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    The Cowboy Code

    2010 - 10.22

    I have been reluctant to share the basis for the morals in which I have lead my life. I am an American and America was built on the backs of Cowboys. The Cowboy code is a long forgotten example of ethics which were the result of men and women trying to conquer a country and the things they had to do in order to live and survive a life that was both decent, moral and in the end satisfying when you closed your eyes for the last time. 

    But the Cowboys left behind a legacy that was truly American and unique for the times. The Code is very simple in it’s words but the wisdom and history still stands today. I have always loved Cowboys as a child. My Grandmother would read me stories of them and I always used to watch every Cowboy movie I could. As a young boy; I bailed hay, raised cattle, road the hills on a horse. But, I never got to truly experience the reality of being a Cowboy in the yet to be tamed west. It was over when I got here. But the old folks had stories and I would listen to them.

    There are still echoes of the cowboy code, you hear it in the voices of old farmers. But they too are now a vanishing breed.

    Here below is some paraphrased sayings I heard over and over as a child. Some of them are funny, some profound. The Cowboy’s weren’t always educated but they knew what enough of what was real.

    • Keep your fences tight and strong. Ride your fences every day, it checks on them and gives you time to remember how lucky you are to have land.
    • Keep the bankers and lawyers at a distance, remember a handshake and a square look in the eye is the best judge of a mans worth.
    • Life is simpler when you plow around the stump, but sometimes you must use dynamite to get it out of the way.

    Theres phrases are very evocitive of the early settler days. Ownership of land was often a measure of a mans worth. It was an indicator he was capable and strong enough to hold his own. This is where the ferocity of riding fences happened. Even in the widest most open areas of the west, various type of ranching and agriculture base econimies were already competing for resources.  When long trains of covered wagons headed west and the land was being opened up for settlement, An interesting mix of people ran left to escape their lives in the east. Some were good, upstanding people who merely wanted religious freedom. Some where criminal, famous and other wise. They were the Outlaws,  looking for one last chance, fresh hunting grounds, fresh meat. The Colt .45 revolver was considered the great equalizer during this pre-law era.Immediately after the early settlement ensued, ranchers took up ranching. Cattlemen raised cattle. There were already battle lines being drawn for the abundant resources that the west provided. Everyone with capital interests in farming or ranching began to fence in their land unleashing miles of fence wire to ensnare mother earth and tie her down to the submission of the great Manifest Destiny.


    • Words that soak into your ears and remembered are whispered…not yelled.
    • Meanness don’t just doesn’t  happen overnight it has to fester awhile. Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads and their aim.

    These last two pieces represent the time when a couple of things began to happen. Small towns opened up at railroad stops and famous wagon destinations. These permanent settlements had some sort of law and also one of the best side effects of the western railroad, the side effects of the trains was…..The women came west!!!  Some of the cowboys would at first leave their homes and families and go earn their fortune. After achieving this goal, they would send for their families. But the trains and the fact there have always been women with a sense of adventure, had something to do with the gentrification of the west. A cowboy could meet a special woman in town, maybe for a night, maybe for a lifetime. But it is certain anything she lovingly whispered, was never forgotten by that man as he rode the long, dusty trails.

    • Don’t corner something that would normally run from you, everything wants to stay alive and some will really fight for it.

    This line always sort’ reminded me of something my Grandmother would say. She would say. “Don’t bite off more than you can chew!”

    • It doesn’t take a very big person to carry a grudge. God forgives you, it’s only right you pass it along.
    • You cannot unsay a cruel word, they ring forever, especially in the ears of the ones you love the most.

    By the time towns, homesteads, railroadstops and such  had dug in , there was arrival of fashion, in the way the person from the west walked , talked, what they wore. It was standard reporting fodder for the newspapers and magazines back east to report what women were wearing out on the “Frontier”. This process brought gentrification to the cowboy and the relationship of a cowboy to his family became a very deep thing.

    • Every path has a few puddles, every big hill gets slick with mud when it rains.
    • When you have to work with pigs, expect to get smelly and dirty, a lot of people eat ham and bacon.
    • The best sermons are lived, not preached, the best example you can be is to be yourself.
    • Most of the stuff people worry about is never gonna happen anyway. In the end it’s a bunch of hootin’ and hollerin’ about nothing.
    • Don’t judge folks by their relatives, Everyone learns what to be and what not to be by them.
    •  Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer, speaking up first may get you branded as an impatient man.
    •  Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t botherin’ you none, live your life and let others live theirs the best they can.
    •  Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance, So dance when you see the clouds, but never discount faith.
    • Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got, the ways of some men are full of trickery, watch out who gets yer’ money.
    • Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke, learn that somethings just can’t be fixed too. If something needs to die, let it.
    • Always drink upstream from the herd, and when in different pastures, watch where you step, there may be snakes.
    • Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgments you first made, learn as you go.
    • If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.
    • Live simply so that others may live, when you leave a campsite, make sure there is some wood for the next one who needs it.
    • Love generously, let the light you have be seen so your recognized as a righteous man.
    • Care deeply, if we didn’t care about each other there would be a lot more rattler bites.
    • Speak kindly of everything you see, be humble in the presence of strangers.
    • Love your woman with your life, if push comes to shove, give your life so that she may go on. Never hit a woman, even if she hits you first.
    • Listen to your woman, she has wisdom you will never know.Treat her children like the men and women you would want them to be when they grow up.
    • Remember you are an American and a Patriot, no matter what idiot is in the White house or who won the last war.
    • Be at peace with your actions, there will be plenty of time to think about what you did or didn’t do when you are old in a rocker on the porch 
    • When it’s time for you to go, remember; the pastures are green and there are no fences in Heaven.



