I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on December 29, 1945. I grew up in Middletown, 15 miles east of Louisville. School began for me in the fall of 1952. I hated school, everything about it. My first grade teacher grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me because I tried to work a puzzle that was too hard for me without first asking. She was a bitch! She had 2 huge dogs, which she prized, and maybe that is why I hate dogs to this day. Anyway, I went through grade school and high school without opening my mouth. I sat and waited for the bell to ring at 3 o'clock so I could go home and listen to rock n roll on my small turntable. I bought Elvis Presley and Ricky Nelson. Only in my senior year did I find a means of expressing myself. It was 1964, the year of The Beatles, and I latched on to them. I looked in the mirror and saw John Lennon. If I had no talent and was too lazy to work, at least I could grow my hair. My hair became my vocation as I sat up half the night trying to write songs. My mother drug me out of bed each morning. She was determined that I would graduate. I strolled through commencement like a zombie in that silly cap and gown. The cap crushed my Beatle hairdo. Thank God it was over!
Little did I know, it was only beginning! President Kennedy was assassinated during my senior year. This set off a chaotic chain of events which took 15 years to run its course. The Vietnam War, race riots, illegal drugs, religious fanaticism, women's liberation, homosexuality and the political corruption of Watergate piled wave upon wave. I plowed through my 20s. I got an Associate degree from Lindsey Wilson College in central Kentucky in 1967. I was majoring in English. For the first time, I was taking an interest in literature. I was reading novels and grappling with European history. I thirsted for knowledge. I was eligible for the draft and like other young men, confused about Vietnam. The war made no sense! Nor did the draft. We were told we were in Vietnam to contain Communism. I had trouble understanding what a Communist was. No man could look at another and recognize him as a Communist. The isolated geography of Vietnam was a problem. It lay behind the Philippines on the map. It did not jut out like the Korean peninsula. It was hard to get to and hard to defend. The draft could not be justified. Something in me was saying no man had the right to take another man off the street and put him in a war against his will. Nevertheless, the draft was real. You went when you were called or risked the chance of being sent to prison. After getting a third year of college, my draft papers came. My education was without direction, and I went into the army in October, 1969. I took basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. After advanced training in radio school, I received orders for Germany. I recall standing in formation and looking at those orders. What a relief! By 1970, most of America had turned against the war, and Richard Nixon was slowly pulling troops out. Vietnam was becoming something people wanted to forget. I set out for Germany. I had studied German for 2 semesters and knew a few words. Once in Frankfurt, I found that the prostitutes spoke fluent English. I avoided them. I was thinking of the girl I left behind. I knew it was over but consoled myself with false hope. I did not care for Germany. It was dark and depressing. Buildings were drab. It was like going back to the Middle Ages. I ended up in a nuclear platoon. Over my head! German beer was potent, and I drank too much. By the time I received my discharge, America had changed. Hippie life had become a norm for young people. A grass roots religious movement was sweeping the country as baby boomers searched for answers in the aftermath of war. They looked to Buddhism and various forms of mysticism. Cults sprang up, and I got involved with Jesus freaks. We attended a Pentecostal church, spoke in tongues and wrote gospel songs. "Jesus Paid My Debt" came from that period and to this day, I regard the essence of the New Testament as ultimate reality.
