Thursday, December 8, 2022

Wrong Side


Well, sir, it's cold. I knew that. Of course they're all driving on the wrong side of the road and I expected that, too. I mean, I've been here. Every exchange attempting to settle a bill leaves me holding out a few notes and all the change from my pocket. Sometimes Kate helps me. The fact that all attempts to settle in quickly become Monty Python episodes will keep me humble forever. I may be hit by a bus from the right at any moment. I can't become one of them until I have a bank account. I can't get a bank account without presenting a utility bill. I can't open a utility account if I don't have a bank account to pay my utility bill.

Stay tuned. I'm nothing if not tenacious. Sorry.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Union Jacks and Hot Rods


I've been trying to get to England since 1965. Oh, I've been a few times. I've played and toured there. I've visited friends. I'm finally going to live there in any way that the immigration folks see fit. It's taking some doing, to be honest.

Parting with things that I considered holy has been odd. Objects that I would not have thought would ever leave my presence. Turns out it's easy. Stuff is just stuff after all.

People? Well, that's rougher. Folks promise that they will visit. Maybe they will. I will surely be taking the memories that we share.

It's new memories that I'm going for. I've got new songs to write and everything that I want to write about is over there. My heart has it right. I couldn't be happier. I couldn't be luckier.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Hillbilly Lotharios & Posh Angels

Elvis died with about five million bucks in the bank and lots of debt. I remember worrying about his finances. Here, the King of Rock'n'Roll lay dead as a doornail, at peace for the first time since 1956, and I fretted about his financial affairs. 

Seems I've always agonized over other folks' money problems. Mine? Not so much.

There have been times when I have had a few bucks squirreled away and times, more times, where I have lived paycheck to paycheck. Keep in mind that I write hillbilly songs. I don't get many paychecks. Oh, I've swept floors, scooped mud, peddled real estate, written newspaper columns, fought pollution, promoted concerts and indulged in other activities that kept the wolf from the door for periods of time between big hit records. Truthfully, I'm a little tired of waiting for a big hit record.

Somehow, I've never figured out this quest for gold, records or otherwise. I collect parrot jokes. Doesn't require any license, wardrobe or degree. I keep rocks. I've built up a lifetime's fantasies and I'm working to indulge every last one. None of them involve money.

I've got the best life in the world. Sometimes I lose a little sleep over your economic well-being.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.


Saturday, October 1, 2022

Maybe If I Dream It

If I could do it all over, I'd be kinder. Softer. Oh, I suppose I've done alright. I mean I could have done worse. 

I wish I had played more slow songs, more tunes in waltz time.

I should have listened a lot more and talked a lot less. It's not as though I've had a lot of important information to disseminate. There's that one line that I took from Lottie and that's about it. My act, my repertoire. Well, I steal from the best- you've gotta give me that.

Maybe I've learned to love right. Lottie showed me that, too, but I probably took it for granted while she was here. The dogs and the cats took up the slack.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.



Thursday, August 18, 2022

Trips To The Attic

All thoughts are random until they get strung together with others. Most of mine remain at least slightly obtuse even then. Here are a few of today's.

Religions always go with the good colors. Saffron robes, pink and purple pope get-ups. Why do they dress the nuns in black?

If we let the public know that billionaires in the US don't pay taxes and that our taxes go mostly for war to benefit the billionaires, don't they suspect that lots of people are gonna cheat and lie when tax time rolls around?

If you don't believe in a creator, you might as well enjoy the carnal delights with gusto and without guilt, right? If you do believe in a creator, surely you don't think that She designed reproduction of the species requiring something sinful. Do you?

Oh, I could go on, as you know. I would like to say that I have better things to do. I don't. It's just that short attention span.


Saturday, August 13, 2022

Mr. Universe and Miss Understanding

Which is more elusive, time or love? Can either concept be defined? Is there any kind of relationship between the two?

We over-thinkers generally have more questions than answers.

