Cow Fingers & Mosquito Pie

Whenever Screamin' Jay Hawkins took his act to the road, he always managed to include Tacoma as one of his stops. The acoustics inside of the Tacoma Dome were very conducive for his style of blues singing. I managed to figure this out, for every six months, Mr. Hawkins would stop by the Texaco where my mom worked. As a child, I did not go to daycare, because my mother could not afford it on her "Gas-Station Attendant" salary. So, every day after school, I would walk over to Texaco which was three blocks from my elementary school. My mom would sit me in a chair for the rest of the evening near the door to the bathroom. Being a small child, I was over-qualified to hold the key to the bathroom and unlock the door for the customers. I was known as "The Doorman to the Can."

Anyway, as I said, Screamin' Jay would visit our Texaco every six months, or so. Each time, he had one of the musicians fill up the tour bus. He would pay my mother for the gas and ask where the bathroom was. I always offered to show him, ever wondering how the man could forget, since he used the bathroom every time he came to town. My mother would then snatch the key from my hands and tell me to watch the station. She would take him to the door, unlock the door, and go inside with Jay. I would always wonder why they called him "Screamin' Jay," since my mom would do most of the screaming while inside the bathroom with him. Only when I grew older, did I realize what they were doing in there.

Of course, it never occurred to me that Jay was my father. I frequently asked my mother who my father was. She only replied that he was a "Little Demon." Still, this was not enough information for a child to stand for. My suspicions grew when, on a fateful Christmas Day in 1999, I received an interesting package. It was a present from a mysterious person with the initials "J.H." I opened up the present and it turned out to be an old guitar. Inscribed upon it was the following sentence:

"Your mama loved my instrument, now I'm giving it to you."

But, in the end, this was not the concrete proof I was looking for. So, before Screamin' Jay died, I sneaked into his house while he was asleep, cut off some of his hair from his head, and took it to a DNA specialist at the University of Washington. He gave me my proof; now I give it to you.