Brown Eyed Girls

My eyes are brown. Before my eyelids began drooping my eyes were big and beautiful. Now, they’re just plain—hardly noticeable behind my glasses.

Someone once told me my eyes were my best feature. I took that as a compliment until I realized that the eyes are pretty much EVERYONE’s best facial feature. I mean, a mouth could be, I guess, but the eyes provide color and sparkle and personality. Without the eyes, what do you have left? Not much to talk about, that’s what.

Again, my eyes are brown, and I’ve always felt like brown eyes get ignored in songs. As I’ve listened to hour upon hour of country music over the past three months doing research for my little romance novel, I’ve been bombarded by tales of men hankering for blue eyed girls and green eyed girls, but not a single mention of a brown eyed girl in popular country music as far as I can tell.

But, what about music as a whole? Are there brown eyed girls in those songs? We all know Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”. It is, for obvious reasons, one of my favorites.

Interestingly enough, though, the original title of Morrison’s song was “Brown Skinned Girl!” Damn.

A song from my childhood, “Birds and the Bees” specifically mentions big brown eyes. I always imagined it had been written just for me. Of course at the time I thought we were talking literally about birds and bees.

A google search of songs about brown eyes turned up a few more. Actually, quite a few more. There are a couple of redundancies, but brown eyes do get some attention. And Crystal Gale’s “Don’t it Make My Brown Eyes Blue” is arguably a country song.

I’ll not rest, though, until brown eyes take their place alongside the blues and greens of this world. It’s my new mission in life.

Peace, people!

Deep Thoughts on a Sunday Morning

Does anyone else think that the so-called “panhandle” of Texas, land of my birth, might be better thought of as a cutting board?

Hardly handle-sized.

At one time I believe there was a campaign to change the nomenclature. A panhandle resident argued that the term “panhandle” was derogatory because it was also a term used to describe begging.

As I recall, his campaign for change didn’t get much traction. Maybe if he’d lobbied for “cutting board” or “postage stamp” he’d have gotten some support. Maybe not

At any rate, the panhandle in Texas is one of several in the United States.

Currently I live in the Florida panhandle. I’d argue that its shape comes closer to fitting the description of an actual pan’s handle.

Although, to me it’s reminiscent of the barrel of a gun with the peninsula as the gun’s handle.

I found something kind of cool while searching Pinterest for pictures of panhandles. Earlier this year, “Rolling Stone” did a feature on a West Texas band called The Panhandlers, including a link to one of their songs. I got a kick out of the song, and thought it worth sharing here.

Here’s a link to the “Rolling Stone” article:

Peace, people!

King of the Road

Thursday morning NPR’s program, Fresh Air, featured an interview with Dean Miller, son of the deceased country singer, Roger Miller. Dean has compiled a tribute album, actually a double album, of his father’s music and was promoting it in an interview with the wonderful Terry Gross. I listened as I drove into Tallahassee to do some grocery shopping.

Roger Miller was one of my favorites growing up. Even when I detested country music I still enjoyed his songs: “King of the Road,” “England Swings,” “Husbands and Wives,” “The Last Word in Lonesome is Me,” and so many more. No one put words together like Roger, and the interview with his son brought back some great memories of trying to sing along with his novelty songs like, “You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd,” and “Oo-de-Lally.”

I’m tempted to order King of the Road: A Tribute to Roger Miller. Here’s what LA Times pop music critic, Mikael Woods writes about the album,

Various artists, “King of the Road: A Tribute to Roger Miller” (BMG)

Country stars young and old — from Kacey Musgraves and Lennon & Maisy to Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn — crowd this double-disc set to honor the late Nashville songwriter best known for the oft-covered “King of the Road.” (Some non-country types show up too, including Ringo Starr and, uh, Toad the Wet Sprocket.) If anybody was worried about being overshadowed, though, you can hardly tell: What distinguishes the project is the care each act takes to respectfully showcase Miller’s top-shelf wordplay. The result is the rare tribute album with class to spare.”

Sounds like the perfect soundtrack for my autumn. Couldn’t we all use a little “Do-Wacka-Do,” and “You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd,” in our lives right now? I certainly could.

Peace, people.

Straight out of Floydada

I’m a native of the tiny Texas panhandle town of Floydada. So was country music artist Don Williams. He’s much better known than I am, and that’s a fact.

Mr. Williams passed away this week. His music, though, will live on. I was a fan of his work, and believe I would have been even if we hadn’t had Floydada in common.


I am having a love affair with country singer/songwriter, Chris Stapleton. Now Chris isn’t aware of this, but Studly Doright is, so nobody’s feelings are in danger of being hurt. 

Every morning Chris serenades me while I shower and dress for work or play. His music keeps me company as I complete chores around the house or sit out on the screened in porch. 

I own two copies of his Traveler cd, one for the house and another for my car, and his is the first name up on my Pandora playlist. My favorites off the cd are Tennessee Whiskey and Traveler, but Parachute comes in near the top these days. 

I’m especially fond of the chorus:

You only need a roof when it’s raining
You only need a fire when it’s cold
You only need a drink when the whiskey
Is the only thing that you have left to hold
Sun comes up and goes back down
And falling feels like flying till you hit the ground
Say the word and I’ll be there for you
Baby, I will be your parachute

Maybe you should listen:

Peace, people.

Dolly, Jolene, and Pentatonix: At Long Last, Love

I absolutely hated the song Jolene when it was released in 1974. I mimicked Dolly’s voice, bleating out, rather than belting out, the lyrics about a woman in danger of losing her man to the much lovelier Jolene. And what kind of crazy, made up name was Jolene anyway? (My apologies to all the actual women I now know who bear that moniker.)

But the tune slowly grew on me over the decades. While I didn’t actually like the song, I didn’t despise it anymore either. If the strains of Jolene began playing on a country oldies station I didn’t automatically switch to an alternate channel. 

And now there’s this lovely acapella version of the song featuring Dolly Parton and Pentatonix. Pardon me while I sing along.

Peace, people!


As a native Texan I’d heard tales of the mythical Houston Rodeo–an epic 20 day extravaganza featuring competition between the top cowboys and cowgirls in their respective events. Now at the age of 59 I finally got to savor the experience first hand. And what an amazing experience it was!

My brother, Kelly, works with a man who has volunteered at the rodeo in various capacities for more than two decades. This man has two sets of season tickets that he offers to friends during the event. We were fortunate to get incredible seats close to the action so there wasn’t a calf roping or bull riding that we missed. 

The pageantry was “over the top Texas” with fireworks and wagon races, mutton busting and a host of other events.

Once the rodeo events were completed for the night country singer Jason Aldean took the stage and rocked the house from a rotating stage. There were no bad seats for the concert.

We drank copious amounts of beer, consumed peanuts, nachos, fried Snickers and fried pecan pie. 

And smiled.


My brother Kelly and sister-in-law, Susan
My goofy self and brother Kelly
My handsome son, Jason who came from Dallas for the rodeo, and me.
What a great evening! And I didn’t even relate my bull riding experience. That’s coming in another post.

Peace, people!

An Old Ode

I give you Miss Bobbie Gentry:

Ode to Billy Joe

Question: Just what was thrown off the Tallahatchee Bridge?

Question: Is it Tallahatchee or Tallahachee?

Unrelated Question: If Tom Brady were less good looking would his suspension have been overturned?