By Sturgeone, a Trail Mix Contributor

My friend Don, from Rapid City, liked to draw.   He would doodle cartoons all the time when I met him in 70 when he joined our acid-rock band, and did for many years after in many different bands all over the country.  During one of his goings-to-ground in Winston-Salem, he actually got to go to the local community college there and take some art courses, and began painting pictures.  After our last hoo-rah, the tour up into Canada in 82, he went back home to Rapid and opened an illustration  business.  We stayed in touch and after the Internet came he began to send me some pics of some of his paintings over the years.  I got this pic around 2010—a self-portrait titled “Bring it On”.  He never mentioned anything overtly but shortly after, I got word he’d died.

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96 thoughts on “PICTURE THIS”

  1. That is a powerful pic.   There’s a lot going on.   Such a talent.  Such a loss.

  2. sturge, your friend don was quite an artist.  very expressive portrait.

    at first glance, I thought you had posted a thread about john Bolton…. the clown nose must have made me think that.

  3. Miami herald:
    Staring down the prospect of a public relations crisis — boycott threats and “die-in” protests included — over its donations to Republican gubernatorial hopeful Adam Putnam, Publix said Friday it has halted all corporate political contributions.
    The supermarket giant made the announcement moments before a “die-in” protest planned by David Hogg, a vocal Parkland school shooting survivor and gun control activist. Despite the news, Hogg and dozens of protesters sprawled on the floor of a Coral Springs Publix for 12 minutes clutching sunflowers and signs that read “No NRA Money.”
    Hogg and other students began their influential movement for gun control in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 dead and 17 wounded. They’ve taken aim particularly at the National Rifle Association, and were angered at the news of the grocer’s unprecedented support for Putnam, who once boasted he was a “proud NRA sellout.”
    At $670,000 over the last three years, it’s the largest contribution the company has made in more than two decades and possibly the biggest in company history.
    Publix, Florida’s largest private employer, is also one of the state’s biggest political donors.

  4. if interested read more from the Miami herald and carl Hiaasen about that grocery chain and “Adam Putnam, the Publix candidate for Florida governor”

    stuff like:
    As agriculture commissioner, Putnam’s office is in charge of regulating grocery outlets, and you probably won’t be stunned to learn of his big-hearted leniency toward Publix.

    and like:
    No candidate in Florida has ever received such a gusher of funds from the ubiquitous supermarket chain. Friday, in the face of a growing boycott threat because of Putnam’s full-throated support of the NRA and his Trump-ish immigration philosophy, Publix announced that it has ended all corporate political contributions.

  5. BTW,  I loved shopping at publix stores and miss them terribly.  Kroger here in ky isn’t so bad, but they just can’t make a decent cheesecake topped with cherries and whipped crème like their colleague from the nether regions.

  6. Never been to a Publix…..there’s not one close.Pretty dumb for a company to risk losing even one customer, much less half, either way they go……

  7. NBCnewyork:
    Trump Administration Has Cut Deal With China’s ZTE: Source
    “If the administration goes through with this reported deal, President Trump would be helping make China great again,” said Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer

  8. ever notice that hat is red?

    some kind of subliminal message there?

    anyone remember when “In the west, the term “Red” and “Red scare” were synonymous with the fear of Communism”?   

    here’s an old 2011 article from IBTtimes discussing Why Is The Color Red Associated With Communism?

  9. Sturg,
    Your friend Don was a marvelous artist. I see one of the key features of his last portrait being the halo. To me it signifies a life of fulfillment; thanks for sharing

  10. Welcome back, Jamie…some vacation.   All the drugs humans take end-up in the puget sound!
    Back in Feb., it was the salmon.
    (SJ. the blues are waxy, moist spuds…about a month ago, we harvested the new potatoes (both red and blue) and oven baked them after marinating in organic olive oil.  Hubby and I have quit potato chips, but still love our spuds and grease.)

  11. Border Patrol union chief…troops on the border a colossal waste of resources! 

    For those of us who live here?   Tired of trump’s trashing the border as he loots the US of AA.   How much is this pretend potus costing us?  I have tried to find a group or online resource of how we are to keep a running total on this guy.  All the unclean and corrupt staff fired or removed from the WH are working for the rnc or trump 2020 campaign.  The entire presidency is a sacking of our resources to please and reward trump and his cronies.  Theft in pure sight, yet no one is tracking.    The border is a campaign rallying cry, but for the real world? Humans live and work here and actually enjoy the area without fear.  It is one of the safest areas of the US of AA that I have lived-in in my entire life.