In late 1973, I recorded a song called "Long Live Rock n Roll." It was a tribute to what was then 20 years of rock n roll. I pressed 1000 copies in Nashville and mailed them across the country. I would hear from that song in 1981 while working for the State of Tennessee. The people who had the publishing on "Long Live Rock n Roll" called to say Elvis Presley had recorded my song and that RCA had released it on an 8-record set called Elvis Aron Presley. I was ecstatic! Wasn't this my dream? I went to a record shop and bought the vinyl set. I took it home and played it only to be disappointed. It was my title, and I was credited as the writer, but it was not my song. It is hard to say what it was. The band was jamming, and Elvis was moaning in the background. My dad said it was my song. I knew it was not. It makes a funny story, but it was all secondary to the fact that making a record gave me new hope. I could do things! What next? I decided to finish college with help from the GI Bill. I had a plan. I had the idea of being a librarian since I had read a variety of books by this time and wanted to be around them. It did not occur to me that I did not have the temperament of a librarian. I was a bull in a china closet. But I had to do something! I finished my Bachelor's Degree in English at Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky. Nearly all my courses were independent. I wrote papers and took them in. I studied Greek drama, Shakespeare and the British Romantic poets. I was out of my mind but graduated and moved to Nashville to pursue a Master's Degree in Library Science. Peabody College is now part of Vanderbilt University, and I am living in an apartment on the Vanderbilt campus as I edit my bio. It is hard not to believe in full circles. I got the MLS and took a library job at Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, east of Nashville off Interstate-40. It was a high school. For someone who hated school, I could not get enough. I was in my early 30s, and working with teenagers gave me a sense of responsibility. I quit drinking and tried to hold myself as an example for young people. I put on the same uniform I had worn in the army. It was not easy. I was neither a soldier nor a librarian by nature. These were things I was caught up in, in my youth. My second year at Castle Heights, the songwriter in me came out. I put together a band composed of students, and we recorded an album with my friend Bill Davis. I met Bill while attending Peabody. He was a music major with ambitions of writing "serious music." Our album was centered around a song I wrote called "Phoenix." We called the album Rising from the Ashes. I liked comebacks, and comeback songs were a category within my catalog. The album left me closer to the students than to the faculty, and I was fired. I could no longer do the military thing. I was 32. Jimmy Carter was president, and times were good. Disco music was everywhere. ABBA was on the radio with "Dancing Queen," and The Bee Gees burned with "Night Fever." I wanted a girl friend! I wanted to get married. I bought a house in Lebanon and moved in alone. By October, 1978, I had another library job, this time with the State of Tennessee in Nashville. I was not cut out to be a librarian!
Fate stepped in! While at Castle Heights, I fell in love with the wife of a faculty member. We paired off every night in the cafeteria. We gazed dreamily into each other's eyes and confided our feelings of alienation. "We are under siege." she said. Her hair was dark, and her eyes were deep blue. Her skin was seductively pale. She reminded me of Madame Bovary from Gustav Flaubert's novel: the tragic, lonely wife waiting for some lover to whisk her away to a better place. I wanted to! I thought it was going to happen. I contemplated it for 2 years. There was one huge obstacle. She had 2 young boys, and it was not in me to take someone else's kids. The spell broke. I bought the house and lay in bed every night for 10 months grieving over this woman. Her husband finally told me she had a boy friend, a disc jockey from Knoxville. There would be a divorce, but she was not moving in with me. The pain cut like a knife. I vowed that if I ever became enamored with another married woman, I would strike like lightning!
It did not take long. I went to work at the Tennessee State Library. My assistant sat at the desk behind me. It was Karen, the future mother of my son. We got to know each other quickly. She was married to a man who worked on another floor in the library. It was the same story, another unhappy wife. She said that the week before, she had loaded her car and driven around the block only to return because she had nowhere to go. Karen wanted a house. Her husband wanted to drink up their money and run to Florida every time he got a chance. She wanted a baby. He did not want one because he had a son by a previous marriage. Karen and I sat side by side, checking in serials. The chemistry was strong. We rubbed our legs together. Other employees noticed. 10 days after I took the job, Karen was in my bed in Lebanon. We set up a pattern of Thursday nights. She told her husband that she was selling Avon when she was driving to Lebanon to be with me. One night, we met on the corner by the library to go to a movie. A fellow employee drove by, and we were sure he saw us. We saw a Woody Allen movie that night called Interiors, possibly his worst. Things came to a head! I told Karen to leave her husband and move in with me. I had a house and promised her a baby. She was not sure. We lay on the floor on my living room after sex. She cried and said she needed 6 months to think it over. Her mascara ran. I laughed and told her she looked like Alice Cooper. 6 months was too long! I insisted she move in right away. She said she would move in after Thanksgiving. She spent Thanksgiving with her detested in-laws and later recalled thinking, "This is the last time!" Karen's daddy rented a U-Haul and moved her stuff to my house while her husband was at work. It was Friday, and we went to sleep that night in each other's arms. It would be that way for a while. We did the right thing!
