Adult Themes, Americana, Ballad, Introspective, Love, Love’s Timing, Lyrics, Marriage, No Music Yet, Nostalgia, Optimism, Relationships, Romance, Storytelling, Young Love

Twenty Years Is Not Enough

So long ago, you and I decided to meet
When I saw you, my heart skipped a beat
And I was late getting there to you
You waited but I’m not sure you knew

From that first moment you were in my view
I was nervous and I tried to keep my cool
You were open to the rest of my broken heart
It was time for something special to start
So after many years of ups and downs
A twisted ride but you still kept me around
What we have is more easy than it’s tough
And my love, twenty years isn’t enough

And if it seems like I’m bitter and oh so cold
Maybe it’s because you’ve never seen me old
If I can’t find the solutions you’re looking for
I hope you don’t decide to walk out the door

Cause from that moment you were in my view
I was nervous and I tried to keep my cool
You were open to the rest of my broken heart
It was time for something special to start
And after many years of ups and downs
A twisted ride but you still kept me around
What we have is more easy than rough
So my love, twenty years isn’t enough

I wanna be there when our daughter gets married to the boy who never gave up on her
And thinks to himself if he’s lucky man
They’ll be close like we are and always were

Cause from the moment she was in her view
He was nervous and he tried to keep his cool
And she was open to the rest of his young heart
And they knew something special would start
Then after many years of ups and downs
A twisted ride but she’ll keep him around
I’ll pray to God it will be more easy than tough
And hope they know forever is just enough

November 19, 2022

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Americana, Autobiographical, Inspired by a Place, Inspired by College, Introspective, Nostalgia, Redbird Country Essay, Storytelling

Where is Redbird Country?

I came across an interesting fact when I typed in a Google search for “redbird” years ago. It wasn’t just that one fact that a Redbird is the same as a Northern Cardinal. It’s also a “Summer tanager,” which is not as well known, but it is a medium-sized songbird that was described by a Swedish naturalist back in 1758. The location given was Carolina but it was revised to North Carolina.

As a Santa Cruz County native, I knew that Santa Cruz High School’s mascot is the Cardinal and so is Stanford’s, which is a school I longed to go to when I graduated from High School. I didn’t have the grades for it but I still liked going there to visit with a friend of mine, Mark Hernandez, who was our Senior Class President at Watsonville High School with other friends like my good buddy Gary Rojas who also made the trips during his Freshman 1987-1988 school year.

We eagerly hung out with his new friends in his dorm and I remember one weekend, we got to see the Cardinal Men’s Basketball team and it was such a blast to be able to be inside that arena, watching the excitement, feeling that rush of being alive, seizing the moment while still in our youth, seeing this team out on the court working their butts off for adoration and respect, but most of all, to win the game.

My wife Melanie, who you will be learning a little bit about in these columns I am now writing as a freelancer, graduated with the Class of 1989 from Webb City High School in Webb City, MO, and was part of the school’s dance team called the “Redettes”. Their team was the Cardinals.

The St. Louis Cardinals are a popular team to root for out here in Central Illinois. Sure, there’s the Cubs, but you still will see those diehard fans with their red and white jerseys and hats, parading around town or at work on game days.

Then we know that Illinois State University is the home of the Redbirds and they had several students that went on to become celebrities such as Jane Lynch, Craig Robinson, John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, Sean Hayes, and one of my personal favorites, Gary Cole, who played Bill Lumbergh in the cult classic Office Space.

Illinois State had banners all around Uptown Normal calling it “Redbird Country” but I have not seen them up in a while.

There are 7 States that have named the Northern Cardinal as their “state bird.” They are Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia, and then finally, Virginia. They are thought of as being a symbol of hope, joy, health, rejuvenation, and celebration. What I’ve found out is that it is also known among bird watchers that fans of the Northern Cardinal are rare, energetic, and always willing to take care of those in need.

Victoria McGovern once famously said, “May you come to find comfort in and remember: cardinals appear when angels are near. So go now, sit outside and drink your tea. Keep a look out for the little red bird — if it is there, your loved one will be.”

I don’t know if Redbird Country could be considered one place though. I think it’s all around us, because in my travels around the Midwest as an Uber & Lyft Driver, I’ve met countless people from all walks of life who are much like the cardinals mentioned in McGovern’s quote. Those people were like angels to me. I had a passenger last night who I talked with and she said, “I’m proud of you for going back to school.” I didn’t know her before that ride and I may never see her again.

So, in the question, “Where is Redbird Country?” – I have to reply that Redbird Country is everywhere but especially, after living here in Central Illinois for almost 20 years now, that even if I was not raised here, it is most certainly in my heart.

