Friday, May 15, 2009

Life Comes Full Circle

Did I ever tell you about the time life came full circle for me in the 70's? I didn't? Well, here we go.

It began, as most things do, in childhood. The prevailing celebrities then were two singing cowboys, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Both had beautiful horses (Champ and Trigger.) For my monopoly money, Trigger was the best one. I mean, what is more wonderful than a shiny palomino with bling?

I loved Trigger so much as a child, that when we were going through Daddy's things a couple of years ago, I saved his handpainted Trigger tie.


Both cowboys were also known to pick up a guitar now and then. Gene was associated with "Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer" and a certain California baseball team. Roy was, well, Roy was Trigger's owner, Dale's husband, and an all around nice guy.

So there you have it, a surefire combination--the old West, music, and a horse. Life just doesn't get much better than that until you are old enough to have grandchildren and watch their delight in singing cowboys! (Hi, Boo! Mommo loves you!)

Here I am with my first guitar and cowboy hat and stylin' in the flannel pjs Mom would lovingly sew for us. This was back in the day, before Waly Mart.

xmas guitar copy

And this is rodeo time, with Roy Rogers. We went all out to get properly gussied up for rodeo. Notice my younger sister iPodite with her nonchalant "I'm here, world, deal with me" look. iPodite has always known her power! I, on the other hand, had snapped to my left, scanning for the appearance of my idol. (nice fringe jacket, huh?)

rodeo girls copy

On my sixteenth birthday I received my second best gift ever (I'll tell you about the first some other time), a brand new $30 guitar, which I promptly named Christina (after the heroine of some foolish romantic novel I had read. Sixteen seems to be the year of foolish romantic novel reading. I put back most of Betty Cavanna's books in one summer. Anyone remember Betty Cavanna? Anyone?)

My repertoire consisted mostly of folk music, which was the happening music of the 60s. The tunes of Peter, Paul and Mary, the Kingston Trio, and later Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins all suffered under my picking and grinning. But I persevered, teaching myself chords in the dark of night.

In the 70s it all came together and I fell into a Christian singing group. It was the birth of what we know now as contemporary Christian music. Our group had some minor success singing for youth groups and at Christian coffeehouses, and were invited to tour full time with a young evangelist. We saw a lot of the US in our travels, and made two vanity albums of our own songs.

Then we hit the "big time". I sold one song to Zondervan publishers and Wanda Jackson (a country western singer who once dated, would you believe, Elvis) used one of my songs as the title for one of her albums.

That's when I knew I had come full circle. From singing cowgirl to a singing cowgirl singing one of my songs.

Wanna know the kicker?


The title of the song was "Make Me Like a Child Again"!