Confrontation with the husband was inevitable. He was waiting for us Monday morning, pacing on the sidewalk outside the library. We clashed over the next few weeks. The climax came in the lobby of the library. It got physical! He was bigger. I was more determined. I had him by the hair with his head down. I was a matador. he was a bull. We inched toward the stairwell. A wrong move, and we would have gone over!
I heard a bellowing voice! "What in the hell is going on here?" I looked up. It was the head librarian, a crusty, cigarette-smoking dyke. Behind her, library personnel were peeking through the main doors, their necks stretching to see the fight. It was over. Fisticuffs are not expected from library-types, and I was given 2-weeks notice. Karen and I left together, and I never used my degree again.
I had been through Las Vegas the previous summer and got the idea of finding work there. Karen and I loaded my Ford Maverick and left for Vegas on Flag Day, June 14, 1979. We drove west on I-40. A couple of nights in motels, and we found ourselves cruising down Las Vegas Boulevard. We rented an apartment and looked for work. It was useless, at least for me. The trip gradually turned into a tour of the American west. After a month in Vegas, we retreated to Nashville. Karen got her divorce, although it took a year because her idiot husband contested it. He sued me for "alienation of affection." I could not believe a lawyer would take such a ridiculous case, but he found one stupid enough. Karen and I were married in April, 1980. I came in one morning from working at the U.S. Post Office, and she informed me that it was time. I was going to wear bluejeans, and she made me change into slacks. We drove to the courthouse in Lebanon. A woman married us, and I tipped her $20. A picture was taken of Karen and me kissing. I felt no different now that we were married than I had when we were living together.
These were years of travel, my 30s. I was fascinated with great places. Suddenly, I was free to go to places I had heard about all my life. My galleries are filled with pictures. Karen took them while I wrote papers. After a while, I had that full circle feeling.
Karen and I began watching Dallas in the fall of 1979. It sounds crazy, but when J.R. and Sue Ellen became parents on the show, I realized that I was going to be a father. I never thought it possible before. Karen and I knew we would be parents. We also believed we would have the boy she wanted.
I collected books on human sexuality. I had about 20. I studied diagrams of the female reproductive organs. I learned about ovaries, Fallopian tubes & uteruses. I visualized my sperm cell working its way through Karen's tubes to fertilize her egg.
Karen removed her IUD (Intra-Uterine Device) and began trying to get pregnant. Things sometimes go awry, and it takes a couple of tries to get them right. That is how it was. Karen was pregnant by late 1982. In March, 1983, she called me where I was working as a printer with the State. She was at the doctor's, and there had been a miscarriage. I recall walking through the streets of Nashville with tears in my eyes. That night, Karen and I hugged in the kitchen, and I told her we would try again. She must have gotten pregnant the second time around June 11, because Michael Brandon Colyer was born 9 months later on March 11, 1984. As it turned out, the pregnancies were so close that only one of the babies could be born. It was hard to understand and hard to explain. It had to be God's will. I came to feel that God brought me to Nashville for the purpose of becoming Michael's father. Years later, I felt He brought me back to help Michael after he got older. Karen and I divorced, and I ended up living with my parents in Louisville, but I lived with my son over a year, long enough to establish a permanent relationship. He never forgot me!
I turned 40 in my parents' basement. It seemed like my life was over. I was in the basement 12 years: 1985-1997. We perceive time differently after 40. It becomes a running facet. Days, months & years slip by with little meaning. We approach 50. We watch ourselves turn gray and feel our strength ebb. We despise the music of the day and have no interest in television. We long for our youth and are envious of the younger generation.
"I must go on!" I wrote that line on New Year's Eve, 1985. Everything since has grown from that seed. Michael came first! I was virtually broke but started going to him when I could afford it. There was no pattern. I drove to Nashville when something in me said the time was right. I would get a motel and do things with my son or bring him to Louisville. My parents sometimes went with me. I would have been on the street without them. Karen's parents built an apartment onto their house for her and Michael.
