I’m running a bit behind, but will play catch up over the next several days. The main reasons for my delay are two that are related in a unique way. This week, I have been in Colorado, spending time with my family for the most part, and the occasional old friend. What better soundtrack to accompany around the roads of Douglas County, Colorado than “Down Every Road 1962-1994” by country legend Merle Haggard. I picked 1969 as a good middle ground for this long collection of songs, and it was also the year he released “Okie from Muskogee”, considered by some an anthem for the anti-antiwar movement, and a parody of it by others. For the most part, it appears that Merle stood by the song and its Americana simplicity. This album lasted almost five hours in total, and is rated as album # 284 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
This was a perfect selection for my time here this week. When in Colorado, I most commonly look back on the first 22 years of my life here, and the wonderful times and amazing connections I have established that last to this day. Aside from the occasional standout tune, most of this album gently blended in, song after song, with the perfect country voice of Merle Haggard taking me back to the days when most of the roads around here we dirt roads, the summers were hot and simple, and we stayed outside from dawn to dusk every single day. I loved my life growing up in the relatively wide-open spaces of 1970s Douglas County, and hidden within the strip malls and suburban sprawl, you can still find country magic at the Stagecoach Saloon, the shady Main Street of Parker, or the never-ending skies of Castlewood Canyon gazing south at Pike’s Peak. Listening to Merle Haggard as I made my way around this week, I didn’t have to think, I didn’t have to concentrate, I just soaked it all in, the acreage of my past and my future, all coming together as one.
As Merle said in “Are The Good Times Really Over”, the signature song for this week…
“Let’s make a Ford and a Chevy, Still last ten years like they should…”
“The best of free life is still yet to come, the good times ain’t over for good.”