventure.  

 Sailing on into the day.  

 Nothing's gained 'til something's ventured.

 You've got to live your life to play.

OLIVE

  You live in fantasy, my Noah.

 Unrealistic as your father.

 What will you leave when you go, huh?

 Is your vision worth the bother?

  NOAH   

 Sailing on into adventure.   

 Sailing on into the day.  

 Nothing's gained 'til something's ventured.

 You've got to live your life to play.

MISTY

 Raining harder. I'm hungry, Jo Jo.

 This river ride is wearing thin.

 Let's sprinkle Gramps and go go

 Back home just us again.

NOAH  

 Sailing on into adventure.  

 Sailing on into the day.  

 Nothing's gained 'til something's ventured.

 You've got to live your life to play.

 You've got to live your life to play.

They all rock in unison with rolling waves from the lake as the sound of the waves gets louder.

OLIVE

It's getting a bit rough, Noah. Maybe we should turn back and try it another time.

JO JO

(sarcastically)

Aw the fun was just starting.

  MISTY   

(hugs JO JO tightly)

It is kind of scary and it's getting a bit chilly.

  NOAH   

We're already halfway there and all of this will let up before you know it. Am I the only one with a sense of adventure?

 JO JO  

(holding MISTY closely)

Yeah, pretty much, Noah.

JO JO takes off the backpack and hands it to NOAH. OLIVE and MISTY nod in agreement as the sound of the waves dies down.

ACT I, scene v.

NOAH

Come on now. It's dying down, smooth and steady again. There's no flood. It's only a little wind and rain. Just a hundred yards more and we'll be at the Comanche Tree.

OLIVE and MISTY sit. JO JO turns to NOAH and sings.

JO JO 

“Comanche Tree”

 Comanche Tree, Comanche Tree.

 Oh bury me 'neath Comanche Tree.

 Hang me up, way up high.

 Hang me up 'gainst the sky.

 Hang me on high and bury me.

 Oh bury me 'neath Comanche Tree!

NOAH

(turning to JO JO)

One more time!

NOAH and JO JO sing the song together, harmonizing.

NOAH and JO JO

(singing)

 Comanche Tree, Comanche Tree.

 Oh bury me 'neath Comanche Tree.

 Hang me up, way up high.

 Hang me up 'gainst the sky.

 Hang me on high and bury me.

 Oh bury me 'neath Comanche Tree!

Oh bury me 'neath Comanche Tree!

OLIVE and MISTY stand.

OLIVE 

What was that all about?

JO JO

Noah and me used to make up songs about Comanche Tree when we came out here.

NOAH

Mostly I did.

JO JO

I'd say it was half and half.

OLIVE 

Well, it wasn't a hanging tree. Comanche (emphasizing) OAK was a peace treaty tree. Bohemian settlers and Comanches made peace under that tree.

MISTY

(trying to be part of the conversation)

That's nice.

NOAH

And how long did the peace last?

OLIVE

About four years when a big wave of Anglos and Scots-Irish came in.

JO JO

There goes the neighborhood. Well, it's the thought that counts.

MISTY

Good. The lake is getting calmer. I was getting sea sick.

JO JO

(kisses her forehead)

Or river sick.

Just then the sound of the waves gets louder and they all sway extremely in unison one way, then the other. They all make sounds of fear, like on a roller coaster.

ALL

(variously screaming and shouting)

Whoa! Ohhhhh! Ahhhh! Uhhhhhhhhhh! (etc.)

MISTY holds tightly to JO JO as the music for “Noah's Arc” begins. The sound of the waves fades down. OLIVE and NOAH sit as JO JO sings to MISTY.

ACT I, scene vi.

JO JO

(to MISTY, hugging her tightly)

“Noah's Arc”

 Hold on tight, Babe, I'll hug you close

 And keep you safe now from the raging storm.

 I'll be your shelter from Brother Noah's flood.

 Just want to shield you and keep you oh so warm.

 No need to worry though this ark is tossed

 In a sudden surge of a swelling April rain.

 Cling on fast now in my loving arms

 'Til the excess river flows on down the drain.

 It's Noah's story like some epic song.

 We're in its arc until we reach the end.

 Let me be your hero, I'll keep you from harm

 Until we wash up safe on land around the bend.

 

 Hold on tight, Babe, I'll hug you close.

 And keep you safe now from the raging storm.

 I'll be your shelter from Brother Noah's flood.

 Just want to shield you and keep you oh so warm.

NOAH and OLIVE stand as the music ends.

NOAH

Land Ho! Comanche Oak straight ahead!

OLIVE

It could be the old farm. It's just been so long.

