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James R. Stout

Blog posts April 2020

Play It Again Sam

            I’ve had a lot of younger people ask me how I learned to play the guitar. When I say younger, I’m talking about people under 40. The first thing I tell them is that I didn’t start out playing guitar. I started on the piano. I grew-up in a family where everyone played the piano. I took pi…

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The Great Airwick Caper

              Friday nights in early 1973 were very special for me. A typical Friday night would perhaps start with me going over to my girlfriend’s house (Terry) and sitting in her parlor (how quaint). Her parents still didn’t allow her to go out on single dates, so we would just spend time togethe…

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Whirleybirds, Training Wheels, and Being Stuck Like a Pig

            From the time that I was born until I was 11 years old, we lived in 8 houses. It wasn’t because my father was moved around in the military or jobs. There were several reasons for the moves, but mostly they had to do with a growing family or other issues. For instance, my parents bought t…

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Bo-Bo's Mom: Keeper of the Flame

            It was late 1964 and we had been living in our house for just over a year. We had become acquainted with the neighbors and the neighborhood cliques. On our street there were two families that were related. The fathers of each family were brothers. One of the fathers was an ambitious man,…

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An Old Pump Organ and Something New

            I was 10-years-old and spending a week with my grandparents on their farm. The only thing that was different in the room that I stayed in was the old pump organ. It was what was known as a “field pump organ”. It was smaller than a regular organ, but that was on purpose. It was originally…

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She Don't Like Spiders and Snakes

            My mother had to go back to work when I was in the 6th grade. I missed her not being there when I got home from school. I missed her homecooked meals every night that she couldn’t make us because she didn’t get home from work until 7 p.m. She worked in downtown Houston as a se…

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Skip It. Skip it Good

            The old saying, “It’s the little things that mean a lot” came to mind this morning as I set in my easy chair and watched the birds outside my window. But the birds had nothing to do with a memory that I enjoyed perusing. It was in 1961 and I was 6-years-old. We lived in the south portion…

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Green and Cue Days

            It was the fall of 1972 and a Friday night. Me and my friend Keven were on the prowl. I had my mother’s car for the evening. We were supposed to be hanging out at his house. But since his parents had gone square dancing (for real) we were doing some cruising and seeing what was out there…

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Ships Passing In The Night

            We meet people briefly and anonymously every day. Well, we did before this Covid-19 took us by storm. But, even during this time of uncertainty we meet people in passing. Perhaps it’s somebody working in a grocery store or gas station. We mostly give these people little, if any, thought.…

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