Red Monk Day

So here we are in February, the last month of meteorological winter. February 2 is Groundhog Day, the day we take a little creature, known as Chuck, Wood-shock, Groundpig, Whistler, Thickwood Badger, Canada Marmot, Monax, Moonack, Weenusk, and my favorite, the Red Monk, out of its burrow, hold it up in the air, and plan our next six weeks on whether or not it sees its shadow. How do we know it actually sees its shadow when the sun is out? No one has ever explained that to me. On Groundhog Day, we use TV and radio time as well as print to pay attention to something that has no actual basis in fact. Even a number of songs have been written about Groundhog Day, including one by the great blues singer John Lee Hooker (“Ground Hog Blues”) and country singer-songwriter Tom T. Hall (“Happy Groundhog Day”). 

Now don’t get me wrong. I love groundhogs, and I think I have a lot in common with the burrowing little critters. I too find myself burrowing away in the cold of winter, or as Swamp Woman puts it, trolling myself away in my cabin in Rambling Harbor. I like doing that. When I am forced by one perceived necessity or another to go into the larger world, I crave my cave all the more.

I think the best thing that ever happened to Groundhog Day was the 1993 comedy starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, and Chris Elliott. Murray plays Phil Connors, an arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, while covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, finds himself repeating the same day over and over, including indulging in hedonism and committing suicide several times. Finally, he begins to re-examine his life and priorities. Hell, I do the same thing on the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, New Year’s, Christmas, and for that matter, Sadie Hawkins Day. Sadie Hawkins Day is November 15 (though there is a whole story behind whether its creator, Al Capp, meant it to be the 15th of November), and I get especially reflective on that day because it can be a little nerve-wracking. On Sadie Hawkins Day, women and girls take the initiative in inviting the man or boy of their choice out on a date, typically to a dance attended by other eligible males and their dates.

By now, you are no doubt asking yourself at least two questions: Why is Dan writing about Groundhog Day and Sadie Hawkins Day, and why am I reading this? I have one answer for both questions. It’s more fun than writing about politics and a lot more fun than reading about politics.  If I had gone into a tirade about my least favorite cartoon character Donald “The Fool” Trump,” would you have read this?

In the podcast there will be a few more odd things I’ve thought about this past week and of course the ever-popular rock-and-roll timeline. Join me on the shores of Rambling Harbor.




Glenn Frey, Prison, and Memories

Today I disconnected from part of my history. I canceled one of my websites, Creative-Treehouse.com. It was first established on a cold December night in 2009 after my wife and I figured out just the right name. “Creative” was what I wanted to be, and “Treehouse” seemed right because our porch was surrounded by trees. The year 2009 was a pretty good year for us. Jennifer’s cancer was quiet, and we did what we had done for the previous 12 years. We hoped and lived one day at a time. Withdrawn from the Internet, Creative Treehouse will live as long as I do in my memory, and when I am gone there will be no trace left behind.

The last 12 months, and especially this winter, has been a time of loss. David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Dale “Buffin” Griffin, Leonard Nimoy, Yogi Berra, Wes Craven, Frank Gifford all passed. Years ago, when Jerry Garcia died, it hit me hard, but the passing of Glenn Frey has left me reeling.

For a few years, I had an overnight radio gig—you know, the typical 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. shift—and almost every morning I would end my show with the Eagles cover of “Ol’ 55” and ride home with lady luck. When I posted this on Facebook, it was nice to hear some say they remembered it well. I once saw a poster that said something like Someday you will be just a memory to someone. Try and make sure it’s a good one

The Eagles were formed in Los Angeles in 1971 by Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1972 and had three top 40 singles: "Take It Easy,” "Witchy Woman,” and "Peaceful Easy Feeling." In 1972, I was just finding a new sense of freedom, having spent almost two years in Danbury Federal Correctional Institution for my continued resistance to the Vietnam War. In my story “Mountaintop Days,” I wrote: “In prison, either you get a number and lose yourself or you resist and lose what little benefit the system offered for falling in line. There would be solitary confinements and hunger strikes and we would serve our time, but we did not surrender our souls. We did not fall in line....” On the outside, I tried to adjust and fit into a new life, but there were still almost three more years of the Vietnam War to struggle against, and the Eagles became a very important part of the soundtrack of my life and my return to normal. I don’t know why, but I especially developed a liking for Glenn Frey. Perhaps I sensed a rebel in him.

Glenn Frey has left us, but a world of memories and great music remain. I canceled that website because of lack of funds (that “Become a Patron” button at the top attracted only one donor, my dear friend Cher Duncomb). But that was just a website of memories, and I have a lifetime full of them. Someday I will tell my granddaughter about “Mountaintop Days” and about the Eagles, and one reason I will be able to do that is that Glenn Frey made music that touched me and left good memories. Thank you, Glenn Frey.

In the podcast it's mostly a rock and roll time line. I hope you will join me there.



Haunting Shades of Transparency

My friend for many years Vincent More honored me, actually not so much me but my face, I Can’t Take  a lot of credit for my face it’s a combination of mom and dad an some quirk of biology. But I used a really old long ago and far away picture of myself in my “Mountaintop Days” Stories.

I have only one time before in my more than ten years of blogging, published someone else’s work. I am happy to do this now because while the words seem to be about my face, they reflect the soul of Vincent Moore. Thank you Vincent for your craft, your art and your friendship


There is a link at the bottom of the page that will lead you to more of Vincent’s beautiful writing, enjoy the work of a very creative and caring person.

Haunting Shades of Transparency

  This is a poem that I dedicate to my fellow writer and friend Dan Sanders. I was moved to pen these words after seeing the above photo of him on Facebook. It stirred my soul deeply, not only reflecting my own shadows from it, but the stillness and calm I feel when walking through a forest or woods. The calmness it echoes, the silence and whispers of bending branches, the gray of the lone wolf. Dan is very much a kindred soul to me and he reflects much of who I am and what I feel. Thank you Dan for allowing me to honor you sir. Peace and blessings I send to you with this work. Namaste my friend.

Haunting Shades of Transparency

Leaning together branches wrap and twist, while dried voices whisper from the hollow, faint whisper's that cling without meaning, voices from his past.

Shapes and forms swirl in shades of gray, paralyzed in time and space, without any motion, just being present through his image.

Eyes that penetrate the darkness, searching for those who have crossed over, his friend, lover and twin in life, remembering yet never lost. This man holds so true to his heart and every breath he takes.

Eyes that meet in dreams as the forest draws circles around his form, like sunlight's reflection from a moonbeam or fading star, a tree swings silently and lonely in the evenings broken dreams.

This is his dead land, a forest speaking from the night, stone images hidden between broken lines, a dead man's hand, glowing like a rising phoenix walking alone, bold and strong.

Eyes are hiding among the trees, yet there are no eyes in this picture, simply his own lost through the searching centuries, kingdoms, turned to dust, gathered like tombs meeting places, sightless as perpetual stars and dying twilight perched there.

He feels her lips that search his, trembling with embracing tenderness, like statues, carved from purity, not broken stone, never crushed, they are one frozen in another world, their world.

This is not an empty man, falling between the shadows and dark lines, drawn by ghosts, only his desires filled with emotions, lingering like a spasm of existence and strength. He is strength and life itself.

A world within a world, he has the knowledge like a sad man on a winter's frosty night, this man crosses all dimensions, seeing through the forest's earthly colors and moss and folded hills behind him, Valleys and streams bustling with froth from the mist, birds and wolves on their prowl for the kill, holding back to let this man walk proudly among them, master over his own fate, blossoms wreathing about him, like these branches that constellate and break at will.

This man of mystery and solitude, shading from the darkness beneath the sun,walks proud and tall with his shining long hair blowing from the cool nights summer breeze. He looks to heaven, smiling knowing she is there, waiting for his presence, smiling from his peacefulness below, knowing he is only a mortal in the presence of his god.

He rests awhile looking into the hills, awaiting a sign from the misty mystery of life and death, branches reach out to his soul and bend him to bow before them, forehead to the ground. Looking up he sees Heaven's golden throne, he slowly slips back into the forest awaiting his call again, not yet ready, the wolves circle him and guide him back through his lonely valley, never alone, he feels her presence always. She awaits her truest love forevermore.

© Copyright 2015 by Vincent Moore. All rights reserved




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