Roger’s view from the hills: Suprise

                                                   Mark Twain

     There are many ways to define success and each has his own and everyone else has theirs about yours.  If monetary measure is a standard then I failed that miserably.  But there are many other ways that are more important.  I have done a lot in my life trying to do what I love.  Most times that is the worst paying but with a lot of satisfaction.
      Of the many things that I have an interest in, some would say passion, the presence of music is as strong as anything.  Those who know me only by my opinion columns would have picked up a little about how I feel about music and the people in it.
      Many know me as being a vocalist in Western Music and a poet.  Now my music is a wider field than just Western and we have been trying to define what that is anyway for years.  Now the term Roots or Americana is probably defining things a little better.
      At a point in my life my best friends started to die and the majority have been to cancer.  The way I dealt with the loss was to dust off an old talent from high school that no one knew about, poetry.  Applying my life experiences it became cowboy and country poetry.  The things I feel strongly about like horses, cows, tractors, farming, ranching, being outdoors and being rural.  Being independent and making my own mind up about issues and not follow some party line.
      Being aware of how many times I was swerved away from things that would have turned out bad.  Enough close calls to know that when my time is done I will meet a crippled up guardian angel that took a lot of the hits for me.
      I also know that to ease the grieving from so many friends lost a new group would come from out of no where to give me hope and purpose.  I was transitioning from poetry to music, my love from high school and a little college, and joined up with a group that took me in just as I am.
     Western Music, which is a combination of old classic cowboy tunes, classic Country & Western, Folk, Celtic, Spiritual, movies, Tin Pan Alley, Bluegrass, Hillbilly, Ethnic, Western Swing, and Rock, was booted out of Nashville and mainstream music.  Yet it exists today and is represented by the Western Music Association.
      I found a group of talented and diverse people with a streak of decency that was left behind by mainstream music long ago.  I am still amazed that this group lets me hang around with them.  I have tried to promote the music, artist, and fan whenever I could.  And still intend to even though I am slowed down temporarily.
      I was at our Kansas Chapter meeting at the Flying W Ranch in the Flint Hills last Sunday.  I am the Chapter Vice President and we had a good gathering of our members.  On the agenda there was listed a ‘special presentation’, which I had not any idea what it would be even though I have input into the agenda.
     When the time came there was a certificate of appreciation and a Life Membership to the WMA and I was looking around to see who had won it.  This is not something that happens often, many of our members work their tails of for the group.  The nice things they were saying I knew fit a lot of people in the room and then they called my name.
      For the first time in recent history I was speechless.  I did not see it coming.  When you love what you are doing, and the people in it, it just does not occur that anything special has happened.
     They like my ideas, wait until they hear about the show at the Ryman.
Thanks to all!


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