It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels

In a 1952 point and counterpoint, night life took center stage with a couple of country tunes.

Hank Thompson released “The Wild Side of Life,” a tune that resonated with country fans who felt that faithless women were dragging the country down.

Ironically, a man, J.D. “Jay” Miller wrote an answer song, which the incomparable Kitty Wells recorded.

Both songs were country hits, and “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels has been regularly covered since, not the least by the Highwomen in their debut.

The chorus gets quoted most often, but I think the second verse is much more pithy.

It’s a shame that all the blame is on us women.
It’s not true that only you men feel the same.
From the start most every heart that’s ever broken,
Was because there always was a man to blame.

A Sparrow’s Song

“Nefesh” is a Hebrew word for “soul.” And, for all the overlooked peoples of the earth, Nefesh Mountain sings this soulful song for you. This live performance opens with a long, sensuous, introductory almost-dirge but segues into the song.

The album, Songs for the Sparrows, was reviewed on Grateful Web and husband and wife team, Eric Lindberg (on banjo) and Doni Zasloff (vocals) were interviewed:
“We tracked down the towns where our families are from, and it was devastating to see the destruction of the Holocaust firsthand, and to know that we’re not so far removed from that time,” says Lindberg. “Songs For The Sparrows ultimately came from that experience, and from thinking about the many groups of people who are horribly discriminated against in the U.S.” Zasloff adds, “To us, sparrows represent a small but mighty voice. That’s why we chose to name the album for them—they’re often overlooked, but they’re beautiful and everywhere.”

And so we sing
A sparrow’s song
For those who were told
They don’t belong
A call of love for the
Days gone wrong
Don’t fear little bird
Just fly, fly on

Their song Mighty Roar, is also a delight, the strains of bluegrass lifting lyrics that celebrate the glories of nature.

Walls, featuring Boats

A cryptic song and video was recently released, the director playing with multiple camera planes and lights, producing, in my way of thinking, a mysterious, foreboding ambience reflecting the predicaments of folks separated by human barriers.

Walls, walls aren’t made for falling down
Feel it grow, it’s falling now
Tear it down, tear it down
Walls, walls aren’t made for solid ground
Over, under, through it now
Just take it down, take it down

Land of the Free

Esperanza Spalding, without the instrument of choice, an upright bass, but with the strains of Hammond B3 (I think) sings a short, quiet exclamation about the 30 years that Cornelius Dupree, Jr., served in prison in the wake of a wrongful charge. If the whispers of protest aren’t enough, the song’s end makes it plain.

How can we call our home, the land of the free
Until we’ve unbound the praying hands
Of each innocent woman and man
In these lands of the…

You can’t get there from here

One of the disappointments of our stay in Denali National Park was not gaining closer access to the fabled peak via the Park Road. Climate change has a number of disadvantages, including the story of this road.
Currently, visitors may only travel to mile 43 of the 92-mile access towards Denali. The road was built atop permafrost, and warming temperatures caused the roadbed to slip every year until it finally gave way entirely.
It was not an overnight slip, though.
Climate change, warmer winters and rain impacted the bit of road near the formation dubbed “Pretty Rocks” on “Polychrome Pass.” The area, according to park information has been subject to rock slides since “at least the 1960s,” but only required major maintenance every two to three years as the roadbed started to slip. Initially, in the 1990s, landslides below the high road caused cracks in the road’s surface. By 2018, the road slipped at a rate of almost a half inch a day, increasing to three-and-a-half inches by August of 2020. In early August of 2021 rains lubricated the whole area, the land moving at more than 10 inches per day.
There are some pretty cool time-lapse photographs at

The photo looks over the landslide area from one side of the former road to the other.

Meanwhile, we were able to glimpse the famous peak numerous times, thanks to warm and dry weather that kept clouds from covering the snow-capped Denali. The Mat-Su Valley blog has information on ways to see the mountain, but the season is rapidly drawing to a close. It’s Alaska, folks.
Several bus rides were available when we were at the park, to take us to the interior, one route of taking riders to mile 42ish of the Denali Road. From that roadblock, one was able to hike a pretty good incline (two-plus to three miles or so) to one edge of the collapsed section of road. There, we were able to see the dramatic drop.
We speculate we picked up our minor cases of COVID while riding (masked) on one or another of the bus rides we found. We were fully immunized and boosted.
In the photo, in the background, is the other section of road. Each side has instrumentation to further monitor slippage, if any, as park officials decide what to do about road restoration.

Grandma’s Battle Cry

Peacemonger Faith Petric, singer and world traveler, was born in September of 1915 and died in October of 2013. Here, Petrich sings the commitment of life lovers through the ages.

This is posted to help celebrate the gains that labor hava helped win, and that includes the uppity folks who stand up to the military machine.

I marched in Minneapolis, Chicago and Duluth.
In San Francisco and New York, I marched to shout the truth.
I marched in Hiroshima and knelt before a stash
Of tens of millions bones of people atomized to ash.
And with the distant rumble of new regiments of men,
I read the warning on the tomb: “This must not be again.”

Low-tide galaxy

We got the word that at low tide at Homer Spit, that a walk along the beach would be a great experience.

How right that was.

Along the piers of the dock were tirds of starfish, a lot of starfish.

I’m told they are not picky diners. I imagined this particular group had plenty to choose from, judging from all that clung to the lower portions of the piers.

We watched them bend and crawl while keeping a wary eye on hundreds of gulls doing their own dining and dinning the air with their calls.

We camped on the beach (above the tide line) at Homer Pit, a part of Alaskan history and story. The 1964 earthquake swallowed the breakwater and rattled the area for three minutes. In effect, the spit “sank,” flooded periodically and had to be rebuilt.

Nowadays, the spit is a tourist haven and includes the historic “Salty Dawg Saloon,” relocated after the earthquake. Regrettably, we stayed clear of the saloon, given the evrerpresence of COVID, but the couple of nights on the spit had plenty to occupy our time.


I lay no claim to being a geologist. However, I am impressed by evidence of the massive forces behind the movements of the earth’s plates and the study of those plates. Periodically, too, there is evidence that tremendous pressures are involved as land is formed and shaped.

On a short hike around Horseshoe Lake in Denali National Park, I had to capture a few images. I don’t know how these formations came to be along a sheer drop-off, but they are hard to ignore.

To get to the little jewel of the lake, you descend a relatively steep trail to the level hike. (The fun part is hiking back up after a serene stroll around the lake.)

The eroded drop-off offers a number of views of curved and twisted rock formation. I would have loved to have a local geologist wax eloquent about what I was seeing. Safe to say, when rocks curve, chances are there are some awesome forces at work.