Saturday, June 30, 2007

The firecrackers are grating on my nerves today. Time to head out to the country.

Here's another family reunion picture:

Grandpa rode Dude into the campfire circle.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Last weekend my friends Dani & Lacy entered a women's fishing tournament at Lake Sakakawea.

They tied for 1st in the biggest Walleye competition. Their fish was 4.6 lbs.
Oy. Lots of things to report, but the days are too nice and long to spend time at a computer. The family reunion is over. Great times there. Now I'm going swimming with Lindsay at Lake Sakakawea.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I have become another piece of history at Dunn County Historical Museum. My days as Curator are over as of today. I'm mostly happy, but feel a twinge of sadness, too. It was a good job.

In other news, there is a Sand family reunion going on this week on Killdeer Mountain. I'll write more about it later, but for now here's a picture of Hannah Joy getting baptized, earlier today, in the spring.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Today I played a fun outdoor show at the Rhubarb Fest in Washburn, ND. The performance took place at Fort Mandan (the fort that served as the winter headquarters for Lewis & Clark's Corps of Discovery during the winter of 1804-05.) My friend V also performed, interspersing a few of her songs during my set. V is a bona fide cowgirl from Wyoming. She sings some of the most authentic "Western" music I've ever heard.

My pal Alex from Winona, MN, surprised me by showing up towards the end of the show with his Grandma Alma and Aunt Ardie. According to Alex, Alma has been a Sandfan since 1999. It was sweet to finally meet her.

The folks at Fort Mandan are a class act. They fed me lunch, supplied a sound system, paid me well, and rallied a nice crowd. The only negative of the day is that I ate too many rhubarb desserts and acquired a mild stomach ache.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Every day when I walk to work, I see a rabbit and a mourning dove communing amorously beneath a solitary juniper tree. Interspecies love is not uncommon out here. My neighbor had a cow who birthed a clamb (calf-lamb). The neighbor's ram purportedly rammed down the gate and finessed his way into a Hereford heifer's heart.

This same neighbor claims she caught a fish once that was half pike and half catfish.

In the 1940s my grandparents had a female cat that lived in one of their sheds. During a cold spell in December of 1946, a rangy jackrabbit seduced this feline. For an unusual winter, the mammals shared a woodshed and, come spring of '47, an offspring. The grandparents called it a "hop cat."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy summer solstice. The longest day of the year . . .

Bittersweet, indeed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

When I lived in Nashville in the late 90's I had some brushes with country music royalty. At one honky tonk I witnessed Hank Williams III get drunk and rowdy to a packed house. Midway through his set, a middle-aged woman squeezed in next to me. At some point she let me know that the inebriated singer was her son. I asked if she still got along with his dad, Bocephus. She cussed his name and let me know what a skunk he'd been as dad to Hank III.

A nicer Nashville father-son story, though, was when I was dating an Australian singer/songwriter named Sherry Rich. One night, at some downtown bar, we ran into her friend Bobby Bare Jr., son of legendary Bobby Bare. Bare Jr. spoke warmly of his father. Here's an endearing duet they sang in 1973.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Upcoming shows:

June 23 - Washburn, ND @ Rhubarb Festival. 2 p.m. Free.

July 9 - Minot, ND @ 62 Doors Gallery (11B S. Main) w/ Calvin Johnson & Luke Graner. 7 p.m. $3-$5.

July 10 - Bismarck, ND @ Stringbean Coffee House (on Divide & Grandview) w/ Calvin Johnson & Luke Graner. 6 p.m. $3.

July 10 - Somewhere in western North Dakota.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

On this Father's Day evening I had supper with my folks and grandfolks up at the Mountain. I took Dad candy bars and Gramps some raspberries. After supper Grandpa entertained us with harmonica tunes. Grandma told me that she's heard through the relatives that I sometimes perform "dirty" songs. I had a hard time tryin' to explain that one, let me tell ya, but I think she appreciated my explanation.

I'm lovin' these long nights. I hiked to the beaver dams after supper. A white-tail doe snorted fiercely at me. I saw a baby bunny and a beady-eyed beaver, too.

Yesterday morning I swam in Lake Sakakawea with Lindsay. In the afternoon she joined me in Manning for a covered-pit outdoor barbecue feast. I played guitar and sang and got two suppers in trade, plus a succulent hunk of roast wrapped in denim. We had the roast for supper at Grandpa and Grandma's tonight, along with other good things. For dessert Grandma served vanilla ice cream covered in blueberry-rhubarb syrup.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The tidal wave of life has swamped Sand Land, USA. I'm pretty much under water at the moment. I gave my two-week notice of resignation at the Museum. I'm considering driving for Goodall Trucking out of Killdeer. My friendly old license plates "HIY 918" were stolen. I replaced them today with new ones--they assigned me with the unfriendly "HTE 092" (which sounds to me like a Nazi skinhead radio station). The grass outside my house is almost three feet high! My neighbors are disgusted with me. Allergy season has started. My Fantasy Baseball team is slumping. Brother Raymond cussed me out for writing about him in my public journal.

But besides all that, I feel pretty darn good. I've got a date with Lindsay Danger tomorrow evening for one thing. There might be some fishing involved.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Last night I had supper at Lindsay's parents' ranch. They served elk, walleye, and catfish, along with other finger-lickin' fixins and dessert. As I was driving home, Shawn Goodall called to invite me to float with him and a couple others down the Little Missouri River. I met them at 6:00 this morning and we put in at the Long X Bridge north of Grassy Butte. We paddled 52 miles (10 hours) to the Lost Bridge, where we pulled out. Along the way we saw 1 owl, 2 elk, 2 buzzards, 3 deer, 6 beavers, 11 pelicans, and a host of other birds (mergansers, blue heron, Canadian geese, hawks, songbirds). The buttes and badlands were greener than Al Gore. The Little Missouri was muddier than McKinley Morganfield.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

This is my brother Raymond. He became a minister a couple years ago and recently moved to Zimbabwe. In his day he was a rowdy rodeo athlete, but now he lives a quiet life of service and meditation. He's 40 and has never had a girlfriend. Mom thinks he's gay. I asked him about it once, and he said, "I'm only gay below the waist. My torso and head belong to God." Ray has a strange sense of humor.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Grandpa Sand turned 88 today, and Grandma Edna Sand turned 87 last month.

Grandma Viola Herak turned 87 two weeks ago.

Happy birthdays to all three of you!

Monday, June 04, 2007

In the middle of the road of my life
I awoke in a dark wood
Where the true way was wholly lost.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Astronomy 101: Last night's full moon was the second one of the month. This only happens once every 2 1/2 years.