  12. I corrected it, sturge and when you use the edit function, the photo disappears.  I have reloaded the photo with corrections…twice.  I may have to do a third time.

  13. Watercolor & ink from my late BIL.   I call this one ‘American Pickers’ as it reminds me of the show on the history channel which is also found on the free Spanish station.  In espanol, of course.   Watching Mike pick while the voice over speaks in Spanish.   Fun to watch.

    (third attempt)

  14. I’ve found disappearing photos and videos after I edit but then when I refresh, the photo or vid comes back…..

  15. Art imitates nature…a ‘drawing’ from Mother Nature’s art book…a fossil in the rock wall…sort of looks like a seed or fig-like fruit found in rock that predated the ‘big die-off’ of life on the planet.

  16. I love it when you refresh, Sturge, however, it is easier for me to start over.

  17. Jamie…   so relieved to see you back here!  When Lisa said something about coagulating blood, I thought it might be your heart.  Not that sciatica is anything to sneeze at.

    Love the charcoal prints!

  18. Damn…..was mistaken entirely about our last hoo-rah…..we both lived in Denver after the Canada trip and played all over in Denver and the ski resorts, from 83 to 87……so I guess the last time I saw him was 87 and that’s when he went back home to Rapid……

    time tricks

  19. From 2016, tea party now controls the drones.

    pompeo and his nuclear drive.   Giving prosperity to n.korea while dumping the iran deal which gave the iranians their money back..pompeo gifts kim an enticement of prosperity, a working electrical grid, a trump hotel —  a full deck of trumpian infrastructure paid for by US taxpayers.  I paid nothing for the iran deal as we should have made some money from the interest of their ‘frozen assets’ we held since last century.

  20. Sturge…time travel is a bit tricky as we age.  Some seniors have a hard time remembering what day of the week it is!

  21. Sturge, I spent a lot of vacation time in the Black Hills of S. Dakota.   I have to resurrect some old photos of Wounded Knee, Strawberry Hill, buffalo herds, Mt. Rushmore, Deadwood, Boot Hill cemetery…

  22. Pay to play timeline of the deputy finance chairs of the rnc.

    Crooks R’US
    After Trump won the election, both men were named deputy finance chairmen of the Republican National Committee, and quietly began making deals. Cohen signed up corporations including Novartis and AT&T, plus the government of Ukraine and an investment fund linked to a sanctioned Russian billionaire, to provide access and “insight” about the Trump administration. Meanwhile, Broidy won huge deals for his security firm Circinus, largely by working with Lebanese-American businessman and convicted pedophile George Nader to advance the interests of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates in Washington.
    Cohen and Broidy didn’t begin with much in common. Cohen was a graduate of an unheralded law school, personal injury attorney, and investor in New York City taxi medallions who made himself essential to the Trump business empire as a fixer. Broidy was a polished money manager used to wielding political connections, and not always legally: He was convicted on a felony bribery charge in 2009 that was later downgraded to a misdemeanor.

  23. Don used to tell this story about he and his friend, David Little White Man…..David’s dad took the Chevrolet up into the hills where he ran a hose from the exhaust into the window and chugged on a half gallon of Jack until he died. It was quite a while before anyone found him and suddenly after his dad was found David found himself in possession of an admittedly very funky Chevrolet……it was late summer into autumn when, after they had scrubbed and cleaned and disinfected and sprayed and swept, they gave her a whirl……they invited two girls on a double date and went to the drive-in and then decided to go to the curb service hamburger joint….on the way, one of the girls says, “I’m cold” and David reaches over and turns on the heater which immediately began to spew forth thousands of dead flies from the heater system, which, it being summer they’d never tried out. He said they all screamed, all four of them.

  24. Some were just weird but may have had something to do with a customer or whatnot…..

  25. My experience in Rapid was that it was a sore little town…..a good place for contemplating suicide or drinking yourself to death.

