S: I DID IT MY WAY
FC: I Did it My Way...
1: Happy Birthday Doug!!!
3: Doug, I just want you to know on this special day that you are the best thing that ever happened to me, 40 years ago!! You have been the best husband and father that anyone could ask for. You make me laugh, you're caring and you are my best friend. You not only gave me two wonderful sons, but also brought two wonderful daughters into my life. We have the best family ever and I know deep in my heart, that we have many more years ahead of us to make more wonderful memories!! Happy Birthday! I love you always, now and forever, with all my heart!! Deb
4: Dear Papa, I just wanted to let you know how much you mean to me and how much you have affected my life. You've taught me how to do so much, like, ride a bike, water ski, and play the drums. I would like to thank you for everything that you have done. Happy Birthday, I Love You Papa. Love, Darion | Dear Papa, I have had a lot of good times with you, like, all of the fun trips, boating, and camping. Like when you let me drive the riding lawn mower all over the place! I will hold on to those memories forever. Thank you for all of those fun times. Hope you have a fun Birthday! Love you, Devon | Dear Papa, You mean a lot to me. I like how we went to your house with the pool, because I got to swim all day! I like how you took us on your boat at the lake. It was super fun swimming in the freezing lake! I also like to sing karaoke with you. The things I like most is how you taught me all of those funny tricks with your "eyes in your mouth" and "watch this hand" trick. Those are great! Happy Birthday, I Love You Papa. Love Dalton
7: Dear Dad, I just want to tell you how much I Love You. These photos tell it all! The memories I think of most are where you have made us travel to places we have never been. Thank you for that! Hawaii, Arizona, Vegas and now Florida! Seeing the Grand Canyon and you were scared we were going to run out of gas. We still laugh about that one! We laugh at the picture of you in Havasu where you have the towel on your head, because your skin was so tan and Troy said you look like a sheik! These places are all very dear to my heart and I love the fact that I get to go to them with you. Where shall we go next? I remember when you sang at my wedding and you were so nervous that you held on to your thumb the whole time. I couldn't look at you cause I was going to loose it! Troy did look at you and he started to cry. What about the time we played that game at my first house, A-hole, where we had to wear those funky hats and we were pretending to smoke cigars! I think we have a calendar with all of those photos on it. Or when you took Troy fishing. He will always have those great memories of you getting sick on the ocean in Hawaii. The boys love the photo of you in the window. For some reason, it is pretty funny! I love how you have created memories with my children and that they love you so much. I love how we meet at that hotel in Billings to see grandma. That is so awesome; that's my favorite hotel! Dad, I just want to say Thank You for all of the funny memories! Happy Birthday and I Love You! Love, Cindy and Troy
8: That is how he knocked on dad's door to get him to take them swimming. Dad laughed so hard. | They love going to see Papa and swimming in the pool. They live for it.
9: Riely: "I like him because he is nice and I like his band and his instruments too" Colin: "I like that he is always nice to me, Riely, and Dalton, and I like that he always jokes around with us" Chris: "I appreciate that he is always happy and in a good mood and he always likes to have fun" Jona: I appreciate Dad because he makes his family a priority and he will do whatever it takes to get us all together and to make sure that we are all having fun. I appreciate his talent, his humor, and his whit and I am glad I at got at least a couple of those attributes (minus the talent part):) I enjoy the family time, the laughter, and the happiness we have when we are all together. I thank Dad for his efforts in keeping us together and I plan on many more family vacations together. We all love him very much. Oh, and I also like that he rocks a pair of pink shorts!
