>>>show band goes here….

Later on, I got another offer to go on the road with a singer out of Reno Nevada that was forming a new act, and he was looking for a keyboard player. I was hesitant at first about having to drive all the way to Reno just to try out for and maybe not get the job, but he assured me that if I showed up, I had the job.  So, I took my Union card and headed east this time.  I could not go any farther west living on the coast unless I was a better swimmer.

1977 Musicians’ Union card

I started working the Casinos while I still lived in the bay area of San Francisco. It was about a 3-hour drive to work. After a time, I took an apartment there.

The first band that I got work with was the Robin Turley Show. I worked with Robin Turley in Reno and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. I met him at a perfect time in my life, and he was a great mentor.

Robin Turley

Robin taught the members of his band how to become a professional in the music business.  There was more to it than just playing the music.  I also learned that if you are trying to be the best musician around, there is always someone better than you.  Robin told me, “Ronnie there are a hundred keyboard players in town that are better than you, but I choose you because I know you will always be there backing me up.”

Robin thought the smart thing was to be an entertainer and not have to deal with all the competition. And the best way to do that was to be yourself.  He said, “ No one can be a better you than you.” Robin could never pronounce my last name of Knauss.  He wanted me to make up a stage name but I did not like the idea, so he asked me, “What is your middle name?”

I answered him, “Lee”

He said, “There’s you stage name, Ronnie Lee.”  And I played professionally using that name after that.

Robin suggested that we find out what we do best and do it the best we can. He showed us how to back up the front man and take the spotlight yourself.  Robin was very generous with his compliments about his band members to his audience. Showing that he had a good band behind him made him look better still. Now years later, when performing with a group, I still stand on the foundation of a professional that Robin’s shared with us.

Thank you, Robin, for your patience with me and your positive direction. I wrote two songs in the same half-hour early one morning after playing all night with Robin on the road in Fallon Nevada, Nightmares, and Devil Dead Ringer.

Nightmares – “Rock, a musical experience” Ultra Live 1990’s.

Devil Dead Ringer – “Rock, a musical experience” Northern Star Studio 1980’s

Twice while working in Nevada casinos I had the opportunity to play on the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon.  I never met him personally, but I do remember one funny think they told us about him.  Each morning he always put on a brand-new pair of sox and gave the old ones to charity.  I guess he could afford it I heard of a lot of worse things people did with their money.

The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon

Using the experience I gained while playing in Reno, I put together my own showband projects, the first one was Cool & Classy. Disco music was starting to have an adverse effect on live entertainment, so in this band, we did a one-hour show, then played disco music for the next. I would rather be a live performing entertainer than a disk jockey, although it did get us more jobs because of the disco break music. I lived alone while playing with Cool & Classy, and I wrote the song “Each Other” dreaming what it could be like if I had a partner in life.

Cool & Classy

Each Other – “Rock, a musical experience” Northern Star Studio 1980’s

 >>>Elvis impersonator show….

In 1977 I took a job playing keyboard in an Elvis Presley impersonation show in Reno. The John Adkins Elvis show worked for most of the summer putting together the act that was already scheduled to open on Friday, August 20th.   Tuesday the 17th,  when I went to the last band rehearsal before we opened at the Gold Dust West, the band manager informed us that he just got a phone call from Elvis Presley’s father. He told us that Elvis, his son, had just been found dead in his home.

We discussed canceling the opening with him out of respect for Elvis, but Mr. Pressley encouraged us by saying, “Elvis would want what you to go on with the show.” So, we did, but we had no idea what would happen. Opening night while we were playing the first song, the drummer points out to me that a lady in full evening dress, diamonds, and stacked hair doo had just fallen over in the aisles of the auditorium.

John Adkins Elvis Show

This woman was out cold, and her hair was all pushed to one side and her dress was up to her knees. There was no time to look at her because other ladies were passing out as we performed Elvis’s hits. They were dropping like flies. And as fast as the hotel staff could carry one out on a stretcher, another one went down. This was unbelievable, and it lasted for months after his death.