NOAH

We're about to run aground. Everybody hang on to the rail! I'll pull up the motor before it scrapes bottom.

There is a loud scraping sound as everyone jolts. We hear birds, maybe mocking birds and grackles.

JO JO

(to MISTY)

I don't think he made it, Babe.

NOAH

Solid land, folks. All ashore. Let's push the boat up on the bank a little ways, Little Brother.

JO JO

(sarcastically, saluting)

Oui, Mon Capitaine!

MISTY

Should we get off while they push?

OLIVE

I don't think we weigh that much, Missy.

MISTY

It's “Misty”, Mrs. Trundle.

OLIVE

I know that. I just think of you as “Missy”. It's really Melissa, right?

MISTY

That's right.

JO JO

Maw, we could maybe use your help in pushing, maybe both of you.

OLIVE and MISTY sit. Everyone makes grunting sounds.

NOAH

Weigh anchor and cast the line, Mr. Trundle.

JO JO

Come again?

NOAH

Throw the anchor into the water, throw out the main line, the rope, so I can tie it around a tree.

JO JO

(mimes, then after a beat)

There. All done?

NOAH

Done. Now drop the anchor. I think the propeller might be bent. I'll check it.

OLIVE stands.

OLIVE

(catching her breath)

I certainly did not bargain on physical labor.

JO JO

(mimes tossing the anchor)

Anchors away!

NOAH

(behind him)

Damn! Watch it, Kid! And that's not what it means by “anchors aweigh”.

JO JO

(suppressing a laugh)

Sorry, Cap'n!

MISTY

(scanning the sky)

Sun's coming out. Rain's stopped.

OLIVE

Well, that's something.

NOAH

The propeller IS bent. I think I can pound it back into shape but I wouldn't hazard another crossing until the flood goes down a little.

OLIVE

Who knows how long that could take?

NOAH

(strapping on his backpack)

It's a good time to stretch our legs. Just don't get lost.

JO JO

(straps on his guitar)

Not much chance of that, Big Brother. This island can't be more than two hundred yards long and fifty wide...Let's explore it, Misty.

MISTY

Yeah, why not?

JO JO and MISTY sit..

ACT I, scene vii.

OLIVE

NOAH, do you have any idea where we are?

NOAH

(pointing over the audience)

Couldn't that be your Comanche Oak?

OLIVE

I don't know. Things change so much in nature after thirty years.

NOAH

Well, it looks a lot like I remember it from six years ago. 

OLIVE

This could still be our old place. I just don't know.

NOAH

I remember a big pile of cottonseed just outside a barn. Was that here?

OLIVE

Your dad and I did bring you to the farm once but you couldn't remember that. You must have been about three.

NOAH

But I do remember playing in the cotton seed. It was softer than anything I ever knew. It was like a bushel of those cotton footballs in my old electric football game.

OLIVE

The game Jo Jo rode his tricycle over, I seem to remember.

NOAH

Bent it right in two. It was no good after that. But he was just four. I'd practically outgrown the thing by then.

OLIVE

(chuckling)

Uh-huh. As I recall, you screamed bloody murder at the time.

NOAH

Maybe. It was a long time ago.

OLIVE

Seems like yesterday. Of course, at my age everything starts seeming like yesterday.

NOAH

Aw, you're still on the sunny side of fifty.

OLIVE

Still three years on the sunny side, thank you very much.

NOAH

We never really talk about it but do you miss the old days? The times you grew up in?

Music for “You Can't Go Home Again” begins under OLIVE's dialogue. NOAH sits.

OLIVE

To tell you the truth, I did hold out some hope I'd see something of the old place here, some reminder. Maybe I'm not old enough yet for nostalgia...or maybe too old.

"You Can't Go Home Again"

Chorus:

You can't go home again

When your home is under water.

You can't go home again

When your farm is washed away.

Why did I think that I

Could regain my lost girlhood?

And why did I believe

I could relive it all today?

Verse 1:

My past is deep below,

A home for fish, a home for turtles.

No longer will I know

The meadows of my youth.

I wander in my dreams

Through fields of corn and sorghum.

What happened to it all?

I'll never know the truth.

Chorus:

You can't go home again

When your home is under water.

You can't go home again

When your farm is washed away.

Why did I think that I

Could regain my lost girlhood?

And why did I believe

I could relive it all today?

Verse 2:

When I was a girl

I rode to school upon my pony.

It hurt my childish pride

My schoolmates rode in cars

Now I'd go back again

To saddle up old Pinto

And gallop field to field

Underneath the Texas stars.

Verse 3.

I wish I could go back

With Daddy and with Mama.

