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

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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.

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.

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.”


“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.”

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.


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.


Okay To Be a Kid

Her name was Myrna, and she was my favorite aunt.  Myrna was a very accepting individual, as full of unconditional love as a cocker spaniel.  From my earliest memories, she, her farm, and her family were the center of some of my happiest times.  Myrna was a country woman, a relic of another age.  Her job, as she saw it, was to bind her family together.  Gum chewing, calloused-handed glue she was, whose life revolved around her kitchen, her garden, and her loved ones.

It was Myrna who taught me the labor of hand-churning butter, the frozen-knuckle agony of squeezing out the whey under ice water and the golden sweet and salty reward for a task well done.  She introduced me to my first malted milk, shaken until it foamed in a kitchen that had a hand pump for sink water.

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.