Category Archives: Folk Thursday

Folk Thursday: Joan Baez

We heard this song today at a memorial service for the late Tomato Man, who slipped away to tend Eden’s vines a couple of weeks ago.

Darrell Merrell, better known as the Tomato Man, made a living — and a name — for himself by selling heirloom tomatoes out of his driveway on West 81st Street. We first met him in the spring of 2005, when we saw a promising-looking hand-lettered sign at 71st and Elwood and followed it to his place in search of plants worthy of my salsa recipe. We pulled into the driveway and found hundreds of gorgeous plants in dozens of fascinating varieties. Under a tent sat a bearded fellow sporting a straw hat, overalls, and an encyclopedic knowledge of my favorite nightshade.

We were instant fans, and our annual pilgrimage to the Tomato Man’s place has been the highlight of every spring since we met him.

A baker’s dozen of the Tomato Man’s beautiful plants are basking in the sunshine behind our garden gate this afternoon as I pour myself a glass of goat milk from his daughter’s farm and raise a toast to the only man I’ve ever known whose affection for homegrown tomatoes exceeds my own.

If there’s a vegetable garden in heaven, God is going to be awfully busy putting up salsa come July….


Folk Friday: Neil Diamond

Sorry I’ve been AWOL for a couple of days. I’ve been swamped all week, and by the time I caught my breath last night, there were storms in the area, which meant I had to unplug my Mac.

In any case, this week’s Folk Thursday should be worth the wait. This is definitely the best thing off Neil Diamond’s last album. No video — just a rather distorted still — but you don’t need a video. Close your eyes and listen to the lyrics, because this is quite possibly the best thing he’s written since 1973.

Incidentally, his new album will be out Tuesday. And tickets to his Oct. 21 concert in Tulsa just went on sale this morning. (And yes, Ron did get up this morning and order a pair for us the minute they went on sale. Thanks, Ron….)

And just for fun, here’s our boy showing the kiddie-poos on Idol what a professional looks like:

I’m carpooling with a bunch of other people on a three-hour road trip tomorrow. We’re trying to figure out who’s riding with whom. Something tells me the decision may boil down to that brilliant quote from What About Bob?

“There are two kinds of people in this world; those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don’t.”
— Bill Murray

Have a good weekend.


Folk Thursday: The Long and Winding Road

This song could sum up the past week, really:

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to your door….

— The Beatles

Long story short: The long and winding road of my life is leading me back to a dream I abandoned 10 years ago. I never had any intention of going back, but circumstances have unfolded in the past week in ways that were so unexpected, so harmonious, and so obviously God-directed that in the end, all I could say was yes.

I’ll post details in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, suffice it to say that this has been the weirdest week of my entire life … and one of the most amazing.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

— Isaiah 55:8-9

May we all experience the indescribable wonder that comes from following the Father’s direction as He leads us down each of our long and winding roads….


Folk Saturday: Wayne Hancock

Apologies for the delay: I spent yesterday evening proofing the Trip Guide with the Oklahoma Route 66 Association administrator. On Thursday night, I was busy watching Wayne Hancock perform at Cain’s Ballroom … where there’s a gorgeous neon sign … and there was a thunderstorm, which kept the computer unplugged all night.

Not quite folk exactly, but nice anyway. If you’re not familiar with him, his voice and style are a dead ringer for Hank Williams Sr.


Folk Thursday

Michael Martin Murphey is supposed to perform at the Old Armory in Chandler this weekend. I’d like to go, but I probably ought to stay here and work on the Trip Guide.

If you can’t guess the date of this video to within five years, you probably aren’t legal yet….