October 31 2020

Ghostly Guide

The blue wool coat and the man’s piercing eyes.

Is this a ghost from the past in a Union Army disguise?

The old fort was abandoned just its shadows and us.

The sounds in the wind and the birds making a fuss.

On the edge was a tombstone marking the death of an infant child.

She’d died long ago when the buffalo ran wild.

Closing my mind I’d give it a try,

If I listened close I could still hear her cry.

High above a buzzard did glide.

I felt an Indian’s arrow piercing my side.

Falling on the ground, I was writhing in pain.

When a US Cavalry soldier called out my name.

Something touched my face, a hand in a leather glove.

I woke up in the desert, West Texas, the land that I love.

I was inspired to write this poem after a day trip I took back in 2017 to visit the ruins of Ft. Lancaster near Sheffield, Texas.

The infant grave I mentioned in the above poem actually exists. It is simply marked “Little Margaret and a faded inscription reads, “Children are a heritage of the Lord.”  In the fort’s cemetery other graves can be found. I noticed one from the civil war era, a Private, JH Norris.

At Fort Lancaster, the old adobe walls and chimneys seem to climb out of the desert landscape like old tombstones. Tombstones that mark a place long forgotten. This ghostly frontier fort took an important role in taming the wild west.

Fort Lancaster was originally constructed in 1855 as Camp Lancaster. The camp was established on Live Oak Creek. It was named for Job Roberts Hamilton Lancaster.

The Camp was organized in order to protect the wagon trains along the San Antonio- El Paso road during the California Gold Rush.

Lancaster was recommissioned in 1867 and housed the 9th Calvary. A group of seasoned horse soldiers mostly of African descent. This group of soldiers were feared by the Native Indians and by the Natives, were nicknamed the “Buffalo Soldiers.”

On December, 26 1867 the Buffalo Soldiers participated in the only battle in Texas history where a U.S. military fort was attacked by Native Americans.

Out of the shadows and razor sharp thorn bushes surrounding the fort, 200 Kickapoo Indians made their first charge. The entire area was over run by hostile Indians, the first group came in from the West and closed off the entrance of the the corral to keep the forts horses out. Another group began capturing the horses, leaving the wool clad soldiers on foot and fighting for their lives. The Buffalo soldiers raced into defensive positions as they were attacked from the North, South and Western sides of the fort.

After the battle, these soldiers proved worthy against such a forceful attack as mentioned In a speech given by the post commander at the time, Captain William Frohock.

“ I have the honor to report that my camp was attacked from three directions by upwards of nine hundred Indian, Mexican, and white renegades at about 4 pm yesterday, the Buffalo soldiers proved their battle skills and Fort Lancaster and the surrounding area is safe once again.”

Captain William Frohock

I do love West Texas. It’s history and it’s people. I could spend days just exploring these wide open desert spaces. All of my life I have visited these abandoned places and dreamed of what it must have been like to be alive when these ghostly ruins were new and populated. Sometimes I think that life must have been much simpler then, but I know there were hardships that I can’t even fathom. There were many hardships on this barren land of the Chihuahuan Desert. Illness, Insect, Animal, and the chance that a Kickapoo Indian might just take your scalp.

I am grateful today for these cavalry soldiers who did what they must to protect those early settlers.


October 30 2020

Neon Dreams

Just a little over a month ago, Braxton Keith, released his Neon Dreams. This young newcomer who hails from San Angelo, Texas sounds as if he has summoned the spirit of Marty Robbins.

Neon Dreams was released on September 4.

My favorite track on the album is “Cold Hard Steel and Sand.”  

This song gives historical reference into the roots of the oil field. Santa Rita #1. The discovery well drilled near Big Lake, Texas would open the gates to the development of the Permian Basin. Santa Rita was the well that showed the world that there was more to West Texas than just blowing dust and sand.

Santa Rita #1 got it’s first showing of oil at 3050 feet below the West Texas desert in May of 1923. After a roaring and rushing sound the black gold spewed over the wooden derrick. It took over two weeks to get the well under control. The well continued to produce oil until 1990 when it was plugged after 67 years of service. A replica of the Santa Rita derrick can be seen at the Petroleum Museum in Midland Texas. petroleummuseum.org

Cold Hard Steel and Sand,” was co-written by Charlie Stout. Charlie was originally from West Virginia, but now calls West Texas home.

