Years ago, as a freshman at Southwest Texas State University, i was in school in San Marcos but had been dating a girl from Houston, my hometown. SWT, back then, was known as a suitcase college, meaning that there was nothing to do on the weekend, so go home (wherever home was) and spend it there.

The girl I was dating, Connie, was attending Stephen F. Austin State University, in Nacogdoches, so we weren’t going to be spending many weekends in either San Marcos or Nacogdoches. And, as a 19-year old guy, when Connie was happy, so was I. To that end, Connie probably had a love for music that was likely a little “headier” than mine. That summer, before school started, she and I had gone to quite a few concerts in Houston.

When I tell you “who” we saw, you’ll get a chuckle: The Supremes, the Beach Boys, the Association (Windy), Peter, Paul & Mary, The Turtles, Janis Joplin, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, we saw ’em all. Remember, tickets back then were about $2 for very good seats. I can’t tell you how many times I would end up on 1st or 2nd rows.

Sunshine Superman himself

Sunshine Superman himself

But there was one performer that Connie just absolutely loved and I sorta liked: Donovan Leitch. As I look back on it now, he had some very good songs, I just never put it all together till now. For his concert that summer, we had 2nd row center seats at Houston’s Music Hall. On the stage were nothing but two rugs some microphones and incense burning. And, of course, we had to wear love beads because Donovan was, after all, a peaceful fellow. I also wore a Nehru jacket. If you know what that is, I’m sorry for you AND me. If you don’t recall Donovan’s hits, they included Mellow Yellow, Atlantis, Sunshine Superman, There is a Mountain, Jennifer Juniper, Wear Your Love Like Heaven, Season of the Witch, Mellow Yellow, Catch the Wind and Lalena.

Now, come to think of it, he had quite a few hits. So, where is all this going?

December and "Mellow Yellow"

December and “Mellow Yellow”

In December, I was having loads of nausea, an intimate acquaintance of the toilet. The docs wanted to put in a stent in the bile duct, so the liver could get some relief and waste could exit normally. But while we were waiting to get the stent in, I kept losing weight and my skin color was increasingly jaundiced. Everything was yellow. Family did call me mellow yellow. And I was yellow, including the whites of my eyes. I was starting to get a bit alarmed.

In the "pink" after stent recovery

In the “pink” after stent recovery

So while I was in the hospital for the stent, we occasionally would hum “they call me mellow yellow.” We had a lot of fun with that. After the stent was placed, the rest of December was primarily recovering from the stent. My chest was hurting and I couldn’t sleep. But we’ve made that adjustment: the chest no longer hurts, the yellow has disappeared and, by all accounts, things are getting better. I’m putting on a little weight. I have no nausea and no one is calling me “mellow yellow” these days, which is a real gift.

Oh, also, that Donovan concert was very good. Haven’t the foggiest idea what Connie is doing these days.

If you’d like to get reacquainted with Donovan, click on the link that follows: