Strummin’ on Easter

The Pawless. This was one of my first sketches.

Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, April 17, 2017, 9:27 a.m.

It’s Patriots Day in Boston. It’s the day after Easter here. When I left my nephew’s house on Sunday, the tykes were dashing about in search of dyed eggs.

Among much that I adore about the great-nephews on niece Ella’s side is that they love to hear me play my guitar. We had a stirring sing-along of “Gotta Travel On.” I crafted a tender, off-the-cuff version of Josh’s alleged favorite song, “Speckled Frogs.” In my dramatization, the frogs are sadly supplanted in the lagoon by similarly speckled lizards.

Monte Dutton

Alex – an eighth-grader! – showed some genuine interest in learning how to play guitar himself. I showed him some chords and gave him some advice to avoid some of the pitfalls of my self-teaching.

Learn D. Learn A. Learn switching back and forth between D and A. Cautiously add G. Yet another example of “lather, rinse, repeat.”

Anthony speaks in machine-gun bursts, and, even then, his thoughts race ahead of his words.

I don’t see the three Columbia musketeers often, and absence makes the heart grow fonder on both ends. Nothing tenderizes an aging slab of heart like young’uns jockeying for position and competing for attention.

Ray and Jessica’s children are three and sub-one. Thomas apparently, and not without justification, thinks I am a rhinoceros, so he obligingly imitates a baby one and charges into me. Great tickling and giggling ensues. I hoist him in the air.

“Do again!” commands he.

Baseball limits Thomas. All he lacks for go-kart status is four wheels. Margaret, who just entered her third season, spring, lives a life that involves mainly taking everything in, which is aggravated by the fact that every other human who approaches her will do almost anything to make her giggle. She enjoys her exalted status while it lasts.

Complete Supply of Ink and Toner Cartridges

The food was great, as it was bound to be because nephew Ray, who turned 30 on Easter, is not only a foodie by also a connoisseur of much that he chooses to encounter. Niece Ella was also a major contributor of culinary skill.

I flirted with Freudian suicide by using a knife I gave Ray and Jessica to slice my left thumb instead of the sourdough roll intended. Even though I gave a set of knives away, I still managed to get some use out of it.

Then I drove home and watched war movies.

Ever since I started writing fiction, fans have asked me to write a novel about stock car racing. I kept it a secret while I was working on it. Now it’s out. Lightning in a Bottle is the story of the next big thing, 18-year-old Barrie Jarman.

(Steven Novak cover design)

Stop by L&L Office Supply, 114 North Broad Street, Clinton and buy one of my novels. Buy Cowboys Come Home, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, Crazy of Natural Causes, The Intangibles, and/or a volume of my short stories, Longer Songs. They’re all signed and reasonably priced. Lightning in a Bottle will be in stock shortly.

Signed copies of Lightning in a Bottle are also available at Emma Jane’s, 105 East Main Street on the Square, Clinton.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

If you’d like me to ship you a signed copy, you can find my address and instructions here. If you want to speed the process up, send me a note and I’ll hook you up with my PayPal account.

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)

Kindle versions – you don’t have to have a Kindle, just a free app for your electronic devices – of most of my books are available here. Links to print copies are below.

Cowboys Come Home is my brand-new, fresh-off-the-press western, a tale of two World War II veterans of the Pacific who come back home to Texas, intent on resuming their cowboy ways.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses is a tale about a crooked politician who wants to be governor, whatever it takes, and another man trying to stop him. It’s outrageous.(Melanie Ryon cover design)

Crazy of Natural Causes is about the fall and rise of Chance Benford, a Kentucky football coach who reinvents himself. It’s original.

The Intangibles is about the South in the 1960s, complete with racial strife, bigotry, resentment, cultural exchange and, of course, high school football.

(Crystal Lynn cover photo)
(Crystal Lynn cover photo)

The Audacity of Dope is the tale of Riley Mansfield, a pot-smoking songwriter turned national hero with a taste for the former and a distaste for the latter.

Longer Songs is a collection of 11 short stories that all began in songs I wrote.

Follow me at Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Twitter (@montedutton), Google+ (MonteDuttonWriter) and/or Instagram (Tug50).

Good Grannies Alive, Pass the Dressing and Gravy

Things don't have to be just alike. (Monte Dutton photo)
Things don’t have to be just alike. (Monte Dutton photo)
Complete Supply of Ink and Toner Cartridges
Complete Supply of Ink and Toner Cartridges

Clinton, South Carolina, Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 12:13 p.m.

Thanksgiving’s a coming, coming.

It’s my favorite holiday, in no small part due to the fact that I love to eat. Like every other stuffed American who awakens on Friday morning ill equipped for anything save football on TV, I plan to go on a diet. I did that with some success last year. At the moment, I lack motivation, and I expect as soon as this writing exercise is completed, I will probably have a mid-afternoon cup of coffee and a bagel.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

Motivation comes Friday, that and, perhaps, a high school football game that night.

My mother and I haven’t had our daily phone conversation. She’s undoubtedly at my nephew’s house, already getting ready for the meal being hosted at Ray and Jessica’s house for the first time.

Betty Dutton’s oyster dressing carries a significance that is almost spiritual in the family. When Ray was a little boy, and I chided him for being sassy with his grandmother by telling him one day she’d be gone and he’d miss her, he stopped, considered those words for a moment, and his voice took on a dreamy aspect.

“Just think,” he said. “We’ll never have that dressing again.”

I also like Thanksgiving because it is peaceful. It doesn’t bring out the pettiness that sometimes accompanies other holidays. It’s not blazing hot like the Fourth of July. It’s not roaring with race cars like Memorial Day weekend. Santa may be a jolly old elf, but he sure requires a lot of support.

Betty Dutton
Betty Dutton

Mom already reminded me not to talk about politics. No matter. I’ll play my guitar. Just old, pleasant songs about a train carrying a girl from Tennessee, she’s long and she’s tall, and she came down from Birmingham on the Wabash Cannonball.

Besides, we can talk about sports. Politics has become the same thing, anyway.

I can’t wait to see how Ella’s boys have grown, and how we’ll all fuss over Jessica’s new baby, and Mom whispering that I should make a special point to praise the broccoli casserole because Ginger made that, and to be just about ready to push away from the table, only to have Mom show up with a platter of pecan pie, sweet potato custard, lemon pound cake, and chocolate eclairs.

It’s godly to be stuffed at Thanksgiving and broke at Christmas.

Lou Lauer helped me repair my website. He could help you, too.
Lou Lauer helped me repair my website. He could help you, too.

Stop by L&L Office Supply, 114 North Broad Street, Clinton and buy one of my novels. Buy Cowboys Come Home, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, Crazy of Natural Causes, The Intangibles, and/or a volume of my short stories, Longer Songs.

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Kindle versions – you don’t have to have a Kindle, just a free app for your electronic devices – of most of my books are available here. Links to print copies are below.

Cowboys Come Home is my brand-new, fresh-off-the-press western, a tale of two World War II veterans of the Pacific who come back home to Texas, intent on resuming their cowboy ways.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses is the latest. It’s a tale about a crooked politician who wants to be governor, whatever it takes, and another man trying to stop him. It’s outrageous.(Melanie Ryon cover design)

Crazy of Natural Causes is about the fall and rise of Chance Benford, a Kentucky football coach who reinvents himself. It’s original.

The Intangibles is about the South in the 1960s, complete with racial strife, bigotry, resentment, cultural exchange and, of course, high school football.

(Crystal Lynn cover photo)
(Crystal Lynn cover photo)

The Audacity of Dope is the tale of Riley Mansfield, a pot-smoking songwriter turned national hero with a taste for the former and a distaste for the latter.

Longer Songs is a collection of 11 short stories that all began in songs I wrote.

Follow me at Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Twitter (@montedutton), Google+ (MonteDuttonWriter) and/or Instagram (Tug50).cowboyshome_fullcvr343-page-001

The Questionable Decision of Awakening at All

A starry, starry night led to a murky day.
A starry, starry night led to a murky day.

Clinton, South Carolina, Thursday, September 17, 2015, 3:43 p.m.

This has not been one of my better days, partly because last night was one of my better nights.

Monte Dutton
Monte Dutton

Remain calm. I didn’t party like it was 1980. (At this point in life, I don’t look ahead. I don’t just go back to the beginning of the current century. I graduated from college in 1980.) As a matter of fact, I drank one beer (light) and one Coke (diet). I had three slices of pizza.

But I played music for hours, sitting out front of a hotel on a lovely evening with a friend of mine and several of his workers. The majority of the songs were ones I wrote. He is working on a job near Greenville and summoned me to come up and play some music. Several others at the hotel dropped in from time to time, and as best I could tell, they enjoyed my music. Or, as I don’t know them, they could have been habitual liars.

The Pawless.
The Pawless.