10: Dad, Looking back over my life and to all the people I have looked up to over the years as role models, you by far stand out on top. There are so many memories I have of you that remind me not just what a great father you are, but also what a great person you are. I remember when you would take me for a ride on your motorcycle at Mystic Lake. Some days we would go part of the way up the trail to the lake. I would straddle the gas tank and hold on to the middle of the handle bars, pretending I was steering. That was lots of fun. I remember all the times I helped you unload, setup, tear down, and pack your music equipment. So many times growing up I could never count them all. You taught me the importance of neatly packing cables, something I still struggle with. I loved every one of those times because even at a very young age, it was so cool to be a part of the music scene. I love to watch you perform. To this day I’m still one of your biggest fans. I remember the first time you let me sit in with your band. You were playing in Billings, I think with Dale Wilkes. I was sitting in the audience with Mom and family, and you had me get up and play drums on some very easy song we practiced. I’m not sure, but, I think it was “Pretty Woman.” Whatever it was, that was the day I had my first fix of performing live and to this day it’s my favorite thing to do. I remember the time I totaled your car. I had just got my license; in fact, I still had my temporary license because the permanent one had not been mailed yet. Yada, yada, yada, you know the story, and then I drove the totaled car home (which damaged it even worse) because I was so freaked out by what happened, and mostly I was so scared at how you guys would react. When I got home and told you and Mom what happened, I remember sitting on the stairs near the door, bawling my eyes out. After checking the car out (and probably venting privately) you came back in with a calm voice and told me it was going to be alright and you were just glad I was OK. That’s when I first realized what an incredibly understanding person you are. I remember the many conversations we had when I told you I wanted to play music and go on the road like you did. You told me how important it was to get an education first so I would “have something to fall back on.” Those words stuck with me for years and without question, I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for those talks. This is just a small sample of the many memories I carry with me and will cherish for the rest of my life. I owe everything I have accomplished, and everything I dream about, to you. Thank you for the gift of music. Thank you for teaching me how to be "handy". Thank you for your wise advice. And thank you for just being you. You have always been, and will always be, my hero. I love you Dad. Happy Birthday!! :) ~Jason
11: Happy Birthday Doug!!! I feel incredibly lucky that I get YOU as a father-in-law. You have an unpretentious, gentle, giving spirit that makes those around you want to do better, be better. It's no wonder Jason (and Cindy and Jona and Jeff) have turned out the way they have – due in large part to you, I’m sure! You put everyone first before yourself and you do it in an unconditional way that's genuine and real. You've always made me feel welcome and a part of your family from the very beginning, and for that, I’m truly grateful. You are part of the fabric of my life and I look forward to the years to come. Much love ~ Chloe
12: When I was 13 Dad took me on my first hunting trip to a place he's been hunting for years. I just finished hunter's safety and got my hunting license so I was really excited to get my first kill! So we had been hunting all day in the mountains and our day was closing out. We still had tags that needed to be filled so we were tracking some deer on foot and we split up just for a minute to cover both sides of a small hill hoping to trap the deer. As I got half way around my side of the hill, I spotted the deer and took my shot. I missed. So we began following their tracks for some time after the shot. As I followed Dad for what seemed like forever, I began to listen to my gut and ask him if we should head back to the truck. | So I continued following Dad as we were heading back to the truck (or so we thought). Again, after following Dad for quite some time I listened to my gut and asked him if he knew where the truck was. Now keep in mind it was completely white everywhere up there and also was snowing more. I'm sure it was tough for him to admit to his 13 year old son on his first hunting trip that he was lost, but he did. What was probably the most difficult thing after admitting he was lost was following me straight back to the truck, since I knew where it was from the start. So that's my story. Dad, I just want you to know that I have always looked up to you. Of all the people in the world, if I could be like anyone, it would most definitely be you. You've been the greatest Dad imaginable and we are all so incredibly blessed to have you. Thank you for all the amazing things you've provided and done for us over the years. I love you with all my heart, Jeff
