Bad, Bad Leroy Brown

My grandfather’s sister was married to a man named Leroy Brown. He was a firefighter in his day; a true hero. I’m not sure what the truth is but we were told that due to the excessive smoke inhalation of being a firefighter, he had severe damage to his throat and had a tracheostomy as a result. I’m sure the equipment firefighters used back then were next to useless by today’s standards. This must have been in the 70’s because I was around 10 or 11 years old. I recall a very disturbing view of Leroy Brown smoking a cigarette once through the opening in his throat. *Shivers* I’m pretty sure smoking had something to do with his medical need for the trach in the first place! He probably had throat cancer, but my sisters and I were sheltered from that type of information.

Leroy Brown was a formidable man of large stature. He was in his 60’s at that time, and he carried himself with confidence and arrogance. Due to the trach, his voice was rough and scratchy. He was a direct and to the point type of man. No one messed with Leroy Brown! One time, back when my Grandfather owned a bar, my Grandfather got into an altercation with some drunken idiot over a woman. Well, Leroy Brown, who was the official “unofficial bouncer” pulled a gun on him. That guy ran out of there and never came back. The woman involved, got in Leroy Brown’s face and what do you think he did? He punched her right in the face. Done. No one messed with Leroy Brown or they suffered the consequences. No doubt about that!

Well, my sisters were scared of Leroy Brown. They were about the ages of 5 and 3 at the time. They were just little kids and the sound of Leroy’s voice through that gaping hole in his throat was scary as hell to them! Not to mention, they thought he was THE Leroy Brown from the song by Jim Croce! The song tells what seems to be a good description of our Leroy Brown except I don’t recall that he ever got his ass whooped like in the song.

I heard that song the other day on the radio and it reminded me of our Leroy Brown. I’m not sure when he died, but I hope he had a good life. I would like to have known him as an adult. I think he would have been a very interesting man with some great stories to tell!

Here’s a video of the song and the lyrics are below the video. Enjoy!

Bad Bad Leroy Brown by Jim Croce

Well the South side of Chicago
Is the baddest part of town
And if you go down there
You better just beware
Of a man named Leroy Brown
Now Leroy more than trouble
You see he stand ’bout six foot four
All the downtown ladies call him “Treetop Lover”
All the men just call him “Sir”
And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog
Now Leroy he a gambler
And he like his fancy clothes
And he like to wave his diamond rings
In front of everybody’s nose
He got a custom Continental
He got an Eldorado too
He got a thirty two gun in his pocket for fun
He got a razor in his shoe
And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog
Now Friday ’bout a week ago
Leroy shootin’ dice
And at the edge of the bar
Sat a girl named Doris
And oo that girl looked nice
Well he cast his eyes upon her
And the trouble soon began
And Leroy Brown learned a lesson
‘Bout messin’ with the wife of a jealous man
And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog
Well the two men took to fighting
And when they pulled them off the floor
Leroy looked like a jigsaw puzzle
With a couple of pieces gone
And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog
And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Songwriter: James Croce
Bad Bad Leroy Brown lyrics © BMG Rights Management US, LLC

Excitement, Obstacles & Why Can’t Anything Be Easy?

I haven’t been writing much lately, for a few reasons. Just bummed mostly but excited for family to come. I had to get the house ready as best I could and get groceries so I’d have food to feed everyone. It was a good visit but not long enough. I lost a few hours with them too, because someone couldn’t bend a little. They’re gone now and I miss them tremendously!

I had to cancel my last appointment with my therapist because it was scheduled the day family would arrive. I emailed her later to explain why since I didn’t get to speak to her personally when I rescheduled the appointment. I told her about a few things that have happened in the last three weeks and when she responded she said, “Nothing is ever easy for you, is it?” She nailed it! I’ve been saying that for years! Here’s a rundown of the things that have happened in the past three weeks:

