Category: Food


No matter how long I’ve been playing music, I’m still amazed when someone goes out of their way to show their appreciation. I was already grateful that Tom Martinez and his staff at World’s End Brewing in Canon City, Colorado, invited me back in October and November, after months of no shows for either of us. Not only that, it was a safe and enjoyable environment for all concerned.

The October show went well, but last week’s show went especially well. The staff was great and the audience was responsive and appreciative. Our friend, Sally (Cyndy’s best friend), was with me and sitting at the bar. We stay with her when we’re in Colorado.

After my third set I packed everything up. I came back from one of my trips to the van. As I walked in the door, a guy sitting in the alcove on the other side of the door from the alcove I was playing in, stuck his head around the wall.

“Thanks for playing tonight. We really enjoyed it!”

I smiled and said thank you. In a non-covid situation I would have shaken his hand and given him a card. This time the smile and thanks would need to suffice. Before I turned completely around, he continued.

“We put something in your bucket for you.”

“Thanks again! I appreciate it.”

Then I was packed and Sally and I headed out. That’s when Sally told me what actually happened.

The guy had called the waitress over. He said he didn’t have enough cash for a tip and asked if there was an atm nearby. Then he walked down the street in cold, windy weather to the atm, got some money out, walked back to the brewery, and dropped money in my tip jar.

With all the shit that has gone on this year, and all the bills and such that he probably had to pay, he took time and money out to show how much he enjoyed hearing me playing my music.

Damned if I didn’t appreciate it! And feel grateful.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

The memorial for Mr. Troll (Danny Ramon Mallow) in the parking lot of Poor David’s Pub was enjoyable, successful, social distanced, and appropriate. There was a ceremony before the memorial in which they marked his spot in the cactus garden with his picture and bowler hat for the memorial.

I had the honor of starting the show following the host, Rob Case. Thanks to Anni Howe, I have pictures. You can watch the whole thing here. We were playing on the stage from Bill’s Records and Tapes. Which was appropriate considering Troll had showcases at Bill’s on that stage.

Speaking of Mr. Troll, and Poor David’s Pub, you can see a number of the performers from the memorial “live” on Monday nights at 7 p.m. CST on the Rob Case’s Open Mic – Poor David’s Pub Facebook page. It’s always a good show and donations split between Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival.                                                                                                                     

And, in the spirit of shameless self promotion, I have a show at Poor David’s Pub on Friday, December 4. More information in the next post.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

If you’re taking Highway 287 coming from Dallas toward Colorado, you pass a little stop in the road about forty miles before Amarillo called Goodnight, Tx. The only reason you would know you were there is the Herd Wear Retail Store and Goodnight Country Inn.

Goodnight, Texas is an unincorporated “community” in Armstrong County. As of 2000, the population was 18. The address is actually Clarendon, Tx. The town is named for Charles Goodnight and his wife who settled there and had a bison ranch. (We don’t have buffalo in the United States, we have bison, cousins to the buffalo on the other side of the planet.)

Charles Goodnight was one of the biggest cattle ranchers in the Texas Panhandle in the late1800s, having already created the Goodnight-Loving trail to move the cattle to market. He made and lost a fortune in Pueblo, Colorado, before moving to the Texas Panhandle and recreating his success with cattle ranching. While buying land with partners and enlarging the ranch, they had to push the bison back about fifteen miles. Which didn’t help relations with the Indians. Charles made a deal with Quanah Parker to give her followers two beeves (cows) every other day to keep peace.                                                                     

It was about that time that Charles began raising bison as well as antelope and elk. He tried creating a cattalo, crossing cattle and bison, but it wasn’t a huge success. When he quit working with the cattle ranch, Charles concentrated on bison, beginning with 250 head. Charles and his wife – who had encouraged him to raise bison and oversaw the younger bison – shipped bison to Yellowstone, Europe, and other places.

Which brings us back to Cecil Miskin and Darlene Wright at Herd Wear Store/Goodnight Country Inn. The store is smack on 287. If you’re paying attention, you can’t miss it. Back down the road from the highway you can see the Goodnight House. The Country Inn is a one unit bed and breakfast back of the store. Cyndy and I plan to go one weekend when we can see the museums we want to see in the area.

The Herd Wear Store has everything bison, plus more. Check them out on Facebook and the website. A lot of wonderful things. We’re getting stuff for Christmas from them. Best of all though, is bison meat. The kippered bison beef makes great tender steak sticks for snacking. We’ve also tried the bison bratwurst, the jalapeno cheese bratwurst, and the ribs. We still have summer sausage to try. The bison products are a little pricey, but oh, so freaking tasty. And Cecil and Darlene will work with you.

I’ve spent time talking with Cecil on two different occasions now – once with Cyndy and once this last trip on my mini tour. Cecil can tell you all things bison/buffalo and he’ll happily talk about Charles Goodnight and the ranch. They had to get rid of some of the bison in the past fifteen years, but they kept just enough to be able to call it a herd.

So the next time you’re going through, be sure to stop by and see Cecil and Darlene. They’d love to have you and answer any and all questions. They’ve got enough stuff to warrant a day trip just to go there. I know Cecil has enough stories to keep you entertained while you shop. Not to mention the many museums in the area.

