My Kind Of Music…..

If you know me I’m sure the title got your attention.  You are probably thinking; I’m surprised he can spell music; he needs to stick with subjects he knows something about.  You are probably right.  My musical talent is limited to tuning a radio or finding the play knob or button on a record player (remember those), tape player or CD player.

I think most people identify with the music they grew up with.  My dad’s favorite singer was Roy Acuff. A couple of Roy’s hits were “Wabash Cannonball” and “The Great Speckled Bird”; he did what was known as Hillbilly Music, which transitioned to today’s Country music.  My girls called his style “Hard Country” and avoided it whenever possible.

My kids “go to” music is the rock music of the 80s and 90s; the grandkids are more comfortable with today’s sounds.  I like some of the stuff they listen to and likewise they are ok with limited exposure to the stuff from my era.  If we want to enjoy time with old friends, I think we all prefer the music we grew up with.  The same holds true for when you need a little music to help you through the tough times.

The music I grew up with was the beginning of this stuff called Rock and Roll. It was a combination of a new hillbilly sound referred to as rockabilly and a different style of rhythm and blues.  Some of the rockabilly guys were a kid named Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison.  The rhythm and blues and jazz group included Fats Domino, Little Richard, Ray Charles and Chuck Berry to name a few.  I must mention Bill Haley.  He is credited with starting it all with a song titled “Rock Around The Clock”. He didn’t really fit either of the groups above if you had to categorize him probably Western Swing would be the best fit.

My dad wondered where he went wrong, we didn’t have to listen to that stuff; some radio stations were still playing Roy Acuff, Webb Pierce and Hank Snow.  Little Richard doing “Good Golly Miss Molly” would actually make the hair stand up on dad’s neck.  Some of the stuff my girls listened to did that to me.

The pre Beatles Rock and Roll is and has always been my “go to” music.  It makes no difference if it is to get together with people from my generation to have a good time or as in recent months to help me through some tough times.  The four artists I have spent a lot of time with recently are Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and Buddy Holly.  The Cash, Charles, and Orbison numbers I have concentrated on were written and recorded to help their listeners through the perils of a broken romance; I was a recipient of some of that help many years ago.  Today I listen for the same reason although my loss is beyond that of a busted teenybopper romance.

I have always liked Johnny Cash I think partially because of his deep voice; I always thought if I could sing I might sound a little like Johnny but we’ll never know.  I like all of his early stuff but the course of one of those songs recorded in 1958 “Guess Things Happen That Way” kind of reminds me of what Sharyl did for me it goes like this:

God gave me that girl to lean on,
then he put me on my own.
Heaven help me be a man
and have the strength to stand-alone.
I don’t like it but I guess things happen that way

The Ray Charles version of “I Cant Stop Loving You” recorded in 1962 has always been one of my favorite lonesome time songs.  Some of the lyrics that keep spinning in my head are:

Those happy hours that we once knew
Tho’ long ago, they still make me blue
They say that time heals a broken heart
But time has stood still since we’ve been apart
I can’t stop loving you
I’ve made up my mind
To live in memories of the lonesome times
I can’t stop wanting you
It’s useless to say
So I’ll just live my life in dreams of yesterday

I my opinion Roy Orbison is one of the best vocalist and songwriters of all time. My favorite of all his work was recorded in 1960 it is titled “Only The Lonely”.  Some of the lyrics in the last verse refer to maybe finding a new romance, that certainly doesn’t apply to my present situation but otherwise it is pretty close.

Only the lonely Know the way I feel tonight                                                                       Only the lonely Know this feeling ain’t right

There goes my baby
There goes my heart
They’re gone forever
So far apart
But only the lonely
Know why
I cry

Buddy Holly and the Crickets came out of Lubbock, Texas in 1956 with a new sound and were an instant hit in the world of Rock and Roll.  He was killed in a plane crash in February 1959; he was 22 years old.  I was a junior in high school and Sharyl was just in Jr. high when he recorded his last song.  His stuff remained very popular through the early sixties and for some reason it became “our” music.  Neither of us had a favorite song we just enjoyed the sound; we kept several of his albums; I no longer have a way to play them but they aren’t going anywhere.  The time I have spent with him recently has brought back a lot of good memories of the years we spent together.

I hope the picture does for you what it did for me; it brought a tear to my eye for obvious reasons and simultaneously it put a smile on my face because it rekindled fond memories of a happier time.

I love you guys with all my heart and I miss you every day.

Please consider a donation to the Cancer Research organization of your choice and keep me in your prayers.


Extremely Random……..

When is a toothpaste tube empty?  When do you toss it and open a new tube? Mine is at a point I need to make that difficult decision.  The empty or almost empty tube reminded me of a happier time, another of the little things.  This is probably one of those “I guess you had to be there” stories that I should leave on this side of the keyboard but it has been a long day and I need to write.