  26. I can’t get it copy, but #CarryTheLoad to share your story of fallen heroes or check out the Carry The Load site.

  27. Sturg

    What a wonderful life you have – so many talented friends and amazing experiences thanks for sharing a bit of it.

    I posted a picture of Fin admiring himself while staying at friends during a flood evacuation

  28. I was still out of Nashville for the Grand Canadian tour……these wanna-be Elvises would come to Nashville and pay hard money to make a 45 rpm or two…..and then the record people would get them a few gigs in the far-flung territories to see if they could hang. (Or to just get rid of them after the money dwindled)   I had a gig putting bands together to back these guys on their grand experiments……This one was a guy from Muncie who was just able to keep being booked for a bit…..winter of 81-82…..when we got to Fargo, my bass player met a girl there and decided to stay……conundrum, so I called Don in Rapid and he flew to Fargo to join the fracas…..went up into Moose Jaw, up 300 miles to Melfort,  then Medicine Hat, back to another Moose Jaw and came back in to Minot and Mandan where the Nashville Recording Artist became unwound and ran out of money. “On the way” back to Nashville we dropped Don off in Rapid where his mother had killed the fatted calf with a pot roast, mashed potatoes, vegetables, scratch biscuits, etc which was a stupendous change from the motel and diner food we’d made do with for the last couple months…..She had an old upright grand in the living room and we played and sang all the old gospel songs for her, Earl autygraphed a couple of his hard-won Nashville Records which she promptly nailed to the wall, and next day the rest of us and the star got back in the van and made our way back to Nashville thru one of the most howling blizzards of all time (ALL time….). Feb 82.

    That was the next to last gig of that sort in Nashville…..did one more with one Carol Roman.     That was a story worth telling, by golly. A tale of musical heartbreak and American Woe.

    That was the one which caused me to put Nashville in the rear-view and Don and I both wound up in Denver about the same time.

  29. KGC……alas…..all the friends are dying off or stroking out…..

    bummer, but whaddya gonna do, eh?

  30. Sturg

    A friend of grade school recently friended me on Facebook and it meant interacting with a bunch of other people from grade school and hs.    I was shocked when they all turned out to be 72…and I thought wow we are old.   A lot of people from our hs class are dead

  31. Yeah, I see the people from school on the FB and I think, wow, those people are OLD…….how’d they do dat?

    Myself, I just consider a mirror to be Fake News!

  32. A post card of Carol…….she bought a great number of them, part of her promo package, along with her Album, recorded in Nashville with genuwine Nashville Cats…..high dollar cats, I didn’t get in on the recording end……pamphlets, brochures, cassette tapes, the whole works. Many boxes.

    She was from Denver, which I hadn’t been to yet.

  33.     Yeah, Carol was from Denver.  Her husband ran large earth moving machines up in the mountains and did pretty well at it.  In Denver they had these places called The TrailDust Steak House….several stores around Denver…. Well, they hired bands and it was a good gig to have……7 to midnight, eat, and constant crowd turnover….but mostly—very seldom could you find a witness that you’d been there cause management would have the band turned down until it sounded like a transistor radio. A breeze.

    So, Carol got a band and landed one of the Steakhouse gigs, and played it a couple of years and got to thinking she might turn that success into Going to Nashville, like so many Denver Cats did.

  34. She sent out feelers to this huge artist management company, owned by a guy who had a daughter who was riding high in the charts and on television at the time.  They promptly signed Carol to a $1500 a month management contract, based on a few club cassettes I imagine, and they began to encourage her to come on to Nashville, let’s make the Album, and get this wheel a’rolling. Like they were talking to the next Dolly Parton.   So she and her husband planned it all out.  They leased their home in the mountains for a year, and bought ’em an Executive Motor Home to travel in and finally hit the road to Nashville, bound for glory and the Album.  And promo package.

  35. Carol’s husband was a taciturn, no-nonsense kind of guy but all this music business was over his head a bit, and Baby wanted her shot at the Brass Ring of stardom and he was by god going to see she got it. He had an old van he towed behind the motor home which he worked on during all the music, Album, and promo hoo-doo, only taking time out to sign a check here and there.  The drummer had come from Denver with them and they were putting him up in a motel during all this.  They finally got the album and all the promo done, and Carol’s husband began agitating that he thought it was high time they hit the road and began to MAKE some money instead of spending it, so it finally came time for the tour.

