March 14, 2011
My phone rang Saturday afternoon, March 12, 2011. A strange thing sometimes in life. I picked up the phone. I could see it was my friend, Derry Brownfield, calling. I thought, great, he wants me to guest on his radio show. Always a treat for me. One of those tech things, but the call didn't connect, so I hung up. A few seconds later, the phone rang again, but when I heard Beth's voice (his producer), I started to cry before she said one word. You see, Derry always called me to book his show. I knew, just like I knew nearly a decade ago when our phone rang in Sacramento four days before Thanksgiving. It was one of my husband's sons from a previous marriage. He had never called before. I immediately knew his brother, my husband's oldest son, was dead before one word was spoken. The same as I knew Beth was going to tell me Derry left this world.
My friend, Derry Brownfield, died in his sleep the night before. Unexpected because he was, according to Beth, feeling just fine. I want to tell you about that remarkable man I met many years ago at some conference; don't quite remember which one as I have been to so many events over the past two decades as an activist. We all know what it's like to meet someone you like right off the bat. A person who just makes you smile. That was Derry. We laughed about our names being so close except for a few letters. Every year after that at Christmas time, Derry would send me a wonderful book about cowboys and days gone past. You see, Derry drew up when Americans had to be tough to survive on the land. He grew up during the "Great" Depression, but that never stopped Derry from his responsibilities and pursuing his goals.
Four years ago, Derry and I were both speakers for the Paragon Foundation in Alamagordo, New Mexico. One of the finest organizations in this country protecting property rights and advocating for ranchers and farmers. My speech focused on the non ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment and some other issues. Derry's presentation was about what made America great, the cowboy code and a delightful mix of humor and keen intellect.
We all laughed until it hurt, but at the same time, there stood at the podium a man who had seen so much in his 79 years on this earth. Derry was born in Missouri and the quintessential example of a no nonsense man who knew what "man up" meant long before it became the new 'tough' talk of some career politicians. I just love Americans like Derry who aren't afraid to speak their mind about the difference between when they grew up and the lazy, apathetic, unappreciative sheep who inhabit this land and care nothing for it, only what they can squeeze out of someone else.
Derry was very fond of reinforcing the lack of common sense which has led to millions who are little better than cattle being directed to their own demise while thinking it's a good idea. I could sit and listen to Derry for hours on end with that yearning for America to return to her Godly roots and become once again, a self-reliant, independent people. Like Derry, in my decades of life on this earth, I have seen ugliness take over this country and it all boils down to the people who live in it. We have the power to change our destiny and Derry was right there on the front lines offering up his experiences and good old fashioned common sense.
While Derry was one of the funniest people I've ever known, he was also very smart. Nothing got past Derry. He wasn't afraid to take on rot and corruption which cost him a long time radio show slot. You see, he took on Monsanto, a sponsor the network felt was more important than the truth. That didn't stop Derry. He found a home on another network and continued broadcasting his wisdom and wonderful sense of life mixed with humor.
Each time I write one of these final tributes to our friends like Dr. Madeleine Cosman, Alan Stang, Joan Veon, and now, Derry Brownfield, I do so with a heavy heart. Over the past two decades, it's been easy to get frustrated and yes, depressed about the destruction to our beloved country by dark forces as real as the sun in the sky. But, throughout this journey, I have been so blessed to meet wonderful Americans I care about and who deeply loved and cared about America.
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No one escapes this life alive. Derry strongly believed in God and I have no doubt as he stood in front of our Lord, he did so with humility and love. God's blessings to you, Derry Brownfield.
Now comes the pain and loss for his wife, family and friends. The living who grieve so deeply for a loved one gone. I will miss my friend, Derry Brownfield. No doubt in my mind he is in heaven and at peace. Derry, you are deeply missed, but never forgotten. As you always closed your show with this song, I'll close this tribute with it: Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
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Devvy Kidd authored the booklets, Why A Bankrupt America and Blind Loyalty; 2 million copies sold. Devvy appears on radio shows all over the country. She left the Republican Party in 1996 and has been an independent voter ever since. Devvy isn't left, right or in the middle; she is a constitutionalist who believes in the supreme law of the land, not some political party.
Devvy's regularly posted new columns are on her site at: www.devvy.com. You can also sign up for her free email alerts.
E-mail is: [email protected]