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 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

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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.

Stranger in a Strange Land

When I was a child, racial tension in my small hometown did not exist.  There was no them, only us.  Everybody was white.  The caste system was in effect, to be sure, from the apex of the Caucasian ladder to the depths of the pale trash heap; but all of us were white.  The only American-Indian I was familiar with was riding the range on a horse named Scout with Clayton Moore.  The Cisco Kid represented the Mexican contingent, and, because the only TV channel we got did not carry Amos n’ Andy, black people remained absent.  If there was an African-American living in town, he would have been blonde, from Johannesburg, and named Günter.  Racial diversity did not exist.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  One summer we had a lifeguard at the lake who was Hawaiian.  He was pretty dark.  A lot of us kids marveled at the depth of his tan and the sometimes strange way he talked, but the real marvel was his total relaxed ability in the water.

Snow Days

Many of us that live in rural areas of the Heartland suffer somewhat during heavy winter snowfalls.  Unlike city dwellers, three inches of the white stuff usually doesn’t make us gnash our teeth and rend our flesh – we’re not civilized enough.  Eight to 10 inches of it, however, can be inconvenient.  When that kind of thing happens, I become inflicted with memories of The Good Old Days

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.

Home for Christmas

About 10 years ago, for the first time in quite a while, I went home for Christmas.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  Home is where my wife and I live.  I returned to where I spent my childhood, where I walked the river, hunted pheasants, stalked the elusive catfish, sledded on snow, skated on ice, horsed around with my friends, and spent time with my grandfather.  At the time, I had not lived in that area for over 25 years, and I found the memories of it more pleasing from a distance than recalled at close range.  Still, I went.

The Tie Tac

Christmas Eve.  From the time I was a young child until my late 20s, I spent it at my favorite Aunt and Uncle’s farm.  My Aunt Myrna and Uncle Wayne, their son Gayle and his family, my grandparents, my mother and stepfather, me, and in later times, my wife, all gathered every year.  Entering from the cold into that farmhouse reinforced the fact that there is no scent on Earth like a home on the eve of Christmas where country women are cooking holiday dinner.  The tang of sage, the odor of baking sweet potatoes, the light dusting of flour on the countertop where homemade noodles and handmade rolls were just created combines with the warmth and humidity of a farmhouse kitchen to manifest a palpable texture in the room.  A pungent blanket of airborne taste that smacks of Currier and Ives, Norman Rockwell, and home.  It cannot be duplicated in a restaurant, or even in a city for that matter.  It requires cold, country, and family tradition.


Her name is Bethany and she is a niece of a friend.  I first met the young woman when she was about 8 years old – a loud, angular, elbowy girl.  She was below average in looks, not superior in intellect, and seemed to have trouble relating to adults.  She and I were not significant members of each other’s world, and I had little reason and even less opportunity to pay attention to the child, so I didn’t – but I do recall thinking that she took up too much room for a child her age and size.  I would see her every year or so, out there on the periphery of my universe, and as I watched her get older, I watched her get larger and heard her get louder.  In retrospect, I see it as a cry for love and attention.  At the time, however, she was just annoying.

There Are Dreams

Because of some of my extracurricular activities, occasionally someone asks that I interpret a dream for them.  I try not to.  There are certain generalities that apply to dreams and what they mean, and different cultures interpret dreams differently.  To the Plains Indians, for instance, animals in dreams have great meaning.  A horse often calls for the dreamer to be strong.  A mouse encourages one to view the whole and not get caught up in details.  A lynx advises the dreamer that secrets are afoot.  A snake counsels learning and wisdom, and so on.

I believe most dreams are little more than mental masturbation – a way for the mind to remain occupied so the sleeper does not awaken.  There are, however, some exceptions.  There are dreams, and there are dreams.

Four Lodges

His full name was “He-Who-is-Called-Four-Lodges-Are-His”.  Over two decades ago, my wife and I spent many hours in his company during a four or five year period.  We called him Four-Lodges or Grandfather, a term of respect – not relativity.  He was an American Indian of the Sioux Nation and why he chose to spend time with us was a mystery to me.  I asked him once and he replied it was because he had hope for us.

His age was hard to determine. He might have been in his 50s – or his 70s for that matter – it was not possible to judge, for he had not chosen to be of this time.  When he was only a boy, he was stricken by some type of serious illness, and spent nearly two weeks drifting in and out of a coma.  During that illness, he was administered to only by a medicine man, or man of magic.  When he finally recovered and regained consciousness – or as he phrased it, “Returned from The Great Mystery”, he was changed.  From then on, he lived much in the old ways.  He did not read or write, to my knowledge drove no automobile and, for the most part, shunned the trappings of what you and I might term civilization.


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.

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.

Gung Ho

Don Brook wore his time in the Marine Corps like a gold medallion around his neck.  Ten years after he left the armed services, Paris Island’s scent was still fresh in his nostrils.  While Brook had never actually seen combat and had been in “The Corps” only a few months, discharged because of the sudden death of his father and health of his invalid mother, he remained a jar-headed life-taker, heart-breaker, and widow-maker.  Hoo-rah.  He was also a good guy.

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.


Please excuse the arrangement of verbiage in this piece.  I have an idea how I’d like it to end, but no real concept of how to get there and will ramble, I’m afraid.  I ask your patience as I free-associate a bit.  Relax.  It shouldn’t take too long.

Mark Twain once commented that some people considered him to be a pessimist.  While he admitted that he often left that impression, he was in fact not a pessimist – he was an optimist who had yet to arrive.