All my life I've waited for what I have now. It's been a great life. Can you imagine how miserable I would have been if I had known that I was waiting? If I had driven faster or if I had not dropped logic, everything would be different. If I had slept later two or three times, if I had not played that last show at the Borderline or if I had not bought that pair of shoes, I would be coasting in the wrong gear.

If James Grissom had not written Follies Of God or if I had not read it, and if I had not banged on the door like a madman as the sun was coming up to "explain" it, I would have missed my entire purpose.

Do I believe in magic? It's all magic, buddy.


Monday, August 8, 2022

Check The Oil

If someone shows you who you are, believe them. 

"I've never seen you look so happy."

"You seem to glow, somehow."

"That doesn't sound like you."

All those t-shirt sayings turn out to be true. The Hallmark wishes, too. Remember all those good wishes that your pals left in your yearbook? I would recommend patience but that would be wildly hypocritical. Maybe I should suggest, just wait. Follow all the paths marked "LOVE." 


Saturday, July 30, 2022


When I ponder the time that I've spent worrying about perishing in quicksand, I'm reminded that all my fretting has been a waste of my time. Turns out, quicksand can't kill you. Oh, sure, crows can peck your eyes out while you're mired in goo, but eventually you'll bob to the top, with or without eyes.

Actually, there is really no such thing as quicksand. Any colloidal mix of water and sand or clay in the right, or should I say wrong, proportions will cause the sensation that we all know from Tarzan movies.

Enough about quicksand. My message here, if in fact I have a message here, is that all our worrying is a waste of time. Look both ways before you cross the street and get on with life.

If you feel like you need a "safe word," you probably just need a new partner.


Tuesday, July 26, 2022


If you're tired of hearing me tell you that I've reached the mountaintop, well, sir, I don't blame you. I hesitate to use the high falutin' terms seeker, pilgrim, crusader. I've never known what I was looking for but I've always believed it was out there. I've known that it was out there. 

Lord knows the clues are there. Movies, songs, books and oh, yeah- voices. My mom knew and she gave me grand hints. Lottie personified all of it. I've learned more from the dogs and cats than from most of my schooling but I don't want to short shrift my wonderful teachers, either. 

Now, without warning, it all arrives on the shores. She came to visit for two weeks and the earth shifted. I could easier give up oxygen, water, tofu than live without her presence. I'm off to the United Kingdom for as long as they'll have me. 

Believe me when I tell you that I have a big, big heart and it's full. I'm deliriously happy and yes, I know just how lucky I am. She personifies the truth and beauty that I had come to believe was just movie stuff. I hope every one of you knows this joy in your life.


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Where Do You Start?

You don't have to work for happiness, you have to accept it. Most of us learn over a lifetime how to stymie the joy. School and family, the church and the government and social mores all pile on to make us cautious, serious. We learn to grieve, pout, retaliate and blush.

Here comes Ronny, suggesting that you skip, smile, whistle and dance when you feel like it. If they make you wear pants, you might want to just go somewhere else. 

Be thrifty so that you won't be someone's burden, but, you know what? Giving that homeless guy a few bucks isn't going to threaten your standard of living. In fact, if you shake his hand and tell him that you're pulling for him, it might just raise it a bit.

Think dirty thoughts when you can. You always can. Ain't no loving creator developed sex, only to discourage indulgence. This would seem to make sense for the heathen and maybe more sense for the devout. Don't let them tell you how to do it or whom to do it with, either.

Now, why, you may ask yourself, would you take advice from someone like me? For starters, I may be the happiest guy in the world. All I've done is try to stay out of the way of self-defeat. I don't claim to know much. Love hard like you did when you were a kid. You know, when you didn't know anybody was watching. Before anything ever hurt you.

If I loved any harder stuff would melt.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.


Saturday, July 9, 2022

Come and Get These Memories

They're under every bed in the house. The closets are full of them. There are drawers and cabinets and boxes, jammed full. One shed and a utility room behind the house overflow. Memories. Come get them. Not only am I selling everything right down to the bare walls, I'm selling the walls, too. 

Folks keep asking me, "Ronny, doesn't it kill you to get rid of these guitars, these mementos, souvenirs, tokens, keepsakes?"

