Don was born in Gonzales, Texas (The cradle of Texas liberty) in 1946. His family moved to the Austin area in 1951, and Don graduated from a small rural school, Del Valle, in 1964.
He graduated from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State), and served 6 years in the National Guard, including 3 years as a paratrooper in the Texas 36th Division.
Don spent part of his working career in advertising for Austin radio and television stations. He earned a Texas real estate broker’s license in 1981, and was involved in farm and ranch brokerage, building, and commercial remodeling for many years. During that time he was able to live in the country, near Dripping Springs, Texas, and run livestock.
Don has two grown daughters, and his wife, Pam, has a grown son and daughter. They have four grandchildren.
In 1990, he read about the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine, Texas, and decided to go see what it was all about. He found kindred spirits, and performed at that event for the next 30 years, eventually becoming the president of the operating committee. Pam also served on the committee.
He first met Apache Adams at the Alpine Gathering, and they became good friends. Don and Apache leased a ranch south of Marfa, Texas, and for the next 20 odd years they ranched and worked cattle together around Far West Texas..
In 2007, Don and his wife Pam, were able to retire and move to Alpine. They bought 60 acres of raw land in the mountains south of town, and built a home there. Don continued to run cattle on leased land and day work for friends and neighbors.
Since 1990, Don has performed his original music and poetry at gatherings around the west, from Alberta to South Texas. But more importantly to him, he has formed a close relationship with many of the performers who consider themselves “The Tribe”… wonderful western folks who love the land and enjoy putting words into songs and poems.