Wolverton Mountain
The Place Where Dreams Occur

This is a confession or rather an announcement; I am a dreamer and have been as long as I can remember. For the past quarter century, I have used as my signature for all my emails Bobby Kennedy's statement, "Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dreamd things that never were and say, why not." Whether these are personal emails or emails to any of my college students that I have taught over the years, I have used that single signature.

Merle Kilgore Merle Kilgore
At that time, I built a home on a small mountain, which I named Wolverton Mountain. I got the name for the mountain from a song that Merle Kilgore immortalized his uncle, Clifton Clowers, which was called Wolverton Mountain. Kilgore's song is musical metaphor for each of us who attempt to overcome seemingly insurmountable problems that come our way in life.

Clifton Clovers Clifton Clovers
Wolverton Mountain tells how a young suitor falls in love with Clifton Clowers' daughter. Kilgore's song was about Clowers who was an overprotective father and wanted to keep any suitor away from his daughter. Nonetheless, the would-be suitor attempts to climb Wolverton Mountain to see his love. He failed to reach his goal, but he still attempts in spite of setbacks. Even though the storyline is a bit folksy, Kilgore's underlying philosophy of the song serves as a very clear message to all of us. Do not give up on your quest to climb your personal mountains of life; follow your dream even amid your failures.

They say don't go on Wolverton Mountain
If you're looking for a wife
'Cause Clifton Clowers has a pretty young daughter
He's mighty handy with a gun and a knife

Her tender lips are sweeter than honey
And Wolverton Mountain protects her there
The bears and the birds tell Clifton Clowers
If a stranger should enter there

All of my dreams are on Wolverton Mountain
I want his daughter for my wife
I'll take my chances and climb that mountain
Though Clifton Clowers, he might take my life

Her tender lips are sweeter than honey
And Wolverton Mountain protects her there
The bears and the birds tell Clifton Clowers
If a stranger should wander there

I'm going up on Wolverton Mountain
It's too lonesome down here below
It's just not right to hide his daughter
From the one who loves her so

Her tender lips are sweeter than honey
And Wolverton Mountain protects her there
The bears and the birds tell Clifton Clowers
If a stranger should wander there

I don't care about Clifton Clowers
I'm gonna climb up on his mountain
I'm gonna take the girl I love

I don't care about Clifton Clowers
I'm a gonna climb up on that mountain
And I'll get the one I love

While I am not into country and western music, I am into Kilgore's philosophy. I not only named the small mountain upon which I built my home, but I named my website: Wolverton Mountain.

This animated graphic was the state of the art a couple dozen years ago when it first appeared on my webpage as an example of Wolverton Mountain. It has remained on my website for all those years.

photo of Wolverton Mountain

Wolverton Mountain

While Saul Alinsky probably was not into country and western music either, he was a dreamer. He said, "We must believe that it is the darkest before the dawn of a beautiful new world. We will see it when we believe it." We need to continue to dream even in the midst of darkness...because a beautiful new world awaits each of us if we do.

I have been a dreamer for nearly all my life. However, it is only recently that I have begun to connect all the dots. Steve Jobs reminds us, "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future." I can now see the relationship with Kennedy, Kilgore, Alinsky, and Jobs. Pete Seeger wrote Quite Early Morning in the early 50s. Quite Early Morning is a musical montage of all those writers.

Quite Early Morning

Don't you know it's darkest before the dawn
And it's this thought keeps me moving on
If we could heed these early warnings
The time is now quite early morning
If we could heed these early warnings
The time is now quite early morning

Some say that humankind won't long endure
But what makes them so doggone sure?
I know that you who hear my singing
Could make those freedom bells go ringing
I know that you who hear my singing
Could make those freedom bells go ringing
And so keep on while we live

Until we have no, no more to give
And when these fingers can strum no longer
Hand the old banjo to young ones stronger
And when these fingers can strum no longer
Hand the old banjo to young ones stronger

So though it's darkest before the dawn
These thoughts keep us moving on
Through all this world of joy and sorrow
We still can have singing tomorrows
Through all this world of joy and sorrow
We still can have singing tomorrows

Pay special attention to the last verse, which sums up his message. In spite of the darkness, keep moving to a brighter day. We all need to live at least in our minds on Wolverton Mountain.


This photo is of the singer of Wolverton Mountain, Claude King, and Clifton Clovers on his 100th birthday, and the writer, Merle Kilgore.

Claude King, Clifton Clovers, and Merle Kilgore

Claude King, Clifton Clovers, and Merle Kilgore



Connecting The Dots

Connecting the Dots

Visit the Connecting the Dots page to read more about this topic.



Darkest Before Dawn

Darkest Before Dawn

Visit the Darkest Before Dawn page to read more about this topic.



Music I Love

Music I Love and Why

Visit the Music I Love and Why page to read more about this topic.



An old man and his grandson

An Old Man and His Grandson

Visit The Mentors and Me page to read more about this topic.

09/26/14