I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I have songs, poems, and stories that I wrote in early elementary school. I only shared them with those around me. Only once did anyone encourage me to pursue a writing career. She was a new 7th grade English teacher at McLaughlin Junior High in Medford, Oregon. I helped all the students with their poems and stories. I still have the story I wrote after she showed us a picture and asked us to write a story about the picture. She told me that whatever career I chose in life to make sure I used my writing talents. Her name was Miss Tanner and I have never forgotten her and her words. As a teacher now I know the great impact teachers have on children. She had a great impact on me. My life has been full of many things, but writing has been a constant that has helped me cope with all the happiness and tragedies that has come my way. I find great healing and inspiration in writing down my thoughts and feelings. Hopefully my writings will help others like it has me.
KSEE24 News clip from 1991. Used with permission from KSEE24 News Broadcasting, Fresno, California (2013). With interviews
“Please Stand By Me” (copyrighted 1991) is not the first song I wrote, because I have been making up songs even before I started grade school, but it is the first song I wanted to share with others. It was written on my way to work during the Desert Storm War in 1991. I wrote it on a Thursday morning and KSEE24 asked that I have it ready for them by the following Monday. Since I do not sing or play a music instrument, I sang the song into a tape recorder for the musician to hear what I was hearing inside my head so instruments and vocals could be added to the song. KSEE24 then broadcasted the song on their 6:00 and 11:00 evening news after they added this video footage to the audio. By that Wednesday CNN picked up the song and video from them and took it around the globe. I did not know this until my nephew, who was stationed at an Air Force Base in England, heard it there. He was the first one to notify me that the song had went global. The Desert Storm War ended quickly and the song was put to rest. It is time to revive it. I hope you enjoy this song and support our military heroes who have unselfishly fought, sacrificed, and gave their lives for our country and our freedom. Technology has advanced a lot since 1991. This video was on a VHS tape and the song on a cassette tape that had to be updated to a current format for this webpage. This is the best quality we could get from these outdated tapes.
KSEE24 Please Stand By Me Troop Song only without interviews, music video only (1991). Video used by permission from KSEE24 News Broadcasting Productions (2013).
Performing Artists: David Deaver and David Knight
Since this is my first song to share with others I am not charging for this song. I hope you enjoy it! Please feel free to download it into your shopping cart before leaving my website. No purchase necessary.
The song above was the first time I tried to get any of my writings out. Then in 1996 I read an article in the Sanger Herald Newspaper in Sanger, California. I wanted to respond to the article so I called up the editor and asked how I could respond to it. He told me to write a letter to the Editor. I told him it was not that type of response so he asked me if I was a writer. I told him, “no, but I do like to write.” He then told me to send him a sample of my work so I did. He called me back and asked me if I would like to be a columnist for the Sanger Herald Newspaper. He thought I was talented and he needed a columnist. I asked him what a columnist was and what they did. I fell into that job very ignorant and unprepared. That is how I began writing a weekly column for the newspaper. At first I named my column, “Birds of my Branches.” The birds were the people who flew in and out of my life. The branches were the circumstances that came my way. I was the tree. My roots were my lifeline where I gained my strength, nourishment, and life from, which is none other than God, my sweet Heavenly Father. I owe everything, including my writing abilities, to him. A new editor later took off the Birds of my Branches and just had it under my name. I was offered a news reporting job several times, but I was attending college and wanted to be a teacher, not a reporter. I did do some news reporting for them at times, critiqued a few local school plays, but I am a creative writer. I also would not let them pay me for my columns so I would own all my work. The first editor died and I went through several editors before deciding to stop writing for The Sanger Herald for my own personal reasons. I wrote a weekly column for them for almost 11 years.
In September 2011 there was an investigation in the Air Force National Guard about something to do with my son’s death. It was resolved, but it sent me to see the Commander in charge at the Fresno, California Flight 144 Guard base. I took in the above tape and song for our military, along with some poetry I had written for Kevin. The Commander made me promise him that day that I would do something with my writings and get them out for others to enjoy. He told me that I could comfort a lot of people’s hearts who has lost someone, especially a child, and could not put their grief in words like I could. I promised him I would. So this is how this webpage began.
We now have an international communication system called the internet with a lot of social media outlets. I began looking for a webpage designer and a musician and singers to work with to do my songs. I was fortunate to find my talented musician, Jimmie Orozco, who was a friend of my son. Jimmie’s younger brother, George, grew up in my home and was one of Kevin’s closest childhood friends. It has taken us a while but we have completed a lot of songs now. We have a lot more to do. Due to the social media videos, I have been learning how to film and edit videos to go with my songs. It has been a lot of work to get where we are at today so you can hear what I hear in my ear when I get a song. It has been a lot of typing for you to read what I write. When I get a poem I hear no music. When I get a song the music just flows out of me along with the words. Many of my songs are written on the go within about 15-30 minutes. The Big Bad Wolf in a Cowboy Hat is an example of this. That song was written while I was sitting at a Taco Bell drive thru in Medford, Oregon. There was a train track with a train going very slow due to it being in the middle of town next to this Taco Bell. I was listening to the train movement and sounds when all of a sudden the huff and puff began flooding my head. That is why this song has that train sound in it. From the time I heard the first huff and puff in my head to the time I drove out of the drive thru I had this entire song. It was just flooding me. It took me about 15 minute to write it. My brother is my cowboy and I wrote it for him, not about him. He is a very special and sweet brother. He loved my song when I shared it with him. This is an example of how I get my songs. I usually don’t work at them much. They come to me depending on where I am at, what I am doing, and what mood I am in. I let the songs write themselves because I couldn’t stop them if I wanted to. Writing is like breathing to me. I have even dreamed songs and wrote them down when I woke up.
This webpage is my way of keeping my promised to Kevin’s Commander and sharing my work with you. If it had not been for that investigation I probably would not have created this website. I am thankful for that investigation for it changed my life in many different ways.
I am sharing my work and seeing where God takes it. If it touches one person, comforts one grieving heart, makes someone laugh or cry, or blesses someone in a special way, that is enough for me. It will be worth every penny I spend if it helps and blesses anyone who hears or reads it. God freely gave me this gift and I freely share it. Unfortunately, it cost money for me to share it. I wish it didn’t. I wish we lived in a world where money was the least valuable thing we had and love, compassion, and forgiveness was the most valuable thing we could possess. Unfortunately, that is not our world today.
This is Jimmie Orozco, my musician and male vocalist. This is Valerie Belli, my female vocalist.