Let's remember here that I'm the biggest sentimental fool to ever come down the pike.

Now I'm without a car for the first time since I was fourteen years old. Feels great. Of course friends have loaned me a car so I'm not huffing, puffing or hitchhiking. For now.

In March I began making new memories. Oh, I don't forget anything. I became the man that I am over a very long time. I don't need things to remind me of who I am. 

Meantime, if you need stuff- I'm your man. There are even a few guitars left!


Sunday, June 26, 2022

Driving On The Left

Love is the answer. I forgot the question a long time ago. The only thing worth having is time and you can't buy it with any amount of money. It's hard to waste it, though. Most of it that goes to waste is spent at workplaces or in bad relationships or tilting at windmills masquerading as politics or religion. 

Don't let them trick you into believing that old apple story. Love is a whole lot better when you know for sure that it's naughty. 

While I'm preaching, (it is Sunday), do your best not to put too much effort into a pursuit of wealth. Financial, I mean. That currency is always going to be printed by the ones who control it. Don't let them steal your joy by diverting your attention from bliss. You know where your happiness lies.

I got good at waiting. Really good. Then I gave up, slowly but surely. I couldn't have told you what I had been waiting for. When it came, all at once, I was amazed. Go where it leads you and try your best to use up all the love.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.


Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Learner's Permit

One book and everything changed. Seems that maybe I'm not very good at accepting love, embracing joy. I've never been able to take a compliment with any grace. It's my good fortune that more folks haven't given up on me.

What redeems me, if I might be redeemed, is my sense of whimsy. I see the world as one of those cartoons where every character is some form of Goofy. Oh, I spend time wringing my hands. More than my share. My sense of lust is always on call, too. No clown with a squirting flower or a spinning bowtie, however, will ever have to work overtime for me.

Now, sir, I'd rather not study war no more and I sure don't have much time for world commerce. I'll keep singing for the same reasons that the birds keep singing. I love for a living.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.


Tuesday, May 24, 2022

So Long, Cowboy


Stuff. I've spent a lifetime defining my existence with it. Coonskin hats, cars, art, guitars, books and real estate. Now that I finally know who I am, I don't need this stuff. I don't want this stuff. I want to love and create. I'm dying to sing and dance, laugh and cry. I long to walk and read and take winter naps. Turns out fantasies are real. Who was it who said, "Thank god for courage at the right time?"

You dream for long enough and you realize that it's all real. It's all right in front of you. Miracles are real. You just have to believe in them.

Don't wait for luck. Grab it by the collar. Don't look for love. Love.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

No Noose Is Good News


My heart always lead me to the music. My head frequently tried to intervene. Good sense tended to side with my head. Fortunately I've always put the heart in charge and she's never let me down.

These days, when I can sit quietly and patiently, life unfolds and everything is perfect. Wasn't it Miles who said something like, "In improvisation, there are no mistakes"? Same with life. Wrong train? See where it takes you.

Going where it's cold? Take a warm heart.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Sewing Angel Wings


In my dreams we seem to dance often. Slow. Close. If you dance close enough you cast a single shadow. Maybe it's a romantic's version of the blood brother ritual.

Just when I begin to worry that it's all been written, that it's all been sung, I hear those melodies that melt the stars. I'm gonna just sit back and try to act like I deserve all this beauty, all this joy. Here's to the ones who have waited.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Star-Crossed No More


It occurs to me, suddenly, that the stars are always aligned properly. Nothing changes but our perspective. Magic is always present. If you don't open your eyes and your heart, you'll never see it. If you don't share it, it really has no value.

The only sure-fire way to waste your life is to do what's expected of you. Do what they do. Do what they tell you. 

It's all easy and it's all perfect. You have to believe. You have to love.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Leaving Home

Not much of a wanderer, I guess. Oh, I've seen a few places thanks to rock'n'roll. I've pasted my head onto bodies in exotic places all around the world and I live in a house full of globes and maps. I'm a geographer, remember?