Tell them I sent you and I’ll see them next time through!

_______________________________________________________

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

I didn’t play the cajon this time around so I took up less room.

I got  back yesterday from my Mini World’s End Tour this last weekend – the extended World’s End Tour was the tour I had to cancel earlier in the year and will hopefully schedule again next year. The mini tour consisted of four virtual events and one live, social distanced show at World’s End Brewing in Canon City, Colorado. Friday’s show had to be cancelled due to spotty reception. I thought I would start with an end of tour story first – for various reasons. The last show was the Poor David’s Pub/Kerrville Folk Festival Songwriters Showcase on Monday, donations during which are split between the two venues to support them in this difficult time we find ourselves in.

The show went very well for all of the songwriters. I was playing from my hotel room in Amarillo. You can find the show at Rob Case’s Open Mic – Poor David’s Pub Facebook page, as well as the donation links.

I woke up Tuesday morning and fixed coffee that was pretty passable for hotel coffee. I packed the stuff in the van and headed to Sam’s to get gas. After I got gas, I pulled into a parking space to place my order on the Whataburger app. There was a location not too far from Sam’s, but it was out of the way. I picked the location on I40 and Grand.

I ordered a biscuit sandwich with egg, extra bacon, and no cheese. I added an apple pie for later on the road. I picked the card I wanted to use to pay and tapped Checkout.

The next thing I saw on my phone was No Cheese not available at this location.

What else is there to say?

________________________________________________________

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

[Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4] The picture is of tuna fish salad Cyndy made. I can eat tuna fish and tuna fish salad now. I haven’t had the impulse to gag when I smelled it in years…

….In the upstairs apartment at 916 Acklen Ave. in Nashville, we took turns fixing meals when we ate int. On one occasion when it was my turn, I decided to fix tuna casserole. It was pretty freaking good as I recall – as long as I’m not smelling tuna while I think about it. It received compliments.

After dinner we went out for drinks. We we got back, we drank beer and watched tv, among other things. The casserole dish – meanwhile – had been pushed to the side of the table in the kitchen. It got covered up by other things. With all of us actually working at the same time, as well as practicing and playing shows, the dish was forgotten, for a while.

But, it happened to be particularly warm for the next few days. We began to notice a smell. I don’t remember how long we looked, but obviously we found it. Which is when everyone looked at me and said, “you cooked it, you clean it.” So I did, alternately holding my breath and gagging.

Finally, it was over and I was seriously sniffing dishwashing soap. I will not describe it for a couple of reasons. One is because I wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone else. The second is because I don’t know if I could accurately describe it and not run to the bathroom. As it is, it will be a few hours before I can have any of the tuna fish salad.

____________________________________________

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

 

Granola bars

are for people

who want to be healthy,

but cannot escape the munchies.

_____________________________________________

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

So I spent last week social distancing my butt to Colorado to pick up Sally and bring her back for her brother, Sam, to be interred in Ft. Worth. Due to Covid-19, it will only be Sally and her cousin at the graveside. Her older brother, Kenny, lives in the area, but he doesn’t get around well.

It was odd, but pleasant, making the long drive with very little traffic. You can make really good time when you rarely have to pass anyone. Driving through New Mexico – in the middle of freaking nowhere – two other drivers and I played a casual vehicle, bored drivers version of leap frog. In other words, we took turns passing each other.

The day after I arrived, we drove into Colorado Springs to pick up the death certificates. The traffic was not as heavy as “usual,” but considerably heavier than on the highway. We picked up barbecue from Front Range BBQ. I highly recommend them should you find yourselves in the area. We picked up a few more things on the way back to the house for the evening. On Thursday we headed back here to Farmers Branch. Sally took the first shift until her eyes went “wonky” as she put it.

It was nice to be in cooler weather before coming back to Texas heat. Sally enjoys the heat though- having been stuck in the house most of the winter. We’ll head back to Colorado when things are taken care of. I’ll hang out a couple of days – leaving time between driving days. Then I’ll come back here until Cyndy and I go up the end of the month. In the meantime, I’ll try to get back to the projects I was working on when we heard the news that Sam passed away. Stay tuned – it’s going to be interesting!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

[If you like what you read and/or enjoy my music and what I do, feel free to let me know – Paypal.me/danroark]

On Friday, the morning after our show at Akademia Brewing, we all left the house at 9 a.m. Joe and Lisa (Catanese) headed down to Savannah, where Joe had a show that night. They were wonderful hosts, as were the people of Athens, Ga. I headed into downtown Athens to get coffee. After parking, I took my backpack into Hendershots Coffee.

Hendershots is a cool looking place with a funky vibe. I came in the back from the parking lot through a back room and came out passing the bathrooms and the stage into the long open room. Tables and other sitting areas were on both sides until you reached the bar on the right side of the room – about a third the length of the room. There was a patio, accessible through the door across from the bar.

I got a dark roast, which turned out to be really good, and sat across the room from the bar. I checked my email, sent our youngest son, J.D., some pictures, and generally took care of business. The picture above was my view out their front window. Fortunately, the college was out, so it wasn’t crowded.