Back when I traveled all over the country writing about NASCAR, it wasn’t unusual for me to play music. I had little gigs near several tracks. Now most of my playing is where most of my writing is, i.e., right here in the living room. My Martin is leaning against the couch. I took the Pawless to Greenville because it’s the best guitar I’ve got and I wanted my friend to see how great it is. Like most of the guitar-playing public, he can play my guitar better than I can. I love it when others play my guitars because, that way, I can fully appreciate how great they are.

I got home about 11:30 and watched Kevin Spacey on The Late Show, and I flipped channels watching various commentators say various things about the latest Republican Debate, which is about as close as politics ever gets to NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup.

This morning, I stupidly got up at 7, thinking I could get some work done, but basically what I got done was sitting in the living room staring at this screen, watching black-and-white film noirs starring the likes of Lex Barker and Aldo Ray, and trying in vain to use coffee as a means of staying awake, which did not work, and so, at last, I returned to bed for about an hour in the early afternoon.

Why I quit golf. (Vince Pawless photo)
Why I quit golf. (Vince Pawless photo)

I got up and the machine was beeping, and I called my mother and continued to impress myself (and, no doubt, her) with my lack of brain power. Then I fixed another mug of coffee and reached the modest level of mental proficiency necessary to write this.

The chief accomplishment of this day has been successfully fixing breakfast. The forecast for tonight is a possible trip over to Clinton High School for a junior varsity football game and watching most of the Clemson-Louisville game on TV. I expect to read part of a book called Freelancer, by Jake Lingwall, while Tigers joust against Cardinals.

I try to write something every day, but on this one, I’ve got nothing on those who post memes and photos of cheeseburgers and spaniels on Facebook all day.

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky.)
(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky.)

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

 

I have good days. Those are the ones I write books like these: http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1

 

What to Do with the Rain

Gotta go...to an indie bookstore!

Clinton, S.C., Sunday, March 16, 2014, 12:36 p.m.

What in the name of Jerry Jeff Walker is it doing raining at Bristol Motor Speedway? Doesn’t Mother Nature know about the Vortex, that great modern example of mythology? God didn’t make the Garden of Eden, and it don’t rain in the Colosseum in the month of March.*

Jeff Gordon and others: hoping ... and praying ... and wishing ... (HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon and others: hoping … and praying … and wishing … (HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevy Racing)

This is for sure, though. Walker, a great American and a personal icon of mine, turns 72 today, meaning not only that there’s hope for me but also that there’s going to be some good today, in Austin, Texas if nowhere else.

Fortunately, I’m not at Bristol. If I were, I might be holed up in the room, determined not to fight traffic before its time, or I might be wandering around in the media center, occasionally peeking outside just so I could say I’d been rained on. Or I might be in the press box, which avails the best view of racing and also raining.

The rain is really clear from the press box. Instead of, “Uh, oh, uh, oh, not gonna work!” it’s “good goddamighty, that rain is forevermore coming down!”

The way Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s been running ... waiting ain't cool, man. (HHP/Harold Hinson photo for Chevy Racing)
The way Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s been running … waiting ain’t cool, man. (HHP/Harold Hinson photo for Chevy Racing)

For most of the time I threw away writing about NASCAR, the rainy-day roles were Larry Woody reading a novel, Jim McLaurin working crossword puzzles, David Poole playing simulated golf and me either listening to music or pretending I was racing at Williams Grove through the miracle of a laptop similar to Poole’s that turned into Pebble Beach. We are all gone now, Poole, sadly, a bit farther. Woodrow is in Nashville, Jimmy Mac outside Columbia, me here in Clinton, and all of us with the ACC basketball pregame show likely on TV. Woodrow could be fishing. I could be playing guitar but am obviously not at the moment.

Rick Minter wouldn’t be at the track yet if he’d found either a yard sale or a flea market nearby.

Those days are over. Now everybody’s just on Twitter.

I’ve done my part to occupy the waterlogged. This is the third blog I’ve written today. (There’s another one, wellpilgrim.wordpress.com.) Now I’m going to play Jerry Jeff Walker songs on my guitar.

Good luck, and may God bless.

*In the original song, written by Bobby Russell, God didn’t make the little green apples, and it don’t rain in Indianapolis in the summertime, and while the absence of rain in Indy is just as specious as the Vortex, God did actually make the Garden of Eden, or so the Bible says.

[cb_profit_poster Storytelling]

Don’t Let the Bad Breaks Get You Down

I've played music at the House of Pizza before, this time with my friend Joe VanHoose (left).
I’ve played music at the House of Pizza before, this time with my friend Joe VanHoose (left).

