Tag Archive: Colorado


Okay, in the mountains it’s called a boulder. Some places in Texas we call it a pebble. Other places we call it a rock. In still other places we would call it a hill and build an overpass over it. But in the mountains, it’s a damn boulder.

Upon seeing this boulder in a neighboring yard, my first thought was that I would have like to have seen it when it rolled down the mountain. Then I thought, “hell no,” because it may not have been alone. That and there were only trees to stop it. At the speed it was probably going, how many trees did it take out?

Did all the animals get out of the way? In the second picture, another, smaller boulder is in the back of the house. Not that they necessarily rolled down at the same time. But you can imagine trying to dodge rocks in a freaking rock slide. Some of which could crush a grown bear into dust and hair.

The question is, would you buy a house with two boulders in the yard? I’m still undecided and I see it everyday for a couple of weeks. It would be kind of cool for a while, but the novelty has to wear off. And it pretty much limits what you can do with the yard. “Let’s go party by the boulder,” has to get old after a while.

What do you think?

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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 

 

 

 

So I left Colorado on Friday morning – a beautiful day. The traffic was still rather light, but had picked up a little each day. It was a nice day for a drive. A damn long drive, but there you are. The weather warmed up, the air was clear, and the clouds were seemingly drifting through space and time. 

Radio reception cut out on the drive through New Mexico. I listened to the latest mix Conner sent me of the songs for the LA Session cd to be released later this year on Refrigerator Records. The songs sounded so good I was tempted to release it earlier, but everything in its own time. It is good traveling music.

The timing worked out perfect. Radio reception kicked back in when I finished listening to the mixes. A couple of hours later I was past Amarillo. Weather warnings began to interrupt the radio show. Rain, ping pong ball size hail, and sixty mile an hour winds were attacking the panhandle behind me. I was appreciating the fact that I had dodged that particular bullet. 

I appreciated that fact all the way to Hwy 380. The wind had picked up considerably by that time. Then I hit a little light rain. No big deal. I called Cameron to see if he was at his apartment in Denton. I was going to stop off, say hi, and use the bathroom. But soon after we hung up, the bottom dropped out. God’s way of telling me he didn’t appreciate my over confidence. 

On 35, visibility was reduced to having to turn on the flashers to warn those behind us. I worried about those whose common sense seemed lacking. I had to go around two accidents, the first of which I was almost in. But I arrived home with no incident in which I was involved.

I’ve been wearing a mask and social distancing the whole time. On one level of my conscience I’m getting used to it. On another level, I’m kinda tired of the whole damn thing. I would like to have a beer at the bar and then finish my show when the break is over.

In my dream last night, the trip – as well as events of the past few months – invaded that same conscience. There is a lot of jumbled parts that made an impression, but I don’t remember what happened. However, one scene struck me vividly. 

I was at a gathering of some sort. It was obviously pre(or post)- Covid 19. While the groups were away from each other, it was closer than six feet. I was walking through the crowd, saying hello to what seemed like everyone. I wasn’t shaking hands, but I was patting everyone on the shoulder. I got halfway through the crowd when I became horrified at what I was doing. Yet I couldn’t stop. Then I suddenly woke up with a shake.

I’d rather not have that dream again, if it’s all the same.

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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.

 

Picture taken at my last show at World’s End Brewing.

I was looking at my tour calendar that I had been ignoring and hadn’t crossed out all the cancelled dates yet. Fortunately, most of the breweries I was going to play are still surviving. I’m still hoping to play a few shows at the end of the month. But I thought I would feature the breweries here and give a shout out to them.

World’s End Brewing in Canon City, Colorado, was where I was to begin and end my tour. It was – after all – my World’s End Tour. It’s a great little brewery on the corner. Tom Martinez and his wife – a sweet couple – run the brewery. They have delicious food to go along with their tasteful craft beers.

Bavarian pretzel sticks go with almost any beer. Cactus Needles are strips of jalapeno and sweet onion, battered and fried, with blackened ranch. World’s End also has the usual appetizers with their unique spin on them. Don’t expect your usual fried pickles.

The entrees run the palate pleasing gamut from hot dogs and chili dogs, to Fish and Chips, wings and BLT, to build your own angus burger, salmon burger, a panini, to fruit and salads. Something to go with a variety of beers. Fortunately, World’s End has just such a variety. King’s Kona Stout is on the heavy end with coffee. They have a few fruit beers, currently Code Blue, Fairy Dust, and Frostberry.

