She Is...

When I visited Sigmund, Carl and Alfred this evening, I was delighted to find that the author had written something called, “SC&A Author Has 50 Things to Say.” What a wonderful idea! I decided to follow suit and write my own 50 Things about my wife, Lynette:
  1. She is extremely talented.
  2. She has class, style and elegance. Rare qualities these days.
  3. She has a musical laugh.
  4. She is compassionate.
  5. She always sides with the underdog.
  6. She has a sexy mouth.
  7. She can be blunt.
  8. She is very intelligent.
  9. She has great tenacity.
  10. She makes me laugh.
  11. She understands me, and that’s not always easy.
  12. She loves me anyway.
  13. She has a singing voice like chocolate velvet.
  14. She claps her hands when she laughs.
  15. She gets more beautiful with age.
  16. She is a natural blond.
  17. She is strong.
  18. She is vulnerable and can be naïve.
  19. She has charisma.
  20. She looks like a child when she sleeps.
  21. She is a hard worker.
  22. She detests any kind of bigotry.
  23. She is pure sunshine when she’s happy.
  24. She is a deep, dark river when she’s not.
  25. She is a fabulous actor.
  26. She is an amazing opera singer.
  27. She is a ham.
  28. She is shy.
  29. She is a pirate.
  30. She is determined.
  31. Her presence in my life makes me a better person.
  32. She saved me from certain madness.
  33. She is nurturing.
  34. She is generous.
  35. She looks striking in black.
  36. She is sexy.
  37. Seen at certain angles, she looks like Marilyn Monroe.
  38. She is kind to me.
  39. She is deeply spiritual.
  40. She is an avid historian.
  41. She always wanted to be a blues mama.
  42. She doesn’t have the hard edge that takes.
  43. She is a wonderful mother.
  44. She is a terrific friend.
  45. She likes to talk about herself.
  46. She likes to listen to others talk about themselves.
  47. She is the walking embodiment of my perfect mate.
  48. She believes we have spent many lives together.
  49. She wants to spend all the rest with me as well.
  50. She will.


JP Deni

Being friends with someone for 37 years must count as some kind of marriage, shouldn’t it? Back in the summer of 1968 I met Deni when she and her mom came into the music store in Camarillo, California where I worked. Deni had a little acoustic guitar that needed new strings I think, or maybe she just needed it tuned, I don’t remember. Whatever it needed, I did it and when her mom paid me she taught me how to count back change. I was 16 and it was my first job.

A few weeks later, on the first day of school as I stood outside Russian class waiting for the teacher to open the door, Deni rushed up to me, all smiles and exuberance, asking if I remembered her. I did, and as we talked we discovered we’d both signed up to study Russian. What are the chances? But more similarities would reveal themselves. We were both newly transplanted from smaller towns in California, and we knew no one. Our family background was similar and the houses we lived in were the same floor plan. In fact, we lived in the same neighborhood, only a block away from each other. We are both Libras, I a September Libra and she an October Libra. She had the Lennon edge I wanted, and I had the Donovan gentleness. We were inseparable. As a believer in reincarnation, it’s easy for me to see that we’d somewhere planned to meet in this fashion. As far as I’m concerned it was meant to be. End of story.

To tell the truth, I didn’t really want to make friends with anyone. I was very happy to be out of the Santa Ynez Valley (yeah, I grew up where Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch is now located), even if it meant I was alone in a high school that was literally ten times larger than the one I was used to. I was ready to enjoy my senior year as a solitary, mysterious folksinger/songwriter, free of the the complications of friendship, so when this tall, lanky, charismatic, intensely brilliant blond “accosted” me outside of Russian class, talking my ear off, I wasn’t sure I wanted to pursue any kind of relationship with her. The next thing I knew, Deni was coming to my door in bell bottom dungarees and poncho and beads, guitar in hand. It didn’t take her long to win me over. She knew songs by Peter, Paul & Mary, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and better, she compared my personality to Arlo Guthrie’s. Flattery will get you everywhere.

How many evenings did we sit in our bedrooms together, posters on the walls, incense burning, sipping Constant Comment tea and playing songs both together and for each other. I was writing a lot of songs at that time and Deni believed in me. She was even with me when I bought my first 12-string guitar.

When she went to Moorpark College after graduation I tagged along in my suede fringe and paisley and we marched in the national Vietnam Moratorium together. I brought my guitar and we sang many choruses of “I Shall Be Released” and “Come Together". Not long after that I hitch-hiked to Haight-Ashbury, and it was Deni who dropped me off at the 101 freeway entrance. As I got out of her navy blue VW bug she asked me, “Are you sure you want to do this?” God! How many times have I wondered how my life would have turned out had I said, “No, let’s go back to your house for a cuppa.” That was a major turning point in my young life and I can’t say I made the correct decision, but what the hell? What’s done is done.

Since then we have been through a whole lot of life both as friends and individuals, and we each have surmounted some of life’s cruelest attacks, but man, we’re still here! Ours is one of those friendships that no matter how many years there are between our visits, we always pick up right where we left off. On Monday she called me and we were on the phone for over three hours — no mean feat considering my intense loathing for the telephone. Hopefully, we’ll be getting together soon. I hope we’ll each have our guitars. I want to jam!


Discovering An Old Favorite Love

I completely forgot how much I love net radio Live365. While reading my favorite blogs a few minutes ago, it occurred to me that it has been ages since I listened to some net radio. I went to the Live365 site, signed in, and I’m now listening to Bob Dylan in a live performance of “Friend Of The Devil,” a song my band and I used to play back in the early 80’s (my lead guitarist was a big Dead fan). Wow! This could keep me up all night! Someday I really need to become a premium member...


Spring is Really Here

I awoke to birds singing, the sun beaming and a clear, blue sky dotted with puffy white clouds. Looking outside, it seems that overnight the trees have leafed out and the grass has turned green. All of my bulbs are blooming and the meadow across the road is looking more like England every day. We had a helluva storm last night, which resulted in two or three tornadoes southeast of Oklahoma City. We were in a tornado watch, but Stillwater goes into tornado warning status next to never. In the five years I’ve lived here I’ve heard the sirens go off in an actual alert only once. I feel pretty safe here—until high winds like we had last night begin. When I feel that scared I retreat into myself and wonder what the hell I’m doing here. I, a native Californian...


My Dead Celebrity Soulmate

According to it, my Dead Celebrity Soulmate came down to three ladies: Frida Kahlo, Mata Hari, and Lucretia Borgia. If I opted for Ms. Kahlo they tell me that I could expect this:

“Expect lots of drinking, smoking, and arguing. You’ll enjoy yourself more if you can hold your liquor and hold forth with strong opinions about art. There are some areas that interest Ms. Kahlo more than others, so you might want to brush up on your knowledge of socialism, indigenous Mexican cultures, and the various schools of 20th century painting before meeting up with her.”
The only problem between us might be the arguing, as well as that unibrow of hers. I’d have to get her really drunk, then shave it after she was good and passed out. Something tells me she’d be throwing pottery at me in the morning. As far as the other two ladies are concerned, Ms. Borgia sounded way too dangerous and Mata Hari turned me down flat. I guess the unibrow wins.