The John Adkins Elvis Show

 >>>add the platers here…

I put together the band called “The Hit Men.” We played in Las Vegas while we were under the management of Jean Bennet with the Five Platters Inc. I was so impressed when I went to see the Platters show they always introduced me in the crowd and advertised where the Hit Men were playing next. I was also very privileged to work directly with Buck Ram before he passed on. He put the Platters together in the 1950s and wrote all their songs. I worked in their recording studio, with Buck cataloging all his master recordings. I got to listen to the between-songs chatter of the Platters and Ike and Tina Turner before they were married. Vintage recordings!

Buck and Jean – The Hit Men with Gold Record “Only You”

One time in his studio while I was looking at all the Platters gold records on the walls, I asked Buck, “I have always wondered about royalties one can get from writing a hit song.” At that moment, I was looking at his 19 different gold hits.

Buck shared this with me, “I get a $10,000 royalties check four times a year for the Platters song “Only You.”  This was over 30 years after it was a hit.  Buck always tried to get me to change the name of the band from The Hit Men to The Pitch Men because he said, “There are too many really tough guys in Las Vegas that might not look very favorable on using that name in their casino.”

I heard the stories about so and so, now sleeps in the desert.  The Hit Men played top 40 hits and dressed like old 1930’s gangsters, and we lived to tell about it.

The Hit Men – first night in Las Vegas

The Hit Men played a concert for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers MADD, and I wrote a song for their Red Ribbons Day.  It was recorded at the Five Platters Inc Recording Studio in Las Vegas.

 Red Ribbons – The Hit Men Five Platters Recording Studio 1990’s.

The Hit Men poster

No matter where I traveled with Robin, The Elvis Show, or the other shows bands, something was always missing.

>>>going back home…

It was the trees of Michigan.  I grew up under the shade of big oak and pine trees.  I could walk threw them to a stream or river and take a drink or go fishing and swimming. The need for time back in the woods with green trees became more necessary than the need for the green that could be made playing music.

One Million Dollars

Then I was blessed with a small package from back home in Michigan.  It was from Caroline’s brother, my uncle Charley.  Once again, he knocked the wind out of me with a 1–2 punch.  I know now that he knew I was not where the Lord wanted me to be, and with love in his heart he tried to point me in a different direction.  I will always remember him as the “stiff neck Christian” that helped change my life when he sent me a copy of Hal Lindsey’s book The Late Great Planet Earth.

The Late Great Planet Earth – Hal Lindsey

All through school I was a lousy reader.  I will never forget Pat and trying to learn how to spell.  I had never read an entire book before; I had always done book reports from the information on the back or outside cover.  No, I had never read a book from cover to cover.  So, I just thumbed my way through a quick glance at the text and what I was able to see, made me start to read the book from the beginning to the end.  Thank you, uncle Charlie!

My life desires changed after reading Hal Lindsey’s book. It took me back to a seven-year-old when the Lord had touched me.  It matched up very well with what I had heard many nights on the road traveling from gig to gig listening to Dr. J. Vernon McGee thru the bible five-year ministries.  These two men steered my heart away from success as the world sees it, to succeed in a mission to serve the Lord. Reading the Late Great Planet Earth prepared me for what would happen to me next.  I started missing the trees of Michigan and driving down a dirt road.

Thru the Bible radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee

>>>add reason for leaving cal. and giving up touring band….

Shortly after reading Hal Lindsey’s book, I got my big break in the music business. Bill Graham told me this about my original music. He said, “Ronnie find musicians that believe in the music in your opera as much as you do.” He went on to say, “Find players that show the same passion for the music as you do. Then I will put you in front of an audience, and we will see what happens. The audience will tell us if your songs are any good or not.”

I took Bill Graham’s advice. It took a lot of practice in a short time, but when the band was ready all of a sudden, I was not. My wife did not mentally survive the birth of our first child. She was put into a home by the State of California, and I found myself a single parent. I had to decide if I was a man with a band ready to go on tour or a father with a baby that needed me more. I chose life with my family over a life of music.