  1. My insurance covered the last round of injections I received but changed their policies since then. They won’t cover them anymore, so now I have to struggle not knowing if they would have helped with my pain.
  2. Ortho doc won’t reconsider knee replacement surgery because my weight/BMI isn’t where they want it to be and my legs are still weak. I think by the time she decides to move forward with surgery, my insurance will no longer cover it. That’s just my luck.
  3. My new doc (since January ’17) that I searched for over the last 10 years, has left the clinic and they won’t tell me where she went! Figures. I finally find a good doctor; one who listens and actually tries to help, and she’s gone. Now I have to find a new doctor or see another in that clinic.
  4. I tried to include my first-born grandson, (who was adopted by his other grandparents) in our little family get-together even though I knew what the outcome would be. The other grandmother wouldn’t hear of it, even though she too, was invited. Instead, she went behind my back and made other arrangements for D.M. to see my daughter (his mother) and his little brother. This took several hours away from us. I’m glad my daughter was able to see D.M. but it’s a shame that other grandmother couldn’t bend a little and come to our house so we could all spend time with D.M.
  5. D.M.’s birthday was Oct. 23. I made arrangements to meet after school to give him his gift in person. This is what we’ve been doing the last few years for Christmas and birthdays. I didn’t think this year would be any different. The night before we were supposed to meet, I find out D.M. is sick. Ok, so I mailed him his gift. It has now been 2 weeks and I’ve not heard one word about whether he liked his gift from me and his great-grandpa. Nice. What a way to teach a kid manners, right?

Anyway, nothing is ever easy for me. It seems that I run into an obstacle at every turn. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t expect life to be easy but sometimes it seems the universe hates me! Every month, there’s something new staring me down…as if to say, “Don’t get too comfy!” I wonder what’s in store for me in November…..

The Ex-Files

I’ve decided to begin a series of installments entitled “The Ex-Files” which will be all about my ex. From this point on, he will be addressed as CP.

I met CP when I was dating his cousin LM. I should have listened to all the negative talk about CP during that time but I didn’t. He was married with a kid, he was a deadbeat dad, he always took the credit for things he didn’t do, he exaggerated the truth all the time, he was lazy, he was nit-picky worse than any woman….so many things that I didn’t listen to.

My ex is living proof as to how stupid I can be.

After my break up with LM, I was devastated. He was my first love and I was just 17-18 years old. I was heartbroken! My mother was tired of me moping around the house (I was off work for the summer) so she sent me on a Greyhound bus to stay with my grandmother for a couple of weeks. It helped because I met a few new people and I realized it wasn’t the end of the world.

When I returned home, I was still sad but I realized I was more upset about the Italian family that treated me as their family and I loved that. I never felt like I was a part of anything and they made me feel like I belonged. I loved them. I still love them. It was just sad to me that because I was no longer dating LM that I had also lost his family; his aunts and uncles, cousins, sisters, brother….

Fast forward a few weeks and almost time for me to go back to work. (I worked for the school district at that time.) I was trying to figure out how I was going to spend the rest of my summer when LM’s cousin CP called me. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers were going to be at the State Fair and he wanted me to go with him. I thought, “Heck, why not?” Of course, I was still living at home and out of respect had to seek permission from my parents. Mom was eager for me to go out again but I think she was thinking more along the lines of getting rid of me, lol. Not murder, but just getting me out of the house.

The State Fair was great, Tom Petty was awesome, and to top it off Stevie Nicks pulled up behind the stage in a long white limo! She got out of the limo in one of her beautiful gypsy-style dresses and came onto the stage! I always loved her style! She sang the duet, Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around with Tom and it was magical! It was a great show and I honestly don’t recall anything other than the concert.

We started seeing each other after that and I freakin’ knew better! In retrospect, I think I was excited to get the family back! It was awkward at first, going to see them all. I’m pretty sure they thought there must be something wrong with me to be dating CP!

I was really happy to have the family back but now I realize that what I really wanted (what I really, truly needed) was to be accepted for who I was and to not be treated as though I was stupid or couldn’t think for myself. My mother was sweet when other people were around, but when it was just her and us kids she wasn’t the same. It was rough living under the same roof as someone who acted like they were disappointed in me and seemed to never accept me for who I was. So, when I had the chance to move out I DID….

To Be Continued in the next installment of The Ex-Files…





There Is Always Something To Be Grateful For

I am trying to be a bit more positive this week. Last week kind of threw me for a loop! It was rough. I’d like to take some time to write about a few of the things I am grateful for…. There’s always something to be grateful for; no matter how bad it is, no matter the struggles.