Wish I could see again

Them smiling at the door,

Watch Daddy mowing hay, 

Help Mama in the kitchen.

I would never want to leave.

I would never want for more.

Chorus:

You can't go home again

When your home is under water.

You can't go home again

When your farm is washed away.

Why did I think that I

Could regain my lost girlhood?

And why did I believe

I could relive it all today?

You can't go home again

When you home is under wa-ter. 

The music ends as NOAH, with the backpack, stands.

ACT I, scene viii.

NOAH

Mom, we'll find just the right place for the ceremony. Maybe this island is it.

OLIVE

Maybe. 

NOAH

About time for lunch. Hungry?

NOAH rummages through the backpack.

OLIVE

A little. What do you suppose those two are doing? I don't think they got lost on this island.

NOAH

Probably just sitting and watching the flood, kissing a little.

OLIVE

I hope that's all. Sometimes I worry about that girl. How old is she?

NOAH

The girl? Don't you trust your son?

OLIVE

Him? Oh, come now! In case you haven't noticed, your little brother is quite an operator.

NOAH

But he's smart enough...Don't tell him I said that.

OLIVE

I hope he's smart enough. I was looking forward to having an empty nest. I'm not looking to raise a grandchild just yet.

JO JO and MISTY stand, hanging on to each other. 

NOAH

(noticing JO JO and Misty)

I hope we don't have a history of diabetes in the family because I'm overdosing on sweet right about now.

OLIVE

(seeing the young couple)

Oh, I don't know. I think they're kind of adorable...in a sickening kind of way.

NOAH

Were you and Dad like that at one time?

OLIVE

God, I hope not...Well, maybe a little. But you can bet he and Mary Ann spend a lot of time these days “slipping slobbers”, as your Grandpa used to put it. She's what, two years older than you?

NOAH

Something like that. She's hard to explain as a step mother.

NOAH and OLIVE sit. Music for “Seduced by the Moon” begins behind JO JO's and MISTY's dialogue. 

JO JO

(kissing MISTY in little pecks all over her face)

How about you come on the road with me on tour.

MISTY

(playing with the horseshoe)

You're going on tour?

JO JO

Sure. The band's got a couple of gigs around Austin, Round Rock, San Marcos...

MISTY

You know my folks won't let me go. They say, “You're just seventeen, and while you're under my roof, young lady...” You know the drill.

JO JO

So come out from under their roof a little bit.

MISTY

I can't. Besides, Round Rock and San Marcos aren't exactly overnight trips.

JO JO

Hey, where's my wild one? Say you're staying with girlfriends some night and we'll slip into the moonlight...

“Seduced by the Moon” plays.

MISTY

Oh no we won't!

“Seduced by the Moon”

Introductory Verse:

 Everyone thinks I'm the wild girl

 And I love to be loved, that's true.

 They all think that I'm just a bimbo

 To fall for a bad boy like you.

MISTY plays with JO JO while she sings.

Chorus 1:

 But I'm not so dumb as they think.

 I won't be pulled over the brink.

 I saw my sister get pregnant too soon

 And I won't be seduced by the moon. 

Chorus 2:

 You may use all the tricks in your trade,

 Try your best to make the grade

 You may ply me with kisses from April to June

 But I won't be seduced by the moon.

Chorus 3:

 Your Mom thinks I'm dumb as a rock

 And I seem like I've been 'round the block.

 I may not be brilliant but I'm not a loon

 And I won't be seduced by the moon.

During an instrumental passage MISTY sings “La la's”.

Chorus 4:

(slower)

 Perhaps on the day I'm of age

 With you I'll wildly engage

 But you best wear protection that afternoon

 'Cause I won't be seduced by the moon!

No, I won't be seduced by the moon.

 Nooooo, I won't be seduced by the moon!

MISTY pecks JO JO on the cheek. OLIVE and NOAH stand.

NOAH

Look. The river's going down a little. I'll go back and see if I can bend that propeller back into shape.

Just then we hear a crackle of thunder and everyone looks up and around.

NOAH

I'll give it a shot anyway.

NOAH sits After a while we hear pounding of a rock against metal.

ACT I, scene ix.

OLIVE

Miss—ty, would you like a sandwich? We have the makings in Noah's backpack.

MISTY

Sure. Jo Jo, would you make it for me? I don't feel right fishing around your grandfather's remains.

MISTY sits.

JO JO

(picks up the backpack)

Not to worry, Babe. He's tightly sealed in a jar.

OLIVE

Have a little respect there, Joseph!

JO JO

Oh, Ma, you know I loved Grandpa.

OLIVE

Don't call me “Maw”.

JO JO

I said “Ma”, not “Maw.”