Ronnie & Joyce Knauss

Ronald Lee Knauss Jr. was born a premature baby 4 pounds 8 ounces. Because of his mother’s poor health, he was delivered by cesarean section. When her mental state deteriorated, she was put under a doctor’s care. And I found myself a single parent. The doctors prepared me for the worst because they did not think the baby would live. I took 60 pictures in the first 4 days of his life to prove that I did have a son once.

For over 30 days, two times a day,  I drove to one hospital and collected mothers’ milk, then drove it to the Oakland Children’s Hospital and fed my son.

Lunch time

I stayed awake as long as I could to see every moment of his life.  Then on the morning of the fourth day, I woke up sitting in a chair in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit.) I was angry that I had missed more than one feeding.

Then the nurse in charge of the unit picked up the baby’s chart and read it to me, “Father has been awake for 3 days. Father has insisted that he do all the feedings. Father, asleep in the chair, do not wake.” And she added, “Doctors Orders daddy.” That was the first time someone called me daddy.

The NICU at Oakland Children’s Hospital

Then, out of the blue, a lawyer that I had never met called me and said, “Is there anywhere you can go and disappear?” He said, “the State of California is trying to put your son into a foster home. They say because the mother is in a mental hospital, and you are a traveling musician with two different addresses, you will not be a fit guardian for your son.” At that time, my home was in California, and I rented an apartment in Reno, Nevada because I also played in the Casinos.

The lawyer advised me of my parental rights and took me to pick up my son at the Children’s Hospital in Oakland. Then he dropped us off at the San Francisco Airport with a one-way ticket to Michigan and two bags of baby supplies. By the time Pat and Caroline picked me up at the airport in Grand Rapids, the FBI had already been to their home twice with a federal warrant for my arrest.

Pat said, “I thought you must be in trouble for drugs or something like that. The second time they came, I asked them what they wanted you for, and they said kidnapping your own son.” Pat was very proud when he said, “I told them, if that’s what you want to arrest him for, then I’m not going to tell you where he is.”

For two years, I hid out, worked at a pig farm, and lived in a log cabin with dirt floors. When the baby started crawling and getting dirty, I had to move. So, I contacted the FBI to give myself up.  They told me to call the Children’s Hospital because they pressed the charges for kidnapping.

When I called the children’s hospital, I got to talk to the same doctor that two years ago tried to take my son away. His sense of humor seemed to be very out of place as he jokingly told me, “Oh, we just wanted to make sure that the baby was going to be all right.” He asked, “Is the baby still alive?”

I said, “yes.”

Then he said, “We were all wrong about you. If you kept him alive for the past two years, you must be doing something right.” And then the doctor ended the stress of being on the run and said, “If you sign up with the WIC (Women Infants and Children) program which will let us monitor the baby’s health then we will drop the charges with the FBI.”

Even though I had to stand in line with pregnant mothers holding our babies with a diapers bag over my shoulder, I was glad this time to be left alone.  When I went to court to get legal custody of my own son, the judge told me, “I think you are the first man in the State of Michigan to get custody of a day-old baby.”

Then I wrote the song Alone Together. The lyrics were written to sound like a boy & girl love song.  But words tell what it is like to be a single parent and of a man’s love for his child.  Years later, Tim King of the Deepfall Band would put it to music, and the Mane St. Band would record it live at the Crazy Horse and put it on their CD.

Ronnie Lee with Deepfall before leaving Greenville to go on tour.


           There’s only us two, when we start our day

           There’s only us two, but you know that’s ok

           There’s only us two, to weather the storm

           There’s only us two, to keep ourselves warm

           There’s only us two in our family

           There’s only us two, living very happy

           We are alone together, you and I

           Never let a single thing, ever pass us by

           Through all kinds of weather, we will make it together

           Alone Together, you and I


Mane St.

  Alone Together – Recorded live by Mane ST. at the Crazy Horse Saloon, Ceder Rock, Michigan

>>>>Soul Generation to Free Flight story goes here…

When I came back to Michigan, the Soul Generation had changed their name to Free Flight. Their drummer had gone to Las Vegas,  he hit it big gambling and won a Free Flight back. He came home and built a recording studio in Lakeview and later built the Northern Star Concert Stage in Mecosta. I had left the Soul Generation and went west, seeking a better chance to play with a professional band. Now Free Flight was opening shows for Santana and Journey, doing precisely what I had given up, to become a father.

