Category: Family


Charles the Buck

[Previous post about the deer here.]

As I said earlier, when Cyndy and I left our friend, Sally’s, home in Colorado to return home the last few times, a deer – a buck as it were – was laying in Sally’s front yard watching us pack and leave. We’d like to think he was saying good-bye in some way, but who the hell knows?

Turns out he’s been hanging out in the yard more lately. Sally said he’d been there most of the day today. We figured if he was going to hang out at her house, we might as well name him. We have a friend named Charles Buck. And the deer is a buck. Hence, Charles the Buck.

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark 

 

 

 

Taken Labor Day evening.

Okay, so snow is not necessarily a mountain thing, although it is prevalent for six months out of the year. But the temperature dropping from 90 to 30 degrees in a few hours with snow beginning to fall, on Labor Day, as it did last week, is most certainly a mountain thing.

As is the deer wandering around town as if they own the place, because, well, they were there first. So when they graze in the front yard or wander through the yard next door to reach the cul de sac as they have for years, you just watch. It’s a cool thing to watch anyway.

Bears have been wandering through for a couple of months now. They only tolerate the humans because they’re nice enough – and stupid enough in some cases – to provide their trash. As well as forgetting to close the garage door with a full refrigerator and freezer inside. Making a note of the bonus location, the bear hit that particular house three times. Apparently, he really enjoyed the freezer full of shrimp he got the first time.  

It’s a morning routine for Sally, Cyndy, and I in Colorado. Drinking our coftfee and watching the street, front and side yards for grazing or passing deer. We’re beginning to recognize some of them. It’s also fun to be driving around town and see deer in a yard, a roadside grassy area, or any grassy or shady area really.

The previous trip to Sally’s.

There is a particular deer that we know well. Each time Cyndy and I leave to head back home – like we did last Saturday – he’s laying in Sally’s front yard telling us good-bye. 

The same deer last Saturday.

 

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

River That Flows is the first song I wrote about Cyndy, wife now, girlfriend then. Or rather, I was thinking about Cyndy when I wrote my half of the song. I was in college at NTSU (now UNT). Tim Duggins was my roommate. We met the year before at Richland Junior College (now Community College). On a Sunday, I think it was, we took our guitars and a 6-pack to the park.

We played the usual songs and practiced Sister Golden Hair by America. We had come to write a new song though. I don’t remember which one of us had the original idea. But after a lot of back and forth of ideas, moments of exhilaration and excitement, and when the 6-pack was gone, we had a song called River That Flows.

Southern Plains would be formed the next year. As I’ve said before, River That Flows was a staple of our set and it remains in my set list today. Joel Nichols and I added leads and flurries, but the song you hear now is the same song we wrote that day.

Unfortunately, Timothy James Duggins died of lung cancer a few years ago. I got in touch with him again

Tim Duggins on the left with his brother, Mike.

before he died. We were going to try to get together, but the last couple of years were tremendously hard on him. It was tough for him to get around.

Rest in Peace Tim!

 

 

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

There is a shop called Mountain Wookies in Colorado with a location in Canon City and another in Woodland Park. On the last couple of trips to Colorado, I went in search for a mountain wookie. Our friend, Sally, went on the search with me. The picture on the left or above, depending on your device, is of a cutout on the wall in the parking lot of the Mountain Wookies in Woodland Park. That wasn’t good enough.

There were shops with wolves, bears, deer, owls, dogs, and a pig or two. On the side of one mountain there were the Flintstones characters. But, alas, no mountain wookie. I had an idea for a picture I wanted to get that by design must have a mountain wookie.

Then, when Cameron and I drove up to Colorado the first weekend in August, the three of us were running errands and ran by Mountain Wookies. There in front of the shop on the sidewalk was a mountain wookie. Just go with that.

And here is the picture I wanted.

Mountain Wookie Eats Buc-ee for lunch!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

I’ve been playing in the Monday night Zoom/Facebook open mic hosted by Rob Case and benefiting Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival (PayPal@ David@poordavidspub.com if you would like to support those venues – 50% goes to each) since it began the first of June. So naturally, the guy that mows the yard next door changed his time to Monday evening. Mowing the yard itself is not the issue. It’s the leaf blower that sets the dogs off. Then they’re hyped up and barking about the time I’m trying to do my sound check.

And I keep wondering – it’s August, what the hell is he blowing around? I am convinced that they run the leaf blowers so they can charge more because it sounds like they’re working harder. It would help if they knew how to use them in the first place. They seem to think they can just blow the grass, etc. into oblivion. When actually, it ends up in the street or someone else’s yard.