OLIVE

That either. Do you even remember him?

JO JO

Oh sure. He was the old dude with the hard candy. And Grandma gave out the clove gum.

OLIVE

A fine way to remember your grandparents.

JO JO

(quickly making a sandwich)

Cut me some slack, Mom. I was like eleven when I last saw them.

OLIVE

Well, he was always very proud of you boys, how Noah was going to be a country star and how you were already following in your brother's footsteps.

JO JO

Noah was never country. I'll defend him that much. His music is bland but it's not twangy. And I've got a life of my own, music of my own. I don't follow in anybody's footsteps.

OLIVE sits.

JO JO

(singing)

“Sound of the Future”

 Music is changing in the U.S. of A.

 You've gotta be at the edge of it now.

 Noah has tried since the Beatles were news

 But Little Brother will soon take a bow.

 Rough and raw, loud and real

 That's how the music will be.

 Sweet and melodic fades into the past.

 And the sound of the future is me.

 Singer/songwriters and the old Mercey Beat

 Were the tops of the pops in their day.

 The constant thud thud of Disco is dying

 Lingering, whimpering, sighing away. (shouts)

You know, like Roller Disco, Maw!

OLIVE

Don't call me “Maw”!

NOAH stands and JO JO sings his opinions to him.

JO JO

“Sound of the Future”

 Rough and raw, loud and real

 That's how the music will be.

 Sweet and melodic fades into the past.

 And the sound of the future is me. (speaks)

That's right, Big Brother, your days are numbered! (sings)

 You've skirted the heights of local success,

 Played the Armadillo a time or two,

 Even shook Willie's hand more than once,

 But where you go now you have no clue.

 Rough and raw, loud and real

 That's how the music will be.

 Sweet and melodic fades into the past.

 And the sound of the future is me!

NOAH

Go for it, Little Brother. I won't stand in your way.

“Sound of the Future” music ends and transitions into “Die, Music, Die”. 

JO JO

(standing)

I will go for it. I just penned this little ditty. 

JO JO

Three, four!

“Die, Music, Die!”

 Die, Music, Die!

 Spill your guts on the ground!

 Die, tired old music,

 So a new beat can live!

 World, give way to the sound!

 Die, Music, Die!

 We're all pretty sick of the past.

 Forget lovey dovey,

 Forget fa-la-la.

 A new order is coming on fast!

 Die, Music, Die!

 Give in to the onslaught right now!

 Embrace the rough strains

 Of the bitterest vibes.

 Surrender or we'll show you how!

The music comes to an end. There is a moment of silence and then light applause from the group. OLIVE and MISTY stand. MISTY holds a horseshoe on a chain.

ACT I, scene x.

OLIVE

(sarcastically)

Lovely.

NOAH

Interesting. Maybe a bit angry. Sort of folk punk?

JO JO

It's not punk. Punk is for Brits and posers. This is something beyond punk.

MISTY

Well, I think it's cool, Babe.

OLIVE

Not exactly Duke Ellington but if it makes you happy...

JO JO

(sitting)

You're such a mom, Maw.

OLIVE

(leaving over to MISTY)

Don't call me Maw! What have you got there, Misty?

MISTY

Something I found on the island.

OLIVE

Could I see it?

MISTY

(handing it to OLIVE)

Sure.

OLIVE looks over the horseshoe and chain. She gasps.

NOAH

What is it, Mom?

OLIVE

(almost in tears)

It was mine, an old horseshoe of Pinto's I kept for good luck. I hung it from a chain of costume jewelry and wore it after he died. It was all I had to remember him by. I was just twelve and the horseshoe was too heavy for the chain. It broke, of course, and I lost it. I searched all over for it but it was getting dark. I was never able to find it.

NOAH

Mom, this is good. This must be your old farm.

OLIVE

(looking around)

Yes. It must be.

JO JO

Then we can sprinkle Grandpa and head for home.

MISTY

Thank God.

NOAH

Okay. But we want to do this right. Grandpa wrote a note for his ceremony.

NOAH Reaches in his shirt pocket and takes out a folded piece of paper.

NOAH

Everybody ready? Jo Jo, would you get the urn?

JO JO takes the urn from the backpack and hands it to NOAH. JO JO licks his right index finger tip and tests the wind.

JO JO

Calm enough. (points to the audience) Down wind is that way.

OLIVE

Jo Jo, behave.

JO JO

Ma, we don't want Grandpa blowing all over us like in the movies. How is that respectful to him?

NOAH

Here goes.

“Let Me See Bluebonnets Before I Die” music starts and NOAH reads the first verse while the others sit..

