It’s getting late. Almost time to get ready for bed. Willie Nelson is playing on the stereo “Living in the Promised Land.” I don’t know about you but I love Willie. He’s been a little bit of everything in his life, a singer, actor, had his own television show, he’s fought the government and he’s raised money for farmers through the “Farm Aid Program.” He, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash were all part of the original “Outlaws of Country Music.” In the beginning this group became known as this because there was a change taking place in country music excluding much of the honky-tonk styling that had been so predominant through the years. Willie and the rest felt they weren’t going to be told by the record producers what kind of music they could play. I know many of you think he was just a drinking, drug doing, hippie, who traveled the country in a bus singing wherever he happened to stop. Who know’s, I don’t know him personally, but I kinda of see him as a hero. He stood up for what he believed in and he helped where he felt help was needed. For me personally, I think he’s a heck of a singer. Right now “You Are Always on MY Mind is playing. A very lovely song indeed. Yep, I love to listen to Willie. Not only are so many of his songs just soothing to listen to, many of them tell a story. Stories we should take to heart and listen to the words. Okay, enough I guess. I didn’t start this post to talk about Willie. It’s just that this is a wonderful album and I’m enjoying it very much. Steve is asleep in his chair and the house is quiet except for the stereo. But as long as we are on the subject of musicians, most of you already have figured out that music is a big part of my life. Oh my, “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” one of my very favorites. Oh, um, well, what can I say? Music, I love all kinds of music. Country/Western, Jazz, Blues, Gospel, and of course Rock-n-Roll and lets not forget Rock-a-Billy. Steve and I were just talking the other night about how so many of the the really great artists from our generation have and are passing on. It’s like telling a member of your family goodbye. I grew up watching Grand-Ole-Opry on Saturday evening. Me, stretched out on my big, pea-green hassock and enjoying every minute, not about to go on and play like the other kids. My cousins would come inside, tugging at me and pleading,“Come on, let’s go play hide and seek. It’s dark now, it’ll be lots of fun.” But I was too enthralled with Chet (Atkins), Johnny (Cash), the Carters, George and Tammy, Even ole Tennessee Ernie Ford. Then there was Hank Snow, Bill Anderson, Porter Wagner and Dolly. Lynn Anderson, Kitty Wells and one of my favorites, Patsy Cline. Mel Tillis and Ferlin Husky. Yes, those are just some of the great ones, but one I don’t want to leave out was good ole Hank Williams, another of my very, very favorites. I could go on but you all get the idea and probably don’t remember a lot of these names anyway. It was another time. A great time. After the Opry my Dad, and my Uncles would all get out their instruments and commence to playin’. My Aunt Bonnie would sing and I’d perch myself up on the kitchen counter in the corner so I had a perfect view of all of them. I so much wanted to join in. I wanted to sing and sing and sing. But, I was too shy. I loved it but I guess it wasn’t enough to bring me out of the quiet place I lived. But I’ll never forget those nights, the Opry, my family and the good times we had when we all got together. My dad played mandolin, Uncle Arbie, guitar, Tony, Guitar, and Uncle Homer, I think had a banjo. It was a lively bunch full of fun, laughter and music that would last half through the night. Mom and my aunts would have to pack us kids off to bed as we got too tired to get there ourselves but we argued all the way. Especially me. I just didn’t want to miss a minute of it. How unbelievably awesome it would be to be able to go back to even just one of those nights, jump off that counter and join in with the group, singing my heart out. Of course, that can’t be done in real life but, in my mind, we’re all on a stage together, the music is flowing loud and freely, and the audience is loving it. Oh, and remember that big,pea- green, hassock that I mentioned above, well, I still have it. I had asked my folks to save it for me, evidently when I was young, and by golly, they did. It was funny day when we were moving them from that house, the house I grew up in and where they had lived for fifty-six years, and Steve crawled out of the attic asking, ” Do we really have to get this thing down from here?” I replied, “What thing?” “Well, climb up here and take a look.” he answered, still looking a bit dismayed. ” It’s so big, and heavy, and ugly.” I climbed on the ladder and made my up to the attic opening in the ceiling and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I laughed, then told him, We most certainly do. I can’t believe they saved that thing for me. You bet I’m taking it.” I climbed back down still laughing and Steve made his way back to get the hassock. I think I heard a little grumbling as he went. Something that sounded kind of like, “Oh brother, what I don’t do….and then all I heard was the shuffling of that huge old stool and a few more groans. Yes, I still have the hassock. I don’t know what I’ll ever do with it. Right now it’s in the garage but one of these days I’ll find a spot for it.