Ever heard of a leaf catcher, dumbass? Or even better, mow the yard in such a way that you end up mulching it as you go. It would take less time so you might have to adjust your rate, but you could mow more yards in a day. Not to mention the environmental benefit of less gas leaf blowers polluting the air. Cutting down on the noise pollution is a plus for me. The whrrrr, silence, whrrrr, silence, and on and on and on, not only sets the dogs off, but raises my blood pressure at the same time. Not good when I’m getting ready for the open mic.

But I did get the sound check done, I did calm down (so did the dogs), and the open mic went well – all around, not just my part. Check it out next Monday at 7 – 10:30 p.m. on Facebook at Rob Case’s Open Mic page. You won’t be disappointed with music of varying styles to enjoy!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

 

A couple who are friends of mine had their house burn down recently. As a result, I have been flashing back to when our house burned the Friday before I began my senior year in high school on Monday.

The firemen saved a lot of things, but my room was a pile of ashes in the back yard. I came home from a night of drinking the coldest beer I’ve ever had. Ice formed in the mug of beer. When Brian and I got to my street, we couldn’t get to the house. We had to park a block over.

Mom and my brother, Dennis, stood in the yard across the street with our dog, Lady. I joined them and watched as flames tore through what had previously been my bedroom. Someone behind me asked out loud if “anyone had marshmallows.” I went ballistic and let them know what an asinine thing it was to say.

I got more clothes and things to replace things that were in my room. But there are things you cannot simply replace. To this day, I sometimes think of things as if I still have them and realize they burned in the fire.

And that was bad. I was chastised on Monday because I didn’t have a pencil. In the apartment we rented while the house was rebuilt, I heard Imagine, which was still on the charts. I heard the line, “imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can.” I suddenly realized I could.

But I got more possessions, and added to them over the years. As bad as it was, I can’t imagine it happening today. But wait, not quite true. Mike and Cindy Freiley lost everything recently. To lose everything I have now would be devastating. I would get through it. I’ve done it before. But it hurts.

If you would like to help Mike and Cindy, here is the gofundme link.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

 

 

Cyndy and I are at our good friend Sally’s house in Colorado. Doing the same thing we’ve done since before the pandemic – nothing outside the house but the essentials. We did drive to Denver to see places where her brother Sam – who died in April (not Covid) – worked and lived when he was there, but we only stopped twice and had masks, etc.

Be that as it may, Cyndy and I are staying downstairs at their – now Sally’s – house. I was in the bathroom and happened to noticed the shampoo pictured. Most of what is in the shower was here when we arrived. The name Andalou made me wonder if it was named after a woman or girl. If so, what the hell were they thinking? And-a-lou – really?

After doing what I came there to do, I went back upstairs. I sat down at my laptop and checked my email. If I keep dealing with emails frequently, I only have to deal with a few at a time. Otherwise it just gets nuts.

I get an email from Amazon suggesting Andalou shampoo. Say what? I just happened to notice it sitting there on the shelf in the shower a few minutes before. It freaked me out until I checked and Cyndy had ordered the shampoo and just paid with the card set up – which was mine.

But it does give one pause, does it not?

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

 

My wife, Cyndy, came home from volunteering at the local market. She looked at me and said, “You have to write a song called Goat Yoga and a Stolen Kubota.” I said, “let’s do it!,” because it was weird enough for me. She told me the story, I whipped out my poetic license and went to work. After days of letting the song germinate in my brain, it finally blossomed into a complete song. Enjoy the first song Cyndy and I have ever written together.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

Brodie is looking at the camera. You can see Buddy’s ear and back in the foreground.

So Cyndy and I thought we would take the two dogs with us to our friend, Sally’s, in Colorado, near Colorado Springs. If you have been following my posts, Sally’s brother Sam passed away unexpectedly in April. I drove up, the next day we ran errands pertaining to Sam’s affairs, and drove back to Texas the day after.

Sally stayed with us a couple of weeks before we drove back to Colorado. I stayed for a couple of days before driving back home. Then Cyndy and I drove up to Sally’s for Cyndy’s work vacation.

And, as I said, we thought we would take the dogs. On the way up to Colorado, there were few people at the rest areas. Walking the two dogs was no problem. We were lucky that they weren’t barking at the animals on the side of the road. Neither dog really even looked out the window.

