Posted on 11.23.2020

Twin Pines Ranch – No Relation - Soapbox Jr.

Time sure flies, hard to believe we are in November, and it’s almost Thanksgiving. But it’s upon us.

A couple of months ago, I wrote about wearing a pair of dad’s shoes which mom gave me, and the overall metaphor of literally of walking in dad’s shoes.

Since dad wore a size 12, and I wear an 11, it took some adjustment, including thicker insoles to try to fill up the shoes to make them fit better.

After a couple of months, I think it’s time to retire the shoes.

It made me feel close to dad wearing them, but I can’t tell you how many times I have come close to stumbling and busting my rear end.

There’s a lesson in that I realized when I wrote about them before, but being the stubborn, bullheaded person that I am, I persevered.

I’m still honoring dad to the best of my ability and still try to feel close to him, but I think I just need to do it in a different manner.

There are many ways to do that, someone suggested that I go riding on mom and dad’s ranch, Twin Pines - which was named long before Marty McFly destroyed one in a DeLorean. 

Mom and dad bought the land in 1975, if I’m not mistaken. There are two trees on top of a hill that dad eventually named Sugar Hill, after a song from the 1977 album, ‘Midnight Wind,’ called “Sugar Hill Saturday Night.”

They bought it in pieces, but the main part had a large 5-acre pond – or small lake, depending on your point of view – which is stocked with fish.

Dad loved this place.

When it came to building a house, one architect they hired drew up plans for a very ultra-modern house which looked great to me when I saw them at 12 or 13, and as a huge Sci-Fi fan, the plans called for a sliding door with an electric eye for my bedroom.

Just call me Prince of Dorkness.

But mom and dad talked about it, and dad told mom that if they built the house, they would be building it for someone else, because it just didn’t feel like the homey place he had imagined when they bought the property.

So, they scrapped those plans and opted to go for something more rustic, so they contracted to build a two-story log home that was definitely in keeping with dad’s style.

We moved in the house in the summer of 1980, previously we lived in a neighborhood in Mt. Juliet, now we were WAY out in the sticks.

The first weekend that mom and I were in the house by ourselves – while dad was on the road - we were both startled when we heard an unfamiliar sound outside.

The word “sound” doesn’t adequately get the point across, it was more like the demonic scream of some banshee from hell's darkest depths and hell-bent on ripping the very souls from our bodies.

We both went to the upstairs porch and heard it again. We couldn’t tell if it was actually flying, around, or if it was luking in the nearby trees plotting our demise.

It eventually stopped and we finally got to sleep.

The next day, we asked Thurman, the Twin Pines Ranch foreman, what kind of vengeful bloodthirsty evil spirit could be haunting the house we just moved into.

He said that it sounded like a screech owl to him.

Guess these owls don’t give a hoot, they give a soul-shattering death-shriek instead.

If you’ve ever seen the movie, “My Cousin Vinny,” you’ve heard one of these unholy terrors in action, and if you haven’t, you should.

Had dad been with us, he would have probably known, but we were clueless.

I don’t think we’ve heard one since.

Dad loved this place, and mom and I still do, and Thanksgiving won't be the same without him. 

It might be a good thing to explore the ranch and do some trail riding like I used to many years ago. That might be a good way to feel close to dad while I put the wobbly shoes aside in favor of something that fits a little better.

So, I can be myself.

Although, I did just get a new cowboy hat.


What do you think?

Pray for our troops, our police, the peace of Jerusalem, and our nation.

God Bless America!


—  Charlie Daniels, Jr.


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