[cb_profit_poster Guitar1]Clinton, S.C., Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 2:20 p.m.

I’m in a wonderful mood right now, and it’s a little bit surprising.

It’s been a trying week. Late Monday afternoon, a fire at my mother’s house caused quite a bit of damage. It was quickly extinguished, and for that we are thankful for the prompt response of the fire department, but my mother, sister and two nephews are in a motel until power is restored. Most of the damage is in a bathroom and the attic. The fire apparently began with a short in the bathroom fan.

I feel like a tour guide because I’ve been showing off the charred insides of a bathroom to an insurance adjuster and several others needed for the restoration of the residence. Today, since the adjuster was coming during one of those three-hour windows that draw to mind cable guys and washing-machine repairmen, I decided I’d just ride the old John Deere over and cut the grass for the final time this year.

What a glorious day. I love the fall, not just because of the color of the changing leaves but because of the color of everything else. I suppose I can’t prove it, but summer always seems bleached-out and drab. It just seems like the sun casts more color on the land in the fall. It’s not just the leaves turning red, orange, yellow and brown. The grass is greener. The sky is bluer. The air seems clearer.

I started turning laps around the yard. The man in the Allstate SUV showed up. I showed him through the house. He made his estimates while I was cutting grass. I got finished and drove the lawn tractor home. I returned in my truck to find him walking around trying to figure out where I was. He said he’d have to sit in the SUV for another hour or so, putting everything together and making arrangements, so I headed back to the house and cut my yard.

I had music in my ear – the Avett Brothers, Iris DeMent, Todd Snider, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, etc. – and was unashamedly singing along as I zipped around trees, raised the blades to avoid stumps and ducked to avoid branches. Once I get started, I love cutting grass. I’m aware that people nearby can hear me singing at the top of my lungs from time to time, and I just don’t care.

The World Series is starting tonight, so, when I finished cutting my grass, I lowered the blades and etched a gigantic, somewhat-Boston, “B” in my front yard. It was no more stupid than singing along with an iPod at the top of my lungs.

I rejoice in this stupidity. It certainly took my mind off dealing with a family emergency.

IMG_5156
I’m liable to play music just about anywhere.

I figured, correctly, that the insurance adjuster wouldn’t be through, so I thought about taking a book back over there, but that didn’t seem to be particularly cool and nor did it match my mood, so I grabbed a guitar. While the insurance adjuster – a very nice fellow with an apparent tolerance for eccentricity – talked to a contractor and filled out his forms, I sat on the tailgate of my Dakota and played music to my heart’s content.

I mostly played my songs – the new one, “Hell to Pay,” “Find a Balance,” “There You Are,” “Tattooed Gal” and some I’ve damn near forgotten – but also just played whatever popped into my mind. I played songs that required vocal creativity, songs like “Singin’ the Blues,” “Long Gone, Lonesome Blues,” “The Farmer’s Daughter,” “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” “You Win Again,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and God knows how many others (not that God would care).

It’s sort of ironic that so many songs named “blues” make me happy. I reckon I just like to wail “law-uh-awuhwaw-gawuhawuhwoh-now-hee-how-ahmlawuhonesum-bluehoo!”

I hope my mama can get back in her house in a day or two, but meanwhile, thanks to a lawn mower and a guitar, I’m just not going to let it get me down. I’ll sing the blues to keep from getting them.

Next up: the release of my second novel, The Intangibles, at the House of Pizza, 120 Musgrove Street, Clinton, at 4:30 p.m. Friday and 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Since many of you reading this don’t live in this neck of the woods, I would like to humbly point out that advance sale of The Intangibles is currently discounted at amazon.com. A Kindle edition will be available shortly.

[cb_profit_poster Guitar2]

A Song Is Born

I'll get this new song straight once I can play it in front of some folks.
I’ll get this new song straight once I can play it in front of some folks.

[cb_profit_poster Storytelling]Clinton, S.C., Thursday, August 29, 2013, 8:30 a.m.

I mentioned the other day that I hadn’t been writing any songs lately, but … from out of nowhere …

I was in a great mood last night. The Boston Red Sox won their fourth straight game, coming from behind to tame the Baltimore Orioles. The Sox maintained their 2-1/2-game American League East lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. With 28 games remaining in the regular season, the New York Yankees trail Boston by 8-1/2.

Red Sox fans never say never, but things ain’t bad at the moment.

