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Notes From Clearview Ranch

Our Song…

By R.W.

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Lisa & R.W. Hampton Nov 2012So yesterday I asked the folks on Facebook if they had a special song with their “sweetheart” and of course to share what it was. 

I love to read the answers and why people love a song. A lot of it has to do with timing…   If you fell in love in the 60′s your speical song is more likely to be from Sonny & Cher than from George Strait.  There is also the matter of what you danced to when dating or what made your heart sing when you were married.  Timing is everything.

Our song has a lot to do with timing too.  And, mind you, not all timing is good timing….

You see, Lisa and I had been friends for several years but when the magic happened things moved along pretty quick. We were both single parents doing the second-time around romance long-distance so if truth be told we really came to a point where we couldn’t afford to keep dating and paying all our money to phone bills and airline companies.

Yes, fall was in the air and Lisa was going to meet me and my boys in Fort Worth that October where I was playing Red Steagall’s Cowboy Gathering.  I mustered up all of my confidence as well as what little was left of my pocketbook and headed for the nearest mall with a jewelry store the week before the Gathering. 

Lisa flew down to Fort Worth where my trusty side-kick, my brother Jeff, picked her up from the airport and brought her to the Stockyards.  She looked as pretty as ever, so with the ring in my pocket we spent the day with my family enjoying the event,  and me nervously waiting for the right moment to pull her aside and pop the question.

After dinner we all walked back to the big tent where Red and his Bunkhouse Boys were puttin on quite a dance.  “Ahhh, here is the place.” I thought.  We watched the dancers for a while then I turned to my friend JB Allen & his wife and asked if they would keep an eye on the boys for a moment while we danced.  Well, JB knew something was up so of course he wanted to stick around for the spectatin’.

Ammassing all my will power I ushered Lisa onto the dance floor and we swirled around the tent until I finally gathered enough courage to stop in a corner, and on one knee, I asked my very surprised sweetheart what she was doing for the rest of her life.  Without missing a beat she gave the answer that every nervous man hopes to hear, “Following some ol’ cowboy around!”. It was then I slipped the ring on her finger and said “Welcome to Texas!”

And…., then, as the song ended and we were making our way back to JB, Margaret, and the boys, Lisa paused and said the words I will never forget….  “Oh, I want to remember this moment forever Sweetie… What song were they just playing?”

It was at that moment that “our song” was created.  And it just so happened that Red and the Boys, which happened to magically include all the living Texas Playboys that night, were playing an old blues standard… “Misery” sung by none other than the great vocalist Leon Rausch.

Timing….. it is everything.  I can assure you, we laugh about it now, but we will never forget it!

Happy Valentines everyone. From our house to yours, we wish you a wonderful day wherever you are.

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The Big Party

By Lisa (Mrs.) Hampton

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Rumor is that the party of the year was today. We have all heard that the price tag on this little soirée will top $150 million dollars when the receipts come in.

Now myself, I wasn’t invited so maybe you are thinking I have a chip on my shoulder.  No, I assure you. That is not the case.

I have heard all the comments about where the money is coming from to fashion reports on what the first family is wearing and I think it is all so jarringly surreal in light of America’s economic status today.  It is irrelevant that this number is or isn’t higher than his first party, or any of Clinton or Bush’s parties for that matter.

I think the point that many are trying to make here is that this isn’t a discussion of party politics, this is 2013, not 2005 or 2009, and AMERICA CAN NOT AFFORD to throw a party of this magnitude this year.

Like many Americans and others around the world, I am having trouble understanding how Washington can celebrate when the statistics show that America is still hurting. I cannot begin to comprehend a leader and his entourage who can, without the slightest bit of guilt, plan and party with this decadence when millions more Americans can’t find jobs to feed their families, when the price of gas has nearly doubled during his term, and almost every citizen has felt the pains of trimming their own budget since four years ago.

