No surprises

Barns. I'll give you barns
Barns. I’ll give you barns

I’ve pretty much run out of things to say about my barn pictures. But I still love to take the photos.


If you follow this blog, it probably comes as no surprise to you that I have not been in the mood to write lately. My most recent post was actually something that I drafted a couple of months ago but never published. So I dusted it off, cleaned it up, titled it, and posted it a few days ago.

I have another draft that I started two weeks ago, but after meandering around for five hundred or so words I realized that I hadn’t even got to the heart of the topic. Plus, some of it covered territory that I had published before. I haven’t completely given up on that draft, but it needs a lot more work. Maybe I’ll get to it someday.

I considered writing about a new recipe I came up with just by changing two of the three major ingredients. I thought it turned out pretty well, but Cindy didn’t like it. She is sometimes more averse to change than I am. I’ll be eating the leftovers for a couple more days. If I still like the dish after that, maybe I’ll post the recipe. Or maybe I won’t.

I just heard our first thunder of the night. Maybe a good electrical storm will get me in a better mood. Maybe it will give me a good idea for a blog post. One can hope.

I believe I’ll post now so that I can power down before the electrical storm gets any closer. I hope you’re having a better day.

Music Memories 14: Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell: Gentle On My Mind

The first Campbell album that I heard
The first Campbell album that I heard

A few days ago I shared some memories from John Hartford’s Gentle On My Mind album. Today I want to share a few memories from Glen Campbell’s album of the same name. Campbell’s version of Hartford’s song is better known. I like it marginally more than the original because a) I heard it first, and b) I have memories of listening to the entire album for the first time that I will never forget. I have tried to suppress those memories over the years, but haven’t been able to do so.

This story starts in Bloomington in the early summer of 1969. I was between dropping out of college and being drafted into the army. I drove down to Bloomington to say farewell to the campus, and to take a last walk around town. I stopped at my favorite record store and bought Peter, Paul & Mary’s new album, Peter, Paul & Mommy. As I was leaving the store I met a friend, Barb, who was taking a summer class and working a summer job. She was buying the Glen Campbell album. I explained why I was in town. She invited me to her apartment for a home cooked meal. I knew that it would mean a late night drive home, but it sounded too good to turn down.

Censored 2

as it slowly sank to the bottom of the lake, I rowed the boat back to shore.

Well, it feels good to get that off of my chest. My next Music Memory won’t be that dark.

My old address book

Pre-digital records
Pre-digital records

I came across my old address book yesterday. This dates back to the time before people kept addresses on smart phones, tablets, laptops, PCs or other electronic devices. Based on the addresses in it, I must have started using this book in the late 1970’s, shortly after I moved to Auburn, and stopped using it after I moved to Lafayette and started keeping addresses and phone numbers electronically. Considering the number of times that I’ve lost and had to recreate my electronic lists, I should probably keep a paper backup.

Of course I used this address book much more frequently back then, than I would ever need it now. It is from a time when people actually took pen to paper and wrote proper letters to people. The closest most of us come to that now is a heart-felt email. Some of my younger friends have even stopped using email, but will occasionally send a text message. To many people, extreme brevity is the soul of communication. Let me move on, because I had no intention of ranting on that topic.

Looking through the listings in my address book brought back memories of many people with whom I am no longer in touch. There are a few names that are familiar, but I cannot recall where I met the person, or what they did for a living. Most however, just bring back gentle smiles.

One of the first people listed was a young woman whom I used to work with. She appears to have moved five times before I wised up and started entering her information in pencil. She was living in North Carolina by then. The last entry was when she made one last move when she got married. We exchanged letters a few times after that event, but by then Cindy and I were also married and we lost touch with each other.

Another listing was for a young woman who worked in the Ft. Wayne IESD office while studying to be a music therapist. She was the first person I ever met who planned a career in music therapy. In fact, I had never heard of music therapy before I met her. She had most of the men in the Ft. Wayne office wrapped around her little finger, and probably could have wrapped me if she had wanted to. The last address I have for her was in Mew Mexico.

Then there was the entry for still another young woman who was a part-time employee in the Auburn LOFF. I didn’t know her well, but evidently I knew her well enough to have her address and telephone number. The last thing I remember about her was that she left IESD in order to travel around the country with an over-the-road truck driver. I wonder where she is now.

If it seems like all of my entries are for women, that’s not quite true. Most of them are for women, but please remember that I was single until I moved to Lafayette, met and married Cindy. I was allowed.

More strange dreams

Hidden in the trees
Hidden in the trees

This barn will be all but invisible when the trees leaf out. That should be happening in the next week or so. Many of the trees here have buds on them, and will soon be bare no longer.


