It’s hard to believe that it was one year ago this month that I played my last show on the road…in Wittenburg, Wisconsin, February 9, 2020. The night before we had performed in Wisconsin Dells, and we stayed over after the show because Wittenburg was not that far away. We didn’t count on the fact that eight inches of snow was going to fall while we slept.
We plowed through it on our tour bus the next morning, arrived in time to set up and do a sound check, but I told everybody we’d be playing to a bunch of empty seats. “Nobody is going to come out in this weather,” I said. Imagine my surprise when every seat in the theater was full. I’ve said it for years – country fans are the best fans in the world! And I miss every one of you!
We haven’t been back out on tour, but quite a few things have been going on just the same. The Grand Ole Opry has decided that they will celebrate my 60th anniversary as an Opry member on Saturday night July 17th, and here’s hoping things will be such that a whole bunch of you can come celebrate with us. Dan Rogers, the Opry manager, told me he did some research and the typical 60th anniversary gift is the diamond. I told him he could give me the diamond at Yankee Stadium!
The Country Music Hall of Fame has also confirmed with us that the Bill Anderson Exhibit, which was originally scheduled to open in 2020, is still on the books for a November 19th opening in 2021. Again, hopefully by then we’ll all feel freer to travel about, and I’ll look forward to seeing many of you at what promises to be one of the true highlights of my life and my career. The exhibit is scheduled to run until March, 2023.
With thoughts toward putting the pandemic in my rear view mirror, I had my first COVID vaccine shot January 12th, and I’m scheduled for my second February 9th. The biggest problem I ran into was all the other 75 and 80-year old drivers out getting their vaccinations on the same day. Most of them probably hadn’t driven in at least a year, and the parking lot resembled bumper cars at the county fair. Nobody could park straight, and a few could barely see over their steering wheels. I told someone I might survive the virus, but I wasn’t too sure I’d survive the ride home!
Many of you continue to reach out and ask what you can do to help get Country’s Family Reunion back on the air at RFD-TV, and my answer is nothing. Unless something unforeseen happens, I don’t think those shows will ever be on broadcast television again. The good news is that you can still stream the episodes on Country Roads TV and, of course, many of you have the DVD’s you have collected over the years. Just enjoy those…for the good times.
Thank you so much for all the wonderful responses my family and I have received in regard to the news I shared last month about my grandson, Gabe, and his upcoming bone marrow transplant. Many of you tell me you have ordered and are wearing the Team Gabe shirts, and we appreciate your support more than you know. Since we last visited, the timetable for Gabe’s procedure has been moved forward into May in order to allow time for him to have a series of radiation treatments that the doctors feel will greatly enhance his chances of never having his cancer return. Those treatments will begin Feb. 8th and could last for up to eight weeks. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks so much for your prayers and your concern.
Elsewhere in my personal world, my son, Jamey, has been called back to work at Delta Air Lines where he will begin training to pilot the 737 airplane in April. My grandson, Blake’s, high school basketball team currently has a season record of 16-3, and will soon be headed into tournament play. Last I checked, Blake is the leading rebounder on the team and #2 in scoring. Due to COVID restrictions, I’ve had to watch most of his games via streaming. I’m just sad that this is his final season.
I hope each of you will continue to stay safe, stay well, and stay in touch. And remember it’s always a good day to have a good day!!
Thanks for everything….