“Let Me See Bluebonnets Before I Die”

Verse 1 (reads):

I’ve lived a good old life in Texas got all what I yearned.

Grant an old man one last wish before he dies.

I worked so hard and never asked for more than what I earned

Lovin’ every day beneath the Texas sky.

NOAH strums his guitar and sings the rest of the song as the music swells.

Chorus:

 Let me see the bluebonnets before I die

 Let me see another blooming spring

 Let me see a Texas sunrise one more time

 As I leave you with the beauty Texas brings (reads)

Verse 2:

I lived a good old life in Texas to a ripe old age.

Grant an old man one last wish after he dies.

Spread my ashes across Texas on the farm where I was raised

Where I gave my blood and sweat and laughed and cried.

Chorus:

 Let me see the bluebonnets before I die.

 Let me see another blooming spring

 Let me see a Texas sunrise one more time

 As I leave you with the beauty Texas brings.

 As I leave you with the beauty Texas brings. (speaks)

 As I leave you with the beauty Texas brings.

NOAH opens the lid of the urn and mimes pouring the ashes over the ground. The others stand.

OLIVE

Amen.

JO JO

Yeah. Amen.

MISTY makes the sign of the cross.

OLIVE

(aside to JO JO)

Oh God, she's Catholic.

JO JO

(a bit upset)

Is that a problem, Maw?

OLIVE

(in stage whisper)

No, not particularly...Your Grandma and Grandpa wouldn't have approved, that's all.

JO JO

Well, they're both gone now aren't they?

ACT I, scene xi.

We hear the sound of thunder.

NOAH

Let's take cover in the boat.

MISTY

But the ashes.

OLIVE

He was going to wash away anyway. He's at peace.

We hear an explosion. MISTY screams.

OLIVE

Oh God!

NOAH

Let's check it out, Jo Jo.

JO JO

Right.

NOAH

(after looking around)

Well, lightning struck the motor and blew up the gas tank. I was able to put out the fire but it looks like we're stuck here for a while. Let's get in out of the rain at least.

MISTY

(almost in tears)

Ohhhhhh....

JO JO

Water's risin', Noah.

OLIVE

(throwing up her hands)

Just perfect.

NOAH

It may not be as bad as it looks. Hold tight. We'll ride it out. Maybe the whole island won't flood. 

OLIVE

And maybe it will.

NOAH

Mom, trust me. I'll get us through. I have so far, right? Everybody climb aboard.

JO JO

Okay...You know we're in a flood, Noah...Now why does that sound familiar?

MISTY

Help me up, Babe.

OLIVE

Help me up, Noah.

“Trust Me” plays as the sound of waves grows louder.. NOAH sings. They all sway along.

NOAH

Sure, Mom. (sings)

“Trust Me”

 Trust me and I'll get you through.

 Just trust me. I know what to do.

 You know that I wouldn't be lying to you.

 So trust me, everyone.

JO JO

(sings)

 Trust you, brother? Is this a joke?

 Trust you. Don't make me choke.

 You ask us to buy another pig in a poke?

 Trust you? I am done!

OLIVE

 Jo Jo, can't you lend him a hand?

 The river is flooding the sand.

 Help him get us back to dry land.

 Can't you help him, son?

 

MISTY

 Jo Jo, your mother is right.

 Help get us home before tonight.

 Like Noah said, “We're burning daylight!”

 Your complaints are not much fun.

JO JO

(sarcastically as the music ends)

Okay! Well, Noah, what's next?

NOAH

(folding his arms)

I don't know, Jo Jo. Do you have any ideas? 

Everyone looks at NOAH in disbelief.

BLACK OUT

--END OF ACT I--

“Bluebonnet Road”

ACT II

ACT II, scene i.

Everyone but NOAH is sitting. We hear gently lapping waves. NOAH sings.

NOAH

“When It Rains In Texas You'd Better Run”

You think of Texas southwestern desert

Sand and rocks and cactus as far as you can see.

Those snaky rivers, now twenty-foot monsters

In ten minutes sweep you off your feet.

When it rains in Texas it's a son of a gun,

Ain’t no time for packin’, man, you gotta run.

Save your wives, save your daughters from the rising Texas waters.

Don’t mess around...you better head for higher ground.

 You think of Texas the cattle prairie,

 Rolling fields of grasslands as far as you can see.

Those lazy rivers are devouring monsters

 Countless towns swept away down to the sea.

When it rains in Texas it's a son of a gun,

Ain’t no time for packin’, man, you gotta run.

Save your wives, save your daughters from the rising Texas waters.

Don’t mess around you better head for higher ground.

Don’t think of Texas as such a dry land.

