Songs from Our Youth

A letter sent to my dearest Friend, for a little chuckle on Wednesday before Friday’s metaphoric celebration of the birth of Christ consciousness—not the contrived date of the birth of Jesus, the man.


Uncharacteristically feeling the ‘spirit of Christmas’ this morning, I thought I’d share what transpired over breakfast.

We had a deep winter version of Breakfast Like an Emperor:  steamed, finely shredded purple cabbage, garlic, fresh ginger, carrots, purple potatoes in ghee, brown rice vinegar and salt, accompanied by our individual choices of protein.  Mine was organic turkey livers barely cooked in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

During the meal, our scant conversation touched on things Catholics do around this time of year, and that brought to my recollection a headline I read this week—didn’t bother reading the article.  But the headline was a quote from a Catholic priest or whatever, saying “Praying Alone Is Not the Same As Praying Together!”.  I thought that was pretty funny.  Sue’s wry response was, “Well, that’s certainly true…”

But it launched me into an event I recall every few years, one which always brings a smile to my face—and sometimes a song belting out of my lungs.  It was a childhood experience—5 yoa—and it so perfectly reflected my entire, short-lived excursion into church and Sunday school.  My parents were by no means religious, but they clearly felt an obligation to expose me to what other Americans were doing on Sunday.

In the dank basement of a grim church in La Monte, Missouri, I had one of my early—and last—church experiences.  Gathered with other unsuspecting young souls in Sunday school class, the teacher suggested we sing a song.  What should we sing?  My hand shot up without hesitation, “Let’s sing Ghost Riders in the Sky!”.  The look on the teacher’s face, by itself, was enough to seal the deal—for me.  She sourly replied, “I don’t think we want to sing that.”  

My favorite song!  Totally captured my imagination!  And thrilled my infant consciousness.

That was the end of Sunday school, church, Christianity, and religion.  My parents had no problem with my guiding decision, and it stands today as a fond reminder of the unquestioned choices I’ve made for life.

Yippee, yi, AAAAAAYYY!  🎶


Tap/Click the image to hear Marty sing it one more time!






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6 thoughts on “Songs from Our Youth

  1. I enjoyed Songs from our Youth. I can well imagine how you felt when your choice of song was vetoed. Your childhood photo made me smile. I wish you and Sue a pleasant holiday!

    1. Thanks, Valene. It’s always great to get a message from neighbors in the East Mountains.

      That lovely soul undoubtedly spared me lifetimes of drudgery, pain, and heartache—all in one fell swoop—done!

      It’s not clear to me from the messages I’ve received if people have discovered that photo is also a link to Marty Robbins’ version of the song. Maybe everyone already knows the song…

      We’re soaring. You enjoy the holiday, too, Valene!

  2. I don’t know the armed and likely dangerous kid in the picture but I would not want to mess with him.

    1. Hey. That pistol in the holster is a long barrel flint-lock pirate gun!


      Concealed carry folks would probably have an issue with the semiautomatic, though…

  3. It reminds me of my own revelation of how far I could go with Christianity. At age 6 or 7 I was brought to some kind of event at a church and a man was pulling children aside asking if they wanted to let Jesus into their heart. “Sure!” I said. The man gathered us in a circle, said some words, and that was that. What I remember most clearly is the recognition that I felt no different. I was baffled at the time, of course, but what a gift to see so young!

    1. Thanks for that, Frank.

      It’s so delightful to look back at the childhood experience of chelas now thoroughly absorbed in the stunning journey of their own realization, and see the trail of gifts received along the way, yet unaware of the Master’s loving presence, even then, guiding, protecting, nudging, patiently waiting.


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