The song gives a picturesque description of my own hometown, Midland Texas, “The Tall City.”

Braxton Keith is also originally from Midland. He is now a college student at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. Braxton has played the piano since Kindergarten. His love of the country and western legends inspired him to learn to play the guitar and begin making music.

“My heroes consist of the country western legends such as Marty Robbins, Merle Haggard, Brooks and Dunn, Hank Williams, Bob Wills, George Strait, and many others.”

Braxton Keith

Other notable songs on the album include “Drifter,” and the album’s title track, “Neon Dreams” this is music that I will definitely be scooting my boots to.

My love for entertaining people drove me to create the kind of good old country music that you’ll be hearing from me.

Braxton Keith

In my opinion we are going to be hearing this guy on the radio sooner than later. Until then his music is available on Spotify, Apple iTunes, and YouTube.

Give Braxton Keith a spin!


October 28 2020

Live Forever

I’m gonna live forever

I’m gonna cross that river

I’m gonna catch tomorrow now

Songwriters: Eddy, Billy Joe Shaver

Billy Joe Shaver Crossed that river today after suffering a massive stroke yesterday. Shaver was 81 years old. Texas has lost yet another songwriting legend.

Some have said that Shaver was one of the greatest living country songwriters. His song “Live Forever” was written by him and his son Eddy Shaver. John Edwin “Eddy” Shaver crossed his river on December 31, 2000. The song was recorded by them twice. Once, on the 1993 album Tramp On Your Street and again in 1998 on the album Victory.

The song was also performed by The Highwaymen and Joe Ely. Robert Duvall performs it in the movie Crazy Heart.

You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone

Nobody here will ever find me

But I’ll always be around

Just like the songs I leave behind me

I’m gonna live forever now

These are just a glimpse of the words Shaver turned into song.

Billy Joe Shaver may be gone in the flesh, but as I believe as did he, Shaver isn’t gone for good. Shaver wasn’t afraid to talk about his faith and beliefs of the afterlife.

Shaver found religion after his son Eddy had died. One of his favorite sayings was, “If you don’t love Jesus, you can go to hell.

He even recorded a gospel album in 2007 called Everybody’s Brother that featured duets with Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Tanya Tucker.

The songs that Shaver left behind are treasures for us all to enjoy in this earthy life. I am sure he is up there in Heaven now singing with the angels.

Billy Joe Shaver was born in Corsicana, Texas August 16, 1939. He was mostly raised by his grandmother while his mother, Victory Watson Shaver, worked in nearby Waco, Texas. Shaver left school in the eighth grade in order to help his uncles pick cotton.  

Shaver on occasion would accompany his mother to her job at a night club in Waco called the Green Gables. Shaver penned the song, “Honky Tonk Heros” about these experiences at the Green Gables.

Billy Joe Shaver spent a stint in the Navy, enlisting at the age of 17. After completing his military duties, He worked a series of odd jobs. Billy Joe had an accident at a saw-mill which caused him to lose two of his fingers off of his left hand. It was then, when he taught himself to play guitar and had dreams of becoming a songwriter. Shaver told CMT in 2012, that he had made a deal with God.

“When I cut my fingers off, I made a deal with God, If You get me out of this, I will go on and do what I am supposed to do.’”

Billy Joe Shaver

Hitch hiking his way to Nashville, Billy Joe found work as a songwriter for fifty dollars a week.

Shaver’s big break came when Waylon Jennings recorded the album, Honky Tonk Heros in 1973. All but one song on the entire album was written by Billy Joe Shaver.

Waylon, having once heard Billy Joe Shaver perform, “Willy The Wandering Gypsy and Me” had told him he would like to record it.

Enlisting the help of radio deejay, Captain Midnight, Billy Joe tracked Waylon down. Waylon, who was bothered by the intrusion of this, gave Midnight a hundred-dollar bill, just to have Billy Joe Shaver “Go Away.” Shaver wouldn’t take NO for an answer.

Billy Joe finally got a chance to speak to Waylon, who he recalled at the time,  had two big bikers with him.

I’ll tell you what I want … If you don’t listen to these songs, at least listen to them, I’m going to whip your ass right here in front of God and everybody.”