The beer menu also usually includes a porter (Lethe’s Tears), a wheat beer (EJ-5), a kolsch (Reclamation), and a pale ale (Dragonspit). A few of my favorites – I have more – are the Suicide Blonde Bomber (blonde ale), Durty Leprechaun (Irish red ale), and the Dark Abockalypse (bock of course). Yet there’s more. When you’re in the area, check them out. If you can’t stop for while, grab some food and beer to go. You can order on the website before you get there. Either way, check out the beers they have. And tell Tom I said hi.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

A random shot of me playing when I did that kind of thing.

Of course, live shows are out of the question for an undetermined length of time. And my period of social distancing long distances has also been extended for an undetermined length of time. Our friend, Sam, was interred this morning in Ft. Worth and I’ll be driving Sally back to Colorado. That’s just the way things work during the accelerated circumstances of our present reality.

Yet things have to continue in whatever form they can. In a previous post, I said that I received numerous emails – and still do – that tell me all the things I can do while quarantined. If anyone else wants to learn online, they probably already have a teacher. Then they said I could release new music. And I said (if you’ve been following along) “that I could do.”

And that time is approaching. As I said earlier, my plan was to release the final studio session of myself and Joel Nichols as Southern Plains – beginning with Bruce Gibson and so forth – with two unreleased songs from my Chasing After Wind sessions that we played as Southern Plains, but I did all the parts. Then I bought a cassette to digital device that allowed me to revive most of the Southern Plains recordings. I was anal about recording practices, shows, etc. back then. After I add songs to complete Southern Plains Revisited, who knows what recordings I’ll have for future releases. I should release the first single from the cd in the next few weeks.

But wait…there’s more! Stay tuned…

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

Picture of Willis Alan Ramsey from Wikipedia taken by Ron Baker.

Picture of Willis Alan Ramsey from Wikipedia taken by Ron Baker.

Cyndy and I had the good fortune to see Willis Alan Ramsey Thursday night at the Shipping and Receiving Bar in Ft. Worth. His wife, Alison Rogers Ramsey, opened for him. I saw him quite a few times in the ‘70s. One time in particular was at a club called Mother Blue’s on Lemmon Ave.

His throat was sore and he had a bottle of Chloraseptic on a stool with a glass of water. After each song or so, he would spray his throat with the Chloraseptic. About half way through the show, he appeared frustrated. After the next song, he looked at the audience, said “to hell with it,” unscrewed the top and chugged part of the bottle. He made it through the rest of the show.

Thursday night, Alison played as good a set as she could play with an injured knee and constant pain. She was quite funny and the audience was supportive since she was obviously plagued with pain. They both talked about the 900 mile drive from Colorado they had just endured – with a stop in Childress for auto repairs.

Then Willis Alan took the stage, with another round of applause for Alison.
He began with “Watermelon Man,” to the crowd’s delight. He played new songs and some of his classics, including Northeast Texas Women. He did not play “Muskrat Love.” Then again, no one in the audience expected – or even wanted – him to play it.

Ramsey did mention the song though. He said a teacher in college told him to write what he knew. At 19, he didn’t know anything. So he quit school to “go learn something.”

“I write songs about things I don’t know anything about. For instance, I didn’t know anything about Muskrats? Still don’t.”

Willis Alan talked about staying on Leon Russell’s land in Oklahoma soon after Russell had acquired it. It was while Russell and George Harrison, among others, were planning the Concert for Bangeladesh. Ramsey stayed in one of the small cabins on the lake – literally on the lake with a boat slip on the side – with his dog. At one point, he asked if anyone had a cough drop.

He took a short break, after which he returned to the stage to play a set of “mostly ballads.” The ballads included songs that were not on his first album, such as “Mockingbird,” “Desiree,” and “Boys Town.” Ramsey also played “Angel Eyes,” receiving a standing ovation, and ended with “Satin Sheets.”

Cyndy and I went to talk to Willis Alan and Alison where they were sitting on a couch. Cyndy had already talked to Alison when she went to the restroom. Alison had mentioned on stage that “in the ‘70s there was nothing to do in Dallas.” She went to Hockaday and Cyndy and I went to W. T. White which were not far apart, although not the same years.

“One of the only things to do in Dallas in the ‘70s was to hang out at the bowling alley at Preston Forest.”

“Oh my God,” Alison said. “I haven’t thought about that place in ages.”

When I got to the couch, Cyndy was talking to Alison again and introduced me to Alison. I told Willis Alan that I thought it was funny that he had asked for a cough drop, and I told him the story about the Chloraseptic incident. Alison got a kick out of the story. He looked at me with a knowing smile.

“I remember that, actually.”

Willis Alan Ramsey and Alison Rogers will be playing at Poor David’s Pub in Dallas on November 7 with Bob Livingston.

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