What History Taught Me

Mike Blakely, First Spur Winner for Western Song

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I grew up in the country. We ranched, worked hard and did virtually everything ourselves. That kind of upbringing instills resourcefulness, efficiency, determination and persistence. Yes, my inner strength falters sometimes but always rallies.

Creativity has a way of procreating. I listen to quality music and read as much good literature as I can. I also enjoy long moments of quiet time in the woods or on the back of a horse. This combination leads to inspired creativity for me. Almost every great moment of inspiration I have ever enjoyed has resulted from something someone said, or wrote, or played or sang before me. Often, however, the inspiration doesn’t truly sink in until I am alone in a quiet place.

A song snippet I admire: “The yellow-haired lady was buried at sunrise, the stranger went free, of course / ’Cause you can’t hang a man for shootin’ a woman who’s trying to steal his horse.” —Willie Nelson

My horses and dogs are truly good friends. They cheer me up when I’m melancholy, and they’re always ready to load up for some adventure.

I caught a whiff of a skunk in a suburban neighborhood, while living...

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