The song isn’t about a character in fiction, but reading a novel prompted the song. I didn’t plan on writing it. I just started playing around with the guitar, trying different chords and fitting in syllables. Duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-DUH-duh, duh-duh-DUH-duh-duh-du-DUH-duh …

Hmm. Sounds pretty good. I’ll work on this more tomorrow. Wonder who’s on with Keith Olbermann? Oh, tennis running long. Oh, well …

I checked the program guide. Anything I wanted to watch was either a half hour away or already half over. I picked up the guitar again and started out by typing a couple lines into my iPhone. I’d been reading about a man whose wife had left him.

Well I told you that I loved you and I’d always be proud of you / And you promised that you’d never go astray / Now my soul is out of action and I can’t find any traction / When you left me, honey, there was hell to pay.

Now I had a title: “Hell to Pay,” so I needed to incorporate it into a chorus:

Hell to pay / Tears to cry / Days and nights to sit and wonder why / Back before we lived together we could bear the stormy weather / Now there’s nothing that remains but hell to pay.

Here's my favorite guitar, shortly after Vince Pawless built it. Do yourself a favor and check out pawless.com.
Here’s my favorite guitar, shortly after Vince Pawless built it. Do yourself a favor and check out pawless.com.

It’s a simple tune. If you play guitar, you might be able to figure it out. It’s just a little three-chord song. Nothing profound. A little clever. Trying to be funny. No heavy lifting. Trying to turn up the humor a tad in verse two.

I’ve spent all my time a-waitin’ hopin you were hesitatin’ / And you’d prob’ly come to miss me after while / But it didn’t cool my rancor when you shacked up with that banker / Paying yours but leaving me with bills to pay.

First verse: Wife left me. Second verse: Tried unsuccessfully to get her back. Third verse: Predictable ruination, but still lighthearted and playful.

Still trying to recover and perhaps to find another / I went back to the same bar where we met / Lost a fistfight to Mike Tyson then they look away my license / Now I wish that all I had was hell to pay.

This morning I emailed the song to myself, fired up the laptop and copied it into a file. Then I played the song over and over, which is the unscientific way I usually learn songs. Somewhere I read that cutting down the lyrics just to the key words speeds the memorization process. I tried it and it seemed to work, so the next stage is going to involve paring the words down to nonsensical key words that theoretically prompt the full lyrics in my mind.

Hell pay / Tears cry / Days nights sit wonder why / Before lived together bear stormy weather / Nothing remains hell pay.

What it won’t involve is writing another song until I’ve got this one good and memorized. Then I’ll probably screw it up the first time I play it in front of an audience because, until I play it successfully on a stage, it’s not really done. As a general rule, it only takes one screw-up – we musicians have this knack for screwing up and, because we don’t act like we screwed up, and lots of people aren’t paying close attention, we get away with it – and then I’m good to go.

It’s why God created open mics.

Buy yourself a guitar. Write a short story. Build models. Find something that’s fun. If you can, try to do it for a living.

[cb_profit_poster Lottery1]

The British Open, the Charlotte Knight and the Young Tom Morris

I'm better with this than I am with a bag of golf clubs. (John Clark photo)
I’m better with this than a bag of golf clubs. (John Clark photo)

Clinton, S.C., Saturday, July 20, 2013, 12:38 p.m.

I really enjoy watching golf’s major championships, and I truly couldn’t care less about any of the other tournaments.

I watch like Angel Cabrera plays.

Perhaps it’s because I don’t play the game anymore, having discarded the clubs in the garage, now heavily coated by dust, shortly after the moment I started getting the hang of the guitar.

I’m nothing special on guitar, but compared to my golf resume, I’m Jimi Chet Paul Willie Vaughan Clapton.

Do players experience these epic collapses in the Lunesta Pure Michigan Classic by Lifebuoy? If so, they seldom weep over it.

What is the net? No, not the Internet. The net effect of the Internet. The net of the Net.

When I sit in front of the TV with my aging iPhone – an iPhone is, of course, ancient at six months – I scroll up and down. I tweet on Twitter and post on Facebook. I google. Occasionally, I lean back and shout “Yahoo!” at the ceiling.

What if I was doing something else? There is a flip side.

I read a lot of worthwhile articles. I don’t have to look for them very hard. I’m often looking up actors – Dana Andrews, for instance, or Victor McLaglen, or Doris Day – while I watch old movies. Watching the British Open, I dialed up Old Tom Morris, Young Tom Morris and One and Only Tom Weiskopf.