Billy Joe Shaver

Waylon decided he had better listen to one, then another. In his biography Waylon told:

His songs were of a piece, and the only way you could ever understand Billy Joe was to hear his whole body of work.

Waylon Jennings

Billy Joe talked the way a modern cowboy would speak, if he stepped out of the West and lived today.

Waylon Jennings

Shaver secured his own record deal, and continued writing and performing his music. His songs were recorded by many including Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, and Patty Loveless. He enjoyed wide appreciation from his peers.

Billy Joe Shaver continued his music until the very end. He received numerous awards and accolades along the way. He performed on the Grand Ole Opry in 1999. In 2006, Shaver was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2019, Shaver received the Poet’s Award from the Academy of Country Music.

Remember Someone really loves you

We’ll live forever you and I


October 27 2020

Hollywood Gold

Parker McCollum’s, Hollywood Gold has become the highest-selling debut EP of 2020, according to ABC NEWS radio.

Hollywood Gold is the newest album from this rising star. It features his debut single “Pretty Heart.”

Currently “Pretty Heart” is in the top 10 on the Billboard’s Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts. The song was written by Parker McCollum and Randy Montana.

This album takes it’s name from a horse that Parker McCollum’s Grandfather once owned. Parker’s Grandmother told him the story more than once in his childhood.

Hollywood Gold was an Australian Racehorse. It was stolen not long after his Grandfather had purchased the horse. They eventually found the horse, but it took months for him to find.

“My Grandad would go out looking for this horse for months and months at a time, I kept hearing Hollywood Gold and I said Man, What a great name for the album.”

Parker McCollum

McCollum co-wrote five of the six songs on the album. “Like A Cowboy,” was the one song that McCollum didn’t have his pen in. It was written by Chris Stapleton and Al Anderson.

The 6 songs on Hollywood Gold bring out McCollum’s Texas roots. Parker was born in Conroe, Tx near Houston. He grew up listening to classic Texas musicians like Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle. Parker worked alongside his Grandfather on the family ranch.

The Houston native musician that some call the Limestone Kid, is now based in Austin. The music Capitol of the World. This up and coming singer songwriter has definitely struck Gold on this new album. The 6 songs on the album all tell the stories of Texas from a Texan’s perspective.

When I ride like a thief on the run

Say goodbye to the things that I’ve done

And I fly like the wind to the sunset

Just like a cowboy should do

Just like a cowboy should do


Songwriters/ Stapleton/Anderson


October 26 2020

Happy Anniversary Waylon and Jessi

On October 26th of 1969 Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter were married in Phoenix, Arizona. The two instantly became the Outlaw movements “It” couple. The marriage lasted until Waylon’s death February 13, 2002.

Kris Kristofferson once described their marriage,

“A beautiful love affair.”

Kris Kristofferson

Waylon had been married three times prior to his wedding with Jessi. Waylon’s song, “This Time” had been inspired by his string of marriage and divorce.

Jessi Colter was born, Mirriam Johnson, May 25 1943 in Phoenix. Her professional name came from a story her father once told her about an associate of Jesse James, Jesse Colter.

Prior to her marriage to Waylon she had been married to guitarist Duane Eddy.

Eddy’s records were produced by Lee Hazlewood. In the late 1950’s and early 60’s Eddy was known for his “twang.” He had sold 12 million records by 1963.

After meeting Waylon, Jessi Colter pursued her career in country music. She was one of the few female artists in the genre of “outlaw country.” She released her first LP “A Country Star is Born,” In 1970

A Country Star is Born” was released on RCA. The album was produced by Waylon Jennings and Chet Atkins. The album was not successful in the country market and Jessi soon left RCA.

Jessi signed with Capitol Records and released “I’m Not Lisa” in January, 1975. This would become Colter’s first hit. The song charted Number one on the Billboard Country Chart and number four on the Billboard Pop Chart.

In 1976 Jessi would record again at RCA along with her husband Waylon, Willie Nelson, and Tompall Glaser, on a compilation album “Wanted! The Outlaws.” The album would be the first country music album to sell over a million copies.

In 1976 Jessi would also release two more albums at Capitol. “Jessi,” and “Diamond in the Rough.”