13: Doug- I have to start out by saying that I know your smile better than anyone!! ;) (Sorry about the dental joke, couldn't resist.) I think you were a patient of mine for 5 years before I became a member of your family. In those 5 years, you guys were always a favorite couple of mine. Whether it was you walking in with your "bronze on" from Arizona or Debbie with her romantic lunch stories when you would pick her up on the boat. I always admired the relationship you two have and wanted one just like it. Be careful what you wish for huh? That night Jeff and I met, I think I was the most excited to find out that you two were his parents! I took his phone number that he gave me and prayed the apple didn't fall too far from the tree! I just want to thank you for not only raising my husband to be the man he is today and making me the luckiest girl in the world but for all the little things you have done for us along the way. I would love to list them all but we both know that list would go on forever. There is no way we could be where we are now without your help and support. Love you with all my heart, you are the best father a girl could ask for. Wish we could be there in Florida to celebrate with everyone. Happy Birthday and thanks again for being such an amazing person! KEEP SMILING!! xoxoxo, Gina
18: I remember that he always had very nice cars. One car in particular was a cherry 1953 black and white mercury. We were living in Arkansas at the time on a farm that was accessed by dirt roads. One day he got the mercury stuck and, out of desperation I suppose, he asked me to drive it while he pulled it with a tractor. I got behind the wheel, pushed the gas pedal. The gear was in reverse so the car backed into the ditch and was stuck even worse. I think that is the most angry I have seen him. That, for some reason, is my most vivid memory of him interacting with me. I have always admired him and his accomplishments. Del | Doug, You are one of the best brothers I ever had, and I only wish I had your talent as a musician. Debbie is so cool and you guys raised some great kids. I wish you a very Happy Birthday and a great time in Florida. I love you a lot man. Your brother, Jim | Well it’s about time you hit the seventies! I wish you a very Happy Birthday along with all of the health and happiness in the world for many years to come. Your brother, George
20: Hi Doug! I wish I were there helping you celebrate your 70th birthday! My, how time does fly! Looking for these pictures sure took me down memory lane. I have lots of fond ones of you and the rest of the family. I love your musical ability! I fondly remember the times we were fortunate enough to hear you in person. One of my fondest memories was when we came to see you up at Flathead Lake! We had such a good time with you all. Then there was the family reunion in 82. What a fun time we all had. It was so nice to see you at Mom’s birthday last year too! Well, I hope this birthday is a memory maker for you too! It’s odd that you went to Florida for it. I spent my 70th birthday there also. I love you Doug and wish we could be together more! Your sister..Te-Ata
24: BIRTHDAY WISHES FOR DOUG'S 70TH !! Hard to believe it's 2012 and you are turning 70! That is a milestone for sure. I have many fond memories especially the years of Happy Daze and all the years since. I found a poem I would like to share in honor of your 70th birthday. May you live a thousand years, may you drink a thousand beers.......oops wrong poem. | A BOOK OF MEMORIES by Kathleen Sheppard Hidden in the attic, all the way upstairs, is something very special, that I would like to share. My hopes, my dreams, old photographs, of good times and bad times that make me laugh. The joy of a hug, the thrill of a kiss, leaves me to remember the pure simple bliss. I cry for the fun, and giggle for the pain, I enjoyed the good life I was able to maintain. | Many Happy Returns!! Love, Susie
26: Doug, Happy 70th birthday! You are a great son-in-law, always helping me out and running me around. I really appreciate it and I also appreciate you letting me live here with you and Debbie. Love you, Bev | Doug, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for always “stealing my thunder” by having the same f@#?!ng birthday as me. It all began back on my 10th birthday when my sister brought your sorry ass home to meet our family. There I was, ready to blow out candles and collect on some much deserved gifts, when you come strolling in announcing that it was your birthday also. I had to share my f@#!ng cake with you and what should have been “my” day was lost on phony accolades sent your way. Do you know how that can traumatize a f@#!ng 10 year old kid. More recently, I come all the way across the country to celebrate my milestone “40th birthday” with family, but everyone says wait..it’s Doug’s 65th . ( I say. "So what! Does that mean he gets f#$% Social security now?" Now, take into consideration that I have to take up my valuable time to even write this f@#?ing thing, when it’s my birthday, too. I have to ask myself, “When does it f@#?ing end???" BUT SERIOUSLY: I have always been proud to call you “brother” (no in-law attachment necessary). You have consistently been a great friend and you could not have made Debbie any happier all of these years. I look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you and continue to "stay young." Best Regards, Randy
27: Doug Happy, Happy Birthday. I imagine you have seen and done a lot in this amount of time. I am glad you are a part of our family. I hope you have many more years for stories and tales to pass on to your grandchildren. I think we all need to journal our lives in some way so that our future generations know where they came from. I hope I can look as good as you do when I get that age. Thank you for treating my sister so well and I hope you two continue to be very happy. I can't think of any really good stories to tell, but I hope you have a most wonderful birthday. Love, Shelley, Ray, Tiffani, Nicole, & Whitney
29: To the Amazing Doug Denton, I remember way back when my husband Fred and our daughter Lisa, and I were playing music in Polson at a place called The Ranch (aka The Riverside) somewhere in the late 1970s. If Fred were here he would help me “Remember When”. Somewhere around that time we hired you, Doug Denton, who turned out to be an incredible drummer and singer and for awhile you became a part of the Denim & Lace Band. We had a lot of fun at that time, made great music, and you and Debbie have remained my friend to this day. Some how we all got mixed up with Karaoke? Somebody said you only get better with age, so think of sixty being the old age of youth, and seventy being the youth of old age. Doesn’t sound so bad that way! Happy Birthday Doug, and many, many more! Cheryl