What so many Americans, including myself, would have respected, admired and applauded would have been a leader who said “No, we can’t afford this, we will have to do something smaller.” It doesn’t matter that the party itself is paid for by contributions; the reality is that the bulk of the expenses come from America’s taxpayers and our seriously over-spent budget.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to have heard the sweet words, “No, that doesn’t fit our budget’s priorities”?   Interestingly, in times of hardship a few of America’s Presidents have said “No, we must do less.”,  and although forgotten by many, they made the right decision for our country. 

Well, party on Washington.  The hang-over may last longer than you think.

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Our Beautiful View

By Lisa (Mrs.) Hampton

Monday, November 12th, 2012

American Flag

Our place sits out in the open prairie but up above the valley, to our south the rim rock of the mesas climbs a thousand feet above us.  The country between is blanketed with Oak Brush, Pinõn, and Cedar, with Blue Spruce, Aspen and Ponderosas as its crowning glory.  To the west the Sangre de Christos paint the horizon with a multitude of purples, blues and greys as each mountain and ridge falls away to another higher one. To our north and east you can look out for miles across a sea of rolling prairie grass that’s colors change not only with the seasons but also with the time of day and the shadows of the clouds above.

 

From the porch I look out at this version of heaven and know just how special it is, but, the very best part of the view is down at the end of our gravel driveway.

There, every day, waves our American flag; a beautiful reminder of who I am, what I stand for, and what not only our fathers and fore-fathers fought for, but now also our son.  What better reminder could there be, than this beautiful flag in the early morning sunlight blowing in the breeze?

And so today, we gather as a nation to honor those who serve or have served.  This is our day to thank them.

And like that flag, their service is a beautiful thing. Thank them with all your heart; tell them how much their service means to you.  Honor them by supporting the values that this country was built on, created for, and endures because of.  These men and women, they deserve so much more than just hanging our flag up for the day; more than we can ever possibly give back to them, and more than they will ever ask for.  But when you go about your day, not just today but every day, when you see that beautiful American flag, be proud, not only of our country, but of these men and women who have sworn to protect it, and then tell them and find some little way to do more for them.

 

http://www.rwhampton.com/music/fb7.php Click to hear For the Freedom, by R.W. from the album I Believe

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Perspective

By R.W.

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

 

Dear Friends,

Well its over for now. Personally it didn’t go the way I had hoped & prayed it would.

Last night I listened to the returns as I was driving through the black empty prairie. When the news came, I pulled over, stopped & got out. The stars were incredible. I recognized the Big Dipper, Orion, & that old faithful North Star. Dad showed me these constellations as a kid. These same stars that ancient mariners & herdsman have used for direction gave me the sense that God is big, I am small & that there is a plan.

And the sun rose this morning right on time.

As I start this new day, although tired, heart-sick & bruised, the world will not stop for me to catch up. It’s time to go on. And you know, even though it didn’t go my way, at the end of the day DEMOCRACY is still a beautiful thing.

Thanks for voting in the election 2012 & as always,
God bless America!

Your Pard,

R. Dub

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A Cure For What Ails Us

By R.W.

Monday, October 29th, 2012

 

So the debates are behind us and the only thing now between today and the election is a gigantic storm named Sandy. If you’ve been following the posts and comments here and on my Facebook page, you know I feel strongly about this election. I want everyone to educate themselves on the issues, the candidates and then go vote if you haven’t already.

I am a pretty conservative guy, I won’t tell you how I voted and I don’t think any of the candidates have all the answers but for what it’s worth, here is my take on things.

Okay now, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t EVER want to do a four year stretch as President but if I ever was punished like that I think I’ve got a plan for easing our health care & economic woes. That’s right a simple one step plan.

CURE CANCER! Yes, just cure cancer.

As JFK did with the race to the moon, I would challenge us as a nation to find a CURE before this decade is out. That’s right, if we turned our energies & resources towards the obliteration of cancer just think of the positive effects on healthcare, insurance, productivity, and personal finances. I would venture to say all of you in some way or another have been touched by the devastating ravages of cancer.