Shooter Jennings, the couples only child was born in 1979. Shooter has been an active musician since 1996 in the outlaw country and southern rock genre.  

In 1981 Colter and her husband would release a duet album “Leather and Lace.” The albums first single, “Storms Never Last” was written by Jessi Colter. The album was certified Gold in sales.

In the early 1980’s Waylon and Jessi nearly divorced due to Waylon’s substance abuse.

“Jessi went through hell,” Waylon told People Magazine.

I’d go out and sit by the pool in the dark and think about what it was going to do to me, to my people and to my family.

Waylon Jennings

With the help of Johnny Cash, Waylon, who once had a 1500 dollar a day cocaine habit sobered up completely in 1984.

Stevie Nicks, who wrote the title track of the album, heard that Jessi and Waylon might divorce. She also released “Leather and Lace” as a duet with Don Henley that year. It peaked at number 6 on the pop chart.

Colter has released several more albums since 1981 but her popularity has faded. To date, she has 11 studio albums and 3 compilation albums. Her latest albums are “Out of The Ashes,” and “The Psalms.”

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Happy Anniversary Waylon and Jessi


October 25 2020


“A man should always have his diary on him. That way he’s guaranteed to have something incredible to read.”

Matthew McConaughey.

Recently, Actor Matthew McConaughey has had time to sit down with these diaries and share his experiences with the world. Some funny, some sad and some are pretty inspirational.

Greenlights” is Matthew’s Memoir. It is a self-revealing story of how he got to where he is today. It is a book about Matthew, by Matthew.

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Greenlights was published by the Crown Imprint of Crown Publishing Group just 5 days ago.

In my personal experience, I went to high school and was pretty good friends with Madison McConaughey, who is Matthew’s Nephew, And Erica (Madrid) McConaughey, Matthew’s sister in law.  I know his brother Mike “Rooster” McConaughey. I first met Rooster, when he would play golf at the country club I worked in High School. Rooster’s wife’s family owned a Mexican Food restaurant that I frequented. Rooster and I often would sing karaoke and drink beer together. I have always liked to be around this family they made me feel welcomed and always kept me laughing with their antics.

I got to meet Matthew at the restaurant once. I saw him again later at Rooster and Erica’s wedding. I do not know him on a personal level.

Greenlights” is Matthew McConaughey’s way of saying to move forward in life.

Matthew feels one of his biggest successes in life was becoming a father. He talks a lot of his on father in the book.  He is proud of the values that his own father instilled in him and his brothers.

McConaughey’s first notable movie was Dazed and Confused in 1993. His breakthrough as a leading man came in A Time to Kill in 1996.

My favorite McConaughey roles are when he plays his more series character. Like his 2011 role of Mick Haller a defense attorney who does business out of his Town Car in Lincoln Lawyer.

 In 2013, He played Ron Woodruff, an AIDS patient in Dallas Buyers Club. A role that would earn him an Academy Award for Best Actor.

In college, Matthew McConaughey read the 1968 book by Og Mandino “The Greatest Salesman in The World.” He credits the book a bottomless resource for Successories posters. “The Greatest Salesman” is one of my own personal favorites, a book that I would recommend to anyone. I proudly display the Og Mandino collection on my own bookshelf today.

McConaughey lives by a core philosophy he calls “livin’”.

“Life is a series of commas, not periods.”

– Matthew McConaughey

Throughout his book he gives his insight to “livin’”.

Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don’t look back at it too long. OG MANDINO


October 24 2020


Album Cover

When I was ten, my dad built a fort in our backyard. He used the existing picket fence to make up two sides of the structure. My fort was “two story” and had a roof which I sometimes climbed up on and used as my “third story.” The first floor was actually a doghouse, but the second and third were all mine.

From the “third story” I had a great lookout of what was going on in and around the neighborhood. I could see about 4 or 5 dumpsters, who was coming and going, and what they were throwing away. Being a dumpster diver at ten wasn’t a bad thing. I often found useful items to keep in my fort.

The best find I ever had was one day when the man across the alley, which I later learned was getting divorced, was moving out. He threw boxes and boxes of good stuff into the dumpster. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

It was on this occasion that I found a bright yellow sign that read: Lower Turtle Creek Road. The sign hung for years near a windmill and stock pond that my family owned. Later it hung at our lake place at Oak Creek Lake near Bronte Texas. Today the sign is proudly displayed in my back yard overlooking my hot tub.