The basement years passed! I read books and wrote papers. I watched movies. I revived ABBA. I went to Las Vegas and to Sweden. Clinton was elected president, then reelected. It was 1997, and there was a 70s revival. I had an environmental song called "Save The Planet" which I advertised in a local music paper. A lady in southern Indiana answered, and I went to her house. We made a tape in her living room. I continued to believe in that song and finally recorded it in Nashville. I sang it! For such a song to gain acceptance, we need to be in a liberal era. Hopefully, there will be peace.
I ended up back in Nashville on July 18, 1997, in an apartment on Music Row. I began writing songs. Girl songs! It was the Shania era. In retrospect, it seemed inevitable. God brought me back to Nashville for my son. He was 13, and it was better to be close so I could go to him when he needed me. We began having meals and seeing movies together. We talked about life, school, girls & the future. We had conversations riding in my white Nissan truck, which I bought on Broadway.
I was singing my songs on TV in Louisville and recording girl singers in Nashville. My biggest challenge was trying not to fall in love with my singers. Songs poured out of me: "God Given Talent," "Hard Earned Love," "Feel So Country," "All Roads Lead To You," "Love Me Just A Little," "I Looked Twice!," "Put Me On The Spot!," "A Man Is A Man" & "The Truth." I was a genius in my own mind as the 20th century faded into the 21st. I did karaoke. I sang the songs of the big 4: Elvis Presley, The Beatles, ABBA & Shania. Being older, it did not bother me to get up and sing a girl song. I was writing for women anyway. I tried not to be affected by 9/11. It was impossible not to be, but I like to keep an eye on the future. I took Michael to Florida while he was in high school. I took him to New York City and to Washington, D.C. in his third year of college. We went to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon in 2007, and to California and back to New York in 2009.
I hit bottom when my mother died on June 30, 2010. I suppose I thought she would live forever, even though no one does. I spent a lot of time in bed, drank & had anxiety attacks. Only after her death did I fully realize what she meant to me.
I started getting up when I traveled to Bolivia for a star party in July, 2012. On returning, I penned a series of astronomy papers. In February, 2013, a new wave of music was started by Little Big Town. I became a strict lyricist.
I traveled to Hong Kong, October 31, 2016. I went to the Nebraska Star Party in 2018, and means to go to Greece in 19 or 20. It is imperative that I function in the present while planning for the future. Life is relentless! I voted for Donald Trump in 2016, and will vote for him again in 2020. He is the one president I relate to.
My grandson James Frederick Colyer was born on Friday, November 3, 2017. He weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces and was 19 inches. Michael called, and we talked. He told me the story, and it sounded familiar. Michael is prepared and will be a good father. Rebecca got 3 months off work. I was relieved that things went well.
I lived with my parents 12 years, and they supported me. My mother said she raised me twice, and she did. My grandmother raised me once. I wrote a book about ABBA and a musical called "Phoenix Rising." I wrote a dinosaur oriented paper called "The Other Sciences." My mother was my best friend, and we talked nightly at the kitchen table. We watched movies. I would bring Michael to Louisville whenever I thought the time was right. I began singing karaoke in April, 1997, and kept doing it. It led to writing new songs and recording in Nashville. I became a lyricist, compiling more 2500 titles. I recorded with women and got burned more than once. But I learned! I bonded with Michael. I got him through college at MTSU in Murfreesboro, helped him get vehicles & took him on trips around the country. I moved onto the Vanderbilt campus, where I have lived over 20 years. I traveled: 5 continents. I wrote 4 books of prose to be published online: travel, astronomy, music & a book of miscellaneous papers. I attended star parties, twice going below the equator and hooking up with astronomers in Australia and Bolivia. I obtained my third passport and made plans for Greece. I built jimcolyer.com. My songs have been played all over the world. I supported President Donald Trump on facebook. I want to write a paper around my mother's pictures. Michael's mother passed on December 24, 2017. Death is horrible, and I again experienced anxiety attacks. Karen and I had some great years together and remained friends even after the divorce. I could not have made it in Nashville without her.
I must go on. My activities stem from the values stressed in my Strategy papers: courage, self-control & perseverance. Work to solve problems. Take your time but stay with things. There is progress in my 70s.