32: Doug Denton: What can I say about Doug? He’s handsome, a great dancer, bull rider and a mean muther _____, six foot four, bullet proof, sings like a bird, (crow), able to leap three bar tables in a single bound, and sometimes invisible. Enough of the flattering stuff, let’s get down to it-----I came home to Ft. Smith, Arkansas in 1966 so my wife could have our baby girl, SaDonna. I think it was in ’66 or possibly '67 that I met Doug and started playing with him. I took off sometime in 1967 and went on the road and ended up in Saint Jo, Mo, where I joined a band called the Imitations. We then joined Sam Gibbs Booking agency and went on the road. After several months on the road we lost our drummer and I think that was when we called Doug and he came to Wichita Falls, Tx and joined the group. Doug was one of the few drummers that I liked. I think it was because he could actually play bass and some guitar and sing. I was pretty hard on drummers and convinced several that they were not musicians and sometime not even human. Doug went with the Imitations on a Far East Tour in 1969. We were gone from home from sometime in September until the 14th of March 1970. We went to Japan, Korea, Okinawa, Thailand, Philippines, Guam, and Viet Nam. We stopped off for a few hours in Hong Kong. The tour was very tiring and we had to carry a bunch of stuff and Doug had his cymbals on a coat hanger inside a clothes bag. They weighed about a million pounds and here Doug would be running through a plane terminal lugging his suit cases and clothes bag and speaking in tongues. It was a hard trip. At one time we had two trailers, both painted PINK. Doug and I had Chevy Station Wagons, both white, and we pulled the trailers a lot. We would play the Army base in Lawton, Ok a bunch and were always running up and down that highway a lot. One time on a trip to Lawton a cop stopped me and took me back to his car and chewed my butt out about seeing me on the road all the time, and I was usually going a little bit fast. He told me how unsafe it was to go that fast pulling a trailer. He was really going off on me, using some bad language and all of a sudden he just stopped and apologized for talking to me in that tone of voice and cussing at me. He let me go with just a hard warning. I head on to the gig and am setting up and Doug shows up a little later and is madder than a wet hen. The cop saw him coming down the road a little latter and thought it was me again and stopped him. You know, white Chevy Station Wagon, pink trailer, speeding a little. He got the ticket!!!!! OOOHHHH NNOOOOO!!!!!! Music was fun and good while Doug was with the group. Even though we have not seen each other in many years I consider Doug my Brother. I love you this day Bro---- ROY ROGERS
33: Doug Denton is a pretty remarkable guy. Although I have only known him for a relatively short time, these last two years working with Doug in our band, Gladys Friday, have been a true privilege. So many times, Doug has stepped up to help with whatever needed to be done. His positive attitude and incredible reliability have been a tremendous asset to our group. Beyond all the great musical memories I have been able to share with Doug, I have been so impressed with his character-- not just as a musician, but as just a regular guy. Doug will jump in and help anybody in need, and always sees the bright side of a situation. You can always count on him to smile and find the positive aspect of a situation. Once we were double-booked and drove all the way up to Eureka, MT only to have to turn around and drive back home. Most people would be upset; Doug just took it in stride, chuckled and said something like, "Well, it's a pretty drive." Doug is as conscientious and reliable as can be. He never asks for help himself, but is the first one in line when someone needs a hand. Quite apart from his enormous musical sensibility and talent, I feel happy and privileged to know Doug Denton as a friend. I sincerely hope his birthday is filled with lots of good vibes and well-wishes, as they are certainly deserved. -Doug Ruhman, Gladys Friday Band
38: Happy 70th Birthday Doug Denton !!!!!!! My adventures with Doug Denton story. Doug was the first drummer I ever worked on the road with. I had just turned 21 when I went to work with him. When I first heard about Doug from his late brother Phil, he was playing with Roy Rogers and the Imitations and working on the road for an agent out of Texas named Sam Gibbs. Phil and I had already been playing honkytonks around the Los Angeles area and Phil’s and my big dream was to go on the road someday and be full time musicians. Well that came to be in about September 1971 when Doug called Phil and asked him if we could come to Texas. We rented a U-haul trailer and pulled it behind my red 1965 GTO and headed for Texas. We met up with Doug at his house and the next morning we went and had some photos made of us. By chance we all three had these crazy shirts that looked like an American flag so that was our first uniform. Our first gig was in Amarillo, Texas. The way we got around was in Doug’s Chevy station wagon and we had a U-Haul trailer that we got somewhere. I remember us stopping somewhere to fill up with gas in Texas and the price was 10 cents a gallon!!!!!! That was a surprise to me as gas was about a whooping 25 cents a gallon back in California. We stopped somewhere along the way to get a bite to eat and I remember all three of us ordered a chicken