We arrived at Sally’s and got the dogs in the backyard without incident. Overall, they did better than we thought they would. The dogs next door were no problem, other than our dogs barking at them. But there is a gap in the fence in the back corner. The chain-link fence on the other side kept the dogs away from each other, but they could still see through. The problem was that Buddy and Brodie could not fit their heads through the hole at the same time. So they went after each other. With Cyndy in the middle. She managed to get the dogs apart, yet not without bruises, scraps, and a very sore finger.

Despite our best efforts, it happened again the next day. We had been making sure someone was at the house with the dogs at any given time. This time Cyndy was literally in the middle and came away with more bruises, scraps, and a scratch on her face.

On the drive back more people were traveling. The rest areas were crowded with often a number of dogs. Our dogs do not play well with others. Brodie and Buddy seemed to be more at ease on the trip back. With the exception of the biker that pulled in behind us in the Dairy Queen drive-through. We had to simply find a place to pull over with enough room to walk the dogs. They weren’t too difficult and we were back on the road.

After the lion’s share of the driving was done, we found a rest area with just a few cars and no animals that we could see. Cyndy and I each grabbed a leash. I got Brodie. Buddy came through the front seat and followed Cyndy out of the driver’s side. Brodie tried to follow them. I persuaded him to come out the passenger door and he shot out. We were parked on a curb and my foot missed the curb. I proceeded to fall and my head snapped against the concrete. I kept hold of Brodie and got up as quickly as I could with the pain growing in the back of my head. The dogs did their business, then we took turns doing ours, then back on the road.

The bump on the back of my head grew as fast as the pain. I was lamenting the fact that I left the head medicine in my backpack in the big ass box on the back of the van. It took a couple of hours, but the pain subsided. I kept talking and thinking clearly which would make it appear that I got through without much damage to my head – other than a sizeable lump, a healing wound, and the feeling that my teeth had been seriously rattled.

I had, however, acquired a shooting pain just back of the middle finger on my right hand anytime I did anything with that hand. My award for hanging onto Brodie’s leash. Although I have to admit that if the pain subsides and there is no lasting damage, it is not too high a price to pay to not have to chase Brodie down the side of the freaking highway. It’s fortunate I wasn’t playing shows. I’m just now able to type or play guitar without pain.

When we head back to Colorado the end of the month, we’re going to have someone take care of the dogs. They’re both rescue dogs so they each have their issues. We’ll give training another shot. But for now, they’re staying home.

But the kicker is, I had thought ahead after all. When we arrived home, it occurred to me that I had put the head medicine in the snack tub. It was three feet away from me the whole time while my head throbbed!

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark 

 

 

 

I had planned on publishing a post yesterday. But with social distancing and so forth on the road, There just wasn’t a convenient time to whip out the laptop. I’m getting used to the WordPress app on my phone – I just hadn’t taken the time to check it out. Which is odd considering that time is the one thing I have too much of.

With states taking steps to open up, Sally and I didn’t know what to expect in the way of traffic on the way to Colorado. Of course Dallas and Denton traffic was increasing. Not too much traffic through west Texas, but then, why would there be? The rest areas had very few people, most of whom were either wearing masks or kept their distance. When we stopped for gas, the employees were wearing masks as were most of the customers. Most, but not all, were social distancing.

From Trinidad, Colorado north through Colorado Springs the traffic kept picking up. Enough so that we were caught in bumper to bumper traffic for a time in Manitou Springs. People are still being sensible here for the most part, but there are always those people. Some people were getting back to work in Colorado Springs which caused quite a bit of the traffic.

As for me and mine, except for the masks and social distancing, with the accompanying fear and paranoia, basic life has not changed much. Thankfully, Cyndy is still working and I have writing projects. Granted I’m not playing any live shows at the moment. But I can record videos, do some streaming, and work on new songs. My point is that we have always washed our hands. We have always been careful of door handles and so forth. And we keep a distance from people on a regular basis.

Be that as it may, we’ll see what unfolds. I don’t know if I will get to play what would have been the last show on my tour the end of the month. I’m going home the end of the week. Cyndy and I will come back up here the last week of the month for Cyndy’s vacation and what would have been my shows. We may not be doing much.

Governor Polis of Colorado has said that he would make a decision on restaurants on the 25th. The show at World’s End Brewing in Canon City  is scheduled for the 29th. Since I can set up back in a corner alcove, easily leaving 6-9 feet, I would really like to play the show. The customers are mostly local and probably haven’t left.

But after that, who knows? I have a few shows booked for July that I hope to play. But I’m getting recordings ready to release, writing new songs and other things. I’m not in that much of a hurry if it keeps me from being sick.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

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