On the day of the Eddy Money show, the band told me that if I came, they would introduce me to Eddy. Later, when I pulled into the parking lot of the Great Northern Concert Hall, the band was outside taking a break.

Eddy saw me getting out of my car and said, “Hey Ronnie Lee, what are you doing here? You are supposed to be in California.” Then he asked, “Do you have any new recording of the songs in your rock opera we can listen to?” Eddy got into the front seat of my little compact car, and when he saw the promoter of his concert trying to get in the back seat, he said, “Sorry bud, this is a private conversation.”  Then he reached around with his elbow and locked the back door. We sat in my car and he listened to all the songs I had recorded.  He knew I had turned down an offer to go on the road with my own band playing the songs out of the opera and I had left the west coast to become a single parent.  After the show I went home to Coral.

Shortly after that, the same concert promoter asked me one night if I would pick up Johnny Winter and the band at the airport, take them to their hotel, and then bring them to the show on time. On the way to the hotel, I spoke to break the silence and said, “The last time I saw you play was in Florida when you and your brother Edger played with the Allman Brothers band.”

Johnny Winter answered me, saying, “That only happened one time, and we never all played together like that again.” Then Johnny leaned over the front seat and looked in the review mirror right at my face and asked, “Are you that little Hippie that I rescued off the stage from the Hell’s Angels that day?”

I told him I was, and he told me, “From now on for the rest of the night, you are working for me, not these other people. You stick right by me, and I got a guitar I want you to carry.” And I did.  After the show I went home to Coral.

Sound Bite Library 2003 – 2012

>>>>>>grandma’s death…

Eight years after grandpa Knauss died, Aunt Violet called me and said, “Well, we lost grandma last night. She got up in the middle of the night, and she must have slipped, fell, and hurt her head. She put herself back to bed, and we found here there in the morning.”

The attitude of the family at grandma’s funeral was one of great peace. We all knew at the very moment of her death, Viva Knauss was with Jesus.  St. Paul said in his second letter to the Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

Viva Knauss walk the Christian path all her life and all her children followed her lead. Everyone that attended the meal after the service shared a joyful comment about her love of the Lord, and they were happy she was now with HIM in heaven.

Several years later, Viva’s other daughter, my Aunt Mable, told me, “I hate to think what my mother’s  memory would be of her last moments.”

My vision of what happens when you die is one moment you are here and the next moment you are in paradise. I envisioned that grandma would have died with a smile on her face.

I had no time to answer her before she continued, “You know she was murdered, don’t you?”

The only word in could pronounce was, “WHAT?”

Then Aunt Mable told me, “Well, the family did not tell you the truth when she died. We did not want you to get hurt any more than you already would be by her dying.” She finished her story by saying, “We think that someone broke into her house looking for grandpa Knauss’s old hunting guns. They misused her and beat her to death.” Then she really shocked me when she said, “We know there were two of them, and they might have been a distant relative.”

Knowing that I could have had more years of grandma Knauss in my life, and someone took that away from me, made me bitter. But the reality that grandma was now in the presence of the Lord was the sweet truth. That night when I said my prayers, I dumped all my bitter and vengeful thoughts in an imaginary basket at HIS feet and went to sleep.

>>>>add Letter to the daughter…

I raised two boys, one while being a single parent. The glass cup I passed on to them was, for me to be a good role model to follow, by always following the teaching of Jesus Christ.  You can ask my boys today this question, “What is the most important thing you can teach your children?” They and all my grandchildren will answer the same thing, “Teach them about Jesus.”

I am not a preacher or a saint. I am the worst sinner I have ever known, because I know my own sins, and they are offensive to me.

I gave both my sons a proud middle name that was used in the Knauss family for over 500 years.   Like my father before me, Raymond Lee named me Ronald Lee, and I called my sons Ronald Lee Jr and Ryan Lee. We were all named after the one who came before us,  Peter Lee Knauss.

