Truck Drivin’ Astronaut

Truck Drivin’ Astronaut is one of the first songs I wrote, probably around 1973, though I can’t specifically pin down the date. The moon landing was an obvious inspiration.

My astronaut is an everyman who remains grounded even while in space. He’s the cowboy next door who takes out his own trash and sips beer on the front porch. Commercial endorsement rewards will soon be coming his way as they do to many successful Americans. In the last verse, now that he’s been in space, he’s uncertain that he prefers his earthly existence.

It’s also possible that the protagonist is not even an astronaut but instead is just a dreamer. Or a songwriter.

Many of the photos are from a Sunflower Cablevision video shoot for Randy Mason’s program “Bringin’ It All Back Home.” They were shot in and around Lawrence, Kansas. Probably around 1979 but not certain. Pretty sure the photog was Jim Jewell. The outfit is compliments of my dear friend, Jim Vaughn, who was working for a fire retardant company at the time. I photographed his visit to my wife Linda’s classroom at Wakarusa Valley Elementary. The shot of wife, Linda, and I (me in the cowboy hat) was taken by our friend Steve Burkhart near Lake Powell, Utah in 1973. The astronaut with wine was shot last week by Linda. Space shots compliments of NASA. The suit is still in our attic and one day will be donated to either to the Smithsonian or Good Will.

Dancing Dairy Products

Side View

The Dancing Dairy Products at Sunflower Cablevision

The Dancing Dairy Products stepped their way into the hearts of many Eastern Kansans’ during the early 80s. They performed as part of the Barking Gecko entourage. Full disclosure: I married the cheese. (These photos by Jim Jewel.)

In performance, three dietary perspectives were presented by the Dairy MC. (No footage exists.) Here is the complete “rap” from memory:

The Meat Eater

I like to fry

Big hunks of meat

Pop ‘em in my mouth and chew

If I can’t find a sow I’ll settle for a cow

Or maybe a sheep or two

Bacon grease

Such sweet release

I love to eat ribs till I’m blue

Love to eat ribs till I’m blue

The Vegetarian:

I chew grapes

And drink pomegranate juice

I eat sprouts, lentils and mung

I’ll finish my kelp

Without any help

Wheat germ and oats keep me young

Vitamin D, so good for the knee

The heart the eyes and the lung

The soul the snout and the tongue

The Voice of Reason

But wait a minute!

Along with your meat

You just have to eat

Vegetables each day

Zucchini and steak

And bread that you bake

And don’t forget your dairy products

Don’t forget your dairy products…

Please please don’t forget your cheese

Hey that’s what I said

Smooth as silk they call it milk

a little bit of razzamatazz

After the show

The act broke up when the cheese took a teaching job. The DDP may have curdled into the sunset but this should not spoil it for true believers.