Born and Raised.... all over the damn place. I was born November 6, 1985 in Anchorage, Alaska. "Dan Sr." met my mama in Shreveport, Louisiana after basic training in the United States Air Force. They met in a bar, and of course my old man won mama over singing some Elvis Presley one night at Karaoke. Mama was fresh out of her second divorce, with my older sister in tow, looking for a way out of town. Dad was the lucky guy! Next thing you know, they're married in 84', Dad gets his orders to Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, AK and baby ME makes four...
Mom and Dad's wedding in Shreveport with my big sister, Mama and Papa and Uncle Clay.
By the time I'd taken up residency in the Pelican State, we'd lived in Montgomery, Alabama where my little sister was born. Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio where I got my first kiss on the lips and second set of stitches on the head... Xenia, Ohio was where some of my favorite childhood memories are. Pee Wee Super Bowl Champions... Running back for the McKinley Panthers... Two and a Half hours from Grandma and Grandpa Smalley's house in Peebles where I learned to work and hunt... Intro to Domestic Violence/Mama's Demons and place where my mom cheated on my Dad and ruined our perfect little world we had goin..... To Fort Riley, Kansas with our first Step Dad. A fresh new Army recruit mama met at the Pet Warehouse she was working at while Dad was on TDY... I bounced back and forth for a couple years from Ohio to Kansas until Step Dad got orders to Korea and Mama got her wish to move back home. We moved back to Shreveport in 1999 just as YKK was about to end the world... never understood what zippers had to do with any of it.
Me and my little sister with Mama and Papa Greer
The Greers were pretty hard core people. T.O. "Jimmy" Greer grew up in the depression and didn't understand anything but hard work. I watched that man build a pad with a bulldozer for his own drilling rig he operated with his buddies and drill for actual oil . A real Jed Clampett of a situation, minus the rabbit hunting and move to Beverly Hills. Naw, Jimmy and Flo set up on Toledo Bend in a three story redneck mansion of a lake house AFTER they'd lived in Pleasant Hill and lost their first three children to a sickness in the 50's and adopted my mama and uncle years later...That's another Blog.
This house was my favorite place in the world. Huge twenty foot ceilings on the second floor with a potbelly stove and a pipe that stretched all the way up the wall dividing the living and dining area of this wood paneled palace complete with Sliding glass doors, a wrap around second floor porch, a boat house with two hydraulic boat slips, three car carport, big screen TV and the newest satellite dish available so Papa could keep up with his numbers... I learned how to fish and swim in Toledo Bend and could navigate the upper most north eastern corner of the 185,000 acre man-made lake by the time I was ten years old. I pulled more blue gill, sunfish, catfish, white, striped and large mouthed bass out of those waters than most grown men before I'd even moved to the state. We visited Mama and Papa EVERY summer. And EVERY summer I was fishing and swimming and getting sunburnt and eating all the southern fried goodness my grandmother would cook up. Watching my Grandparents and Uncle Clay playin poker for quarters and silver dollars with Benny Joe and Uncle Ronald while me and my cousins were running around outside chasing lightnin' bugs and bull frogs. Or sneakin down to the boat house, lit up by a skeeter zapper, dumping out a slimy old snappin' turtle we'd lied and told Papa we let out earlier, only to have the ice chest fall over on the deck, dumping out daddy snapper who almost snapped us into the lake with him on his way off the edge of the dock. I swear to God my cousin levitated off the side of the dock making the corner like speedy Gonzales himself running from that snapping turtle.
I'll never forget the smell of southern pine, red clay and fish in the Louisiana moonlight listening to crickets and cicadas chirp with the frogs, holding a cane pole one hand and an RC Cola in the other, sittin next to T.O. while he smoked cigs and tried to get to know his grandson.
This video was shot in Alexandria, Louisiana. CENLA is home to some of the oldest settlements in the United States.
So after bouncing around for the first fourteen years of my life, I spent the next almost eighteen (1999-2017) in Caddo Parish and grew to love the state that now has more people leaving at a greater rate than ANY OTHER STATE in the country. Ranks worst in Education and Crime. Almost worst in Economic Growth and Dead last in almost every other category they keep score in. Still, deep down, I love Louisiana with all my heart and pray for a day of reckoning for those responsible for choking the economy into the dismal, draconian state it's become.
This is the "Bayou" I was "Born and Raised" on. Technically it was a bunch of Bayous... one big work boot of a state full of some of the kindest, most talented, most loving, most laid back people you'll ever meet.
Some of the music industry's greatest influences come from the "Bayou State"...
That's another Blog.