I don’t know what is wrong with me. But I’m a mixture of deep emotional feelings and am touched in some way by many things. I could self-analyze. In fact I have most of my life, but it does no good because I have accepted that is the way I am and it’s too late to change even if I could.

It was a few years ago that a friend blurted out that, “You were always a do-right guy.” And I supposed that fits me, although it took some time to realize what that person was really saying.

So, yes, I’m a Dudley Do Right kind of guy. When I was a young kid that term was a negative. You could blister another person by calling him a Dudley Do Right.

Which reminds me of a story when I was in the sixth grade a classmate who was obviously more mature than I was let it be known that she liked me and would go out on a date if asked.

So I hesitantly agreed. We went to a move and I actually, after a lot of self-doubt, put my arm on the back of her backrest. That was a tremendously brave move on my part, I thought.

No so, apparently.

The next day as I boardedour school bus, the same girl who had passed on the initial information that her friend liked me, met me at the door and rudely told me that her friend was no longer interested.

“I was not fast enough,” were the exact words I heard.

Four years later I was living 3000 miles away and I found myself thinking I wish I could have a mulligan.

The funny post-script to that story is seven years later I was going to college back east and I and a friend were hitchhiking near my old hometown when this car stopped to pick us up.

As we got in the car I realized the girl that went to the movie with me was the driver and her best friend was in the front passenger seat. I had heard “my friend” had gotten married and I sat transfixed in the back seat wondering whether to announce my presence.

Again, I was a Dudley Do Right. I sat in silence as the car motored to our destination. I got out without saying a word. She never said a word. But I’m guessing that she knew that I knew. So we both suffered in silence, and that is the way it should have been.

And I didn’t want a mulligan anymore.

Because I am sensitive to many things that situation has stuck with me all these years. I can’t erase it, nor do I wish too. It is what it is.

I could go on and on with things that connect with me and send me into an emotional spin. One of them is Billie Holiday. As we all know this country has been wracked by racism – white versus black. With the election of Donald Trump, who I consider a white nationalist and a racist, among other terrible things, racism has raised its ugly head into not just our conversation but on the streets of this country, empowered by a president who spews hatred and is a great divider.

So I’m listening to some Billie Holiday right now. There is talk about her life and deep trouble in our world back when she was a wildly popular singer. She had a terrible life by any standards, deep into drugs and alcohol and taken advantage of my men, although she could also engage them in terrible fights.

She and country singer Hank Williams, I feel, are the two singers that sung songs that were filled with emotion and centered on their lives. They talked about their lives in their songs, and most of them are haunting and attack my sensitive nature to its core.

I supposed it depends on what side of the divide in our county you are on whether you have sympathy with Billie. But I believe we are all born good people and we gain our or lose from there. We are products of our environment and gain our prejudices based upon those around us who love us. If you parents are racist, chances are good so are you.

Several years ago I wrote about my grandmother on my father’s side who was a black hater. She blamed everything bad that happened around her (in their late years my grandparents lived on the end of a two-block stretch that was all filled with black families). She repeatedly warned me not to walk down the sidewalk the two blocks and, of course, that was a dare that I was going to do. She said I would get killed if I dared.

So one day I took a deep breath and when she wasn’t looking, I walked down the blocks and came back – alive!!!

Never again would I listen to words she said when she blamed the blacks for something. I’m not blaming my grandmother for her belief. She was a product of that time. But I was not going to be the same product.

And that is why it bothers me whenever I hear Billie sing. She died in 1959 at the age of 44, but her words continue to haunt me. That is especially so when I listen to her sing “Strange Fruit.”

You will immediately get what she is saying when I post the words to the song below. She lived this. And I’m distraught that she had to live through it, as many did, and now it’s back in public again.

So here it is:


Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop


What is happening in our country now is a tragedy. The powers to be in our country are becoming an oligarchy with a strongman at the helm. We have lost, or are losing our humanity. We are being raped by our leaders and it’s so senseless. That goodness we are born with has been lost at the top and greed has replaced love for the community.

More and more as I sit in my loft and write I wonder what is the use, what am I doing? I’m trying to remain a Dudley Do right while the rest of the world seems bent on destruction of values, morality and economy.

Where is God in all of this?

Where was God for Billie?

Where is God for America?

I refuse to shake my faith in our goodness, but it’s hard. I have to work at it to see the good. When our leaders gut the government by not hiring people to fill positions and by slashing funding for oversight on banks and mortgage lenders and education among many other departments I shudder because I can see what is happening and where this is going.

When our leaders deliberately rip up health care so the poor and elderly and millions of others cannot get or afford universal health care, and they smugly stroll before cameras laughing, I turn to God and ask what is going on, where are you in all of this?

The good part for me is that the road of life is coming to a stop sign. There is nothing beyond that sign in this life. Still, I wonder what will happen in the near future to our dear country, to our world, now that darkness is slowly rolling in on the White House.

As Hank Williams said one day as he sat in a taxi with Minnie Pearl writing “I Saw the Light.”  He was in a tearful mood and as he wrote he turned to Minnie said, “That’s the problem Minnie, I can’t see the light.”

Well, the light is out there. I seen it in my spiritual awakening some years ago, but now darkness is setting in on our country and it’s becoming harder to see it. I’ll keep praying, though, and as low as I get sometimes, I will climb back to the mountain and search for the light, for the goodness.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.