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The Answer My Friend Is Blowing In The Wind

May 13th, 2018 · Tags:Arts · Coffee Shops · Music


In Jim Stafford’s old novelty tune, “The Wildwood Weed,” the storyteller speaks of finding his brother Bill “naked, singing on the windmill,”  after a night of home-grown revelry.  (Ha … When my brother was a young boy, he once tried to fly off the windmill wearing a cape, but I think he was fully clothed.)

Interesting to note:  various Internet sources for song lyrics differ on whether brother Bill was “singing” on the windmill, or “swinging” on the windmill. I thought it was the former, but I am terrible at song lyrics.  Could he have been “pinging” on the windmill?  Regardless, all sources agree, Bill was, in fact, naked.  I digress …




I have climbed a few of the old galvanized towers, either to help turn the mechanism into the wind and “kickstart” the mill … or to look at an eagle’s nest perched at the top of the tower … or to take a photo or two.

Flash forward … In Fort Worth, planted between a new shiny Starbucks coffee shop and an even shinier Neiman Marcus store, there is a replica of the old farm-and-ranch style windmill.  But there’s a twist on this windmill.  An artist has added colored, transparent blades. When the wind blows, it is quite a light show.  Alternating colors, the sun’s glare, and shadows cast down on the bloggers below.

(I couldn’t resist shooting video of the stained glass windmill, and trying out some new skills with a video editing app.)



Today, greeting visitors to my home, there is an old, Aermotor brand  windmill vane hanging on the wall by the door — Aermotor, made in Chicago, “The Windy City,” I might add.  The art piece is complete with bullet holes from back-roads vandals, and an old stenciled inscription on the metal, stating “Adrian Mercantile.” “If that ain’t country, I’ll …” as the old David Allan Coe song goes …



Flash back … When we were kids, my brothers and sister and I would pause in the blinking shadow of the windmill, spinning on the ground down below, on a sunny day.  A fan of “Star Trek” as a young boy, I would pretend that the windmill’s strobe effect was me “beaming up” to some imaginary starship.  Fascinating!  Ha … I think “beaming up” was sort of what Jim Stafford’s brother was doing in the song mentioned above … maybe.


 “Star Trek” may have seemed far-fetched back in the day, but then again, now we can get photos of our old windmills from satellites in space. 


Pinging The Old PingFarm Place From Space


Windmills are so awe-inspiring … both the old relics that helped settle the plains, and the huge white monsters that are infiltrating the countryside as of late.



But, is there anything more refreshing that a drink of cold water on a hot windy Panhandle day, right out of an old windmill, direct from the aquifer beneath?


I’m a fan of windmills.



I’m not alone.  A simple Google search also found these lyrics, sung by one of the most sultry voices of the ’60s, Dusty Springfield.  Ha … dusty and windmills go hand-in-hand in my mind.


“Windmills Of Your Mind”


Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning
Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind
Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half-forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind
Songwriters: Alan Bergman / Marylin Bergman / Michel Legrand
I like windmills.
Know what I sayin?