Saturday, May 30, 2009

My back is recovering. I think my daily exercises are starting to work. (Thanks for the drugs, Emily--I'll save 'em for an emergency.)

I've been scraping flaky lead paint off my bedroom walls the last two days. Dad helped me texture my bedroom and bathroom ceilings yesterday. Now I'm ready to prime and paint those two rooms.
A white horse and a white pony have recently appeared in the small, tree-filled pasture across from my house. They wind through the branches like phantom pegasuses. They pace through the weeds like bored unicorns.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Well, my love is a flower just beginning to bloom

Like those things from [under my parents' deck] that spring from the gloom. . ."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!!

As of May 23rd--forty years married and going strong.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

News from Sand Land:

I haven't had a trucking run since December.

My new CD, All the Things I Done Wrong, will be pressed by October, granted the grant I applied for gets granted.

Boss Goodall tells me that I might be driving again by midsummer. I can last that long by playing some shows and working for the Dunn County Historical Society.

Banjo picker Billy Faier is still in the neighborhood. He's been staying with my folks. He and I spent Memorial Day weekend performing at the 23rd Annual Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Medora. Billy fired up the audience like no one I've seen and sold twenty CDs in a matter of minutes. He backed me up on two songs, and I backed him up on "The Great Assembly." Now I can say that I've played music and traveled with someone who's played music and traveled with both Guthrie and Van Zandt! Billy quit performing with Townes after only ten shows, because Townes would get drunk and then insist on driving the van after the show.

As for me, I'm bored with being a ragged rambler. I 'm ready for a more balanced life. I want a strong body, a green garden, and a hard-headed woman. My life as a troubadour is not over, but in the future I plan to travel in style like J.D. Salinger or Harry Belafonte or John Lennon.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bought a used lawn mower yesterday for $120.

Runs good.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A friend asked if I look more like my ma or pa.

Survey sez:

Speakin' o' the 'rents, their 40th wedding anniversary is this weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New neighbor.

Roger Hall bought the empty lot north of mine.
Yesterday, he rolled his mobile home into place.
Soon he will add three-car garage.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Legendary banjo player Billy Faier, whom I met in Marathon, TX, in February and visited in Woodstock, NY, a couple weeks ago, coasted into Dunn Center, ND, today.

He's snoring soundly at the moment.

Billy's an extraordinarily talented folk singer. I mentioned in an earlier blog that he and Ramblin' Jack Elliot once traveled and performed with Woody Guthrie from New York to San Francisco. Woody was beginning to struggle with Huntington's disease at the time, but he could still rock a crowd.

Billy has a website where anyone can freely download albums he's cut over the last 52 years.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Today marks the sixth week that I've been relatively out of commission due to a herniated disc in my lower spine. I've tried core synchronism, chiropractors, arnica, ice, yoga stretches, strengthening exercises, Ibuprofen, and Vicodin, but nothing has done the trick. (I searched for an acupuncturist on the West Coast, but struck out).

Time is a great healer, I know, but sometimes time passes too slow.

My neighbor Vivian visited today while I was exercising. She promised to bring my ailment to her prayer circle.

I welcome all prayers, suggestions, and bottles of pills.

Please send to: Chris "Hank Williams" Sand / PO Box 7 / Dunn Center, ND 58626

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bulls are moaning in the pasture adjacent to my shack. I hear them in my bedroom at night.

One of them is named Terrible Master. Another is named Onan Son of Judah. The newest bull is named Humming-Towards-the-Gallows. He has a deformed neck.


Meanwhile the record player spins.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Killdeer Mountain is green, and little yellow flowers are blooming. Found a tick. Discovered a morel mushroom, too--the first I've seen on the Mountain.

Two cormorants flew overhead. I've never seen cormorants up there before.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Odysseus has returned.
"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast,
But I just rocked America, coast to coast."
I blinded the Cyclops, shunned the sirens, and chilled with Achilles in Hades.
"I flew to LA, I flew to New York,
Everybody's sick from eatin' too much pork."
I avoided supping with the Lotus-Eaters. I failed, however, from molesting the cattle of Helios.
"Skiddly bebop a we rock, scooby doo,
Guess what, North Dakota--I love you."
Happy to be home!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To My Mother


I was your rebellious son,
do you remember? Sometimes
I wonder if you do remember,
so complete has your forgiveness been.

So complete has your forgiveness been
I wonder sometimes if it did not
precede my wrong, and I erred,
safe found, within your love,

prepared ahead of me, the way home,
or my bed at night, so that almost
I should forgive you, who perhaps
foresaw the worst that I might do,

and forgave before I could act,
causing me to smile now, looking back,
to see how paltry was my worst,
compared to your forgiveness of it

already given. And this, then,
is the vision of that Heaven of which
we have heard, where those who love
each other have forgiven each other,

where, for that, the leaves are green,
the light a music in the air,
and all is unentangled,
and all is undismayed.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Happy 89th, Farmor! You're lookin' good.

For the next month, you and Gramps will be the same age.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I'm now in L.A., surrounded by wiener dogs and palm trees, working on a movie. It's weird to think that just this morning I was wandering through the dark, wet subways of Brooklyn. 

(Left to right: Warner, McGruder, Kaledo, Jerry, Elizabeth.)

I'm staying with Director Elizabeth and her hubbie, Warner. 

Monday, May 04, 2009

There were a hundred highlights from the Pete Seeger concert last night. One of them was locking eyes ever-so-briefly with Joan Baez after the concert. Listening to her sing "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" was unforgettable, too.

There were so many musical masters on the stage: Springsteen, DiFranco, Cockburn, Havens, Kristofferson, Mellencamp, Paxton, Emmylou, Arlo, Ramblin' Jack, Roger McGuinn, Billy Bragg, Ben Harper, Steve Earle, Taj Mahal, Bela Fleck, Rufus Wainwright, Toshi Reagon, The McGarrigle Sisters. The luminary of luminaries, though, was Pete, who at age 90 seemed youngest and wildest of all. He still crushes it on banjo. Ten years from now I'll be back for his 100th (on stage with him, I hope).

New York gave me the attitude adjustment I needed. I'm glad I went.

Thanks to all of you who let me stay in your flats and eat your cereal: Kirk, Van Song, Nikki, Sally, Chris, Damian, and Ai Le (who, by the way, was due to give birth to her and Damian's first child yesterday). Big thanks, also, to Andy and Alissa Hedges for talking me into flying to New York in the first place. It was awesome hanging out with y'all and driving to Woodstock to visit Billy Faier and Betty Ballantine!!! Thanks, Harreld, for your friendship, and good luck gettin' the girl.

Goodbye, NY. Hello, LA.

Post Script (May 7th): After a thirty-hour labor, Ai Le gave birth to a boy!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Happy 90th Pete!

After a final humbling show last night, New York, as of this morning (even though it's raining buckets), is suddenly looking brighter. Off to Madison Square Gardens for the concert of a lifetime.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Didn't Zimmerman have a line something like, "I'm goin' back to North Dakota, man I do believe I've had enough . . ."

(My gravity has failed and negativity isn't pulling me through.)

Friday, May 01, 2009

May Day! My ship is goin' down . . .

This morning I unstuffed the shirts, shorts, and socks from inside my bloated guitar and moaned the pig-belly blues.

New York can be a meat grinder. I'm glad to be here, but then again I'd be more glad to be somewhere else.