The Emigrant Gap Bandit

See, If you could step right into my shoes
You would know why I am this way
You would know my complete story
Why I’m in this Reno jailhouse today
If you could see what I’ve been through
If you could live where I was raised
If you could step right into my shoes
You wouldn’t be actin’ so amazed

I was born up in the Sierra mountains
In a cabin near a town called Emigrant Gap
At first I loved livin’ there in them woods
But then later I saw it was more of a trap

I did whatever I could to get a ticket there
At eighteen I jumped on a train leavin’town
I found work with a traveling carnival
From early Spring to Fall we’d move around

See, If you could step right into my shoes
You would know why I am this way
You would know my complete story
Why I’m in this Reno jailhouse today
If you could see what I’ve been through
If you could live where I was raised
If you could step right into my shoes
You wouldn’t be actin’ so amazed

A girl I fell for was the only daughter
Of the Ringmaster who had hired me
That day I laid my eyes on that sweel gal
She was the cutest I ever had seen

Her eyes were wide as her lips hit mine
She thought it was love at first sight
But I got scared and left her behind
Even though I knew it wasn’t right

Then I ended up in some rustic ol’ saloon
Got stuck where everyone drank and drank
The longer I stayed, the more lonely I was
And into depression, I fell & then sank

See, If you could step right into my shoes
You would know why I am this way
You would know my complete story
Why I’m in this old jailhouse today
If you could see what I’ve been through
If you could live where I was raised
If you could step right into my shoes
You wouldn’t be actin’ so amazed

I fell into a gang of highly skilled bandits
One day we came across a familiar tent
I realized where we were & looked for her
I always hoped I’d know where she went

Then I found her being raped by a man
I grabbed him off her then saw his eyes
He said “Boy what are you doin’ here?”
I got out my pistol which wasn’t so wise

Then I shot that Ringmaster in cold blood
The gang left me there to face my fate
And by the look in her eyes I quickly saw
My heroic deed came a few weeks late

See, If you could step right into my shoes
You would know why I am this way
You would know my complete story
Why I’m in this Reno jailhouse today
You would see I sure deserve to die
Even though my intentions were true
If you could step right into my shoes
You would then know what next I’ll do

You would then know what next I’ll do.

June 25, 2018

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That’s Watsonville

Fields of strawberries and apple orchards
Martinelli’s Cider scent always in the air
The friendliness of the people
The St. Patrick’s Church steeple
If God’s Country exists then it is there

Quality education by passionate teachers
At Moreland Notre Dame and EA Hall
The Downtown Plaza, Mount Madonna
Thoughts of that area make me wanna
Go back there to skate or play some ball

It may be just a place like all the others to some
Those who don’t know the stories from its past
But to the lucky ones who lived there all their lives
They’ve made memories that will forever last

So if I seem a little homesick you are very right
I’m remembering the good times and always will
In all the places I have ever been
I always long to come home again
To the town I love so much, that’s Watsonville

To the town I love so much, that’s Watsonville.

June 21, 2018

His Poor Hand

He was at a high stakes card game
Right above Drifters in Bloomington
From the looks of him you could say
He wasn’t having a lot of fun

He was losing his money faster than you
could call him an unlucky sumbitch
But this is how things changed so fast
How he won it all then strutted out rich

It was all in how he played his poor hand
It was all in how he played his poor hand
He confused them with his tell
Some would say he played it well
It was all ’cause he knew how to win
with his poor hand

He only had a few chips on the table
Looked at the others, n glanced at her
Then he flipped up his top card slowly
Asked more credit from the banker

He threw his whole savings into the pot
And his face had a smirk then a smile
All the players misread him and folded
They thought it wasn’t worth their while

Little did they know
He’d win it all by workin’ with his poor hand
He’d win it all by workin’ with his poor hand
He confused them with his tell
Some would say he played it well
When he won that high stakes game
with his poor hand

So now, when I play Blackjack in Reno
I don’t have to count cards or cheat
I just play the way my Daddy taught me
Above Drifters, he didn’t miss a beat

And it works better when I’m not drinkin’
When I’ve had a good steak dinner meal
It helps me lie well, cause they’re thinkin’
My confidence in my play is very real

Most of the time I win with a poor hand
Most of the time I win with a poor hand
I confuse them all with my tell
Those bad cards I play so well
Like Daddy once won that big stakes game
with his poor hand

Like back then
when Daddy won that high stakes game
Where he gained some local Fame
He also won the heart of that dame
with his poor hand

With his poor hand.