    Smokey Robinson and the Miracles Quote-

    2010 - 10.19

    “Maybe you’d like to give me kisses sweet
    Only for one night with no repeat
    Maybe you’d go away and never call
    And a taste of honey is worse than none at all
    Oh little girl.

    In that case I don’t want no part
    Well, that would only break my heart
    Well, if you feel like loving me
    If you got the notion
    I second that emotion”.

    -Smokey Robinson

    Also performed very nicely by the Jerry Garcia Band


    Frodo’s Ring

    2010 - 10.19

    In the “Lord of the Rings”. Frodo had a special ring given to him by the wizard Gandalf. When he wore it, the ring would make him invisible to everyone. Yet, when he was invisible he was actually being manipulated by dark forces that could see him and were out to do him harm. Frodo, even though realizing the benefits of being invisible. Wisely, took the ring off.

    – Commentary on J.R.R. Tolkiens; Lord of the Rings.

    Bumper Stickers

    2010 - 10.19

    Bumper stickers on cars are often a dangerous thing. While it is correct that you should exercise your right to free speech, there can be hazards.

    I once had an accident trying to read the bumper stickers on the car in front of me, if you are going to put a bumper sticker on your automobile, make sure the letters are big enough to be read at a safe distance.

    Also, left-wing liberal statements (My personal favorites) can get you profiled by bored cops just looking for trouble.

    Drug related statements are a sure fire way to get you profiled and pulled over and your vehicle searched. I used to have a VW bus with Grateful Dead stickers on it, boy I learned quickly that was a mistake. If you travel through many states where the politics change, certain bumper stickers may upset the locals.

    It is a campaign year and this whole “I support this vs. that candidate” genre can get your car keyed in parking lots.

    And some bumper stickers just advertise your stupidity to the driving world.

    Remember the famous “Baby on board” stickers? How many children did that save? As if it made caffeinated, late, commuters any more careful.

    When it comes to bumper stickers on cars, you are what you say. It’s not like their subtitled with your actual intentions.

    Also, consider what they do to the resale value of your car, You will never get those things off when you sell the car. And if you do happen to out grow the saying on the sticker, or you picked the losing candidate from a political race years ago, once again you are telling people you picked the wrong horse or that you thought the dark side served cookies or something else equally as stupid.


    Blow Away

    2010 - 10.18

    Watched my Heaven disappear in smoke today

    The fire I had spent years building, protecting, just got blown away

    Extinguished by someone else just ’cause it was different day

    For every last reason to go on. There some new excuse to make it wrong

    I look at all my efforts and wonder what have I done?


    Blow away, the dreams that tear at your heart 

    Blow away, and make a brand new start

    Blow away…….


    Ever give your life, to something you thought you had

    Only to find out it wasn’t good enough or bad?

    Seeing fate snatch it from your hand

    Nothin’ much to say but, “God that’s tough!”.

    It was supposed to be good, but now it’s so rough.


    Blow away, the dreams that tear at your heart

    Blow away, and make a brand new start

    Blow away…..


    Ever wake up alone in the middle of the night

    Wondering about all the things you didn’t do right?

    Realizing, you have lost the long, long, fight

    The struggle for someone to hold and love

    And a happy home that fits you like a glove.


    Blow away, the dreams that tear at your heart

    Blow away, and make a brand new start

    Blow away……


    A man and woman find themselves first as strangers

    And when they part, it gets stranger even still

    Two empty glasses always waiting, yet never getting filled.

    It’s like a practical joke played on you played by a God

    Who walks around pointing out paths that can’t ever be trod


    Blow away, the dreams that tear at your heart

    Blow away, and make a brand new start

    Blow away……



    I don’t need Halloween

    2010 - 10.17

    I don’t need Halloween.
    I’ve seen enough to make me scream
    I’m followed by the Dead
    Always there in my head.

    I don’t need Halloween.
    I see people, grotesque human beings
    Just walkin’ the streets in a nightmare dream
    Plenty of scary things already to be seen.

    I don’t need Halloween.
    The night is so evil
    Full of things that shouldn’t be
    Scarier than you can believe.

    I don’t need Halloween.
    It’s like a sick joke
    That we yearly poke
    At our present reality.

    I don’t need Halloween.
    I have enough bad dreams
    That make me wake up and scream
    Wonderin’ where have I been?

    I don’t need Halloween.
    I don’t need ghouls
    Who are lost in-between
    Trying to get back to our scene.