I also found a whole collection of Playboy magazines, which until right now I am sure that my parents knew nothing about. My mom often reads my blog, So mom if you are reading this now, I am sorry and I only read the articles.

The greatest treasure I found in this dive, was a record album. Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Viva Terlingua.” I would have to say, that this album was my first taste of Texas Singer- Songwriters. This is a passion that I still carry with me today, 35 years later. I still have that original album.

Viva Terlingua is a live album that Jerry Jeff Walker and the Lost Gonzo band recorded at the Luckenbach Dancehall, August 18, 1973. The album was released in November of that year by MCA Nashville Records. It’s genre is outlaw country, and it captures Walker’s laid back country base with notes of “outlaw” rock, blues and traditional Mexican norteno and Tejano styles.

Side one features Guy Clark’s “Desperados Waiting for a Train.” A song I thought for many moons actually belonged to Jerry Jeff.

Side two gave me my first taste of Ray Wylie Hubbard with “Up against the Wall Redneck Mother”.

Side two opens with Jerry Jeff Walker’s Voice.

“This song is by Ray Wylie Hubbard”

Jerry Jeff Walker

The album ends with, “London Homesick Blues,” a song by another great Texas Music Pioneer, Gary P. Nunn.

I learned through a text message from my dear friend Jody this morning, that the world had lost Jerry Jeff Walker. The musician died Friday, after a battle with throat cancer.

Walker was a pioneer in the Texas music scene. He gained popularity for his 1968 song “Mr. Bojangles.

Mr. Bojangles was inspired by a street musician Jerry Jeff Walker met in a New Orleans drunk tank.

A few years ago I built a dog run in my back yard out of pickets and I gave the dogs a window to look out into the rest of the yard.

I have been collecting signs, ever’ since I found the “Lower Turtle Creek” one.  I began to proudly display these on my fence. This idea came from the Viva Terlingua album cover and of Luckenbach, Texas.

I think I accomplished the look I was after.

Jerry Jeff, Thank You for the years and the miles of giving me companionship with your words and music.

Well, when your down on your luck /And you ain’t got a buck /In London you’re a goner/ Even London Bridge Has fallen down /And Moved to Arizona /Now I know why

I wanna go home with the armadillo/ Good country music from Amarillo/ And Abilene/ The friendliest people and the prettiest women you ever seen.”


October 23 2020


Everybody has a favorite. Willie Nelson has always been mine. Out of all of his Albums, I have a hard time deciding which one is the best, but I do know that Stardust is near and dear to my heart.

In 1977, Willie Nelson decided to record a collection of American pop standards. He chose ten songs from among his personal favorites. The list started with Stardust. Nelson also picked for the album “Georgia on My Mind“, “Blue Skies“, “All of Me“, “Unchained Melody“, “September Song“, “On the Sunny Side of the Street“, “Moonlight in Vermont“, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and “Someone to Watch Over Me“. This would become the album Stardust. Nelson’s twenty-second studio album was born.

Executives at Columbia Records feared that the album would be a failure. They were unsure of success with a pop and jazz record.

Willie had already established himself in the Outlaw Country scene. He had built a huge following in and out of Nashville with his previously successful albums Red Headed Stranger and Wanted! The Outlaws.

Wanted! The Outlaws is a compilation album by Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser, released by RCA in 1976. It was the first country music album to be certified Platinum.

Stardust only took 10 days in the recording studio.

The album was produced by Booker T Jones. At the time, Jones and Willie Nelson were neighbors in Malibu.

Jones was once the front man of the band Booker T and The MG’s. Often Jones is associated with the saxophone. Jones was a session musician for Stax Records and  played with Stephen Stills on his Eponymous album . Jones was familiar in R&B, soul, and electric blues.

Vocals and instrumental credits to the album :

Willie Nelson – vocals and guitar Bobbie Nelson– piano Paul English– drums Rex Ludwig– drums Jody Payne– guitar Bee Spears– bass Chris Ethridge-bass Mickey Raphael-Harmonica Booker T Jones– organ and piano

The cover of the stardust album was designed from a painting done by Guy Clark’s wife, Susanna Clark. The rear features a photograph by Beverly Parker of Willie Nelson wearing a top hat. The hats band has a beaded tribal design.

