I don't know where I wuz born
or what year I wuz born, neither. I was too young to remember.
Most of my life I been driftin' from one place to another. I been
to the badlands of New Mexico and to that big ditch in the Arizona
Territory. I wuz gold minin' in the Idaho Territory (that be
called Montana now) and wuz loggin' in the Oregon Territory.
I busied myself trappin' fur, loggin' trees, and even robbed me a
few banks as I traveled around. I likes to keep busy.
When I heard that miners wuz strikin' it rich in California I headed
that way. While passin' through Wyoming on the Oregon Trail I
saw a beautiful site. There, headin' in the same direction as me
was the most handsome mule I ever did see. He were bein' led by
a short person with short hair. I decided I needed that sturdy-lookin' mule fer to
help me get gold.
So's I traveled west with the mule and
discovered that the short person leadin' him weren't so bad.
Found out her name wuz Drop Dead Dee. Interestin'.
So, Drop Dead
and I ended up stayin' together. When I wuzn't gettin' rich on
gold we decided to drift on south.
I can make some right purdy tunes come out of my fiddle. When I'm not fiddlin'
around I'll be bummin' around. If youse feels like sittin' a
long spell, I
can fill yer ears with all the interestin' things I've learned while
Dennis Payne is a retired school teacher who spends his time playing
the fiddle and remodeling homes. He enjoys wood-working and participating
with reenactment groups. Dennis is particularly good at dying! Watch
out for those feet!
Dennis taught in local Southern California Schools for 36 years and
coached high school wrestling for 38 years. He officiated
wrestling at the 1984 Olympic
In 2007 Dennis was inducted into the California Wrestling Hall of
Fame. In 2010 he received the great honor of being inducted
into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame!