“My grandson, Gabe, turned 17-years old on August 6th, and the family celebrated with dinner and presents at his house. You can never go wrong giving Gabe a set of Lego, because he loves to put the pieces together. He wants to be an architect someday, and I guess this is good practice. He must have gotten at least a half-dozen Lego sets for his birthday, and as you can see, he was all smiles. In the second picture, my oldest granddaughter, Rae, is also smiling big after just exchanging vows with her new husband, Zach Kunde. It was an incredible wedding with lots of laughter and a few happy tears. The newlyweds plan an October honeymoon. In the bottom picture, I’m not only enjoying the water and the sunshine at the beach, but getting ready for the college football season by wearing my bright red Georgia Bulldogs shirt. I had a great vacation, but like all vacations it was far too short. Go Dawgs!”
“I was honored to be asked to take part in the fund-raising tribute last month for my longtime friends Emmy Joe and Keith Bilbrey following the devastating fire that recently destroyed their home. I had a chance to visit with them prior to the show along with my friend, Sharyl Melvin.The Bilbreys plan to rebuild, and I hope our efforts on their behalf will make things a little bit easier. In the second picture, my buddy Dallas Wayne, the afternoon host on Sirius/XM’s Willie’s Roadhouse, drove down from his new home in Bristol to help me celebrate my 60th Anniversary at the Opry. Anytime Dallas is in the house the room lights up and the laughter abounds. I sure appreciated him and his wife, Jo, taking the time to come join with us. It was back to work on Monday, though, as Bobby Bare came to the recording studio to put his unmistakable voice on a song for my upcoming album. Our dear friend and soon-to-be newest Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member, Buddy Cannon, came by as well. We couldn’t resist posing for a picture together.”
I got to spend Father’s Day with my oldest daughter, Terri, as we attended outdoor services at the Church By The Lake then dined on a fantastic prime rib buffet indoors. My younger daughter, Jenni, was out of town, but I got a sweet phone call from her later that afternoon. I did get to see my son, Jamey, which made for a perfect Dad’s Day all the way around. Gabe had just gotten home from spending a month in the hospital, and I got to catch up with him before the day was over. I’m not sure he felt like smiling, but he smiled anyhow when his mom pointed the camera in our direction. What a trouper that young man is. The bottom photograph is a beautiful picture of our oldest fan club member, Bertha Thomas, in North Carolina. She was celebrating birthday #104 when this picture was taken. When I reach 104, I hope I look as happy and spry as Bertha does!
Happy Anderson smiles were evident everywhere on Saturday May 15th when my grandson, Blake, received his high school diploma. My son, Jamey, and I were grinning and celebrating with him. Grandson Gabe’s bone marrow transplant was ten days later, and the hospital team treated it as a celebration too, with signs like the one pictured here. And I love the third picture where B. J. Thomas is singing “When Two Worlds Collide” on the Country’s Family Reunion show that honored my 50-years in the music business. A 19-year old Bill Anderson is appearing to look over his shoulder and smile his approval. B. J. was a tremendous talent, and he will be missed by those of us who knew, respected, and loved him.