dinner special at this truck stop. We then drove about an hour and had to pull over as we all threw up our meal. I guess that chicken was bad and we were all pretty sick from it. We checked into a motel in Amarillo and we all three bunked up in one room. I think the total bill for the three days we were there came to about $38.For that amount of money you can imagine the kind of place it was but hey it was a place to sleep!!!!!!So much for my first road gig. Our next gig was about 1600 miles away in Billings, Montana. We had to drive without stopping to get there in time to play and we all took turns driving and sleeping. There was a joke among the bands that Sam Gibbs booked. They had nicknamed him "Dartboard Sam”. The reason for this was that it was said how he would book a gig for one of his bands was to throw a dart at the United States map he had on his wall and where the dart landed is where he would send you. Thank God he didn’t have a World Atlas! We made it to Billings and played there for a couple of weeks.I loved playing in Billings but at the time I had very long hair which didn’t go over very big with those cattlemen and sheepherders up there. I remember a few times having to defend myself from those rednecks up there in Wyoming. Phil and Doug did talk to me about getting a haircut which I think I did and things did lighten up after that. Our next stop was Devils Lake, North Dakota. By now winter had set in so the drive was a little dangerous pulling the trailer and all but we did get there safely. The gig went normally but there was a couple of times we went off the road driving Doug’s station wagon around town in the heavy snow and Phil, and myself would get out of the car and push it while Doug stomped on the gas to get the car back on the road. Being I grew up in California I had never been in snow so all that was a new adventure for me. Our next stop was back to Billings for a couple of weeks and then on to Colorado Springs to play the Navajo Hogan club. It was a great big place and we had a very good time playing the first week we were there. However, the second week, and I don’t know if I should share this or not, but, as I look back I think it is kind of funny, the club owner made a change. He decided to have topless dancers on
39: the bandstand with us. Needless to say it was pretty hard to concentrate on our music. I think I forgot the lyrics to all the songs I sang that first night!!!! Once again so much for me being new in the music biz.We did go to Missoula, Montana for a couple of weeks. I liked that gig a lot and although it was winter time, a very beautiful little city. We played at the Park Hotel. The bar was pretty cool but the rooms were another story. I remember we all had to share a bathroom and bathtub down the hall with other people that were staying there on the same floor but once again it was a place to sleep and free of charge. We spent New Year’s Eve in Tuba City, Arizona which is an Indian reservation near the Grand Canyon. That was pretty crazy as all those Indians just looked at us like, "What are you guys doing here?" I did talk to a few of them at a break time and some of the Native Americans that lived there were explaining to me that they were going to take over the island on Alcatraz which the government had abandoned a few weeks earlier. Sure enough, I read the news the very next week and those guys had done just that. We went to California for a week to visit relatives and then on to my last gig with Doug and Phil which was in Rock Springs, Wyoming. It was snowing pretty hard on our way to Rock Springs. In fact within minutes after we got there, they closed all the roads and everybody was pretty much snowed in. I am sure Doug you will remember this next story. About the second or third night we were there, we were playing on stage and suddenly a car just crashed through the wall of the nightclub. I don’t remember how that happened but it was pretty scary for all of us. After Rock Springs, I left for So. Dakota for a while and then went on to live in the Twin Cities for the next 17 years where I really started my music career and got serious about it before returning to California in 1990. So what did I get out of all this with you Doug? Everthing man. First off you gave me my first road job. Second of all, you were very patient with me and taught me a lot about music and the music biz in the short time we played together. If you remember, I was young, feisty, and kind a pain in the butt sometimes back in those days. I also had not been playing the guitar all that long when I joined up with you, but you never judged me for that. You took me for what I did and made the best of it and helped me figure things out. One thing I do remember was that you, Phil and I had this magic kind of blend when we sang harmonies together. You were also very good at arranging things when it came to the music. Remember the song "It’s For You"? That was all your idea to do that song. To this day, I still can’t find any of the many musicians I play with to pull that song off like we did. I do remember you playing the drums with one hand and playing the trumpet with the other hand on Santana’s "Everybodys Everything". And you never missed a beat!!! Pretty amazing when I think back about all that. Well Doug, I could have just sent you a simple Happy Birthday wish instead of this long story but I think you can see here that you really rubbed off in a good way to me back in the day. And the best part is, here we are 41 years later, both still playing music, and we are both still standing man. That alone is amazing and a beautiful thing. So here is my wish to you, HAPPY 70TH BIRTHDAY DOUG DENTON. Thank you for helping me start out in the music biz. Its been quite a journey. I love you man and glad we are in still in touch. Joe