July 2020 Muse Letter


In Remembering the Dream we share songs and stories of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950’s and 60’s. There is a clear connection to the Dream Dr. King shared in August of 1963, in the chronological and spiritual middle of that movement. Dr. King’s dream goes back to the dream of the Founders and the idea that we all are created equal with unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Founders’ dream goes back to the scriptures and the dream that all are equally precious in the eyes of the Creator. 

Dr. King spoke of how the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice. We are at a moment, an inflexion point, in our country’s history when we can see and even take part in the bending of that arc. When we do that we prove to ourselves and to the world that Black Lives Matter.

Unlike during the Civil Rights Movement, this time the President of the United States, the Congress, and the Supreme Court are not out front in pursuing racial justice. For that reason alone, I believe it is important to understand the history of the Civil Rights Movement; the passion, the joy, the love, and the dedication to non-violence that was at its heart. 

My hope is that you can find some of that passion, joy, and love in these weekly podcasts. 

The image below is a statue on the University of Mississippi campus. 

University of Mississippi Campus Statue
Photo by Troy Bonnes


Mike McCoy and I were planning on going into the studio in July and recording new songs. We’ve recorded a couple albums, “Between Friends” in 1981 and “Between Old Friends” in 2009. Because this fall it will be 55 years since we started singing together and 25 years since McCoy began his walk of faith, it seemed a natural time to add another chapter to our musical journey. We have decided at this time to wait and reschedule. 

The working title of the new project is called “Old Friends, Brothers Too/Two.” Here is a home recording of that song.

The black and white photo was taken at the Seattle Concert Theater in 1980. The other photo was taken at our home in 2009.

Old Friends and Brothers Too


Beginning in March I started sharing songs with a small circle of friends. Most days I share either a song recorded by The Brothers Four or one that I’ve done by myself or with Mike McCoy. One of the main purposes of the Circle was to be a way of being connected to Michael Kirkland as he was dealing with health issues. Over the last few months the circle has grown. Here’s a sample of what we do.

This song was written in the winter of 1997. I introduced it that March at a Brothers Four concert in my hometown of Spokane where I was also the opening act. That evening I dedicated the song to my parents. What I thankfully didn’t know is that I would be singing it nine weeks later at my dad’s memorial.   

If you’re not yet a part of the circle and would like to be included let me know. 


The photo is of my folks taken in the mid-90’s.

One Love and Two Lives


My mom turned 98 the end of May. She’s in a retirement community. A few weeks ago she was put into Hospice Care. That means, among other things, that family can more easily visit her. My wife, Pat, and I just got back from Spokane and a visit with her. Except for a few hours rehearsing with McCoy in Edmonds, I had not left the Olympic Peninsula for four months.

The time with my mom was precious. There was a lot of music. I read some chapters from a book I wrote for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. The last evening, we had a sort of Hootenanny in my mom’s bedroom. My mom, Pat, the caregiver, and I sang for a couple of hours. The next morning our visit was much more quiet. My mom slept most of the time. The songs were mostly instrumental or ones I’d written. They included one called “On a New Day.”  

As I write this my mom is hanging in there. I call her every day around dinner time. The caregiver puts the phone on speaker mode. My mom and I talk a for few minutes. I sing her a song. We tell each other we love each other. I tell her I’ll talk to her tomorrow.  

The photo is of my mom and me taken on the beach in front of Pat’s and my home on the Olympic Peninsula.

On a New Day

  1. 4b On a New Day.mp3