For many years Sharyl and I had this little competition (fierce battle, is probably more descriptive) to see who could force the other to open a new tube of toothpaste.  I don’t remember when or how we started, I think it just kind of evolved, and it ended after a 25 or 30 year run just as unceremoniously as it started. I think it ended when we moved in ’05; the new bathroom layout made it more feasible for us not to share the same tube.  There was never a word spoken about any kind of a contest because if confronted either of us would have vehemently denied participating in anything so silly.

The competition was fierce, I became very innovative at new ways to manipulate that tube; I even considered taking it outside and driving the car over it. Likewise, I was impressed with her ingenuity; in fact I even set little traps to make sure she wasn’t cheating. Try it if you haven’t, if you put some thought into it you can almost always get one more brushing out of a tube.  I won some and she won some, I didn’t keep score; she probably did.  I know when I would open the vanity and see a new tube I would smile and let out a silent “YES” and I’m sure she did the same when she won.

If it were still “we” that tube in the bathroom would last at least another week or ten days since it is just “me” I’ll probably toss it and open a new one tonight.

I mentioned at the top that it has been a long day.  I went to the lake yesterday to take care of a couple maintenance things with plans to come home today, just a quick down and back.  Like most old people and some younger ones, sometimes my back goes a little crazy for no obvious reason.  It decided to do so late last night sometimes it is minor and more of a nuisance than a problem, this time it was / is a major problem. I did manage to get my stuff and myself in the truck and started home about noon.

A few weeks ago I talked about Hughes County and Dustin being a source for a cold Red Bull to wake me up.  I was disappointed to see a closed and a for sale sign on the last source for Red Bull in Dustin.  I did find they have a new deal.  They now have a guy in a white car with red and blue lights to give you a personal wake up call if he thinks you are hurrying through his town.  Maybe he used to own the Red Bull store and decided this new gig paid better.  I remember when they only had an unmanned car sitting in plain view.  I was diplomatic and didn’t tell him I had to hurry to Wetumka to get a Red Bull because I could no longer buy one in his town. He gave me a verbal warning.

My back is a little better tonight it only hurts when I try to stand or to sit; I think it will be OK in two or three days.

Please keep me in your prayers.

Good Night and God Bless.


Ever Been To West Consin?????

There are times when I have to write; there are times when I shouldn’t write if those occur at the same time the result resembles my last blog.  It is poorly written, even for me, and contains a little too much self-pity.  I usually delete that kind.  For some reason I decided to hit the publish button instead of the delete button.

I’m going to do another one for a couple reasons. One is to move that one off the top; the other, I want to talk about some things while the mood is somewhat positive.

All married couples have two birthdays and an anniversary; if there are kids you can throw in Mothers Day and Fathers Day.  For Sharyl and I all five of those are squeezed into a five or six week time period in May and June beginning with Mothers Day; I promise I won’t revisit that.

Sharyl’s birthday is May 25th; our anniversary is the 27th.  We usually did one dinner or celebration for both events, and we didn’t have a traditional place i.e. “we always go to Jay’s or Vans or KFC or Mickey Ds”.  Truth is we probably did each of those at least once, well maybe not Mickey Ds.  The girls will confirm KFC during the rodeo days; please don’t ask them to elaborate.  The date we did this dinner also fluctuated to fit our schedule.  Sharyl was always very active with the Tecumseh Alumni Association and probably only missed a couple of the banquets in 40 plus years. Those events took priority and often conflicted.  My work schedule also presented problems.  I have spent more than one of her birthdays and/or our anniversaries in places like Barnsdall, Ok, Pratt, Ks, Detroit, Mi or Ankara Turkey, during the 70s with rodeo the 80s and 90s it was the day job.

I always got her some kind of gift; yes usually one for the two and sometimes all three occasions (the lady was hard to buy for) sometimes it was very personal, sometimes useful, sometimes neither. I think she understood it was the thought that counted.  I always got her a card for each occasion and put a lot of effort into the selection of just the right card.

We did a similar thing for my birthday and Fathers Day; they are always very close together in fact this year they are on the same day.  She usually always did a common gift for the two occasions and like me commented that I was hard to buy for. She also had a knack for selecting just the right card.

The past three years we spent all those days together and cherished every moment.  It will be difficult to stay away from the card rack this year.  It would be anniversary number 47, and as they say old habits are hard to break.  I love you and I miss you.

The past few days my mind has been flooded with memories of Conner.  I think it will help me and hopefully it won’t bore you if I share one of those memories with you.

I don’t remember how old the boys were but Sharyl, Cale, Conner and I were coming home from a few days at the lake.  On a good day grandkids sleep when everyone is tired and you’re looking at a two-hour drive, it wasn’t a good day.  We did a variety of things to keep them occupied when they weren’t sleepy; we sometimes played a states and capitals game.  This day Cale was either sleeping or otherwise preoccupied and I think to avoid the states and capitals thing without being rude Conner decided to draw a map of the USA. I think he started with Oklahoma and it kind of grew from there.  He was in the backseat so neither Sharyl or I could see his work.  We helped him with the locations, which proved more than a little challenging.  An example, Tennessee is short and wide and is on top of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

I was anxious to see his work when we got home.  His finished product was very recognizable, certainly not something Rand McNally would be interested in but you could definitely tell what it was; and up near the top sandwiched between Minnesota and the western shoreline of Lake Michigan was West Consin.