  1. I’m grateful for my Dad. He’s not just my Dad; he’s my best friend and “partner in crime!” He’s 80 years old and in pretty good health. He’s in better shape than I am!
  2. Over the weekend, one of my furbabies had a problem that led me to believe I was going to have to make that final decision. This morning, she was back to her old self. Still 15 years old and nearing the end of her life, but I am grateful that this week I won’t have to say goodbye.
  3. I am grateful for the good night’s sleep I got last night. It was refreshing. It doesn’t happen often!
  4. I am grateful for the skill to crochet. It helps my hands not freeze up from arthritis. I am working on a poncho for my cousin this week.


I think I will start writing at least one thing I am grateful for each day. It helps to be positive. It helps to be grateful. It helps to look forward and smile. What are you grateful for tonight?



The Back Story

Someone recently asked me how I came to be living with my Dad. I guess it’s an honest question and I don’t blame people for being curious. After all, I am 50-something years old. I guess you might think it’s just weird. Well, I really don’t care what you think. How’s that for honest? Having said that, I will tell you the story of how me living with my Dad came to be.

Back in 1992, my mother lived in SW Missouri (as I do now) but she had left my Dad and her family behind. We were all still living in California. She was killed in an auto accident in 1992 when she was thrown from her pick up. She wasn’t wearing her seat belt. Although it was terribly sad and hurt my heart deeply, I knew something bad was going to happen. I just knew. (That’s another story for another day.)

After she was gone, we (my Dad, my ex and I) had started talk of moving to Arkansas or Missouri. Dad wanted us to come with him because he didn’t want to be alone. He wanted to go somewhere where he could afford to purchase a home. Mom had pretty much spent every last dime he ever made and he could never afford to buy a place of his own. So, we talked a lot about when and where, and how we would pull it together. We would pool our incomes and help each other out with household duties, child care, etc. My grandmother (mother’s mother) would come with us because there was no way I would leave her in California with no one to take care of her.

The plan was that Dad was going to rent a Uhaul, pack it up with the things we didn’t want to leave behind. He would leave in May of 1993. Before he left, he bought plane tickets for my kids, my grandmother, and I. We would be leaving in July. (My ex was supposed to follow around December but it was apparent before we even left that he was just itching to get rid of us and had no intention of following us out here at all. Another story, another day.) 

Before we left, I packed a few boxes of items we wanted to keep but needed up until the last minute. I shipped those boxes via UPS to my sister’s house in Illinois. We would be staying with her for a little while until Dad found a house and got it ready for us all to move in. It took a little longer than he expected to find a place so we were at my sister’s house for 3 weeks. I bet that was a long 3 weeks for her! 

So, fast forward…. My Dad, my grandmother, my kids and I are living in the same house. I was working full time and my kids were in school. Dad took on ‘father figure status’ and took care of the kids when I was at work; he made sure they were fed, clean, nice to each other and that they did their homework. My grandmother tried to help but caused a lot of trouble in the process. (Another story.) I worked my butt off until I had the opportunity to start my own home business. I learned about marketing and how to build a website. I learned everything I could about websites and online businesses so that I could work at home. I learned how to make my own bath and body products and my business was finally being noticed. I had many repeat customers.

I could have moved out of the house and created a home for my kids elsewhere, but by then my grandmother had passed away and that would have left Dad all alone. The whole reason he wanted us to move here with him in the first place was so he wouldn’t be alone. Besides, Dad’s house was my kids’ home.

Dad is 80 now. The kids are grown and moved out. I have had health issues that have led me to close my home business. I can no longer work and I receive SSI benefits. I still try to take care of Dad, as best I can. I make sure he eats, takes his medications, get him to his doctor appointments, etc. Dad helps me too. He’s a big help with many of the household chores that are now difficult for me. He unloads the car when I go for groceries. He washes dishes and helps with the laundry. He is a very entertaining housemate, and if you read Shit My Dad Says, then you will understand the extent of humor in our house! He is my best friend and I’m not going anywhere!

So, that is the story! That’s how I came to be living with my Dad. I wouldn’t change that for anything. Questions? Just ask.