On a personal level I know what I’m talking about because I’ve dealt with Malignant Melanoma three different times. I’m healthy and have been in “remission” for years now but the last round I went through it without insurance and of course am now one of the millions of un-insured Americans who live in fear of health issues because of a pre-existing condition. (For more about our feelings towards Obama’s Healthcare bill please go here. )

I’ve heard the bad news, had the surgeries, done the treatments and faced the stress of each follow-up. I’ve lost dear friends and a sister-in-law at 48 years old. We’ve got to find the causes and cures and put our efforts into those instead of expensive ad campaigns. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting real tired of visiting cancer clinics, hospice care, local fund-raisers and funerals for folks who should’ve had a lot more years ahead.

Pink RibbonNow I’m realistic enough to know that there is a cost for everything and I know that a cure for the “Big C” would wreck out the mortuary, pharmaceutical and pink ribbon industries, but what the heck, we can always move on to something else to support. Yeah, like curing the commonsense deficit amongst our leaders. But no, that wouldn’t be hope and change, no, that would be an outright miracle!

Do you have any suggestions for our illustrious leaders on how to fix our economy and the state of our country?  Did you know that every month except August & December are some type of Cancer Awareness months? 

 

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Why I Talk Politics

By R.W.

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Flags at SunsetOctober 4, 2012

Folks, last night someone commented that they didn’t like politics coming from my Facebook “music page”.  Obviously they don’t know me very well.

You won’t find me telling you how to vote, just telling you TO GO VOTE. I like to hear the facts (when I can find them) and I want people to be interested in what is going on in America.  I am proud to be an American & I am proud that my father, forefathers & my son have all stood up & swore to protect this great nation – and some of them have died doing it.

I won’t ask you to vote for my candidate, and I won’t tell you who I want to win; but I will tell you that you should be praying for our country and for all of the candidates that they will be leaders who are guided by values other than personal greed and self-empowering goals.

This country can not stand with the polarization that is happening among us – right or left we need to learn to look towards the middle in order to build our great nation’s strength back.  And we need leaders who will do the same.

It takes each of us learning the facts and educating ourselves, holding to our values and then working hard to reach a compromise with those who have different values and ideals to achieve a plan that works for those who are willing to work hard to make it work.  There is not a one of us who is not able to do something for the good of our country and our neighbors; no matter our financial well-being or our physical abilities.

America was built by hardworking people who all came here to follow a dream. They didn’t come here for a hand-out, just a hand-up.  These same people made it great for all of us who live here today.

Working together to put strong leaders in our government is important if we want America to get back on her feet.  We can no longer sit by and say that someone else will take care of it while more and more of America is bartered off to foreign countries when we have a wealth of human and natural resources right here.  You have heard me say it before, America is not for sale!

I want to hand my children and grand-children a great nation to grow up in but I know it will take an effort of hard work.  Telling others how to vote just won’t work. But helping to find and support leaders worthy of voting for on both a local and national level does help.  Making sure I’m as educated as possible before I vote and knowing what my own principles and values are, and praying for our leaders those are ways I can help.  And, if doing my part includes reminding people what values I think are important – through my music, my writing and this page…. then so be it.

God Bless America!

 

I’d love to hear from you.  How do you educate yourself about the candidates?  Do you vote along party lines? What issues are the most important to you?

 

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The Big Circle

By R.W.

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Baby Lincoln

Yesterday was an unusual day.  My two youngest boys and I made a big circle over into the Texas Panhandle to meet my daughter-in-law and the newest Hampton. As I held the tiny bundle of life I was filled with the same awe and wonder that I had when I first held his father.  Too soon it was time to say goodbye.

We then traveled another 45 minutes south to visit a dear lady that I’ve known all my adult life.  A glorious Christian woman who will soon be “winging” her way to that vast range that we can only see with our eyes of faith but we hold close to our hearts.  She’s ready too; as she has a son she hasn’t seen in 40 something years that she’s looking forward to spending eternity with.