It isn’t often that I have two memorable dreams in one night. Indeed, I seldom have one, but last night I had two. Maybe it was the salami sandwich and lime flavored taco chips I ate for supper. I have no idea what either dream means, if anything. At any rate, here are my two dreams in order of appearance.

The first dream takes place at a party. Cindy and I were there. We may have been the hosts, but I doubt it because it was very upscale, tuxedos on the men, formal gowns on the women. As Cindy and I were standing there, chatting with some unknown person, I looked over at the piano where a woman was playing. I was surprised to see that the woman was Amy, the daughter of my good friend Bob, who occasionally comments on my posts. I didn’t even know that Amy played the piano, let alone as well as she was playing. The really surprising thing was that she was wearing a false nose. It looked like the type one would wear if costumed as a witch. Instead of a wart on the false nose, however, there was a small human hand with the fingers splayed. It was disconcerting. I had the impression that Amy was there to make contact with someone for the CIA. But if so, she wasn’t being unobtrusive.

The second dream was shorter. In the dream I was outside standing in the driveway. There was around six inches of snow on the ground. I saw a mouse surveying the surroundings, when a chipmunk came along, running through the snow. The mouse took off after the chipmunk, caught up with it, and chomped onto and held the chipmunk’s tail. Then, from out of nowhere, a black cat appeared and picked up the mouse by the tail. So dangling from the cat’s mouth was the mouse, and dangling from the mouse’s mouth was the chipmunk. That’s when I woke up.

If you have any ideas as to what either, or both of these dreams mean, please let me know.

Music Memories 13: Flying Fish Records

Flying Fish Records

Flying Fish: The Festival Tapes/Tellulive
Flying Fish: The Festival Tapes/Tellulive

This album cover is from the CD, not the original vinyl album that I bought, Tellulive. But it is the same cover design and it has the same photo on the cover. However, it also includes most of the songs from an album, The Festival Tapes, that was a recording from a previous Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Buying the vinyl album was one of the best record purchases that I have ever made.

Why, you may be asking, did I buy this album? Well that’s simple. I was going through the albums in the folk music section of the store, and came across this album, which was probably mis-filed. It should have been with the bluegrass albums. I saw the names Doc & Merle Watson, John Harford, and Norman Blake on the back cover. I knew the names, and even owned at least one album by each of them; and since I love live performance albums, I bought the album on a whim. What a great whim.

Not only did I love the cuts by the people who influenced me to buy in the first place, but I also became a fan of most of the other artists, and in time they led me to other performers. I had never even heard of Dan Crary, but I became a fan.

Peter Rowan led me to Old & In The Way, who made me aware of Vassar Clements, David Grisman and Jerry Garcia (ever hear of him). David Grisman led me to The Tim Ware Group, Darrol Anger and many others. IT was Darrol Anger who led me to The Turtle Island String Quartet and others. The New Grass Revival made me realize how great an artist Sam Bush is, and later Bela Fleck. They both were also members of Strength In Numbers, which was a true super-group. And then there was Hot Rize and The Doug Dillard Band. It is just a great album full of great bluegrass artists.

Of course my favorite of all the artists was Doc & Merle Watson. This is my favorite cut from the album:

It just doesn’t get better than this.

Music Memories 12: John Hartford

John Hartford: Natural To be Gone

John Hartford Gentle On My Mind
John Hartford Gentle On My Mind

I came to listen to John Hartford through listening to Glen Campbell on this Good Time Hour on television. And I came to listen to Campbell through The Smothers Brothers on their Comedy Hour on TV, and through another source. I’ll spend another post on that other source for Glen Campbell and the song  Gentle On My Mind at another time. I do remember seeing John Hartford, at the top of the show, sitting in the audience and standing up while picking his banjo. It seems to me that he was picking the opening of Natural To Be Gone. Of course I’m relying on memory, and as each day passes, my memory becomes more suspect.

I bought this album on the strength of the title song and Natural To Be GoneNatural To Be Gone appealed to me, as a young man, because it was the alternative to the cookie-cutter, safe, boring life that most of us were destined to live. The romance of the open road, the “highway running up my banjer neck” had an exotic appeal. But, of course, I didn’t choose that road. Oh, stodgy old me.

The other song on that album that drew me in was The Six O’Clock Train and A Girl With Green Eyes. I knew exactly where the emotion in that song came from, because I had experienced the same thing. Well, except that I had never waited at a railway station and she didn’t have green eyes, and I actually envisioned myself as the man in the brown suit. Other than that…

As much as I love this version of the song, I prefer the recording Hartford made years later on the Mark Twang album. That album Flying Fish album in 1976, along with Nobody Knows What You Do started a period of recording by him that I loved.

