Profile Updated: May 15, 2016
Residing In: Merida, Yucatan Mexico
Spouse/Partner: Nancy
Occupation: Retired
Children: Timmothy Lee born January 28, 1969
Andrew Craig born August 18, 1970
Military Service: U S Air Force  
Yes! Attending Reunion

My life has played out much as the songwriter’s in the song “Pamela Brown.” I would not be considered a country music fan; however this song, written by Tom T. Hall, is so apropos to my life that I have fallen in love with the complete irony of the lyrics. Even so, I prefer the interpretation by Leo Kottke.

In the song a young man is in love with Pamela Brown but she spurns him for someone who has more material possessions. This is quite evident for the man she chooses over the singer drives a pickup truck and he’s too poor. But because she went with another his life is transformed into something he could never have dreamed at the time. He leaves town and, as a result, has seen other worlds and “walked upon their shores.” He is successful and happy and he “owes it all to Pamela Brown.”

My life has become what it is because of my step-mother. My dad remarried when my sister and I were young in order to provide a home for us. My mother had an affair and left my father; a decision she regretted shortly thereafter and for the rest of her life. Regardless, my father, with all good intentions, married my step-mother, Betty. She had two children of her own which were approximately the same ages as my sister and I.

Betty did everything she could to advantage hers over my sister and I. She was verbally abusive often and, on rare occasions, physically abusive. But by being who she was she helped shaped my future, for good or ill.

I left town on the Sunday after high school graduation. I simply couldn’t leave fast enough. I had to get away from her. I returned only for my father’s dying days and to attend his funeral; which was the last time I ever saw Betty. My only regret is that I didn’t get to enjoy dad’s companionship, advice and love when I was old enough to appreciate it. My dad was one of the greatest fathers ever. He gave up everything to provide my sister and me a home. It’s just that when he chose a surrogate mother for us, he chose very poorly and, as a result, he and I grew to become strangers.

I went on to make my way in the world. I joined the military, married, had two children, went to college and had a pretty darn good career. Finally, after the children were raised I divorced my wife, who in so many ways reminded me of Betty, and began my second, much happier, life.

I am now with the love of my life. I would say “soul-mate” but that sounds so cliché. We are living our dream in Mexico. I have a few regrets for my life, but nothing to lose sleep over. I have a few idiosyncratic behaviors which some probably have issues with and are, at this stage of my life, far beyond the help of Dr. Phil or Oprah. But, all in all, things have turned out quite nicely for me. And like in the song, where Tom T. Hall owes it all to Pamela Brown; I owe it all to Betty.

I guess I do have a single significant regret. It bothers me to this day that after all he sacrificed; my dad didn’t get to enjoy his life as much as I’m now enjoying mine.

P.s. To this day I still detest Betty and her progeny; we Germans do know how to hold on to a grudge.

Lyrics to “Pamela Brown”
I'm the guy that didn't marry "pretty" Pamela Brown
Educated, well-intentioned good girl in our town
I wonder where I'd be today if she had loved me too
Probably be driving kids to school

I guess I owe it all to Pamela Brown
All of my good times - all my roamin' around
One of these days I might be in your town
And I guess I owe it all to Pamela Brown

Seen the lights of cities and been inside their doors
Sailed to foreign countries and walked upon their shores
I guess the guy she married was the best part of my luck
She dug him cause he drove a pick-up truck

I don't have to tell you just how beautiful she was
Everything it take to get a guy like me in love
Lord I hope she's happy cause she sure deserves to be
Especially for what she did for me

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Nancy and Barry in their corporate days.
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Barry & Nancy at a Chieftain's concert.