They get their droughts but when it decides to rain,

More people dying more people crying.

Floods are the worst in the USA.

When it rains in Texas it's a son of a gun, (All: rain, rain, rain, etc.)

Ain’t no time for packin’, man, you gotta run.

Save your wives, save your daughters from the rising Texas waters.

Don’t mess around...you better head for higher ground.

You better head for higher ground.

You better head for higher ground.

You better head for higher ground.

You better head for higher ground.

We hear the lapping of the waves and the chorus of “rain, rain, rain” under the dialogue. OLIVE stands.

OLIVE

(sarcastically)

Cheerful.

NOAH holds up his backpack.

NOAH

We've still got food. Anybody hungry?

JO JO

(standing)

Your turn at the pole, brother. Don't break it. I don't see any other oak limbs floating around.

NOAH

Sure thing, kid but keep a look out for another one like it. We're making progress. Looks like we're heading closer to the north side of the river.

JO JO

Listen to Prince Henry the Navigator here. He's knows it all.

OLIVE

Joseph, put a sock in it! You are without a doubt the most cynical person I've ever given birth to.

MISTY

(standing)

Well, Jo Jo did find the tree limb. That's something.

NOAH

(taking the pole from JO JO)

You're right, Misty. Little Brother really came through this time.

JO JO

Don't sound so surprised.

Everyone but JO JO sits as “Little Brother Blues” plays. He sings.

ACT II, scene ii. 

JO JO

“Little Brother Blues"

Verse

 I'm sick of being treated like the runt of the litter.

 I'm sick of folks thinking I have nothing to say.

 You know that I'm more than a freaking beginner.

 I'm now at an age I can make my own way.

Chorus 1.

(standard blues)

 I have a big brother, bosses me all day long.

 I have a big brother, bosses me all day long.

 Can't get a word in edge-wise.

 Everything I do is wrong.

Chorus 2.

 My Mom is so protective, just won't let me be.

 My Mom is so protective, just won't let me be.

 I feel so cramped and stifled.

 When can I just be me?

OLIVE

(interjecting)

I never stifled you a day in your life!

JO JO

Chorus 3.

 I had an older sister, died before I was born.

 I had an older sister, died before I was born.

 So if I never met her,

 Don't expect me to mourn!

The music ends and MISTY, OLIVE stand.

MISTY

Oh Jo Jo, I never knew that!

OLIVE

(plaintively, almost in tears)

You know we don't discuss Lacey outside of the family.

JO JO continues singing while OLIVE and MISTY sit.

JO JO

Chorus 4.

 My family's in denial. I don't know what to do.

 My family's in denial. I don't know what to do.

 Bury me like sister Lacey

 And think I don't have a clue. (speaks)

But you know, Misty, I do.

NOAH stands.

NOAH

Jo Jo, why'd ya have to say all that?

JO JO

Had to be said.

NOAH

Take the pole, little brother. It's your turn.

JO JO

Fine.

ACT II, scene iv.

NOAH and JO JO sit while OLIVE and MISTY stand.

MISTY

I am so sorry, Mrs. Trundle. I didn't know about your loss. I am so sorry.

“Lacey” music begins as MISTY sits.

OLIVE

(smiling through her tears)

Lacey was a little whirlwind. She went right from sitting to standing, hardly any crawling in between. And she was barely walking when she started to run. She talked at an early age too.

OLIVE

(sings)

“Lacey”

 She was only three in her yellow spring dress,

 And her Easter white bonnet and shoes.

 Hunting for eggs in our weedy front yard

 With her Dad and me giving her clues.

 A black and white puppy from Heaven knows where

 Came yapping and panting her way,

 Catching her eye as it bounded the road, (speaking tearfully)

 And I know that I told her to “Stay!”

I know that I told her to stay.

 But only the puppy headed my call

 And came to a halt then and there

 When she ran and cried (calling out as Lacey) “Pup-PEE!”

 A car threw my baby, basket and all, in the air.

 The driver was sorry like she was his child.

 He swerved for the puppy, you know.

 The runaway toddler was not in his view.

 He wished then it just wasn't so.

 I hated that puppy for being alive

 While my precious one gave up the ghost.

 I was not the same person after all that

 When I had to let go of the one I loved most. (speaking)

 My little Lacey, I loved you the most!

Music comes to an end and MISTY stands.

MISTY 

Oh, Mrs. T. (hugs OLIVE whose head falls to MISTY's shoulder) I am so sorry. I didn't know.

JO JO stands.

JO JO

Hold the pole, Noah. I think I see a long two by four we can use. We're headed toward it.

JO JO

Hey, Maw, you okay?

MISTY slaps Jo Jo's shoulder.