June 20, 2018

Ballad of Sugar Booger & Ellie Mae

She called him Sugar Booger
‘n he didn’t mind one bit
He wasn’t rich or very poor
He was heavier ‘n not so fit

They got along like best friends
Grew closer with each passing day
Yeah, she called him Sugar Booger
and her name was Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae had golden curly locks, ‘n
sweeter than German Chocolate Cake
She loved housework and lemonade
Stayed busy while she was awake
Sugar Booger drove a Chevy truck
he bought with cash in 1988
before he met dear sweet Ellie Mae
Before they combined their fate

Sugar Booger collected hats & lighters
and Ellie Mae loved to cook
If Ellie Mae wasn’t in the kitchen
She was likely reading a book

She loved romantic Southern Novels
and he watched Bonanza on TV
Whenever they were together
they were where they loved to be

Ellie Mae had golden curly locks n’
sweeter than Loganberry Pie
A typical country girl she was –
She told the truth & never lied
She was faithful to Sugar Booger
even when he was tempted to stray
There’s never been a love like theirs
Sugar Booger and Ellie Mae

They both came into some money
but they didn’t move far away
They liked their eleven-acre property
It was there they wanted to stay

But someone heard of their windfall
And one hot night in mid-July
Sugar Booger ‘n Ellie Mae were murdered
and they never caught that guy

Ellie Mae had golden curly locks ‘n
Sweeter than Loganberry Pie
A typical country girl she was
She told the truth and never lied
She was faithful to her Sugar Booger
Until they died side by side
When the news spread all over town
They all were scared and horrified

For their sweet Ellie Mae
and her dearest beloved, Sugar Booger
They cried and cried and cried….

June 18, 2018

Lyrics Notes: I just loved this popular nickname Southerners give their husbands and I knew I had to write something that included it. A small tale about a sweet country couple who didn’t deserve their grisly fate.

Fancy Seeing You Here

Fancy seeing you here
Are you drinking alone?
Is this seat by you taken?
My, how time’s flown

The last time you saw me
I was dating someone
Fancy seeing you here
I’ve missed you a ton

Remember we went out
To that ’91 County Fair
Back before we got older
And l lost most of my hair?
I remember you smiling
Do you still have that bear
I oftentimes wonder
If we could go back there

Fancy seeing you here
Are you happy these days?
Did you get another job?
Still like garlic mayonnaise?

Do you want a cocktail?
Do you think we can talk?
Or when you pay your bill
Wanna go for a walk?

It could be like that Sunday
When I took your warm hand
And we enjoyed the sunset
As we walked on the sand
Couldn’t we recapture
What we had back then?
Fancy seeing you here
Hope we’re together again

Fancy seeing you here
Hope we’re together again

Amesti Road

I went drivin’ down Amesti Road
In my Mama’s older Honda CR-V
I was thinking about how it was
For all those people related to me
I’ve read about our Spanish history
But I don’t think I’ll ever relate
Yet I still thought about them all
As I pondered my life choices ‘n fate

I didn’t grow up there my whole life
But it was where I cut my teeth
Learned skating, baseball ‘n tennis
Where I dug deep underneath
What I thought I knew about myself
Once I wrote a few songs ‘n poetry
but I know now they were lessons
Shaping who I’d end up to be

Had a burrito at that place near Main
Walked to Goodwill, bought some books
Didn’t feel out of place at all downtown
Didn’t sense I was bein’ given dirty looks
And I drove out to the Martinelli’s factory
Bought a couple bottles of that liquid treat
Then I had to feel sand between my toes
And ease my tired sunburnt ‘n blistered feet

Took my Mama’s terrier out to the Village
Where we strolled out on that soft sand
I pondered if I would want to stick around
To watch a killer AC/DC cover band
The weather got cold, I was wearin’ shorts
So we got back into the car ‘n drove home
But there was one last place to visit
One last stretch of street I had to roam

I went drivin’ down Amesti Road
And headed to where we’d go
Where we’d kiss n listen to Whitesnake
Playin’ on my tricked out cassette radio
I heard she bolted outta this 47K town
Got a good job over the hill far away
from that dead end Amesti Road
and empty promises she freely made

So on that Harvest Moon night
I said one last goodbye
To the seeds she and I sowed
On our secret spot
At the end of Amesti Road

On our secret spot
At the end of Amesti Road.

Written in Watsonville, CA
June 4, 2018

Might I Suggest Some Sleep

If you’re stressed out
and too numb to speak
You’ve eaten breakfast
but still a little weak
If you’re exhausted
If all you do is weep
Might I suggest some sleep

If you’ve got a lot
there on your plate
And you’re reeling –
in an depressive state
If you’re so beat down
If you’re in too deep
Might I suggest some sleep

Take off your shoes
Remove your socks
Put your smartphone
in an enclosed box
Go in your bedroom
Slip under the sheets
You’ll feel much better
with slow heartbeats

If you’ve lost your mind
which we’ve all done
Maybe disappointed
Yourself or someone
Don’t leave your house
or act like Meryl Streep
Might I suggest some sleep

Take off your shoes
Remove your socks
Put your smartphone
in an enclosed box
Go in your bedroom
Slip under the sheets
You’ll feel much better
with slow heartbeats

Might I suggest you
get some good sleep

Written at Dominican Hospital
Santa Cruz, CA – May, 2018.