Deer Run Trail, By David R LewisNodaway Trail, by David R LewisOn the Calico Trail, by David R LewisOn the Payback Trail, by David R LewisOn the Ogallala Trail, by David R LewisOn the Killdeer Trail, by David R LewisOn the Cutthroat Trail, by David R LewisGlory Trail, by David R LewisEndless Journey Toward an Unknown Destination, by David R LewisIncidents Among the Savages, by David R LewisFear of the Father:  Call Me Crockett, by David R Lewis

You like Westerns? How about semi-autobiographical non-fiction self-discovery? Well, David's got eAudioBooks - check them out HERE!

About This Site

Several years ago in Kansas City, a popular weekend radio show called Radio for Grownups featured a regular segment by co-host and Master Storyteller David Lewis entitled “That’s How It Seems To Me”, generally a story he wrote and performed from growing up in the Heartland of America (more biographical information about David can be found at our “About” page) . The show has since gone off the air, but the interest over David’s tales has continued through today.

In response to the loyal fan base and continuing interest, we have published this blog/podcast of David’s stories. You’ll find posts of his anecdotes below. We plan to add further yarns to the collection regularly – on a weekly basis – for your enjoyment. Each post contains an excerpt from the narrative (the first paragraph or so) to give you an idea of what it is about, and an audio player so you can listen to the story in its entirety.

We hope you enjoy these tales and chronicles. Feel free to comment on them if you like.

David has produced a collection of four CDs over the years containing pieces not found on this blog/podcast which we call the “David Lewis Memories CD Collection”. For more information or to purchase any or all of his CDs, please visit this web site.

While the cost of providing these tales and maintaining this web site is not enormous, the time consumed in doing so is significant. This is why we have provided a Donate button and why there are advertisements on this site. We appreciate any contributions you would care to make if you have enjoyed the stories here.

David has a blog of his own as well – check it out here – and he has an eBook review site here.

Marthanetics

Ah, yes – the holiday season.  Most retailers and some consumers believe it starts in mid-September and continues through January 15. We are besieged by The Great Pumpkin, regaled with stories of The Pilgrims, who were, incidentally, not The Pilgrims but only pilgrims, beaten over the head by the Jolly Old Elf in such a perverted evolution of greed that the real Saint Nicholas is a lathe in his grave, and ushered into an uncertain future by an old man carrying a scythe eager to be reduced to an infant in diapers.

Bitter?  Not me.  I think the whole thing is a hoot.  It is the time of year when the overriding constant throughout the season of celebration was only recently released from prison.  Yes, Virginia, there is a Martha Stewart.

Cell Phony

Some of the individuals who know me would tell you that Ol’ Lewis has yet to enter the 1990s.  Not true.  I have recently plunged into the 2000s.  My bride and I, because we live in a very remote area, have recently given up landlines entirely, and now have opted for cell phones only and acquire our internet access through one of those little blinky thingies that is connected to my computer by one cable and to another thingie that is suction-cupped to my window with yet another cable.  The term “broadband” was used.  I suspect it did not mean an all-girl musical organization.  At any rate, modern is me.

Pigs

Swines, Swinettes, and Swinitos

I like pigs.  I’ve known a great number of them in my life – some good, some bad, some dangerous – but on the whole, I find a great deal to recommend them.  I certainly find pigs less tedious than some of those pre-shrunk, permanently vibrating, ankle tall, remote control toilet brushes that some people actually refer to as dogs.  Pigs – and when I speak of them, I exclude that pot-bellied Asian variety of house pet – are bright, sensitive animals who care diligently for their young, are neat and clean if allowed to be, and will develop relationships with humans based on trust and understanding.  Tuffy, for instance.

Mr. Wilson’s War

When I was young, every 4th of July, my grandfather would load us up and drive to the big fireworks display at the football stadium in a nearby city.  He said the airborn bombs “put him in the mind of” World War One.

When the United States entered the First World War, my granddad was 20 years old.  A bricklayer by trade, a professional boxer by design, and a semi-pro baseball player by choice, he – and many other young men – were pressed into service.  My grandpa left school when in just the 4th grade to work and assist his widowed mother.  He was not an educated man.  Oh, he knew his letters and ciphers, read the newspaper and such, but he was a man of simple needs.  So when the call came to war, he went without question.  He took his oath to protect and defend very seriously, and he did as he was told.