That is one of a handful of states I haven’t been to; I may just drive up there one of these days and let them know it is West Consin not Wisconsin.

I love you ConMan and miss you every day.

I think everyone will understand if I stay away from the keyboard for a couple weeks. If I do come here I will try to remember to consider using the delete key.

Keep me in your prayers.

Good Night and God Bless


Celebrate Observe Acknowledge…….

Celebrate:  To observe a notable occasion with festivities

Observe:  To do something special or enjoyable for an important event

Acknowledge:  To accept or do not deny the truth or existence of something

In just over an hour Mothers Day 2012 will be a memory.  I have known four mothers who were or are special to me.  One of them I called “mom”, one of them my girls called “mom”, the other two my grandkids call “mom”.  I think the best mom ever is the one I called mom; I hope you disagree with me I know my girls and grandkids do and reserve that spot for the one you call or called mom.

I really don’t remember doing anything special on Mothers Day when I was a little kid. Sharyl’s first Mothers Day as a mother was 1967; while the girls were growing up I tried to help them make it a fun day for their mom or as the definition says “observe a notable occasion with festivities”. I also tried to do the same for my mom in an effort to make up for some of the things I didn’t do when I was younger. Through Mothers Day 1990 we celebrated to the extent possible; I lost my mom on Mothers Day 1991.

For the next twenty years we continued to observe Mothers Day by doing something special or enjoyable.  My mood was usually a little somber or melancholy; Sharyl and the girls respected that and kept things kind of low key.  We normally just had everyone together for lunch or dinner and family time; that is really what it is all about anyway.

Today was the first Mothers Day for the girls since they lost their mom.  Dava and Rick were out of town; Cale and Steve were playing baseball.  Lori, Rylie and I acknowledged Mothers Day with a very quiet lunch.

I am hopeful we can observe Mothers Day next year and maybe even celebrate it the following year.

Yes, I am still struggling; please keep me in your prayers.

Good Night and God Bless.


Nothing Serious…………..

During my working years I would occasionally share a “grandkid” story with my co-workers. I didn’t have the market cornered; most grandparents do this.  One of those co-workers told me several times that I should write those stories down because I would forget some of them.  It has been more years than either of us care to recall since we worked together but we have remained friends.  It is not the kind of friendship where we see each other on a regular basis; we’re not in the same social circle.  It is the kind of friendship that when things got extremely tough for me I wasn’t the least bit surprised to see her there because she thought I could use the support of an old friend.

In my last blog I spoke of Sharyl’s competitive spirit.  My friend is one of those competitive types who never shied away from a little controversy, and some people will tell you that I am a little bit that way. When she and I worked together part of what we did was resolve controversial issues sometimes we didn’t agree on how things should be, neither of us liked to lose, and in a friendly way neither of us hesitated to say “I told you so”. If we were in agreement which was normally the case; the other guys were usually in trouble.

A few weeks ago, about the time I was starting to resume blogging one of us mentioned possibly including some of the old grandkid stories.  I said, “If I can remember them”, she flashed a little “I won one” smile and said, “I told you to write them down”.

I guess you have figured out you’re getting ready to hear a grandkid story.  I promise I won’t flood you with them but in an effort to keep this thing lighthearted I will share one from time to time.  Most of them will be humorous; this is just kind of a neat little story.

Before Sharyl’s illness Luke was spending the day with us I think he was four.  I came in the den and he was in the process of putting some of his thoughts on paper, he had a pencil and a 3 x 3 post-it notepad.  He still had a little problem pronouncing his Rs and I hadn’t started using the hearing aids so sometimes we had trouble communicating.  He asked, “How do you spell yaw?” (I can’t spell it like he said it but I think you get the idea) I didn’t want o offend him by asking him to repeat, instead I asked, “How are you using it?” He said, “Yaw da best Mama eva,” For you grammar police I didn’t know if he knew about contractions and apostrophes and I didn’t want to go there if he didn’t so I said Y-O-U-R, I think I helped him with best and ever and he continued to write and I resumed whatever I was doing.

A little later I came back in the den, Luke was somewhere else by now; the post-it note pictured was stuck to the TV cabinet.

I shared it with Sharyl and tucked it away in one of those drawers where things get buried and forgotten, or am I the only one who has those.  I was looking for something else; I didn’t find what I was looking for but I found the note.  You may need to spend a little time with it but it says, “Your the best Mama ever”.

We disagree on the spelling, Mama vs. Maw Maw but we completely agree; she was “da best Mama eva”.

The next picture is of my flowerbed after two applications of weedeater; remember that is the heavy-duty gasoline powered weedeater. Seems to be working. I call it “tough love” for flowers.

I think I am getting a little bit of writers block, I have some thoughts but I can’t seem to get them to flow through the keyboard, so I may need to take a short break.  I know if I keep it lighthearted I will need a break because for some very personal reasons May isn’t going to be a very fun month.

Please continue to remember me in prayer.

Good Night and God Bless.