    Which is where I came in.

  36. Their drummer came with them and somehow they’d taken a liking to this guitar player in town, a real clown, but he had plenty of flash and talked a good game so there it was and I threw in with a piano and called in my friend Ruester on bass.

    Ruester had been touring with Townes until somehow Jimmy Sam beat him out of the job, so he was sitting around doing nothing and was glad for the diversion.  That’s Jimmy Sam and Townes singing “Send Me Dead Flowers” at the end of “Big Lebowski”  which we recorded one night at Springwater’s next to the Parthenon.

    The record people say ok, we gotta rehearse for at least a month, maybe two before we send you out. (Paid rehearsal for us, and another $1500 for them.)  and finally the show is ready to hit the damn road.

    Two weeks at “The Wagon Wheel” in Laurel, Nebraska, to be followed by two weeks somewhere else.


  37. Sturgeone

    For all those traveling music makers out there:   All The Road Running


  38. RR

    The heart was what they couldn’t mess with.  Mine is “structurally sound” (how’s that for a description?) but it is lazy and plays in ragtime so I take Warfarin.   They couldn’t get my INR down low enough to do the spinal injection (can’t be done when you are on a blood thinner), so they were juggling between pain and process to get me on my feet and back to my regular MDs.  All is organized now.  Never really in danger just took up screaming as a part time activity which other than walking from point A to point B now stays at intermittent swearing.


  39. alas…..all the friends are dying off or stroking out…..
    bummer, but whaddya gonna do, eh?
    sturge, for starters you could cram all these pictures and great stories you tell us into a book.   too bad imus isn’t still available to make it a best seller on amazon, but I bet the trail here would buy a few even if we have heard them before.


  40. bw,  you noted the twit has promised north Koreans “a working electrical grid” courtesy of us taxpayers–

    think he might give our fellow American taxpayers in Puerto Rico one too while he’s at it?

  41. in today’s courier journal, a letter to editor by one very clever Rev. Isaac McDaniel titled “The firearm’s prayer”


    Our Firearm,

    which art a weapon,

    hollow be thy blame.

    Thy carnage come.

    Thy harm be done

    on Earth in the name of Heaven.

    Give us this day our daily dead,

    and forgive us our doubts

    as we ignore those who shout against you.

    And lead us not into compassion,

    but deliver us to anger.

    For Thine is the chaos

    and the bloodshed

    and the gun smoke

    forever and ever.



  42. craig & tony & purple, listen up. this from click Orlando:
    How Subtropical Storm Alberto could affect Central Florida, by county
    A county-by-county breakdown of how the storm could affect you

  43. Oh, but the ride out was merry……me and Ruester in back of the motor home playing cards, drummer and guitar guy in their own vehicles and all in touch by CB radio……Carol would key the mic every now and then and in happy sing song would say, ” You got the Roman Empire, out of Nash-ville Tennessee and Nebraska bound…..what’s the weather up ahead,” or some such…..and the miles ticked by as a couple of rough beasts in the back of a motor home towing an old Econoline were also slouching towards Nebraska.

    The Wagon Wheel was country swank……giant Steakhouse where scads of people would come from miles around.  Caddilacs, Continentals, and Pick-ups. The stage curtains would go up at 8 pm and after the band did a dance set we’d play Carol onstage and it was On with the Show.