To Like Or Not To Like

A few months ago, I was approached by a young woman I have known for some time.  She is only about half my age – a city girl, a secretary at a small business about 30 miles from where I lurk in the Missouri Outback.

“How long have you and Laura been married?” she asked.

“Over 40 years.”

“That long.  I just can’t imagine it.”

I grinned at her.  “That’s the difference in our ages,” I said.  “You can’t imagine it and I just can’t remember it.”

“No, I mean, being together for over 40 years is a big deal.”

“Well, we haven’t been together all that time,” I said.  “We were separated on two occasions for a few months, and Laura, as you know, spent four years in Afghanistan recently.  We only saw each other once a year during that time.”

“Yes, but you’re still together.  How does a marriage survive all that?”

“Aw, we have a mutual admiration society,” I said.  “We both admire me.”

She laughed.  “I think it’s amazing.”

“Well, it’s an accomplishment at least,” I said, “but it hasn’t always been easy.  I’m lucky.  My wife is the best person I have ever known, and the toughest woman I have ever met.”

“Did you guys date for a long time before you got married?” she asked.

“Nope.  We went on our first date, and she moved in.”

“Really?”

“Yep.  I didn’t stand a chance.”

“Do you guys fight?”

“Now and then we disagree.”

“Phil and I are still having problems,” she confessed, getting to the point.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” I replied.  “Talk to me.”

Unidentified Flying What

When I was a lad, kite flying was popular among me and my peers – a ragtag crew of Cub Scout, river-rat little leaguers.  In those days, one could not journey to the local mart and purchase some exotic piece of airborne art for a few bucks.  Oh, no.  The best we could manage was a trip to Baumgartner’s Dime Store and buy, for a hard scrabble 50 cents, a common paper and split lav kite that, with the proper tail attachment, might actually fly – and it had better, because one crash with the delicate craft most always meant its demise and the total loss of half a buck, a small fortune when cokes were a nickel and comic books a dime.

The Hunt

Amos Beals was an immense man, at least to my little kid eyes.  Distantly related to my grandfather, Amos lived out in the country on a hardscrabble farm and was perpetually clothed in a railroad engineer’s cap, bib overalls – or “biblicals” as he called them – and brogan shoes.  A shirt was optional, depending on the weather.  He had hands the size of my baseball glove, a sudden roaring laugh, and a speech impediment that sometimes made him difficult to understand.  He had three sons, all significantly older than I.  His eldest was Max, who I hardly knew because he was off in school at the University of Illinois learning about animals and husbands, or something like that.  Bobby, the middle son, was a quiet and thoughtful young man with quick dark eyes and a gentle way about him.  He was a genius with horses – a horse whisperer long before the term was coined – who taught me to ride when I was very young.  Dale, the third in line, was a raucous blonde-headed fireplug – reckless, fearless, hard-charging, and my favorite.  He burned brightly and died at only 31 in an altercation between his motorcycle and an immoveable object.  The prospect of going to Amos’ place on a Sunday afternoon made suffering through church even more painful.  An hour is a very long time in the life of a child.

Amos and the boys were country to the bone.  They kept hens for eggs and fried chicken, cows for milk, butter, and cream, cattle and hogs to butcher for meat, an orchard for fruit, and a garden for veggies.  They fished in the summer, trapped in the winter, and hunted all year long.  Between the house and the barn was a low shed with fenced pens on two sides.  The north side housed the bird dogs, the south side was where the ‘coon hounds stayed, and the beagles ran loose.  Such was their country life until Amos ran afoul of prosperity.  Success sneaked up on Amos Beals, a man who was fully ready to work from dawn ‘til done just to get by.  When his eldest son, Max, announced his intention to marry, Amos went down the road a ways, cleared an acre or so of cornfield next to the road and, with the help of Bobby and Dale, began to build Max a three bedroom house with an attached garage.  As they were pouring the driveway, a fella from the city drove by, stopped, and offered Amos about three times what the house cost him to build.  Amos took the money, went down the road a little farther, and began building Max a four bedroom house with a basement.  He sold that manse at a very handsome profit as he and Dale were planting a maple tree in what was soon to be the front yard.