Michael will be 35 on March 11, 2019. Think ahead with Michael and James. James was born on November 3, 2017. Things are different, but I am available. I give moral support. Michael said having a son is the greatest thing that has happened in his life. I am glad he feels that way.
I see them when the time is right. I love my son and grandson. Michael and I have talked about a lot of things. I helped him build self-confidence. I have included serious discussion along with the fun.
Michael and I have discussed money and sex. I showed him how to buy a house and car. I oriented him toward the future. I helped him start a career. I instilled in him an understanding of the value of money. I taught him that money is primarily for food, housing, cars, clothes & other necessities. Michael
My dad said do what you can. My mother said be practical. My grandmother said live til you die, and that is what I am doing. I will stay the course. I will not give up, and I will not quit.
I must think of myself. The rent keeps going up, and I am driving a 15-year-old truck. Prices keep going up. I need to cut spending and deal with issues. Trump is in the White House, and he is my president.
November 23, 2018 - I need To write!
This is the day after Thanksgiving. Karen moved in with me 40 years ago. We were together about 6 1/2 years. I got her pregnant twice, and Michael was born in 1984. Back then, it was Chester, Charlotte, Estelle, Karen & me. 5 of us. Now, it is Michael, Rebecca, James & me. Things turn around. The old ones pass, and the young ones take their place. Strange world indeed! Michael and Rebecca are trying to have another kid. He said he did not want to be alone when he got old. Seems I was meant to be a loner, although I do not like it.
I will go to Greece if I can. It will be my 4th time in Europe. The mainland tour is 7 days. Transfer will get me from my hotel back to the Athens airport. Stay calm. Be friendly. People will help me. I travel light, but take what I need.
I need to get on the treadmill. I need to fight neuropathy, build up my stamina. I will lay on my back on the floor to straighten my spine. Cut back on food. Get that stomach down. Whatever it takes! I will go to the Neptune Society and make arrangements.
I miss my parents. I wish I had helped my mother stay in Middletown if not on Aiken Road. I returned to Nashville, July 18, 1997, on fire to get songs out. Here it is 2018, and I have 267 tracks on youtube.
I moved the Greek Escape back because there was a double connection. The Nashville to Philadelphia to Athens route looked good, and I hope they post it again. I told Cynthia at Monograms I am going to make this trip. She said the Greek Escape is popular and will be continued. This is a once in a lifetime thing. Wonder Woman 1984 opens June 5, 2020. WW and Mamma Mia! point to Greece.
I keep promoting President Trump, linking MAGA rallies to facebook and twitter. The Left has no ideas and wants power for its own sake. They must be put down one way or another. I voted in the 2018 midterms. I voted at the the Green Hills Library. I got a flu shot at the VA while finishing my laundry.
I keep doing karaoke at Santa's Pub. I sing my favorites and enjoy the company. Stay calm. Be careful. Go slow. Every time I leave Santa's, I find myself wishing I was following Karen down to the Waffle House. I can still see her on that stage singing "Love Will Keep Us Alive," "Ticket To Ride," "Lights" & "5 Minutes" by Lori Morgan. Karen liked Santa's but was scared the first time we went there. I would not trade Karen, Michael & James for all the beautiful women in the world, past, present & future.
It is hard to believe Karen is gone. We recorded together, traveled the country & had good sex. 800 times in 6 1/2 years. I got her pregnant twice and stood by her through the miscarriage. I helped her get the son she wanted. She saw him marry Rebecca and become a father. One of the last things I said to Karen was, "You're a grandmother." She told me, You're a grandfather."
I finished my astronomy and music books. They are in yahoo ready to be published if I find another online publisher. I am working on my travel and miscellaneous books.
I wrote my best songs in the late 90s: "I'm The One," "All Roads Lead To You," "God Given Talent," "Feel So Country," "Live My Dreams," "A Man Is A Man," "Heartbreaker," "Connected," "Hard Earned Love," "Put Me On The Spot!" & "I Saw A Woman." Charlotte showed me an article in a magazine she had about model Krissy Taylor, which caused me to write "Krissy."
I sent Quinn at Karma Technologies a check for $75. It means I have my domain name jimcolyer.com for 5 years. Through October 22, 2023. My site will be 19 years old.