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About a Friend, About Family, Adult Themes, Failed Friendships, Failed Relationships, Grief Song, Heartbreak, Inspired by People, Inspired By Situations, Introspective, Love, Lyrics, No Music Yet, Old Wounds, Optimism, Relationships, Storytelling

People We Know

People we know are lonely
People we know are afraid
People we know are hurting
From the games they’ve played

They didn’t know they were playin’
They just wanted happiness
But the walls got higher
Those are nasty frogs they kissed

And we try to cheer them up
Say they are worthy of more
We do our best to pull them from
That isolating heartbreak store
Where you pay for your mistakes
so you can quietly go
Oh, the ones who need us the most
Are all the people we know
The people we know

The heart goes through changes
But the hardest is a love that’s lost
You can’t seem to bargain
On how much it all will cost

You turn to friends and family
Sometimes they walk away too
But I hope this is a wakeup call
That person one day could be you

And they’ll try to cheer you up
Say you are worthy of so much more
They’ll do their best to pull you from
That isolating heartbreak store
Where you pay for your misfortunes
Then quietly allowed to go
Yeah the ones we need to be there
Are all the people we know

So
If you’re going through a hardship
If it’s all blown up in your face
If you cannot find the answers
After everyone gives you space

Reach out to the ones who are close
It’s in their eyes, the ones you trust
But if they don’t then get in touch with
All the people you know, if you must

And they’ll try to cheer you up
Say you are worthy of so much more
They’ll do their best to pull you from
That isolating heartbreak store
Where you pay for your misfortunes
Then quietly allowed to go
The ones who just might be there
Are all the people you know

Oh, those who’ll help us the most
Are all the people we know
The people we know
The people we know

August 11, 2022

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Adult Themes, Americana, Ballad, Heartbreak, Inspired By Situations, Introspective, Love, Lyrics, No Music Yet, Nostalgia, Old Wounds, Optimism, Relationships, Wistful, Young Love

Capitola

My toes are burning
It must have been the sand
When we were walking on the beach
And I was holding your sweet hand
I remember it all
The love we used to make
When you and I were younger then
I loved the tasty scones you’d bake

Now I sit here
In this wheelchair
And wonder if
I’m gonna die alone

I wanna come back to Capitola
So we can start all over
So we can do it again
Stroll in the village
Get some Pizza my Heart
Ice Cream to cool our lips
We swore we wouldn’t break apart
But most of all, I wanna come back
Come back to Capitola
Good ol’ Capitola
‘Cause then I’d be where you are

My heart is hurting
I miss your smiling eyes
Behind those hipster Ray Bans
You were a bombshell and so wise
I remember it all
The memories we made
And admiring the paintings
We almost bought by Thomas Kincade

Now I wait here
For my ride home
And I pay daily
That I don’t die alone

I wanna come back to Capitola
So we can start all over
So we can do it again
Stroll in the village
Get some Pizza my Heart
Ice Cream to cool our lips
We swore we wouldn’t break apart
But most of all, I wanna come back
Come back to Capitola
Good ol’ Capitola
‘Cause then I’d be where you are
I’d be where you are

July 17, 2022

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Adult Themes, Americana, Autobiographical, Folk Ballad, Growing Up, Inspired by a Movie, Inspired by a Place, Inspired by High School, Inspired by People, Introspective, Lyrics, No Music Yet, Nostalgia, Old Wounds, Rites of Passage, Wistful

The Movie We Made

It’s the movie we made
Without filming it to be shown
It was just for ourselves
It was for us alone

It’s the movie we made
It oftentimes in my mind
It’s a past I can’t shake
Or even get behind

It’s the people I left
It’s the ones who left me
It’s the regrets I have
It’s why I’m not free
Of the battles we fought
They almost took me down
But here I am still
Kickin’ ‘round this town

Out on Vega Road
Stands a house on the hill
It’s where my friends lived
Where I took a red pill

I bought their kindness
I bought their upset
It was a few short years
That I’d never forget

It’s the people I left
It’s the ones who left me
It’s the regrets I have
It’s why I’m not free
Of the battles we fought
That almost took me down
But here I am still
Kickin’ ‘round this town

The Palm Avenue house
Still looks the same
As it did when the mailbox
Had their last name

And I think about them
Those days we spent
But I cannot believe
Where all the time went

It’s the people who died
It’s the places I cried
It’s why I was right
To take off that night
To go find my old friends
To make my amends
It wasn’t for show
But they’ll never know

When on Virginia Street
I see the house is still green
It’s the place I’d practice
A new song or scene
And the Doblers still live
In 815, the house across
Last I heard of Craig,
He’ll soon be the farm’s boss

It’s the people still here
Those who won’t return
It’s all those promises made
It’s the hours I burn
Creating the new things
And setting fire to the past
The movie we made,
It’s one that won’t last

The movie we made
It’s one that won’t last

June 4, 2022

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Adult Themes, Americana, Autobiographical, Boating, Fishing, Growing Up, Inspired by a Place, Inspired by Outdoors, Introspective, Lyrics, No Music Yet, Nostalgia, Wistful

The Ocean Is No Better Than The Lake

My parents settled in a college town by the sea
First came oldest, than the middle one, then me
We’d go to the beach and watch the waves break
But the ocean is no better than the lake

I loved that boardwalk town, it’s my childhood
Then we grew up as we three knew we would
Where it seemed like burgers more than steak
But the ocean is no better than the lake

Cause as I lived through those years
And I worked through my fears
Of being liked, of being loved
Of all the horses and steers
I met new kids, made long lasting friends
We get together every now and then
And we remember the good times
The crazy days and nights
Over bourbon, cokes, wine coolers or beer
And it’s all so clear,
No matter where we live,
We’ve learned to give and take
And the ocean is no better than the lake
The ocean is no better than the lake