Island Girl

Don Young was a ladies man.  He had been a ladies man for as long as I’d known him – since about third grade.  He was not a cad, not a heartbreaker, he did not kiss and tell.  He simply loved women and they loved him back.  Don was a year older than I, and had such alarming power with the opposite gender as to leave the rest of us standing in slack-jawed awe.  In fourth grade, a lifted eyebrow from Don caused the love of my life, Cindy Montero, to desert my side without a rearward glance, and then flee to his in spite of the cherry-centered tootsie roll pop I’d just presented to her.  I realized at that very moment that I would never be able to compete with him, but I couldn’t even be angry much less bitter about it.  I liked him too much.  Everybody did.

Once Upon a Time

Planting the Seed

“Got a minute?” he asked.

I’d seen him around the area for the past few days.  He was busy, landscaping mostly – installing water features, planting trees.  He was a hard worker, and so old I couldn’t even guess at his age.  It didn’t seem to affect him.  He labored like a young man – full of energy, vital.  He stretched his back out and walked over.

“If you’re not busy, I got a job for you,” he continued, wincing a bit as he worked out some kinks.  “It won’t take very long.  I- I just need a little help to get some things started around here and I think you’d be perfect.”

His eyes seemed to look through me.  Lying to this guy would be damn near impossible.  I squirmed a little when he looked right at me but his face was so kind it took the sting out of his gaze, and his voice was warm and rich.  It felt sort of like a blanket, you know?  I glanced around.

Catholic Fish

Playing God

A young woman and I were visiting the other day and she confessed to me that she was a Catholic.  While I subscribe to no particular religion myself, I certainly begrudge no one else his or her faith, but she seemed apologetic at her confession, saying that she wasn’t even sure if she believed in God.  Her face showed some uncertainty, as if she thought I would think less of her.

To “believe” in God, it seems to me, indicates that in some way God requires our belief to be validated.  I find that ridiculous, as ridiculous as I find a god who would demand my worship to make himself feel good, or would adopt a set of rules and regulations so complicated and stringent that only a few of us could ever qualify for the team.  In an effort to help her understand, I told the young woman about fish.

Chirp

I want a bird.

Before this goes any farther, I would like to thank all of you who have so unselfishly given me “the bird” over the years, especially the very nice lady in the grocery store parking lot last week, but this type of bird is the feathered variety.

I had a bird when I was a small child – a budgie as the Brits say – or common, garden-variety parakeet, the kind Rocky Balboa referred to as “flyin’ candy”.  His name was Dick.  He was a greenish-yellow fellow who enjoyed pulling the only hair or two left on my grandfather’s bald head, raising 7 kinds of hell and slinging his bell when my grandmother sneezed, running around on the floor under a spread out sheet of newspaper and biting me.  He was personable, bright, and eventually went to his just reward in a toothpaste box placed in the bottom of the garden.

I find I miss him.

Stop, Or I’ll…I’ll

Back in the days when I was a cop, my least favorite thing to do was writing traffic tickets, but, as a rookie waiting assignment to a real shift while languishing on the day trick, I was often forced into generating a little revenue for the city.  Not that we had quotas – we did not – but, from time to time I was encouraged by my Lt. – a heart attack waiting to happen – to sally forth and write a few.

When I had no choice, I would sit near a heavily-traveled, suburban intersection feebly controlled by four stop signs, and, because in traffic law a policeman has the right of selective law enforcement, write every 25th driver that ran one of those stop signs a ticket for failure to obey a traffic control device.

I was not popular.  I hated it almost as much as my unsuspecting victims despised me.  The issuance of tickets done simply for the issuance of tickets did not then and does not now seem very nice to me.

The Smell Will Tell

Here Kitty, Kitty

I never did understand why Steve Seymour wanted a skunk.  When I was small, my Uncle Floyd had a skunk, de-scented, that lived in the house with him and his wife, Flo.  It was a low-slung, black waddle with white stripes that would occasionally scuttle out from under the couch, putter around aimlessly for a time, and not allow me to pet it.  It wouldn’t cuddle, fetch, or do tricks.  I didn’t understand the worth of owning a skunk.  I still don’t.  I have known three people and several dogs that have been involved in bad business with skunks and, save one, none that I’m aware of willingly have gone back for more.  The one who did go back, a dog, a black lab/Chow crossbred to be more precise, has been dealt with harshly by skunks nearly 20 times.  She doesn’t seem to mind, or perhaps she just doesn’t remember.  She is, after all, part Chow.