The Mark Twang version Six O’Clock Train is on YouTube and you should listen to it to see the difference and make up your own mind. Also on YouTube are two videos of Hartford performing Natural To Be Gone on Playboy After Dark. One of them is him lip syncing from the Gentle On My Mind album. The second video shows him performing live, and it is a good version. I have problems with performances on Playboy After Dark, but that’s probably worth a post at a later date.

Shopping nostalgia

Northwest corner
Northwest corner

I’ve taken other pictures of this graveyard, but it is the first time I took one of just the northwest corner from southwest of the place. There is just enough blue in the sky to make it marginally more interesting than a gray-scale version of the photo.


I wanted to add a YouTube video of Gamble Rogers’ monologue on nostalgia since I’m in a nostalgic mood, but their isn’t one. There are a couple of YouTube videos of him, and they would be worth your while to watch. Today, however, I’m just going to mention a few places where I used to enjoy shopping.


The first place I remembered, and the idea for this post, was a shop in the university section of Heidelberg, Germany. I was stationed there for a little more than a year when I was in the army. I loved that section of town. It was a section filled with old buildings that had survived the war, with narrow twisting streets. Most of the shops in the area catered to the university students. Since I had been a student just before entering the army, I found the shops to be just my style. There were record stores, clothing stores and such, but one that I really loved was a poster shop. I bought quite a few posters while I was there, and shipped them back to the states when I returned. It has only been recently that I’ve given most of them to my grandson, Mason.

Thinking of college, there were two stores in Bloomington that I frequented more often than my finances should have dictated. They were both right off of campus. One was a record store where I purchased many jazz albums, and another was a book store where you could find just about anything. Those were the day when such stores were not part of a huge conglomerate, but were owned by local people. Don’t get me wrong, I love the convenience of the Lafayette Barnes & Noble and the ease of using on-line bookstores, but I do miss wandering the aisles filled with dusty tomes and tables of books that were on sale. You could always find something you wanted but didn’t need. Giving in to temptation could be fun.

Finally, there was a tailor shop in LaPorte, when I was in high school, where they sold H.I.S. clothing as a sideline. I went into the shop to have a pair of pants altered. I wanted pegged (tapered) pants,  because that was “the style” on the west coast, but they were hard to find in LaPorte county. I was delighted to find the H.I.S. brand because the pants were already tapered when you bought them, plus they were advertised on TV. You couldn’t find them anywhere else in town. I could seldom afford to shop there, but I’m sure the old man who ran the place got tired of me coming in to look through his wares.


And, it is spring
 And, it is spring

This is my annual first flower bloom of spring picture. I’m pretty sure that if you look back around a year ago, I posted a very similar picture. I am a creature of habit. I know that other parts of the country have had flowers blooming for a while now, but these are the first in our yard. Daffodils will be next. They already have buds on them.


Even as I start this post I’m having trouble deciding on what I want to say. I have two competing ideas, well two and a half ideas, rattling around in my brain. The bad news for you, the reader, is that both (or both and a half) ideas deal with feelings…somewhat. If you’ve read my earlier posts that deal with feelings, you are probably aware that I prefer to think, rather than to feel. I hope you are ready for confusion.


OK, I’ve decided…kind of. Think of the word “despond.” That is what I convinced myself this morning that I have been feeling for the past week or so. My symptoms have been lassitude, a lack of ideas for the blog, and an affinity for alliteration. Yes, I just through that last symptom in for the fun of it, and because I could.

I gave despond some thought while showering this morning. How often do you hear despond without it being connected to Bunyan’s Slough of? Not often enough. Not all despond is caused by a lack of faith. I’m sorry, would you prefer I used the word despondency rather than despond? Well, don’t worry about it, I’m moving the conversation to another topic, because I decided while towelling off that I was just feeling sorry for myself.

So, at that point my mind skipped to:


Unless you travel by yourself, a road trip is a series of compromises. Do you stick to the Interstate, or do you shunpike? Do you listen to the radio, or to a book on CD, or to a music CD, or do you sit in silence? Do you eat fast food, or do you stop at full service restaurants? Do you drive a car or an RV? Do you stay in motels or with friends or family? Cindy knows what I prefer, and I know what she likes. So we compromise because we don’t always on agree on these things. It’s good to have someone in your life with whom you can reach compromises.

I’m afraid this post became even more scattered as I sat here at the keyboard. I hope you could follow it.