    Carol wore a kind of red flounced square-dance skirt, white cowboy boots, a sequined bright white vest, and a nice white Stetson and her  main forte was a kind of Roy Rogers-like yodel thing.   A little went a long way, actually, but most of the rest was ok, she’d tell a few jokes , and we were fairly well received overall and made our way thru the first week and were well into the second when we received word that the second two weeks had fallen thru somehow…..everything was all a-flutter and we all went into the room as Carol calls the big agent…….she’s talking to him and he’s mealy mouthing about the second week falling thru, and these things happen,  and they think the show ought to come on back to Nashville and re-group and maybe a little more rehearsal……Carol’s husband takes the phone and tells the agent that he’s spent too much money already and “you need to please book us another gig somewhere, anywhere”.   We couldn’t hear what the agent said, but we could hear the “click”, as Carol’s husband stares at the phone and places it back in the cradle…….”What’d he say?” Says Carol.  Her husband says, ” He says if you don’t like the way you’re being handled you need to find another agent and he hung up on me. “.  He calls back a few times to no answer, and it dawns on me and Rues that we might have to find a way home as Carol is now very close to Denver.   The promo package and many boxes saved us from that, as Carol and her husband had to go back to Nashville to pick up all their boxes and the husband had a few words he wanted to personally deliver to the management team……We rode in the back of the motor home to Kansas City,  where we parked that and Ruester and I piled all our stuff and us into the back of the heaterless Econoline and we cold-trekked the rest of the way in……Carol’s husband never said a word the whole way.   She cried the whole way.  The whole way.  Of course when we got to the management office there were none of them anywhere to be found, just secretaries and such, who showed them where all the boxes were, stacked in a back hallway.  He didnt have to, but he gave me and Rues a ride all the way to my house and let us out.   He didnt blame US, it seems, which was good.

  44. Thanks for the storm link PatD. Luckily Southern Command is on high ground (for Florida), we’ve not flooded in all 50 years living here. looks like now is a good time to lay down some lawn fertilizer.

  45. It was a funny world……back then, before the baby was  born, we were just Gypsies……after we got back from Moose Jaw the wife had gone to panhandle Florida above Ft Walton to visit her mother while I did the Carol Roman thing.   When Carol’s dreams began to crumble I got on the horn and started calling round.  I finally tracked down Nyman Furr, the Tennessee Fiddler, at his summer hangout in Ft. Walton……Monday morning I was standing in the snow in Yankton SD and about the same time I arrived in Nashville Mary pulled in, having driven the 8 hours or so from Florida…..I threw all my stuff into the car and we headed back south to Ft Walton……Tuesday night I walked onto the stage at Marina Bay Resort in Ft Walton Beach around 11 o’clock and began to play the piano, i was only an hour late and we had a nice summer at the beach.

  46. I tried to find Carol when I got to Denver but any who knew her would say that she and her husband had moved way up in the mountains somewhere, maybe Fairplay, or Kremmling……

    Never did find her.

    If you got a bucket list handy, be sure to put Fairplay, Colorado on it Nothing to see there, particularly, but you gotta see it……it’s on the way to Breckenridge, Frisco, and Silverthorne if yer coming up from Puebler…..

  47. Mr Sturgeone,

    I want a happy ending.  Y’know, like Carol wanted to have a kid so badly that she was fit to be tied down, and then suddenly, as if by miracle she was pregnant. That there was only enough gas to go a couple miles, but the vehicle kept cruising (admittedly with a stiff tailwind) for sixty miles, until you were safely out of the desert. That the dirty drizzle finally stopped and the biggest and most brilliant rainbow since Noah’s day stretched from horizon to horizon. That there, at the rainbows end, Carol picked a lottery ticket off of the pavement outside the pink-fronted ice cream parlor. And on Tuesday that ticket turned out to be the big jackpot winner. That sort o’thing, y’know ?

  48. Well…………I WOULD have liked those second two weeks I was promised.

  49. My friend Buck could write it that way…….but I’m more Joe Friday, it seems……

  50. But now…..Me and Solar gonna have a Bud……..

    ha……..I got a Boston butt for 99 cents a pound, bone-in……it’s so big I gotta buy a bigger crock pot……..it’s always something, y’know?

  51. But if ya think about it…….going off and disappearing into the Rocky Mountains to live happily ever after might be a pretty happy ending. And she had that Album she made in Nashville with genuwine pickers…….ain’t just everybody that’s got one of those.

  52. Tried out a new local barbecue place today. Brisket, ribs, pulled pork and chicken. Mrs P & I had the brisket and LP had a brisket and pulled pork sandwich. Sides were potato salad, cole slaw and smoked baked beans. Hope it survives. It was delicious. In the immortal words of Ahhhhnold, I’ll be back.

  53. pogo, tomato based bbq sauce or Carolina style vinegar?  and how was the slaw?  I always judge bbq places by their slaw.

    a lot of the better bbqs (the down home ones that is, not the franchises) here have mutton in addition to beef brisket and pork. plenty more sheep and goats nowadays.

  54. ping pong & mr doodlesdog, you guys too beware the coming storm.  awful early this year.  bodes bad.

