hat does one do after a 3:00am interview with Toby
Friedner of the BBC? The obvious answer is to go back to bed and get some rest
before the alarm goes off again. I did try the obvious and pulled the covers
over my sleepy head, but sleep didn't come. I was wound up, and my head was
It all started several days prior when Karen Shrosbery, a producer of the Toby
Friedner morning show, had been surfing the Internet and came across my web
www.wolverton-mountain.com. She didn't notice it for
the fine writing, the intriguing interviews, or the thousands of photos from
interesting places. She clicked unto my site because in the listening area of
the BBC, there is a town named Wolverton. She emailed me and wondered if I knew
whether Wolverton Mountain had any tie-in with the town of Wolverton in
I replied to her email giving a brief history and reason for naming the hill where I once lived, Wolverton Mountain. I explained that I had named my hill after the country-western song of the 60s by the same name. I also shared with her some facts about Clifton Clowers and the song's storyline, which has some historicity to it. I also speculated that there might have been a tie-in with their town in England with the original Wolverton Mountain located in the Northwest corner of Arkansas. After all, many English and Scotch-Irish immigrated to the mid-South a century and a half ago. Perhaps, some came from Wolverton, England or possibly the mountain and town share a common ancestor for which they both were named.
As I tossed and turned vainly attempting to get back to sleep, I thought about how did the mountain get its name. I knew why I had picked it as my domain name; Wolverton Mountain is a metaphor about life. The song tells about a young suitor's attempt to reach his girlfriend, the daughter of Clifton Clowers. The father is both overly protective and possessive and wasn't about to loose his daughter to any suitor. Clifton Clowers had even enlisted the bears and the birds to warn him when anyone attempted to set foot on his mountain.
In spite of continual setbacks, the young suitor doesn't give up and continues to strive to reach his lover. The story is a present-day parable about perseverance and determination. It is a metaphor not just about reaching ones lover, but it is a story about any heartfelt desire or goal that one might have. We don't know if the song's story ends with them living and loving forever. However, we know that the suitor won't give up until he is successful.
In those wee small hours of Monday morning, I laid there thinking about the interview on the BBC. I decided to get up and write this article. Many people have asked about the domain name. However, the etymology of the domain name isn't as important as the message. The important issue is that we should never give up. In the final analysis, it doesn't really matter where the original Wolverton Mountain is or where the name came from, because Wolverton Mountain is inside each of us-whether we live in England, America or anywhere else.
As the interview concluded, I inquired of Toby about
whether he could assist me in reaching one of my goals of interviewing the
British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. He assured me that I would have to wait
until he first got his interview. Perhaps, when he does, he will mention to Mr.
Blair that a Yank living near Chicago would dearly love to interview him.
I am confident that some day, I will travel again to England, visit the town of Wolverton, and get my interview with the Prime Minister of Great Britain who I would love to have as president. However, in the meantime, Wolverton Mountain isn't so much a place on the map as much as it is about a state of mind. Wolverton Mountain is a place where dreams come true for all who climb seemingly insurmountable obstacles on the journey of life. Wolverton Mountain reminds Americans, British, and all others not to give up but to continue to climb until they reach their goal.
This article appeared in the Dixon Telegraph on 4/13/04.