JO JO

What?!

OLIVE 

(emotionally)

Oh go row your boat.

JO JO

Sorry, whatever I did.

ACT II, scene v.

“Sailing On Reprise” music begins. They all sway to the music.

NOAH

Look, Jo Jo, we're near the shore. We may be just a mile or so from the truck. (sings)

  “Sailing On”   

 Sailing home from our adventure.  

 Sailing home near end of day.

 We've succeeded in our venture.  

 And said all we had to say.

JO JO

 I admit we've done it, brother,

 Could have been at a better time.

 When spring floods aren't such a mother.

 There's no reason to your rhyme.

  NOAH   

 Sailing home from our adventure.  

 Sailing home near end of day.

 We have succeeded in our venture.  

 And said all we had to say.

OLIVE

 I'm glad this day is over.

 Mem-or-ies I'd best forget,

 Days rolling in the clover

 And a loss not over yet.

  NOAH   

 Sailing home from our adventure.  

 Sailing home near end of day.

 We've succeeded in our venture.  

 And said all we had to say.

MISTY

 Mrs. T, I'm glad to know you.

 Sad to hear about your loss.

 I get all that you have gone through.

 I really see why you're so cross.

NOAH

 Sailing home from our adventure.  

 Sailing home near end of day.

 We have succeeded in our venture.  

 And said all we had to say.

The music comes to an end. NOAH calls out over the sound of the waves.

NOAH

Everybody brace yourselves. We're running aground!

They hang onto one another and rock in unison to the grounding which we hear.

JO JO

Well, that was some adventure, Big Brother. Let's not do it again...Help you off, Maw?

OLIVE slaps JO JO on the shoulder.

JO JO

What?! Okay, I mean Ma!.

OLIVE

Just shut up.

MISTY

We gonna have to walk back?

NOAH

I'm afraid so but the island was upstream a ways, so I figure we've just got half a mile or so.

JO JO

Sure. We'll probably be hikin' 'til sunrise if the flash flood doesn't get us.

MISTY

Shut up, Jo Jo! Why do you have to be so negative all the time?

OLIVE

(almost doing a double take at MISTY)

You know, I'm beginning to like this girl.

NOAH

(jumping to ground)

Come on, Little Brother. Let's pull the boat up and tie it down. I'll call Kyle when we get home and tell him where to find it. I really owe him big.

JO JO

For sure...If we know where we left it.

NOAH

We'll look for landmarks and I'll come back here with him...Heave ho, Mr. Trundle!

JO JO

(pulling)

I could heave, alright. Let's cut the nautical crap from now on, huh?

NOAH

(pulling)

Aye aye, Matey!

JO JO just rolls his eyes. NOAH and OLIVE sit.

ACT II, scene vi.

MISTY

(to JO JO)

Look, Babe, the sun is setting. Let's take a walk.

“Walk With Me” music begins. JOJO wraps his arm around MISTY's waist. MISTY sings.

MISTY

“Walk With Me”

Verse 1:

 Walk with me in the sunset

 And don't you fret about the day.

 In the twilight we'll be alright.

 Just hold me tight come what may.

Verse 2:

 Always know that I love you.

 I'm thinking of you all the day long.

 After sundown please don't you frown.

 Let's stroll towards town, sing a song...(speaks)

Sing with me, Babe. (sings)

 Walk with me in the...

JOJO

(sings with her)

 Sunset…

MISTY

(kissing him on the head)

 And don't you fret...

JO JO

 About the day...

MISTY

(puts her forehead to his)

 In the twilight we'll be alright.

JO JO

 Just hold me tight...

MISTY

(wrapping his arms around her)

 Come what may.

MISTY takes JO JO's hands and leads him in a dance.

MISTY and JO JO

Verse 1:

 Walk with me in the sunset

 And don't you fret about the day.

 In the twilight we'll be alright.

 Just hold me tight come what may.

Verse 2:

 Always know that I love you.

 I'm thinking of you all the day long.

 After sundown please don't you frown.

 Let's stroll towards town, sing a song.

JO JO and MISTY kiss tenderly on the lips and keep walking. The music ends. MISTY and JO JO sit as the music for “What A Fool I Was To Lose You” begins. OLIVE stands.

ACT II, scene vii.

OLIVE

Oh Jake, we were like them once, weren't we? I took Lacey's death out on you. I don't know why. I blamed you for our divorce but how did you manage to stay with me as long as you did (sings)

“What A Fool I Was To Lose You”

Introductory Verse:

 I know I pushed you away.

 In my grief I couldn't see.

 I know why you couldn't stay

 And that you felt just as lost,

 Just as utterly undone as me.