Stardust released in April 1978. The Album peaked to number one in Billboard Top Country Albums.

Songs fromthe album, “Blue Skies” and “All of Me” charted number one and three on Hot Country Songs.

By December of 1978 Stardust had been certified as Platinum. It was named Top Country Album for the Year 1978.

Willie Nelson became the highest-grossing concert act in the United States.

 In 1979, Nelson won a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for “Georgia on My Mind.” Soon after “September Song” peaked at number fifteen in Billboard’s Hot Country Singles.

Stardust spent two years on the Billboard 200.

Rolling Stones ranks Stardust at #260 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

I gotta go, it’s time to turn the record over. I can listen to this music all night long.


October 23 2020

White Oaks, NM

Growing up my family would often vacation to Ruidoso, New Mexico. We would set up our base camp in Ruidoso and each day would go In a different direction to see the sites.

My Parents recently purchased a cabin in Ruidoso and I have been blessed to begin to carry on this tradition as I have gotten older. I make the drive from my home in the West Texas flatlands to the Sierra Blanca mountains as often as I can. There is plenty of things to see and do within a 60 mile radius of this majestic mountain village.

As a child, my dad owned several Ford Broncos. When we would travel, he would remove the back seat and put down a thick foam pad in the cargo area. I had a bed, a play area and a comfortable spot to travel.  These were the days before seat belts.

Often I would sit on the console in between my Mom and Dad. Mom is one of those who can instantly fall asleep once the road trip starts.  So it would be my dad driving and me “navigating” from my spot on top of the console. Dad spitting sunflower seeds in a brown paper bag and I would suck all the salt off of them, and do the same. I hadn’t figured out I was actually supposed to crack the shell and eat the seed so I wasted a lot of good seed.

I remember Willie Nelson would be on the stereo. We had a new cassette tape, Willie Nelson’s  Greatest Hits and Some That Will Be. Later the song stuck in dads tape deck during our travels would become Highwayman. Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson.

There always seemed to be a light rain as we would make this particular drive. It is such a vivid memory of mine to be seated up on that console, it would be getting dark and the window would be slightly cracked to let in a cool mountainous breeze and Willie’s voice in the speakers singing tunes like “Railroad Lady”, “Uncloudy Day”, and “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”.

I often still listen to both of these albums and sing along.

My Favorite songs on The Highwayman album are “Jim, I Wore a Tie Today,” “ Committed to Parkview” and “Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos).”

I have heard several versions of Deportee, including the original Woody Guthrie version, and the Highwaymen definitely perform this song as if they own it! The harmony is perfect as well as the musical accompany.

Even today when I reach Roswell NM, heading up towards the cabin in Ruidoso, I still listen to the Red Headed Stranger. It is sort of a tradition. This particular trip, I didn’t even select Willie on my playlist, and Pinkie reminded me.

“Shouldn’t It be time for Willie?”

(Pinkie) Jennifer Watson ( My UnNi)

I have told her this story every time since we have started coming up here together.

Today, Pinkie and I drove over to White Oaks, New Mexico.

White Oaks was once one of the largest cities in New Mexico. Today it is mostly a ghost town. There was a gold mine there at one time, but it was abandoned. The railroad missed the town, choosing nearby Carrizozo instead. This further caused the town’s demise.  

A few of the original buildings and homes are still standing. There is a museum in the old School House circa 1895. A bar with the name of “No Scum Allowed Saloon” exists in a building that was once a law office.  

Due to the corona virus ,the museum and the bar were both closed. But it was still a beautiful day to get out and see the scenery.  

The drive over from Ruidoso took about an hour. It is only 44 miles but the trip included  twisting and turning  on two lane road through the mountainous passes. Many times the speed limit was only 25-30 miles an hour due to the sharp curvature of the roadway.

We left the Evergreen forests very quickly after leaving Ruidoso and drove through a scenic “High desert”, the most Colorful outcroppings of rocks, Yucca and Sage Bush. The sage was magnificent this time of year the tops were flowering into these beautiful cream colored  cat tail like flowers.

