The Writer & His Muse

Pompadour:  A Tribute to Tribute Artists is the husband and wife team of Jim and Jeanne Kendall.



I want to be a writer.  Sadly, I lack many things needed to be a great writer. Time, talent, training, practice, time, time, time, and time are some of the things I lack in my haphazardly pursuit towards writing. So, I became a blogger instead.

I used to write about drivel because it’s easy and fun, but realized anyone can write drivel; however, few can inspire with words. I hope to inspire folks with a few words, but you know the funny thing about inspiring folks is you’ve really got to look for those great pearls of inspiration. It ain’t easy.  The inspiration isn’t always where you expect it to be; and I once found it in the final Rambo movie. Moreover, there are just so many exceptionally talented writers posting all over cyberspace it becomes intimidating to write and post it for the world to see–the world being my family and friends for the most part. Actually, maybe it’s just me.

Live. Laugh. Love. Inspire. Write about it.

That’s sort of my motto and one of the reasons for my haphazard pursuit towards ‘ritin’. The second is just to keep the flow of creativity flowing and hone my writing skills. Practice makes permanent since perfection is just too dang elusive to capture. Enough about my aspiration, let’s move on to more About Me.  Woohoo!

An abridged history of me…

I have roamed this earth since 1968 experiencing the events life presented to me. My name is Jim, or Jimmy to friends and family, and I was born a poor black child. Oh, wait that was Steve Martin in The Jerk. My apologies.

I was born in the backwoods of Arkansas in a redneck, Catholic hospital somewhere in a county called Conway. I didn’t stay in Arkansas for long, and my formative years began in a trailer park in Las Vegas followed by a move to the suburbs on a street called Valpariso. It was there I could see Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer’s glowing nose from my bedroom window. (It turned out to be Venus or Mars or some other bright star.)

Next, I chased lizards, caught snakes, and killed whatever could be shot with a BB gun in the Mojave Desert on the California side in Ridgecrest. The desert is a twilight zone of drug traffickers, weirdos, and dead bodies. My dog, Conan, a beautiful white husky once brought home a human skull we tossed like a ball.  I was only eight or nine years old and didn’t know any better.  I’m not sure where I fit into this diverse, desert hierarchy of weirdness, but I’m pretty sure my wife could give you a suitable answer. When I wasn’t “hunting,” I was riding horses, raising rabbits, chickens, and goats which we ate, but we didn’t have a choice in the matter.

My high school alma mater would be Palmdale High School in Palmdale, CA, Class of 1986:

From the desert let us sing
Till echoing the hills will ring,
With praise for all the world to hear
About our alma mater dear.
We’re the future of our land.
Honesty must be our stand.
Our hearts will never say goodbye.
We’ll always love you Palmdale High.

(Ack! Gag me.)

The Class of 1986’s catch phrase was “86 KICKS!” How about sucks! I like the Class of 1985’s catchphrase a whole lot better:  Wild and sexy. Crazy and live. We’re the class of ’85.  I’ve seen some of those folks from 1985 and they ain’t as wild-n-sexy as they used to be.

(If you’re tired, or just bored at this point, reading about me, scroll down to read about my wife.)

After graduation I volunteered for a three year stint in the U.S. Army. The latter years, life would give me various jobs, a family, triumphs, tragedies, joy, sadness, failures, and victories. Life has put me right where I am supposed to be, in Riverside, CA, and made me into the man I am today. However, when my life is examined more closely, it’s not life which gave me the experiences I’ve had, but the loving, careful guidance (often unbeknownst to me) of my God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who has made me into the man I am today. Now you, yes you who is reading this, are part of my life now.  Welcome, or accept my apologies.

However, looking back over this abridged history of me I would go back to about 1975 and start all over again in a heartbeat.  You know, change the regrets, make better choices, and make sure I saw Elvis in concert!  Then again, if I had the life I dreamt of once in a lullaby would I be pondering the same thing?  Would I have the same family or the same friends?  Would I be richer, smarter, a singer, actor, writer?  Maybe I could have been an Elvis Tribute Artist!  Who knows and who cares.

‘Nuff said!  My brain hurts with an overload of philosophical woulda, coulda, shoulda ponderences.  Let’s move on to more trivial things about me.

Favorite Quotes:

Three things make fools of us all: Pride, Politics, and Religion.

I thought of that profound observation all by myself; and by the way I am guilty of being foolish at all three.  I call my own, insightful quotes mesisms.

Oh, and I really like the Dirty Harry quote about opinions and a**holes or as the Word of God puts it:    There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 16:25).  Same thing.  Different words.  More poetic.  Less vulgar.