For most of my life, though, I've lived in Tampa. We moved here when I was six years old, my single mom, my grandmother and me. I've always told the story that it was my idea, that the mother allowed the kid to make a big life decision. Now, finally, I realize that I was played. You can't just pick up and move after a life in one place, can you? 

Maxine's heart was in Florida. Sunny skies, warm beaches, a new life. She told friends and relatives that her son wanted to move to Tampa. Instead of defending the move, she merely defended spoiling her son. She had no work. No home. No connections. 

For years friends and bandmates attempted to get me to move. New York. L.A. Nashville. Austin. Heck, London always offered me more than Tampa. My pal, Jimmy LaFave, always enjoyed torturing me as "geographically challenged." 

 I knew, but my heart was in Tampa. I love the place. It's home.

You know what they say, though- home is where the heart is, and now my heart is in Wales. Portugal looks pretty, too.  

I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't follow his heart.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.



Sunday, April 17, 2022

Rasslin' Bears


If, for some reason, you want to wrestle a bear today, you're going to have to travel to Russia. That's not really fashionable. 

There was a time, not so long ago, that you could grapple ol' Ursus right here in the USA. Cherokee, North Carolina. Walla Walla, Washington. Several little roadside attractions along the northern California highways.

Now, no man can out-wrestle the average bear. Most of these semi-trained creatures were relatively tame, though. The bear would tend to squeeze the human with about the same pressure that he was being squeezed. He would whack the fool about as hard as he was being whacked. They were rewarded for their manners. Usually Coca Cola and Moon Pies. Wo to the drunken hillbilly who decided to show off to his sweetheart. More than one sad bumpkin left the ring with bumps, bruises and contusions. If Bruno concluded that his opponent was playing rough, the match was over.

Don't play where you can't win. Throw balls at the carnival. Win her a teddy bear.

Don't ever step too close to the fire until you're ready to be consumed.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Dog Catches Car


Have you ever wondered what you would do if, suddenly, everything worked out? What if life was perfect? Somewhere in our design, I presume, we are given ambition to keep us going. Purpose. 

Well, sir- I'll let you know.

Eternity is not a real concept, is it? It seems to be something that we made up for comfort. 

Joy is.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Spirit vs. Flesh

All life's beautiful mysteries converge in  psychedelic array for me at this particular time of my life. I suppose that our past is always clearing the bush for a present, for a future. Every heartbreak and every loss leans in to remind me that nothing is permanent. Loss, in one form or another, awaits every celebration. You have only to browse the dusty family albums in the thrift store for evidence.

Maybe I have acted rashly, with abandon, regarding matters relating to others' well being. I regret having ever hurt anyone else in my pursuit of some precarious paradise.

For the last decade I have isolated myself from most social activity swirling around me. A pandemic sealed the deal. I was almost fashionable. Losing Jamaica and Angel left me alone to figure out who I am and why I am. Obviously that's not a task that you complete. I'm embarrassed to tell you that I've gotten good at lonely.

Oh, there are invitations. Some of them involve a touch of pity and charity. That's alright. It's always very sweet to have someone thinking of you. If I haven't been out and out happy, I've been tranquil. Peaceful.

Now, an angel shows up. I'm reminded of laughter and beauty and all other things holy.

My definition of angel and heaven and ghosts and magic won't match yours. I know that. I know what I believe, though, and I believe in luck.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.


Sunday, March 20, 2022

No Safe Word

Seems to me, if you need a "safe word,"maybe you're rolling around with the wrong person. Me? I trust pretty much everyone and nothing bad ever seems to happen to me. Oh, I would probably make a fairly good victim- not too much work, but I seem to be lucky. Yeah, there are other words for it. I don't believe any of that stuff and, yet, I believe it all.

These are the best days of my life, literally. I'm pretty sure that better ones are in my future. 

I should probably go buy a lottery ticket but I can't be bothered. 

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Some People Never Learn


"The heart wants what it wants, or else it does not care."

Most folks learn from their elders. Teachers. Parents. Must I learn the same lessons over and over from long dead poets? Yeah, I guess so.

