We’ve often heard counselors and personal development specialists challenge us to practice writing our obituaries to reflect on our life’s significance. To have a sobering reconciliation of our accomplishments to date, in case we’d like to make a positive addendum with our remaining time on this good earth. It was in that same spirit that friends invited us to create book covers to auction for a fundraiser for Austin literacy programs.
We were each given a fake book cover and carte blanche to design and decorate in complement with our own creative and conscience prompts. Quite a challenge to prioritize and select those images that best represent your life to date. This was my contribution. I’ll identify and highlight my selections, and encourage you to consider how you might address your own effort, if you were to attempt such a life review. A great introspective audit. An emotional roller coaster. Come along for the ride. Welcome to highlights of my life to date. I’m eager to live the sequel.
MY CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS…From The Top
The Lone Star Bow Tie…A proud multi-generational Texan…born in Eastland, Tx…grew up in Ft. Stockton…have lived in Austin for 50+years…
“Life, Love & Music”…The title’s a great place to start…
My son Clayton…in whom I’m well pleased. He and I held his younger brother’s hands as he passed from cancer. Clayton had many opportunities to make bad decisions in his life, but more often made better ones than I at similar ages. A great son, partner, dad and community leader.
The Maroon Bells…Aspen’s most photographed landmark. Many hikes over many years. Clayton and I buried a memorial tribute to Graham near the lake below The Bells.
Sara…My wonderful younger sister, whom I terrorized during our Wonder Bread years. I wisely stopped that behavior when she became Houston’s first woman Ass’t. DA. She’s a blessing in my life.
Mt. Baldy—Grand Lake, Co…My most life-transformative place. 12 summers from age 8. Coors, Sex and Rock & Roll. And much laughter, tears, joy of discovery, love of outdoors. My closest cousin (Tom) and playmate’s ashes are scattered over the top of Mt. Baldy.
Frida…Great eyes. Representative of the art and creative adventures I’ve been afforded by many wonderful art treks, travels and personal associations.
The PhotoBooth and The Buddha…Annette and I were married by Flint Sparks, a Zen Buddhist Priest, then celebrated with friends and family at a rowdy gathering that included a fun photo booth.
My Musician Chapters…I’ve had several musical skirmishes since high school. Was able to flunk out of CU-Boulder as a folk-singer and R&B/Rock cover band singer/guitar player. Came out of retirement to put a great band together for sold-out ZACH Theatre concert. “Dan Bullock Music” on Youtube provides evidence.
Buddy Holly…Myfather encouraged (conned) me into finishing high school at New Mexico Military Institute to preclude difficulties with my mother. One highlight was my summoning courage at age 17 to call Norman Petty in Clovis, and inviting myself to take the bus on a Sunday to meet him and listen to his Buddy Holly master tapes. A longer story. Google Petty and ask me later…A Big Deal.
Annette…AKA “The Art Princess”…What a blessing. She has introduced me to the world of art, has given me a “home” where I can be grounded, be creative, expand friendships and feel better in my own skin. Our travels enabled me to take this favorite photo in Istanbul. A wonderful life partner.
Hondo Crouch…Represents the wonderful Cosmic Cowboy/Luckenbach/ Armadillo World Headquarters years of the ‘70s-’80s that were just too much fun. I got to know Hondo (The Mayor of Luckenbach), Guich Koock, Eddie Wilson, and many other unique characters that made the times unforgettable.
The Little Bear…My favorite “country club” in Evergreen Co. Great burgers, music, dance floor. Love Sunday afternoon “matinee” live music dancing transitions, as I exit the mountains, heading to the Denver airport for my Austin re-entry. I’ve loved many hours in the Little Bear, loved introducing it to family and friends.
Red Sculpture…just one of many unique outdoor art pieces we encountered in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Thrilled to have my world-class curator partner to bring the art world to life. Anywhere.
My Grandchildren…Having lost a child, I’m especially appreciative of the fragility and uncertainty of life. We recently had a close call with a serious strain of Leukemia in young Graham (yes, named for his departed Uncle). But he was saved by the wonderful Dell Children’s Hospital team, aided by his dutiful and loving big sister Georgia. They grow quickly, and bring many blessings to my life. I’m grateful.
OUR NEXT EDITION…YOURS AND MINE
The above was a fun and provocative exercise, forcing a reflective look at notable and profound chapters in my relatively young life. I insist on saying “young,” though my seven decades are felt in various aches and pains. However, I’m still proudly immature.
The New Year starts with my intention to write a real book. One that incorporates anecdotes, incidents, personalities and photographs that document a life well-lived to date. This exercise in revisiting my “fake” book gave me a head start in gleaning the meaningful in my life. If you haven’t done so, I’d encourage you to launch your own quest to discover or rediscover you. This journey will be as enjoyable, profound and revelatory as you allow it to be. I wish you the best in your journey.