Now I head out with my boat outside of town
Whether I’m a happy camper or feeling down
I swear by the local diner’s apple pie and cake
But the ocean is no better than the lake

And as I live through these years
And I work through my remaining fears
Of being tossed, of being thrown
By the old horses and steers
I now have kids, have new friends
We get together every now and then
We make memories, have good times
The crazy days and nights
Over sweet tea, cokes, spritzers or lite beer
And it’s all so clear,
No matter where we live,
It’s all about that give and take
And the ocean is no better than the lake

That ocean I miss is no better than the lake
That ocean I miss is no better than the lake

May 13, 2022


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Adult Themes, Autobiographical, Country Song, Growing Up, Inspired By Situations, Introspective, Lyrics, No Music Yet, Relationships, Snarky

Boys From Her Hometown

Verse 1:

When she met me I was wearin’ suits
coats, belts, shirts and silk ties
I dressed up to sell daily at my job
but it was a sudden surprise
After we got married, fancy got old
Keepin’ up with Joneses ain’t my style
I like my Dive Bar tees ‘n jeans
but that don’t make her smile

Chorus:

Cause I looked like all the boys
Oh, I’m like all those boys
All those rough ‘n rowdy boys
All those wild n’ crazy boys
The boys from her hometown

Verse 2:

When I asked her what was wrong
She said she missed the cleaner me
The one who’d buy nicer threads
Than guys who hang out at Denny’s
I said this is who I sincerely am
I’m no dandy, Ivy League or ritzy man
I’m an Aggie Blue Collar Country kid
Just doin’ the best I damned well can

Chorus:

But I look like all the boys
Oh, I act like all those boys
All those rough ‘n rowdy boys
All those wild n’ crazy boys
The boys from her hometown

Bridge:

Oh, she tried to avoid who they were
I think she just didn’t wanna get hurt
She’d likes me with a shaven face
Than one covered with scruff ‘n dirt
And I can’t help if I’m different than
My fancy brother with his luxury car
She’ll have to face the facts now
I love old cars and have a big heart

Verse 3:

She’s been disappointed and afraid
This is not the life she had in mind
She wishes we could go back to
When I was dressed up to the nines
Guess I’m not what she expected
But it should’ve been clear as day
I was much happier driving her around
In my cherry putt-putt Chevrolet

Chorus:

And looking like all the boys
Oh, I act like all those boys
All those rough ‘n rowdy boys
All those wild n’ crazy boys
The boys from my hometown

Who are all exactly like all
The boys from her hometown

February 26, 2022

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Americana, Ballad, Country Song, Inspired by People, Introspective, Lyrics, No Music Yet, Optimism

May You Prosper Greatly

For Grace Marie and Annie Jean

As you walk along the shoreline
As you hear the crashing waves
As you do your due diligence
As you explore your inner caves

May you prosper greatly
May you be blessed by your breaks
May you live the life you wanted
May you swim in oceans and lakes
May you survive all your battles
May you heal, may you grow
Oh, may you prosper greatly
May you learn from what you didn't know

As you feel something in you kicking
As you see light in clouds of doom
As you chase that elusive angel
As you're sleeping deeply in your room

May you prosper greatly
May you dream your fantasies
May you awaken with passion
May you solve those mysteries
May you understand your purpose
May you always do what's right
Oh, may you prosper greatly
As a beacon to others may you be bright

January 28, 2022

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Adult Themes, Americana, Autobiographical, Failed Relationships, Growing Up, Heartbreak, Introspective, Lyrics, No Music Yet, Nostalgia, Old Wounds, Relationships, Romance, Wistful, Young Love

True Love Stays

He watches the waves
And thinks of the days
When he was young,
fun and in better shape
He’d go out with friends
On all those weekends
The lessons all stung
He dreamed of escape

Then a girl found him
Working out at a gym
His eyes looked at her
She knew right away
Out of all of the guys
He was the surprise
But he was an amateur

She wanted him to notice
She yearned for him to see
They’d be more than lovers
They could be meant to be
He was hung up on someone
But she tried harder anyway
To convince him it was love
There was nothing she could say
It was a game he wouldn’t play

He dreamt of a different place
Of a girl with a somber face
Who kissed him long ago
When he was seventeen
He had a damaged heart
It was torn all apart
But somehow it didn’t show
He wasn’t nice or mean

Still she wanted him to notice
She yearned for him to see
They’d be more than lovers
They could be meant to be
He was hung up on that girl
Who had been living far away
To convince him it was love
There was nothing she could say
It was a game he wouldn’t play

She was running out of time
He was denying himself from
What she thought was true
When she walked out the door
His broken heart hurt even more
Then by chance he met you

As he watches the waves
And thinks of those days
When he was young,
fun and in better shape
He’s happier than he was
And it’s really because
He met the right one
No, he didn’t escape

No, he didn’t escape
No, he didn’t escape
He put away his cape
And true love stayed

Oh, his true love stayed
Oh, true love stays

January 21, 2022

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