It is 5:15 in the dark morning. Baking of the morning cornbread scents the air and removes the chill. It’s just the dog and I this morning.
I am considering “The American Dream”. I am in that dream and it is wonderful. In this home in Idaho with a family and friends, I am living the Dream: teaching, producing songs and writing this column. I am free to create my life and that is the American dream.
I am a Western woman, born and raised in the Western United States by parents who were both from the Midwest. My values and heritage are pure American going back generations to the Revolutionary War.
A vision of Kieth Ivan Schrenk spreads across my mind: A man on a horse in the very early hours, breath visible against the dim first light of sunrise. It is a comforting peaceful fantasy for me. The simple understanding of right and wrong, of honor, integrity, hard work and a certain understanding that we can choose our lives and if we keep at it long enough, we will achieve, in some measure, our dream.
Keith Ivan Schrenk is a cowboy who always wanted to sing. I met him when he showed up at my door to take guitar lessons. At 62, he finally is realizing a life-long dream. Up until now, it has just been hard work.
I found this quote on his profile page on CD Baby where his recordings are for sale:
“I am an old Country-Western singer, raised on a cattle ranch in Eastern Idaho. I was exposed to a lot of old Country-Western singers like Hank William Sr., Ray Price, Mo Bandy, and Patsy Cline. They were singers that my folks listened to all the time, which started to peak my interest in Country-Western music when I was young.
“After many years of ranching, I retired and decided to do what I always wanted to do.
“I began to learn to play the guitar and cut my first CD: A tribute of songs for Randy Travis. I have always enjoyed his songs.”
Country music rooted in the sensibilities of everyday people seems perfect for a retired cowboy. As this big easygoing gentle-hearted man picks up the guitar and strives with determination to achieve his Dream, he just needs songs and I have them. It is another piece of my Dream to have people perform my songs, and Idaho provides an authentic Country voice to sing for me.
You can find Keith Ivan Schrenk out and about performing. He has a band and plays at dances, bars and gatherings. He is living his dream as an all-American authentic cowboy with a guitar who loves to sing.
He is still a Cowboy, still a rancher and still works hard. The American Dream for Keith Ivan Schrenk has grown. It is the stuff of a great Country song: a happy one of triumph.
Find Keith Ivan Schrenk