I never had the opportunity of growing up with my stepsister. I fathered two, man-children, but my family was never blessed with a daughter. I enjoy that blessing today thru my granddaughters.

I wanted my granddaughters to know God’s will for them and their lives. So, I wrote the “Letter to the Daughter I never had,” and gave my blessing to them using what I had learned in God’s teaching.

To all the young ladies that today call me Grandpa, I say this about your tomorrows.  Here is a special present for the daughter I never had. With all my years’ experience being a man, I present her this checklist on how to find God’s match for her. I don’t claim to be an expert in making a relationship work, but I do know what makes a Godly Christian man. Here is the checklist I would suggest she use to help find the Lord’s match for her. The most important thing we can teach our children is about the Lord Jesus Christ. When a girl is looking for that one special man in her life, she has the responsibility to make the right choice. How is this done?

  1. Take all matters to HIM in prayer. Remember that HE answers all prayers with one of three answers, yes, no, and wait. The third is the hardest answer and is given most often. HE wants us to wait on HIS time schedule.
  2. Do not yoke yourself with a non-believer. The man must have the Lord first in his heart and his daily walk. He must be knowledgeable about scripture to know that he is the future God Head in a new family. This is a tall order to fill. The man is responsible to God for the spiritual health of the family. It is dependent upon what kind of person he is. But how can you tell if he has a personal relationship with Jesus? This takes time. The third answer to our prayers.
  3. Where did you meet this person? More than likely, you will not find your perfect mate hanging out in any place that you would not feel comfortable to have your parents with you. Better still somewhere that you would not want Jesus to find you or him when HE calls you home to glory. Pray that the Lord will do the introduction to bring you together. Do not let Satan introduce you two from one of his hot spots. Satan loves to use peer pressure to steer you away from the Lord’s will for you. So, choose your friends wisely.
  4. Jesus spoke a lot about the tongue and how deadly and damaging it can be. What does this man talk about first and most? Would you feel uncomfortable if your mother heard all he tells you? When he talks about his business, does he have the “U” before the” I”? In other words, does he have a real concern about you today and in the future? Or does he continuously talk about the “I” himself most of the time?
  5. Look into his eyes, and what do you see? Do you see a lusty grabby-hands little boy or a man looking not at you so much, but wanting to look over you? Is he someone that will take care of you? Does he take care of himself? Does he respect himself enough to be a true gentleman? Trust no man that would even once lie to you. If he does, he is not thinking of you but what pleases him. You do not want to be with anyone that does not want to be with you enough to follow God’s Word. He must know what the Word says about his role in the family. You also have to know God’s will for you in the family. Together not separate, you become new persons under HIS love. Then you pass this on to any children by living in a spiritually inspired life. A lot can be learned just by looking deep into his eyes and yours in the mirror.
  6. What are his roots? What does his home look like? Would you want your home to look and feel the same way? What kind of people are his parents? Yes, what is wrong or right with the father is somewhat passed on to the son. Could you imagine yourself being with someone like his father?
  7. Take your time. You do not love someone that does not love you. Here is that third answer again. Giving him a long time to prove his love of the Lord will bring out his love for you. Time will provide you with a chance to make sure you know what is in his and your heart.
  8. A man makes his decisions by using his senses. A woman makes her decisions using her emotions. This is God’s perfect balance for the family. These are checks and balances of a spiritual origin. Men are attracted to women sometimes by what they see and by their God-given desires. Unfortunately, these desires come at an age when a man is not always very responsible. Young men are looking for pleasure. It is the Godly man that saves his self-respect by controlling these desires. Without control, man will fall into Satan’s sins like pornography. Flee from the man that has this, in any form, in his life or home. The Lord gave man and woman the gift of making love to glorify HIM. No Christian Gentleman would want his partner to act or look like a porn star.
  9. Does this man have a firm knowledge of prophecy? To be a good father/husband, man must know about what the Lord has planned for us. Everything we need to know has been written in God’s Word. Does this man thirst for this knowledge? He should. Did he have an active Bible study on going when you met him? To be a leader in a new family man must know what is happening in the world. We must always support the nation of Israel. Does he know the politics of our government towards them? Prophecy is alive and active in today’s news. Is he willing to work to make the necessary changes in our world outside his home?
  10. Then be willing to accept the Lord’s answer to your prayers. HE always answers our prayers. He may give you the hard answer, WAIT, or even NO. Be willing to see HIS will for you. Pray to be a good listener to HIM when HE speaks to you. And pray each day that HIS will for you, be known to you.