    I don’t need Halloween.
    You wanna’ be scared?
    Open up up your eyes,
    Yeah, you’ve been dared.

    I don’t need Halloween.
    You wear costumes all year long
    Why not take them off if you’re strong?
    A day when normal seems wrong….

    I don’t need Halloween.


    Moving Slower (I can still try)

    2010 - 10.15

    Today I got up early, everything is hurting

    The clock said I was running late.

    It was fall with a clear blue sky

    Colors are turning, summers gone by

    Green colors fade…….

    I can still try, I can still try.


    Opened the curtains and looked out

    Fog was on the fence in the yard.

    I’m livin’ in the city and it’s so hard

    To get it together and move away

    ‘Cause in the country, it’s a brand new day……

    I can still try, I can still try.


    But I seem to be alive, starting  once again to thrive

    Trying to get by, with each new day

    I’m moving slower, moral feels a little lower

    But it’s a natural thing, that comes with age

    I think it’s time, I turn another page……

    I can still try, I can still try.


    When you get older, you gonna’ move slower

    And you have to accept the fact that it’s OK.

    Things change with the seasons

    I can’t give you any reasons

    On why it has to be this way……..

    I can still try, I can still try.


    Feel so tired, all the time

    Seems like it’s a crime

    To have your strength just run away.

    So much to do now, problem is I don’t know how

    To pick up the pace and finish the day…….

    I can still try, I can still try.


    I do things one at a time

    I continue to make my Rhymes

    Once in a while, I go out and play.

    Being alone makes it harder, that’s just for starters

    So many things now, get in the way…….

    I can still try, I can still try.


    But I still have some time, learned not to look behind

    I’m a little confused sometimes , but it’s OK.

    I’m still in a hurry, got no time to worry

    I will work it out, while I have the strength to shout

    About what’s wrong and right everyday……..

    I can still try, I can still try.



    This Ole Guitar of Mine

    2010 - 10.07

    This ole guitar of mine

    It’s been a friend for sometime

    For more than twenty five years

    The songs that I learned

    The color its turned

    The nights it held back my tears.


    This ole guitar of mine

    We’ve done some time

    In dusty bars drinkin’ beer

    Through the good and the bad

    Over the miles we’ve had

    It’s always, always been here.


    This ole guitar of mine

    Taught me some rhymes

    12 strings to play the blues

    While women have come and gone

    As I learned new songs

    It was there to stop the tears.


    This ole guitar of mine

    Has made people dance

    And clap and drink all night long

    Some times it gathers dust

    And the strings may rust

    But we always would get it together again.


    This ole guitar of mine

    Has sang some songs

    In places where no one cared

    We’d strum some tunes

    Then sleep till noon

    And get up and do it again.


    This ole guitar of mine

    Go so far back in time

    But the future looks bright ahead

    With strings shiny and new

    My voice still rings true

    And I finally cleared my head.


    This ole Guitar of mine.



    A Samuel Gold Quote

    2010 - 10.03

    “Your talents are like grapes on a vine, pick them while you still have time”.


    My Shrink

    2010 - 10.01

    I went today to see my shrink .

    He was worried about the way that I think.

    He thinks I’m gonna’ be sick in the head

    Because I refuse to take my meds.

    I told him the ones I chose instead

    To keep my head and sanity.

    We sat and went back and forth

    On how I’d done this before.

    I told him it was getting to be a bore

    To have my reality twisted.

    I was reminded of all the times

    I tried to quit but to my surprise.

    I was addicted by his hand

    And now I needed to find some place to land.

    Assuring him I was doing well

    Did not go over very well.

    Even if my life is living hell

    I stopped those bitter pills.

    He said my life was just ups and downs

    Looking through my history with a frown.

    He asked why I always did it the hard way.

    I told him I couldn’t think

    Some days I’d rather sit and drink

    Then eat all those pills I’m on.

    Then he said I needed therapy

    Someone smart that I could see

    Lead me back to reality

    And into the pen again.

    I told him not many knew my path

    And I’d scare them if I lied or laughed.

    He remarked how many times the pills made me well

    I said it was really hell.

    Not to feel or even tell

    What was going on around me.

    We agreed that we should meet

    For a while at least once a week.

    He asked me about my mean streak

    I said my horses were under control.

    He was glad I was sleeping

    Working hard, not much weeping

    But he said disaster was slowly creeping

    If I didn’t follow his advice.

    They always don’t know what to say

    If your case has gone astray

    Said he trusted me to stay

    On the straight and narrow.

    I will do the best I can

    Mostly clean and able to understand

    That even I must meet life’s demands

    From which there is no running.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m very thankful

    That he is on my side

    But taking so many pills is really wasteful

    They affect what’s left of my time.

    So we parted the hour was up

    I never told him the half of it

    Because then I’d be knee deep in shit

    And maybe get put away.

    Maybe sometime, but not today.

    This is my insanity.


    A Samuel Gold Quote

    2010 - 10.01

    “When the country is gone, what will the country music singers do”?