Wednesday, September 15, 2010


When I was a little girl growing up in Las Vegas, my enterprising mother used to get up at 4 a.m. and cook a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, toast, and Sanka for my electrician father. She also would bake a gigantic batch of cinnamon rolls, which she would pack up in a box lined with wax paper, and put in the trunk of her old green Studebaker.

Then she would pile us kids in the backseat and drive downtown to JC Penney, her favorite store. Before we went inside, she would stick a few fresh rolls wrapped in napkins her pocketbook. Then, as soon as the store opened at 9 a.m., we would trail after her like baby ducklings, whereupon we’d go from the first floor to the second floor hitting each department in the store, the divine odor of her warm cinnamon rolls wafting everywhere we went. Inevitably, someone would approach us and say, “What is that wonderful smell?!”

That was all the encouragement my mother needed. She would open her pocketbook and show off her lovely rolls to inquisitive shoppers. “I have a whole trunk full of these outside in my car if you’d like to buy some,” she’d say.

Then she would go outside where the car was parked and sell the entire batch of rolls in about 15 minutes or less, then her purse would be filled with shopping money instead of buns.

The other day I loaded a box of copies of my new book, BUCK OWENS: The Biography, into the back of my car. Now when I am out and someone strikes up a conversation with me, the talk always seems to turn to my book and someone inevitably says, “I need to buy a copy.” That is my opener to say: “I just happen to have some out in my car if you’d like a signed first edition.”

The first time the words came out of my mouth, I realized I am my mother’s daughter.