I moved into my parents' basement, November 8, 1985. If I could go back to that time knowing what I know now (of course), I would do some things different. I would help my mother stay in Middletown if not on Aiken Road. I will be created. I will not leave a mess for Michael. He will know where the money is and how much there is. I have a will. Michael has a copy. I do not know how much time I have, but everyone should be prepared.
Judy will send the pictures, and I will try to write a paper around them. The original Family/Michael story is in my book called Miscellaneous Papers.
I am winding down the Maverick episodes. They coincided with the Maverick states: Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota & Nebraska. I wear my Deadwood hat. I may or may not go west again. If I do, I do not foresee it at the moment. I need to take care of myself. I take Synthroid and vitamin B12. They send me eye drops and glasses. I hate to shave but have to. Even if I do it a little at a time. I get disposables from Kroger's.
My CDs are on the counter in the kitchen. I have let a few go. I wrestle with changing my transmission fluid. An oil change is coming up soon.
I am a coward. I fear death. When I go, I hope to go like James Barnett. All at once! I want to ascend into heaven to be with my loved ones who have passed on and to wait for my younger loved ones when they get to heaven.
I still need a pillow. I need to be comfortable when sleeping. Use what you have. Use what you know. Function!
My first astronomy paper was written in my parents' basement 1995-96. 23 years in the making!
The only reason for me to get a library degree was for me to rendezvous with at Karen at the Tennessee State Library and Archives in the fall of 1978. That is the only way I see how we could have gotten together. That is the only way I see how Michael and James could be here. Everyone in Nashville and the state of Tennessee was against us. But the real God was on our side. I would not change it, not for all the money and women in this universe. Even in the multiverse. It has been hard, but I would not change it.
Everything I do is hard. Why? Because I am Jim Colyer. Nothing I do is easy. Life itself is half good, half bad. 50/50, give or take 50 either way. School and college were hard. The army and the jobs I had were hard. Travel is hard. Astronomy is hard. Music is hard. My mother said I am different, and she was right.
I keep thinking I have been given a mission in my second 40. If so, it will become evident in my mid-70s. Like growing up at 32! The 1% (the real God) is behind it. This is a crazy world! When it is my time to go, I will have done everything I came here to do and everything I was put here to do. It is like that with everybody? Did the real God bring me through all the hell I have been through so I could be Michael's father and James' grandfather? It seems so. Now that Karen is gone, I must do her part as well. Work! Be strong! Go deeper!
I think about my parents, Estelle & Karen. It is almost inconceivable that they are gone. The 4, the ones I owe everything to. They made it possible for me to help Michael and James. What happened to Charlotte should not have happened. If I could go back, I would find a way to prevent it.
I pulled into Nashville, June 6, 1975, because I was meant to be Michael's father and James' grandfather. It was the will of God. Everything else has been on the side, contributing to that real purpose. God led me to Karen on October 16, 1978. He willed that I should get her pregnant twice and that Michael would be born, March 11, 1984.
I went to James' first birthday party: November 3, 2018. I found my way down and back, first time for that. There are 3 roundabouts. 6-3-9 going down. 9-3-6 coming back. I will be with Michael, James & Rebecca for Christmas.
Arthritis and neuropathy are making it hard for me to get around. My hands, arms & and feet are affected. I do not have good balance. I am weak, and arthritis is in my neck. A good pillow would help, but they do not seem to make them anymore. My stomach protrudes, and I wonder how much of this is a result of that tooth being cracked. I need to get on the treadmill. Exercise fights neuropathy. It takes sugar out of the blood and gets it to the cells where it can be burned for energy. Sugar damages nerves. Exercise allows the brain to release endorphins, chemicals which fight nerve disease. I will post more notes around my apartment so that I can concentrate on maintaining a healthy regimen.
Things happen, events and situations, and they pass. Nothing can be duplicated or repeated exactly. Is this good or bad, both or neither? What is real? Everything changes or, at least, everything appears to. Everybody dies, and the question becomes, "Why were we born if we are fated to die? Good question, huh? There is certainly a disconnect between the way things are and the way they should be. Genesis deals with this disconnect, and the New Testament provides a solution.