Did you know that Young Tom Morris died of a broken heart? After his wife died in childbirth, and the baby, too, Young Tom passed away at age 24 of heart attack. His father – they each won The Open Championship four times – lived to be 86.

Do you care? I didn’t think so. Back before technology deluge, I didn’t, either.

Sometimes blissful ignorance looks pretty good.

I never much cared for the Charlotte Knights’ ballpark, but I got a bit sentimental watching them fall to the Tidewater Tides Friday night. Next year – didn’t it used to be called Knights’ Castle? – the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox will play in uptown Charlotte instead of faraway Fort Mill, S.C.

It’s not that Fort Mill is really so far away from Charlotte. It’s just that city people have so much nearby that they become unaccustomed to leaving the city.

The construction of a downtown ballpark has been wonderful for baseball in Greenville, even though they had to squander a Braves Double-A team to get it. The city squabbled about a new park for years, whereupon the Braves bolted for Mississippi, and having been thus humiliated, the politicians actually got it right. The Class A Drive is great for me – I’m a Red Sox fan – but Greenville gave up the gold mine when they let the old G-Braves escape.

Fluor Field is much better than Municipal Stadium, but the drive from Clinton is quite a bit less convenient. The rising BB&T Ballpark will doubtless be much better than the Knights Stadium, but driving all the way into that city will be really cumbersome for me.

Last night I found myself looking around the park, staring at the light standards, noticing the rust showing through the gray paint of the upper deck, thinking, what in the world is going to become of this place?

Ah. Cato distribution center, perhaps.

Take a parking lot and put up a … distribution center. I guess paradise will be uptown now.

Monday Morning Coming to Mind

I took this photo while driving down the California coast north of San Francisco.
I took this photo while driving down the California coast north of San Francisco.

Clinton, S.C., Monday, May 13, 2013, 8:05 a.m.

I’m so out of touch. Never once have I taken a photograph of myself in the mirror. Nor have I depicted my latest plate of food (though it does remind me that I haven’t had breakfast).

Timeout.

One of my coffee cups has a tiny crack, which in turn is causing a tiny leak. The coffee dries before it runs down the side. It’s a minor problem, easily cured by trashing the cup. Farewell, 2006 Allstate 400. I didn’t have this problem before I started drinking coffee.

I haven’t been paying much attention, but I think Benghazi may have gotten an NBA franchise. The Boston Red Sox have lost eight out of the last 10. Perhaps I should start paying attention to something else.

Am I the only person who thinks Don Imus looks like Andrew Jackson? They’ve never been in the same place, though I guess it’s likely the I-Man has some 20s in his wallet.

I bought some new shoes 10 days ago and they’re still in the trunk of the car. I like them. It’s just the old ones are comfortable. Soon. I promise.

Mac Sledge said, “I don’t trust happiness. I never did. I never will.” I don’t trust weather forecasts.

“Tender Mercies” (film referenced above) is 30 years old. That’s today’s evidence of my personal time warp.

It doesn’t matter who holds power. What Plato said is always true: “The penalty people pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by people worse than themselves.”

Everyone needs a dog or something to fill that role. My dog is a guitar.

Timeout. (Playing guitar.)

Off to Virginia with My Guitar on My Knee

Monte Dutton
Monte Dutton

Yesterday I never blogged. It had been well over a month, dating back to the “launch” of montedutton.com, since I didn’t blog. This isn’t going to be much of one this morning, but I’ll almost surely write something tonight after the book signing in Martinsville, Va., is over.

Why was I so occupied yesterday. Well, I had to get my mother, who was in a serious automobile accident (but wasn’t badly injured), back on the road. We spent much of the morning test driving and much of the afternoon purchasing.

I had the yearly eye exam Wednesday morning. I spent most of the evening getting ready for a trip on which I am about to depart. I’ve got a travel bag and another full of stuff I need for today’s reading/signing/singing at Binding Time Café in Martinsville. I’ll be there from 3 to 5 p.m., and then on Friday I’ll be appearing in a similar event at Barnhill’s in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Then late Friday night – as David Poole used to say, “oh-dark-thirty” – I’ll be back home.

I’ve got boxes of books, a guitar, a box of T-shirts (everyone needs an “I Got Cash Money … and I’m Working Steady” shirt, particularly me), press kits (a result of last night’s printing, collating, hole punching and assembling), business cards, a camera and undoubtedly something else that will shortly occur to me in the shower.

I’m off. Cue “The William Tell Overture.”