The clientele was varied, perfect for a people observer such as myself. There were still a few college students, still around for a job or summer school. After doing what I needed to do, I got a coffee to go and headed for Cartersville, Ga where I had a reservation at the KOA.

If you find yourself in or near Athens, Georgia of a morning, stop into Hendershots for coffee and a pastry. Or stop by at night for a drink and live music or comedy. Chances are you’ll enjoy yourself.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Joe Cat (Catanese) played for about half an hour before my set at Akademia Brewing Co. I did the same for Joe last September. We like playing shows together because our music compliments each other. Hearing our songs together – as it were – you get a good variation of views on life in all its facets.

Joe is the marine that served in Desert Storm, and I’m the old hippie with the military father. So that will tell you something. We connect by each respecting, understanding, and relating to each other’s life and songwriting motives.

My favorite songs of Joe’s are, fortunately, some of his favorites too so I’m usually sure I’ll hear them when he plays at least a half hour set.

Joe’s music is, in his words, “gritty, blue collar music.” Factory Line gives the listener the sense of factory work and its inherent challenges while trying to make a living. America’s Best relates life after the military trying to adjust to the complicated world outside the military. My all time favorite Joe Cat song is Silver Thread City, which I believe is about meeting his wife, Lisa. When you have a chance, check out his music on Reverbnation, Spotify, and all the usual places.

After getting another Altered Minds – an altbier, it was time for my set. All of the beers at Akademia are wonderful. But Altered Minds was so smooth and full-bodied that both Joe and I stuck with it. I made sure to take a four pack of 16oz. Olen Av Odin home. When I saw the description – a blackened lager – I knew I had to take some home. Unfortunately, they didn’t have it on tap. When Cyndy and I shared the first can, I wished I had brought more home.

If you’re in the area, make it a point to go by Akademia Brewing Company. Their chef prepares excellent menu items. The prime rib sandwich is my favorite. Have some samples and choose the beer for you. Trust me – they have it!

Fortified with beer and water, I hit the stage – not literally, but I stumbled, so almost. I began as I usually do with Hello Out There, my song for those on the autism spectrum, and the title song of my most recent cd. My set included the song I wrote with my daughter, Jennifer, when she was 12, the Aardvark Song, which everyone seems to like and many refer to as “the animal song,” and Jennifer’s favorite song of mine, Poet and the Lady. Being in the home area of Waffle House, I made sure to play my song, Waffle House (Is a Mighty Fortress). You can find my music at www.danroark.com, Spotify and so on.

After the show, we packed up and had another Altered Minds before headed back to Joe’s house. Another great night at Akademia Brewing Company!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Weaver D’s is a 33 year old institution in Athens, Ga. Joe Catanese took me there for lunch before our show at Akademia Brewery that night. And owner, Dexter Weaver, was front and center at the cash register.

You order the meat you want – they all come with two sides. In my case, I ordered the fried pork chop.

“Pork chop fried!” Dexter called out.

“Pork chop fried!” said the woman getting the vegetables.

“Automatic!” Dexter would say.

Dexter took Joe’s order and ran his card. Then he took my card and handed Joe his card, receipt, and a pen to sign the other receipt. He kept talking the whole time without looking at anyone. He turned, supposedly toward me with a receipt and pen. I already had my own pen in my hand. Then he handed it to the man behind me.

I laughed, turned to Joe and said, “I thought he was talking to me.”

“Just killing two birds with one stone,” Dexter said, never looking anyone in the eye while he was talking.

A few moments later, he gave me my receipts, one of which I signed.

Then, when the woman called out, “pork chop,” I told her my two sides – potato salad and collared greens – and she shuffled off to the refrigerator for the potato salad, and the stove for the collared greens. The utensils and so forth are self-serve.

As you can see on the sign in the picture above, and on the walls in the interior, Dexter’s full expression is “automatic for the people.” There are also pictures of R.E.M on the wall. The band asked Dexter if they could name their next album Automatic For the People. Weaver didn’t think too much about it since the band had been pilfering his food at night. But when they “told me who they was” he was pleased and excited. The album won a grammy, Rolling Stone talked about the soul food restaurant in Athens, people came from all over to eat there, and other good fortune came around.

But that was a while back. Now there is a push to get it registered as an historical landmark so they can get additional funding to continue. You can read the full Automatic for The People story and contribute to their crowdfunding page at http://www.weaverds.com.

As for the food, I was not disappointed with the first fried pork chop I have had. The edges of the chop curled up, making a half bowl, as it were. The fat on one side had split into three “fingers,” so it looked somewhat like a crab, with claws only on one side and a big fat thumb on the other. But it was very tasty. The grease had drained off nicely. It wasn’t a very large pork chop, but that happens. The ample potato salad and collared greens filled out the “I’m full” quotient quite nicely. They were by far the best collared greens I have ever had. And that’s saying something.

If you go to Athens, you owe it to yourself to eat at Weaver D’s. The parking can be tough, but it’s worth it. Hell, if you’re in Atlanta even, you might want to make it a day trip.

Automatic!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Automatic!”

%d bloggers like this: