This story will not be easy to keep brief. It covers 2003, 2005, & 2006 and ends up being
tied together by an incredible songwriter and human being named Cody Canada. This fine young man truly puts his heart and
soul into his songwriting and his music and has touched many a heart and soul with it, especially mine, forever. Since
2005, I consider it a honor to now call him my friend. Cody, THANK YOU for your music.
The White Pigeon
As I mentioned earlier, Mom was a huge Texas A & M fan. She was so proud
when Shawn graduated with honors 6 months before she passed. At her funeral, we had covered her feet with her Aggie blanket
and The Spirit of Aggieland was played at the end.
In 2003, Shawn invited me to the A & M / Texas game. As we walked into the
stadium, you could see many pigeons around. They were all gray and flew together in groups of 4 or 5. We were sitting in the
new Zone in the upper deck.
At the beginning of every Aggie game, they always played The Spirit of Aggieland.
This was the first time I had heard it since Mom's funeral. I was getting very choked up and looked to the sky and thought
to myself, "Mom, if you're here, can you give me a sign?"
I then noticed out of the corner of my eye that a solid WHITE pigeon was
flying BY ITSELF from my right to my left about 10 feet above us. It flew about 30 yards past us then turned and headed
back and continued flying back and forth. I was so choked up that I could not even make a sound so I nudged Shawn. He
turned and said, "I know. I see it. She's here!" It is amazing how we were on the same page at that moment without saying
We kept watching this white pigeon and as the song was ending, it flew behind
the press box and we never saw another white pigeon and we never saw another pigeon flying by itself. WOW!
It was after this that Shawn had made me some CDs of this group called Cross Canadian Ragweed and said that he thought I would really like their music. I did and
Fast forward to 2005. Once again, Shawn asked me to go to the Texas game with
him. He had been given some great tickets from his friend and patient, Mr. Wolters. We were in the lower deck on about the
48 yard line. Can't get better seats than that. Just when the game was about to start, we noticed this butterfly fluttering
towards us from the field. It came about 2 feet from us then sailed off to the northwest and was never seen again. I asked
Shawn, "Did you see that?" All he said was "Yup!" We did not need to say any more. We both new what it was. A warm comfortable
feeling set in.
Listen to the Words!
After the game, we were relaxing at the house when Shawn comes in and says, "Uncle Kenny, if
you have a minute, I want you to hear this song." We went out to his car and he played On a Cloud by Cross Canadian Ragweed.
Then Shawn said, "There is a certain part that I want you to really listen to the words." Ironically, it was the
only part of the song where drums were played and I had played drums for about 25 years. Here are the words:
I'm flying like a bird
that you heard
Keep your eyes up in the sky
You might see me sailing by"
We both knew that
for us, it was referring to the white pigeon 2 years ago and the butterfly earlier that day. Wow! How does this happen? Why
does this happen? How many more signs are we going to get? I broke down. After I gained my composure, I told Shawn,"
I have got to go hear this band and meet the gentleman that wrote this song." Little did I realize this was only the
Click the Play button below to hear "On A Cloud".
The Purple Album
OK. Now I wanted to learn everything I could about this band, their music, and
I wanted to meet Cody Canada. Shawn filled me in on so much about them. The song On A Cloud is #10 on the album titled Cross
Canadian Ragweed but known as "The Purple Album". Here is some information:
Cody wrote the song in tribute to the Oklahoma State basketball team that was
tragically killed in a plane crash flying home from Colorado.
Randy Ragsdale, the drummer, lost his little sister in a tragic car accident outside
of Bryan, Texas in 2001. Her name was Rachael Amanda (Mandi) Ragsdale, she was 9 years young, and her favotite color was purple.
This album is dedicated to her. Below is the insert for the album. Notice the light.
"The Purple Album"
We had found out that they were playing New Year's Eve in New Braunfels, Texas,
so we bought tickets for the whole family. Shawn called me in early December and found that Cody was playing an acoustic set
in Austin with Wade Bowen, Jason Boland, & Stoney LaRue. Shawn drove to Lampasas and we went together.
After the show, we made our way back stage and I finally got to meet Cody and
his lovely wife Shannon. I told him about how On A Cloud had touched our lives, gave him a copy of my picture, and then I
told him how I knew that the light on the album cover was Mandi. He said, "Yes, you are right. And you are the first
person that has ever said that to me."
I then told him we had tickets for the whole family for New Year's Eve and would
it be possible for them to do On A Cloud? He said, "Consider it done! If you had told me earlier I would have done it for
you tonight." I thanked him for his music, gave him and Shannon a hug, then Shawn and I headed to Lampasas thrilled at our
experience and jamming to their music all the way home.
But before we left, Shawn took our photo.
Shannon, Cody, Kenny
Austin, Texas 12-15-05
New Year's Eve
We all made it to New Braunfels that night except Shawn. He had been laid up in
the hospital with a kidney infection and the doctor would not release him until the next day. I was able to find Cody before
the gig and ask him if they were going to be able to do On A Cloud. He said, "Yep. it's on the set list." As the night went
on it got crazy in there being New Year's Eve. 2006 came and they never played the song. Everybody went to wait in the van
but I wanted to see if I could talk to someone.
Randy walked by and I asked him if he knew why they didn't play our song. He said
it got crazy up there and there were quite a few songs they did not get to play. But then he said, "Let me find out. Wait
right here. Don't leave."
After about 15 minutes a tall man comes out and says,"Are you the gentleman
who wanted to hear On A Cloud?" I said, "Yes, I am. I was just wondering why they were not able to play it tonight." He extended
his hand and said, "My name is Bert and I am the tour manager. Cody would like for you and your family to meet him behind
the bus." In shock I said, "What, you're kidding me, right?" Bert said, "No sir, if you will get your family, I'll meet
you by the gate."
On A Cloud
There was a fog forming and a heavy mist was in the air. We met Bert at the gate
and followed him to behind the bus. After a few minutes, Cody comes out with an acoustic guitar case. I said, "Cody, I really
appreciate you wanting to do this, but it is misting out here. You don't have to do this." He said, "You're right. I don't.
I WANT to do this!" I told him about Shawn in the hospital and he said, "Can you call him on your cell?" Cody waited until
I got Shawn on the phone, then he grabbed my hand to bring the cell phone up close so Shawn could hear it good. He then proceeded
to play On A Cloud just for us. WOW! Afterwards, he told us it was a pleasure for him to be able to do this for us. Then he
said, "This is why I do what I do."
Thank you and God Bless you, Cody Canada. I don't know of ANYONE else who would
have done that. He touched my life forever that night.
On A Cloud Video
Over the years, I have tried to see them as often as possible. In some cases,
I have been able to shoot some video. Cody did On A Cloud for me one night in 2007 in San Marcos, Texas. I put together
a video telling part of this story and opened a YouTube page to share them. Cody's voice was giving him a little trouble this
night and that's ok, because he sings with his heart. This video is about 9 minutes long. You can click the link below and
it will open in a new window. Enjoy.