Scripture quoting just doesn’t make for very memorable, movie catchphrases especially if you’re staring down the receiving end of a .44 Magnum. Although it worked pretty well with the Ezekiel 25:17 quoting Samuel Jackson character in Pulp Fiction. Let’s just hope none of my words lead to whacking off wannabe gangstas in a Quentin Taratino flick. Although Tarantino is a creative fellow…hmmm…maybe he could use my words and whack some gangsta folks.

Favorite Verse:

My heart is overflowing with a good theme, I recite my composition to the King; my tongue is that of a ready writer (Psalm 45:1).

Yep. I am a flawed, forgiven, Christian man who loves his wife, his gay son, and Jesus.  You can read all about it here.  I’m outta here.

Rock it like Elvis!

If you made it here, congratulations and thanks for the effort.

My Muse.  My Wife.  My A-muse-ing Wife.

Eli Williams & Jeanne Marie

Eli Williams & Jeanne Marie

The brains behind the whole operation is my wife, my muse, my amusing and amazing wife, Jeanne Marie.  She is the anchor in my life who adores Elvis Presley and has a huge heart for Elvis Tribute Artists.

Jeanne Marie is the creative page administrator for Pompadour’s Facebook page.  In addition, she is my personal editor for the blog.  Let me tell you my friends, we have had a few tiffs surrounding our creative differences.  It seems she is always right.  Why is that?  We always come to some sort of creative compromise allowing for the dog house to be reserved for the dogs.

I don’t want to get too mushy, but my muse is the inspiration behind Pompadour.  I love to watch her interact with the ETAs as I wait to see her big, beautiful smile come across her face.  It’s at that moment I know she is having the best time and I can’t help falling in love with her all over again.

Her parents are Richard and Margaret Montgomery.  Richard is a 98 year old World War II veteran and POW survivor of the notorious Rangoon POW camp in Burma.  If you click on the link and scroll down on the page you will see Richard’s name on the list of prisoners:

Richard Montgomery 25th Bomb Squadron (shot down 14 Dec 1944, B-29 – 42-24457
“Battlin’ Beauty”)

It’s a harrowing story of survival and the reason he never flew in another plane again after World War II.  He had to bail out twice.  The second time he bailed out led to being captured by the Japanese, imprisonment in Rangoon, and having his left arm sawed off at the elbow without anesthesia.  You really can’t blame the man for never flying in a plane again.

Margaret was a Rosie the Riveter  during WW II while her husband was bombing Europe. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s took Margaret’s memory from her, then her life in November 2008.

Fortunately, years later, they all hopped on a boat in Germany and sailed back to the States when Jeanne Marie was three years old. She was on a destined path to me and we even lived in the same city at one time as children, but didn’t know it.

Favorite Elvis Song:  True Love Travels on a Gravel Road.

If you want a description of our marriage journey, then listen to the words of the song.   It’s always a treat when an ETA sings our song.  James Kruk once sang it a capella and it was the most beautiful rendition we have ever heard.

The short version of our gravel road…

I was cotton; she was satin and lace.  We met in July 1994 at a Harvest Crusade.  She said, “Hi, I’m Jeanne.”   I forgot about her until January 1995 when I bumped into her again at Harvest Christian Church.  We began dating in March, dated for three months, got engaged during that time, got married on June 08th, 1995.  Spent a little time in marriage hell.  Fixed it.  Now, marriage bliss.  The end.

Favorite Cuisine:  Mexican.

I thought Mexican food consisted of tacos, burritos, and enchiladas before I met Jeanne Marie. It turns out Mexican food is more than a trinity of three dishes. Who knew?  My palate has tasted more Mexican cuisine than it ever did in my entire life before we met.


There you have it folks.  A little bit about us.  Again, if you made it this far, congratulations and thanks for the effort.

8 thoughts on “The Writer & His Muse

  1. First time reader, I am in awe of your writing and photos of the ETA’s , thanks for what you do. You have probably seen my performances and maybe we have even met. I sort of remember you but not sure. I look forward to meeting you in person. I am in the lineup for the upcoming Mesquite rocks Elvis event. Are you going to that? It is in my opinion one of the best track events around, for the ETA’s


    • We met briefly in Winterhaven, shook hands, shared a few courtesies, but you were busy with karaoke and networking. We’ll meet again at Mesquite and thank you for the compliments.


  2. Besides the most amazing Elvis fans in the world, you and Jeanne have done SO much for me during my 3 year journey into being an Elvis Tribute Artist. This page and your Facebook group are incredible. The love and support is just too immeasurable really. I just hope someday that people will be proud that they saw one of my Tribute shows and contest appearances. I’m proud to be a supporter of Pompadour!


  3. Pingback: The Elvis Experience | Pompadour

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