Category: friends


(Read the first part of the Southern Plains story here. Along with what the cover of the album was supposed to be like if the distributors had let me use the cover I wanted.)

The next time Joel, Bruce, and I got together – with guitars and beer – we each played songs we’d written. We enjoyed each other’s songs, re-playing some so the other two could harmonize. We were excited about what we were hearing. I hadn’t had anyone singing along with me on my songs and I was blown away.

Joel returned to school in Nashville, Tennessee at Scarritt College, which is now the Scarritt Bennett Center. He came back to Dallas over the summer and we played gigs before and after Joel’s summer courses in Nashville, including a show at a party in Slidell, Lousiana. Joel then decided, after three and a half years, that he would forego returning to school to play gigs. I paused my own schooling to move to Nashville with Joel so he would finish his last semester (and play gigs) and live with his other two roommates on the second floor of an old house.

The painting pictured above is a painting of a picture of mine and Joel’s guitars crossed. More to come!

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

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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]

Picture taken at the last show of mine Sam got to see.

Our next door neighbors, Richard and Dottie Powell, lived there long before Cyndy and I moved in with our sons thirteen years ago. They’ve known Cyndy since she was born. Richard has had health problems for a number of years. He passed away a week and a half ago. They were able to have a funeral, but with limited attendees and grave site visitors, leaving others to mourn at home unable to attend. Which was just one of the many unrelated deaths during the pandemic that is/was not given the funeral or memorial service they deserve(d).

Our friends, Sam and Sally Shank – brother and sister – retired and bought a house together in Colorado. They’ve had a chance to travel in the past year and were settling in after living there only a couple of years. Sam had some tests done recently and was waiting on the results. They were regular tests and there were no alarms.

Sunday afternoon, I came back from an essential errand. I opened the front door and thought I heard Cyndy holler – at me I thought. But I had just walked in. She had her headphones on and was talking to Sally on the phone. I came in late in the conversation and had no idea what they were talking about. It sounded like a normal conversation between the two. I wasn’t really listening anyway. Cyndy was talking loud.

When the conversation ended, Cyndy came into the den where I was working at my desk and stood looking at me. I looked up and she told me Sam had passed away late Saturday night. He was only 68 and, like I say, there were no alarms. The coroner thought it looked like a heart attack.

Sally’s sight is not the best. Cyndy and I will do everything we can to help. Our boys call her Aunt Sally. When they release Sam’s body, he’ll be sent back to Ft. Worth for burial. The graveside service will be small enough to fit the restrictions.

But Sam shouldn’t have left so early. I’m going to miss liking his posts on Facebook, and getting messages from him. Cyndy and I were planning to visit them in May. One of the songs Conner and I did the music video of in the hotel in Iowa is Foxes in the Henhouse. I’ve been trying to play it for him since I wrote it. I haven’t been playing it in my live show. I was going to post it and tag him. Now I’ll post the video and dedicate it to him. He would really appreciate the song. And I’ll be thinking of him.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

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