Reece Gardner: Country music and country living
Today I want to talk about country music and country living.
I grew up in a very rural area in Chesterfield, SC, and while we didn't have many material things, we did have the great outdoors and FREEDOM! I learned many valuable lessons over the years from those experiences, particularly from members of the animal kingdom, and especially from the canine family. We have all heard the expression, "A dog is man's best friend," and from my experience that is very true.
If you have ever had to say goodbye to an animal that has been a part of your family for several years, you know what a difficult experience that is. Emma and I had that experience when we lost our Scotch Terrier who was hit by a car and injured to the point of no return, and it was indeed like losing a family member. It gave new meaning to such songs as Red Foley's "Old Shep," Tom T. Hall's "Old Dogs and Children," and Jimmy Stewart's poem about "A Dog Named Beau."
We should all be grateful for and thankful to those members of our community who devote a lot of time, energy, and money to making life better for animals, people such as Joe Exum, Gerald Henderson, Ursula Rasmusill, Preecha and Caroline Bhotiwihok, and many others.
And now to country music: A few years ago I assisted in the promotion of country music, and one of the highlights of that time was bringing Mac Wiseman here to entertain at LCC, with local backup artists Frank Sabiston, Lynn Turner, Bob Gaddis, and Stan Spence. It was a great evening! Emma and I have had the pleasure of going to The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville several times, and of visiting with several leading artists, and one of the things that has always impressed me about "basic" country music performers has been their obvious modesty, openness, love of God and country, and a genuine approach to life.
One entertainer whom I never had the opportunity to meet but will always remember as my favorite country comedienne was "Cousin" Minnie Pearl. She could tell a joke which many in the audience had heard her tell before, but everyone would laugh because Minnie was such a joyous person. She told about entering the stage entrance to The Opry late one Saturday night and a man came up to her with a gun in his hand. He said, "Give me all your money," to which Minnie replied, "I haven't got any money." She said the man then frisked her up and down and all around and finally said, "You haven't got any money, have you," to which Minnie replied, "No, but if you'll do that again, I'll write you a check!"
Have a WONDERFUL day!