Well, with Labor Day now in our rear view mirrors, I guess we can declare summer to be officially over. Not on the calendar, of course, but most folks I know get in the mood for fall right about now. I hope each of you had a great “end of summer” weekend. I did.
It was an interesting August to say the least. I had a wonderful, relaxing, week-long vacation at the beach early in the month, came back to some great nights at the Opry, then went back on the road…only to break the crown off a front tooth just before the final show of our tour. My manager, Lee, helped me secure the crown long enough to get through the concert, then to show my appreciation, I went off and left him inside a truck stop on the journey home.
Well, I didn’t personally leave him, but we stopped for fuel in the middle of the night, and the bus driver assumed everyone who had gotten off the bus had gotten back on board so he pulled away. It wasn’t until his cell phone rang a few miles down the road that he realized Lee wasn’t with us. Even then he accused Lee of phoning him from his bunk! When he realized Lee was serious about not being on board, he turned the bus around and went back for him. What did we ever do before cell phones?
And speaking of August road dates, I want to thank Dirk Johnson for filling in for his brother, Ziggy, playing keyboards and handling background vocals on our final few shows. Ziggy is feeling better and was back with us at the Opry last week.
We’re only on the road for one date in September. That will be Saturday the 7th at the Paramount Theater in Bristol, Tennessee. I understand they have renovated this old building, where stars like Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb performed back in the 40’s and 50’s, and that it’s a wonderful place for concerts. I hope lots of our friends from around the southeast will come be with us. Early October dates find us in Loudonville, Ohio, on the 3rd and Marion, Illinois, on the 4th.
Our Opry dates this month will be the 6th, 13th, 14th, 17th, and 21st. I’m hoping to slip away toward the end of September and go back to one of my favorite places in the world…the state of Maine. I have some friends up there that I haven’t seen in ‘way too long, and I always look forward to seeing them…along with enjoying the beautiful colors and the cooler temperatures that time of year.
Let me remind you again that Ken Burns’ marvelous documentary on country music will begin airing on PBS television the 15th of this month, and you won’t want to miss an episode. Check your listings for dates and times. It’s really going to be worth watching. A pre-documentary special will air Sept. 8th.
On a somber note, I’m sad to tell you that one of our former Po’ Boy band members, Roger Pirtle, passed away August 19th at his home in Michigan. He played bass with us in the sixties under the name of Roger Sloan, but realized after a couple of years that the road was not his calling. He returned home and continued to play in local groups around the area. He and I wrote a song together a few years ago that Ricky Skaggs recorded called, “Can’t Control The Wind.” Roger was 76-years old and will certainly be missed.
My grandson, Gabe, slipped on a wet tile floor in the bathroom at his house last month and broke a bone in his left wrist. He’s wearing a cast, but trouper that he is, he hasn’t missed a beat. His brother, Blake, now over 6’5″ and 195 pounds, is gearing up for high school basketball season; their sister, Hallie, made the cheerleading squad her first year in middle school; and grandson, Nick, is getting into his first year away from home at college. It’s a job just to keep up with them all.
Thanks for continuing to tell me you enjoy our newsletters, and thanks for allowing us to send them to you. We’ll see you back here again in October. My best wishes to you all.