The Lord made a woman to be the vessel of human life. This is a much higher position than a man could ever hold. Our bodies are a temple to HIM. The woman’s body is sacred to the Lord. She is closer to HIM than man because she holds the secrets to creation. HE is significantly hurt when someone misuses or mistreats the woman’s body. The woman must never compromise her Christian foundation for any short pleasure that could bring pain for a lifetime.

Why do I know all this? Because I was a young man also. I still consider myself a young man. Daily I have to remind myself of these principals and keep myself in check. I asked my pastor grandfather when he was over 80 years old, how old he was when he stopped looking with his EYES at other women. He had just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary to my grandmother. He paused and said, “well, it has slowed down some.” At that age, he still found himself tempted to look. So, there you are. Please accept my little gift of words.

>>>>treat you children well…

All the young people in my family will point their finger at me as the biggest child among them. I still like to watch on TV what I call educational programing, like old Warner Brothers Cartoons and The Three Stooges. I like to make jokes using silly puns made up on the spur of the moment. But my children also know when I am serious about something, and it is time to listen. I have always talked to them about their future and someday having a family of their own.

I tell them never lie to your children because they need to be able to trust your every word. Constantly tell them that you love and trust them. It is a two-way relationship you share with each other. You will gain their respect by showing them how proud you are of them whenever you can.

Never treat your children as an equal or just like a friend of yours. Young people growing up need someone to look up to that will always give them emotional stability and sound advice when they need it.

Also, there must be consequences for bad behavior. They must learn to be accountable for their own actions, or lack of. As an adult child myself, I still remember what it was like being a kid.

>>>>Connie Smith show…

When I was in high school, the students held fund raising projects to help build a track next to the school. This was done for the future students of GHS. I did get to see it after it was completed before that spot was turned back into a parking lot and a bigger track was built.

During the Danish festival in 2001 WSCG Radio and The Greenville Daily News sponsored the Connie Smith Show at the High School, and the Mane ST Band was asked to play. I had not been in the building once after graduating, and I was pleased to see the new auditorium.  I played in a band at GHS for dances before, but now this was a professional show in my old high school.

It was the highest point in my musical career, and it seemed to me that night was my best performance ever. I had been full circle. Performing live music in front of an audience started right here at this school. After all my time and effort trying to play music with the “Big Boys,” performing there was a bigger thrill than any stage I ever stood on.  It took me a week to come down from the high.

On April 17th,  2016, I was given a birthday present of a ticket to the performance of Carmina Burana at GHS. I was so impressed with all the local actors, musicians, and dancers that I spent the next 90 days re-writing my opera, “Rock, a musical experience.” The original script was written in the 60s and 70s for an adult audience.

Carmina Burana at GHS

After attending the performance, I wrote the family-friendly version that can be performed on any high school stage. I focused in on the talent in front of me and customized the script accordingly. I was most excited about the dancers! After seeing their professional performance, extra dancing parts were added that were not in the original script.  The set design was based on the GHS auditorium.

My children are a blessing to me each day for walking away from the music business.  Hearing my music being played on the radio is not imparting to me anymore.  I no longer seek riches and fame or the rewards of man, but I store my treasures in heaven.

>>>>NOTES:….the third angel

In 2004 I got a call from the hospital in Greenville that Caroline was there, and she was not expected to live.  I rushed to her bedside, but shortly after I arrived, a Hospice worker came into her room and said, “You cannot be here in this room.  We have read your mother’s will, and she specificity said she did not want you around her at this time.  You will have to leave the room.”

It did not surprise me a bit that Caroline had put something in her last will and testimony to hurt me after her death.  She reached out from her graveside to punish me one more time.  I had to leave her room, and go set in another empty room, until Hospice decided what to do with her.