The things I see and hear

Photo from a Sunday drive
Photo from a Sunday drive

Cindy and I went for Sunday drive on March 30th. It’s something I wish we would do more often, but other things seem to come up, like bad weather. This was a pretty day. Part of the drive took us through Stockwell, where I took this picture. I’m sure that I’ve taken other photos of this building, but I don’t recall if I’ve posted earlier pictures.


Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy. I had thought that I would be more productive this week if I worked on other projects in the morning and then write a post for the blog in the afternoon. I was wrong. For the last three days I started a project after eating my morning meal, but got so bogged down in it that I couldn’t get to Classical Gasbag in the late afternoon, by which time I had no desire to start a draft, let alone post a finished product. And today I spent the morning with Cindy and her mother, Flo, so no writing got done; though I did get material for today’s post.

Cindy had to take Flo to a doctor’s office this morning to get injections for pain relief in Flo’s knees and shoulders. I went along to help get Flo to and from, as well as in and out of the car.

While we were in the waiting room Flo asked me if I remembered the television show M*A*S*H. I told her that I did. She then asked me if I remembered the “old guy who was in charge.” I knew that she meant Harry Morgan, so I said yes. Then she said that she had seen him in some old episodes of Dragnet. I started to tell her that I remembered him being in December Bride with Spring Byington and Hec Ramsey with Richard Boone, but Flo just talked over me and told me that he was dead. I told her that he had been dead for a few years now. “Oh,” she said. “He never seemed to age.” I thought that to her he must have always looked old since he was the old guy on M*A*S*H and had also been on Dragnet. I remained silent. She then went on to say some things about Doris Day that I shan’t repeat since this is a family friendly blog.

I stayed in the waiting area while Cindy took Flo back for her injections. A few of the other people there caught my attention.

First there was the young man who appeared to be college aged. He came in with a woman who appeared to be his mother, but maybe he just likes older women. He was wearing shorts and a hoodie, with the hood up, that had wings printed on the hood approximately where his ears would be located. Maybe his ears were cold. The woman he was with filled out the paperwork for him, so maybe she was his personal assistant. The thing that actually drew my attention, besides the hoodie, was the fact that he was barefoot. Hmmm.

There was a man waiting with a woman (wife or girlfriend?). He was trying to explain to her the game he was playing on his iPad. She appeared to be struggling to understand both the game and the appeal it held for him. She was a trooper.

There was an older couple waiting. He was going through everything in the medical file he was carrying. She didn’t seem all that interested, but became perturbed when a woman walked out of the restroom and left the door ajar. After all, there was a sign on the door that clearly stated that the door was to remain closed at all times. I wondered how people were supposed to access and to egress from the restroom, but I remained quiet.

There isn’t much to  say about the man who had a mullet cut and clothes to match. Suffice it to say that he walked in, wandered around the waiting area and then left.

Cindy and Flo finally came back. That was my morning.

Breathes there the man…


I received a package in the mail a few days ago. The packing material was unique to anything I had seen before. I thought that taking a picture of it might be fun, so I took this picture, and another eight. I ended up using this, the first picture, because it is the best of the un-doctored photos. I’ll probably be playing with the others for a while.


My sister, She-who-must-not-be-named, and my brother-in-law sent me a present last week. It is a DVD titled Going Rolling, and it is about the history of my home town, Rolling Prairie, Indiana. It is filled with old photos and commentary by people who grew up there. I recognized about a third of the people, recognized the names of another third, and was clueless about the remainder. Some of the people looked very familiar, but I couldn’t fit the name with the face. Of course, I haven’t lived there since the 1970’s, and haven’t been back to visit since my mom moved away around ten years ago. I’m going to watch it again, another two or more times in the next week or so. Some of the pictures had groups of people in them, but the pictures were on the screen too short of a time to make out many individuals. I’ll be trying to recognize more people from the time when my dad was a young man in Rolling. The people told stories about the town, the businesses and some of the more prominent residents. Many of the residents mentioned were people I either knew, or had heard of. They mentioned things like the fact that the owners of a grocery would let their cat roam the store and lay down on the butcher’s cutting block. Their was also a story about going to the town dump after dark to shoot rats. Fun times in small town America. I was surprised, however, that while they talked at length about the town proper, they didn’t mention things right outside of town such as the St. Joseph Catholic Novitiate which was just a mile or two north of town. Nor did they mention the drive-in theater/quarter midget go-cart track just south of town. Oh well, the DVD was only about an hour in length. I’m already looking forward to watching it again. Oh, yeah, in case you don’t recognize the title of this post, just think The Lay of the Last Minstrel by Sir Walter Scott. It was published in 1805. The opening lines popped into my head when I was thinking of Rolling Prairie this morning.