It was quiet as we drove away when Calvin summed it up best with reverence in his voice, “Wow Dad, today we have seen the start of a life and the end of a life.”

Amen, Calvin. Amen.  At eleven years old I think he gets it.

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Road-Trip Postcard: California

By R.W.

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Postcard from California

Hi folks!

If you’ve been around me long you will learn that I write painfully slow.  I don’t use a computer at all, instead I write everything down in what Lisa calls “block printing” on my yellow legal pad.  I scratch things out, rearrange with arrows, and my spelling is horrible. Then I give it to Lisa and she goes through it and types it up so it will make sense.  We have done it this way ever since she married me and brought one of those confounded computers with her.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I can run a fax machine and am learning to text (slowly) on my cell phone so I’m not a complete technology misfit!

But as slow as I write, letters are rare.  I prefer the postcard.  It has a pretty picture of where I am, a nice small box where I can print about 3 sentences if I’m lucky and then I address it, slap a stamp on it and away it goes!

So (with Lisa’s help) I figured I will try this on here and occasionally send you an electronic “postcard” when I don’t have time to write something longer but want to say “hi”.  This first one is from here in California where I’ve been working in the studio between gigs on my newest songs, Hell in a Helmet and Not For Sale.

So here it goes:

Postcard from California

 

Greetings! From sunny Southern Ca, where folks here dress like they drive: WIDE OPEN!

I had a great day in the studio and am working with some tremendously talented players including the most sought after drummer in history!  He even played on “Jackos” Thriller album.

Can’t wait for you to hear the new songs!

Adios for now. Your Amigo,

R.Dub

 

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Summer

By Lisa (Mrs.) Hampton

Friday, July 6th, 2012


Ethan at the local pool

<Ethan at the local swimming pool>

I don’t know about any of you, but summer kind of snuck up on me this year.

One minute I was unpacking coats and gloves from a trip to the East coast in the spring and the next it was 104′ and I needed a pedicure in order to wear any of the 75 pairs flip-flops collecting dust in my closet. (You would have to have followed R.W.’s FaceBook page for the story behind the pedicure, or lack there-of.)

So here we are already deep into summer and between applying sunscreen I have been taking lots of pictures of R.W. and the boys but of course I haven’t found the time to share them… so before summer really gets busy here is a quick peek into the past few weeks!

best friends

<Ethan & his new best friend>

Ethan learning how to throw a baseball with big brother Denver

<Big brother Denver teaching Ethan how to throw a baseball.>

Calvin Danner taking aim

<Calvin Danner taking aim with his water gun.>

Ethan at his swim lessons...trying to look like Wall-E?

<Trying to look like Wall-E?>

Annie...enjoying the dog days of summer

<Annie...enjoying the dog days of summer.>

Giving one of the dogs a bath

<The boys attempt to give Mickey, aka Snookie, aka Shorty a bath...>

Waiting for Swim Lessons

<Waiting for Swim Lessons>

 

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America – It’s Independence Day!

By R.W.

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

So tomorrow is the Fourth of July, right? Well of course it is. But to me it’s more than that. It’s Independence Day! Isn’t it great that we are Americans and have such a great day to look back on in history.

A few years ago my wife, Lisa, and I wrote our first song together. I hadn’t done anything with it until one morning before the Fourth of July I asked her to film me singing it on our porch as a little Independence Day gift for my fans. Folks seemed to have liked “Not For Sale” and although it’s taken a lot longer to get it recorded than we have wanted, I’ve been in the studio working on it and hope to release it and another song “Hell in a Helmet” very soon.

 So as Americans around the world get ready to go celebrate our Independence Day, I find myself remembering back to when I wrote this song and thought I would share the little prch video again. So much has changed in the past few years, but the cost of freedom is still the same and the song seems to become more relevant with each passing year.

If you’ve watched this one before I thank you, if you like it I hope you will consider forwarding it along to share with your friends. And of course, I always love to hear what you think about the songs I write & sing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChXt_c0uOwg 

 

Happy Independence Day, America!

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