After a couple of hours, they came into the room where I was and asked, “Where is her family? Doesn’t anybody care that she is here?”

I told them, “I am her only child.  I am the only one that will take care of her now.  Please let me take her to her home. That is where she would want to die, in her home.”

Hospice would not let me ride in the ambulance to her house, or would they let me take her inside when we got there.  Another two hours passed with my mother still lying in the ambulance.  Then I open the back door of the ambulance and started taking her out,

I asked the driver, “Will you help me take my mother inside, please.” And he did.  I took my mother inside and put her to rest in her own bed.

Then the ladies of Hospice told me, “We have never even heard of anyone leaving such harsh restrictions in their will to stop someone from being around them at the time of their death.  And what is more confusing is you are her only child.  She left exact orders not to let you around her in any way.” Then both ladies sadly said, “We are very sorry for you, Ronnie.”  Caroline watched me take my first breath of life, and I watched her take her last.

The day Caroline went to be with the Lord, I felt a significant release of stress. I knew that I would not, in any way, be able to hurt her anymore, no matter what I did. I had the right to love my mother, I did, and I still do today.  The day she died I took the most valuable thing in her home so I would not lose it. It was her Bible with all the had-written notes and markers.

Caroline’s Bible

The next day I want back to her home and got the second most valuable thing, her old Betty Crocker Cookbook with all the recipes she fed me as a child.

Two weeks after Caroline passed, I was playing with the Mane St. Band at the Crazy Horse in Michigan. The band was live in front of a full house and we were in between playing two songs that I was singing.

Mane St. at the Crazy Horse

Ever so slightly the crowd seemed to make a small way clear as a young man came directly to me on stage and asked, “Are you, Ronald Knauss?”

A little stunned, I gave him the only answer I could, and that was, “Yes.”

At that moment in time, I was totally focused on my job, and over 500 people waiting for me to start. I was polite, but I still brushed him off as the band started to play the next song.

Through all the noise in the room, I could hear him speak clearly. He leaned over the stage slightly and said, “I am the one that saw your mother throw you out of the house in Greenville. I am the one who went over to the snowbank and picked you up. And I am the one who took you to your family.”

Fun in the snowbank happened 50 years ago. How could anybody remember that?  If this person was an old man when it happened, then he would no longer be alive. If this person was a young man then, he would be an old man by now. I was in my 50’s, and this person was much younger than me. I wanted to talk to him after the set, but he walked back into the crowd and out of sight.  All this happened in less than a minute.  The Lord would not let me know this until a time past, when my anger could not lead me to sin, by trying to hurt someone.

It is easy for me to think that this person could have been an angel that came to tell me it was all in God’s plan, and he had more planned for me. God knew if I had known the truth before Caroline passed, I would have made problems. But now I could only feel sorry for her because I knew what she must have been going through at the time, being a single parent, and all alone.

When Caroline was a young mother, and at that time in the eyes of the public, the womenfolk of divorced families were looked down upon.  They were held mostly responsible for the break-up of the family.  Caroline would have surely had to deal with this, and all the questions people would ask her.  She found herself alone with a small baby and it was the end for her living in the house Raymond built.  She did what she had to do, she moved on.

Thank you to Caroline for saving my marble bag, my sled, and the pictures of my generation. They are a way for me to share your “open door” to the past. If it was not for you being part of the “saving generation,” I would not have much to write about.

I understand now that you might not know what the Lord’s will is for you, until he decides to tell you.

What we go through when we are young, prepares us for what Jesus has already planned for us, before we were born. Then through a personal relationship with Him, we obtain the knowledge of how to build a good spiritual foundation we can stand upon for a lifetime.

I remember when I first went to California, I thought I knew it all, and now the older I get, I know how much, I do not know.  I have learned that you cannot believe all of what you hear, and only half of what you see, but all of the Lord when HE is in your heart.



>>>>>>>> Notes……. important text to be added to story line….the goals of book is to…


1…encourage young people to seek out the Lord Jesus

2…then have a personal relationship with him

3…tell a good story about history, to get readers interested into their own personal history, then all history will become their history…