  55. Those Nashville slicks had the Romans wrapped up for months…..at 1500 per…..plus god knows how much for the Album, (a whole Album, not a 45)  cassettes, and promo…..and they’d have these real estate buddies “dropping by”  on the recording sessions and whatnot trying to show them properties they might be interested in, cause of course they’d have to move to Nashville once the record hit….the breakfasts at the famous breakfast joint where stars were known to hang out, who would of course stop by the table and say hi to the famous record guys and their new clients……….those guys were like horseflies……they stretched ’em out, found out how much they were good for and gobbled up every dime hanging loose…..hmm…..any chance you guys have a dollar or two squirreled away somewhere that we could get a shot at?

  56. Sturg – very good post and comments!

    Traildust Steak House – used to buy cheap ties to get a drink.  Had to take visitors to those, same as making sure flatlanders experienced The Fort and Casa Bonita.  We handed them ties too.  Loved to do down the slide.  The last in Denver closed in 2009.

    BW = Senioritis. Lost my keys, before I locked myself out of the house this morning.  Three hours later I get a locksmith who was not going to charge two hundred or more to pick the lock and spend another thirty minutes searching for the keys.  I had dropped them in a place I rarely ever go. I invited my neighbor over to watch how little time it takes to get in a house.  This locksmith used air bags and a plastic shiv, it took him about ninety seconds.  Others who pick the lock are in within thirty seconds.  I was not able to pick the lock using a bent hairpin and bent ring cotter pin. The last pin would not go up, something about security feature.



  57. Right….the TrailDust shtick was that you wore a tie in and they would make a big to-do over cutting it off with scissors and pinning it to the wall……haha it was great……

  58. Patd, the meat was smoked with a spicy-sweet sauce (tomato based)- they had 5 sauces for serving.  I had the spicy bourbon on mine. Mrs P had the Carolina spicy sauce. Both were very good. LP went for the spicy-sweet. All were delicious. The slaw was good – leaning more toward vinegar and less toward mayo (I’m a mayo guy). And the corn muffins were very good.

  59. Any more, the only time I eat Barbecue is in NY when the kids take us somewhere they like……it’s usually pretty damned good……

  60. Next weekend is National Gun Violence Awareness (how could anyone not be aware?)


  61. Me and Patsi used to have a real hoot talking about folks we both knew in Denver and Nashville…..I miss her, sometimes large sizes.

  62. Sturgeone

    We all miss Patsi large sizes.  She was the trail’s mom and our constant moral and music source.

  63. It was abrupt when she left, as often seems to be the case with certain people who just like to keep that crap to themselves……so there were no long good-byes, just Adios Muchachos, I’m outa da room…..and you start trying to stack up the memories so you can count them and make them available for future perusal……

  64. Willie’s day job was writing songs like this for other folks to sing

    bare-bones Opry cline crazy

  65.  33m33 minutes ago

    Over 8 months later and there are still American citizens in Puerto Rico without power with Hurricane season beginning in just 6 days. US Virgin Islands are still in crisis. Flint still doesn’t have clean water. 1,475 migrant children are missing. But a wall, a parade and golf.

  66. Many of the songwriters would huddle in these old big houses in the West End where they could each have a room or a couch and the rent was cheap so they could sit around all day and try to write songs…….their economy was measured in six-packs and single cigarettes and if somebody sold a song there would be beer and cigarettes all around and if some working musician were to come by with a twelve-pack of Old Milwaukee and a pack or two of Mulberrys he would be made most welcome

    There was this time way back when resident Don Schlitz made a deal with Kenny Rogers for his song “The Gambler”…….he showed up in the hood in a limo with a trunk full of beer and led them all to the Parthenon where took place a legendary party. Old Don Schlitz done hit the mother lode…….the jackpot…….of course no one realized at the time it was going to be such a gold mine…it was just another sappy country song, like you picked a fine time to leave me Lucille…..it was just a sold song and mucho beer

  67. Don’t mind me, I’m just a duck billed platter-pus…..

    take care now, y’heah?

  68. Thanks for all the stories and music, Mr Sturgeone. You’re better than any “reality tv” show.

    Btw, what brand of beer did Kenny Rogers get for Mr Schlitz ?


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