We looked through an old cemetery just before reaching White Oaks. Many of the graves there were dated in the 1800’s. Some of the tombstones weren’t stones at all. They were made of wood. They had been in place for so long that the information upon them had vanished.

I saw several graves of soldiers from the American Civil War. I found one grave that was marked Spanish American War. There was also a Korean War veterans grave there.

I found it interesting, how this cemetery had spanned so many different generations of people. It gave me a clue as to the area and it’s inhabitants.

All of the graves were positioned in the usual East- West orientation except for one. It was facing North to South. I was doing some research and actually stumbled upon a YouTube video that explained this. This odd facing grave was John V. Winters. He had recorded the first gold lode claim in the White Oaks Mining District. His grave was facing his “claim”.

While in White Oaks, the Yellow signage advertising White Oaks Pottery interested us. We followed the bright Yellow signs another four miles down a caliche road which led us the Potters studio.  

Most all of the foliage along this route were green cedar trees. Standing alone in the middle of all of this green was a lone cottonwood tree whose leaves had turned a brilliant shade of Yellow with the change of the seasons.

The proprietor and artisan at this studio was a very friendly and talented woman named Ivy Heymann. This Potter explained to us that she had lived and worked on the property for 45 years.

“I camped here for 3 days in a tent trying to convince the owner to let me see the property.”

Ivy Heymann

She also reminded me never to give up on my dreams.

Figure out what you want to do and then put your all into it.

Ivy Heymann

Ivy had put her all into building the pottery and gallery. She built it by hand using adobe. In the back of the  pottery is a propane fired kiln she made with fire bricks recovered from the Ancho Electric Plant.

We purchased three unique pieces from her. Glazed Yellow of course.

See more about this fantastic potter, Ivy Heymann on her website. www.whiteoakspottery.com.

White Oaks is definitely worth the visit if you ever find yourself wanting to explore New Mexico’s history and heritage. Besides being a favorite spot of Gunfighter Billy The Kid the town was an important part of taming the western frontier. And don’t forget to go visit Ivy and check out her amazing pottery.

It was a beautiful day to spend exploring and spending time with my beloved Pinkie.


October 20 2020

Feelin’ Good Again

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has officially declared this day “THREE TWENTIES AND A TEN” DAY in the great State of Texas.

I saw this on Robert Earl Keen’s fan page on Facebook earlier today, and I did realize that Three Twenties and a Ten was in reference to REK’s song Feeling Good Again.

I had no earthly idea why our governor would designate it Three Twenties and a day. It just hit me.. Today’s date- 10-20-2020. There you have Three twenties and a ten. Absolutely fantastic play on words. Or in this case numbers.. And what a great tribute to this absolutely fantastic TEXAS SINGER-SONGWRITER.

The song is loosely based on a real bar in Bandera Texas. A place called Arkey’s Blue’s Silver Dollar Saloon. When Robert Earl Keen lived in Bandera, it was a place that he could go to decompress. The real “Arkey” is said to have built the place, because he had been kicked out of every other saloon in Texas.

Some of the people in the song are based on real people including the one he saw “standin’ on the the stair.”

I looked across the room and saw you standin’ on the stair

And when I caught your eye I saw you break into a grin

Feels so good feelin’ good again

Robert Earl Keen Told Rick Moore of American Songwriter, that the love interest in the song is in reality, Kathleen, his wife, who would come down to Arkey’s to check on him from time to time.

The lyrics to the song are like reading from a novel. My cluttered mind gets a perfect image of the town, the bar, the feelings,even what Dan and Margarita look like. Not many songs are written with that depth. Add the guitar picking and you’ve got one of the most perfect songs.

Feelin’ Good Again” was written by Robert Earl Keen. The song was first featured on the album Walking Distance that released in 1998 on Arista Records. All but one song on this album were written by Robert Earl Keen. This was Robert Keen’s eight album release.

The song always leaves me in a better place than I was in before giving it a spin. I love that about Robert Earl Keen. His music is worth listening to over and over. I have seen him do this song live at least four times and it is still as good as the first time that I heard it.. 10/20/2020 I’m happy to be celebrating THREE TWENTIES AND A TEN DAY here in TEXAS!

God Bless Governor Abbott and the great State of Texas.

But I reached into my pocket found three twenties and a ten It feels so good feelin’ good again.