I knocked, probably too loud, too hard. Too early for company, but the door opened. I began rambling and didn't stop for nearly two weeks. Art, politics, epicureanism, hillbilly music, romance- stuff I know absolutely nothing about. Didn't even slow me down.

My desire to show my worst side puzzles me.

Reminded that I'm alive, I realize that I have to learn how to do it all again.

Those songs ain't gonna write themselves.

Monday, March 14, 2022

With The Cows

Living hasn't been on my agenda for a while. Oh, I've eaten. I've slept. I've written. I just don't bother to finish anything. The concept of joy faded over some time. 

Chaplin can make me laugh for forty minutes but I know that I'll be crying when the circus pulls out and he walks down the road alone.

I've stored little bits of joy all over the house. I don't get 'em out very often.

Every bit of music that I care about is right here. I don't listen to it. 

Happy is so overrated.


Saturday, February 26, 2022


I suppose war is really just the absence of love. Furthermore, love remains the one thing that money can't buy. Cable news footage of the babies and the elderly and the dogs and cats play on a loop that will remain with me for what's left of this life. 

Our hearts ache for the people of Ukraine while one madman, again, murders masses with the detachment of a naughty boy pulling the legs off a beetle. 

It's difficult to avoid hate, close to impossible to muster pity.

Oh, to believe in heaven.

I've seen hell on TV.


Tuesday, February 15, 2022

You're It


We're all looking for something, aren't we? Trying to fill a void. Scratch an itch. Get back home. Prove something to somebody.

Einstein managed to explain to us gravity and time and space. He knew that if he lived long enough, he would give us that theorem that connects us all. He knew he wouldn't.

Now, sir, I'm no Einstein. I'm guessing you knew that. 

I can tell you, however, that the piece of the puzzle that they all search for is love. Look at it from the rooftop or with an electron microscope. Outer space or with Grandma's magnifying glass.

Oh, I could go on. The poets and the scientists do. I suggest you do your own research.

I really do just want to hold your hand.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Love People, Use Things

My most productive time, in my estimation, has been what might be perceived as time wasted. I was born for pandemic times. 

Over the years, I've been allowed into several groups, peripherally. Old money gave me a shot. Funny, because, by definition, it's a closed loop. Of course my socialist preaching got me kicked out of that one over time. I like to think that I would have abandoned them if they hadn't kicked me to the curb first.

What do you do with a journalist who can't type. an artist who can't paint, a poet who won't rhyme, a seeker who doesn't believe? In my defense, in some ways, I believe it all.

The notion of advanced placement came along just as I was coming of school age. Testing results had me in accelerated or advanced classes from the start. Those truly brainy kids always knew I didn't belong there. I seem to have puzzled and disappointed a long line of teachers along the way, too.

I suppose I could go on about my love life or my music career, business interests or investment history. I don't mean to brag.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.


Thursday, January 27, 2022

God's Henhouse

Would you trade your memories for more time? Friend, I never even bargained with the devil to play guitar better. Inadequacy is my strong suit. Makes other folks feel good about themselves.

Knowing that I'm the end of this genetic road is, somehow, comforting.

Now I know that I was never meant to marry. Of course it took some marrying to figure it out and I apologize to those affected. All I ever really wanted, I suppose, was a blood brother or sister. Can't stand the sight of blood, though.


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Jitterbugs and Fireflies


Some of us do more with borrowed stardust than others. On some days I strive to be kind, and on some, I strive to be me. On my best days I don't think about it. I hope I'm kind.

Wind and rain take care of the ashes, but what about the memories?

These guitars still have some melodies in them. If only these stories rhymed.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Any Organization That Will Have Me

Is there any such thing as an empath? Is limerence a real thing? Earlier in my life, I knew folks who were schizophrenic. Diagnosed. Official. 

Seems to be a rarer breed these days. Bipolar disorder is a lot more fashionable, at least in my circles- if, in fact, I traveled in circles. 

Forget plastics, Ben. If you wanna sleep with Mrs. Robinson or her daughter; if you long to be a movie star or launch a cult- study linguistics. You just need to know what to call yourself.