Verse 1:

 You needed me and I needed you.

 I needed your strength

 And your love to get through.

 But all I knew was my own despair,

 So I thought you were cold.

 I thought that you didn't care.

Chorus 1:

 What a fool I was to lose you.

 What a fool I was not to see

 What a partner and lover,

 What a tower of strength,

 What a helpmate you meant to be.

Verse 2:

 We both had our loss

 And both lost our way.

 I thought I was alone.

 I couldn't live through that day

 And I didn't see you standing there

 I should have looked up

 But I saw you nowhere.

Chorus 2:

 

 What a fool I was to lose you.

 What a fool I was not to see

 What a partner and lover,

 What a tower of strength,

 What a comfort you meant to be.

Bridge:

 Now I'm on my own.

 You have moved on.

 Only I am to blame.

 Because of me you are gone

 And I'd give the world to go back again

 To rely on your love,

 To have all we had then.

Chorus 3:

 

 What a fool I was to lose you.

 What a fool I was not to see

 What a partner and lover,

 What a tower of strength,

 All the world you meant to me.

 What a partner and lover,

 What a tower of strength,

 All the world you meant to me.

The music comes to an end, NOAH stands and points up ahead. MISTY and JO JO stand.

NOAH

See it there? N MJ O

JO JO

What? Where?

NOAH

It's the old iron Pruett sign. See it?

MISTY

I see it, Jo Jo! And the skies are clearing. See it?

JO JO

Where?

MISTY

In the sunset.

OLIVE

I see it. See it, Joseph?

JO JO

Sort of.

OLIVE

(crossing to JO JO)

Kiddo, you're as bad as I am, can't see the forest for the trees. I know I was overprotective when you were little. That's why you're kind of a jerk now.

JO JO

(hurt)

Thanks, Ma...

OLIVE hugs him.

OLIVE

But I'm a jerk too. I can see that now. And you're not such a bad kid. Even I couldn't destroy you.

NOAH

By the last glow of twilight our chariot awaits.

JO JO

(pushing two other blocks)

He means he sees the truck.

NOAH

All aboard!

JO JO

Great...Now he's a train conductor.

OLIVE kisses JO JO on the cheek and puts her arm on his right shoulder.

OLIVE

Come on, Sad Sack, let's go home.

MISTY

(her arm around JO JO's waist)

Home Babe!

The music for “Bluebonnet Road” begins. We hear the engine start and the four start to bounce along with the music.

ACT II, scene viii.

NOAH

Bluebonnets in the sunset, y'all! Yee Haw!

"Bluebonnet Road"

(reprise)

Chorus:

 Bluebonnet Road, here we go,

 Blue skies above us and below

 As we roll past fields of cotton, fields of corn

 Blue and white blooms line our way

 On such a sunny Texas day

 And you'd be no place but here sure as you're born.

JO JO

(speaking)

Still no crops.

NOAH musses JO JO's hair. JO JO shrugs and sings.

JO JO

Verse 1:

 Winding 'round the back roads

 Through black land prairie farms,

 Bluebonnets just a-wavin' in the breeze,

 You get a giddy feeling

 You're right where you belong

 And you can do anything you please.

NOAH joins in.

NOAH and JO JO

 Bluebonnet Road, here we go,

 Blue skies above us and below

 As we roll past fields of cotton, fields of corn

 Blue and white blooms line our way

 On such a sunny Texas day

 And you'd be no place but here sure as you're born.

NOAH

Take it, Mom!

OLIVE

Verse 2:

 Basking in the sunshine

 Of an early Texas spring,

 Still enjoying a slight nip in the air,

 You breathe in all the fragrance

 Of wildflowers in the field

 And new life is exploding everywhere.

NOAH

(shouting to the cab)

Misty, you too!

JO JO

Aw. Let's sing, Babe.

JO JO and MISTY

Verse 3:

 You're riding in the back bed

 Of a rusty pickup truck,

 Rattlin' and a-rollin' down the line,

 Dodging skunks and armadillos

 As you bounce along your way

 And every mile you go you're feeling fine.

Everyone joins together on the chorus.

ALL FOUR

Chorus:

 Bluebonnet Road, here we go,

 Blue skies above us and below

 As we roll past fields of cotton, fields of corn

 Blue and white blooms line our way

 On such a sunny Texas day

 And you'd be no place but here sure as you're born.

MISTY

(sings the tagline by herself)

And you'd be no place but here sure as you're born!

ALL FOUR

And you'd be no place but here sure as you're born!

The song plays to the end. The cast take their bows while “Let Me See Bluebonnets Before I Die” plays. 

--END OF SHOW--