May 7, 2014
I’ve had to fill this space with some rather sad and somber writings lately, so I thought today I’d try and lighten things up a bit.
I’ll start by simply saying that my name, Bill Anderson, is a very common name.
You can look in virtually any telephone directory (remember those?) in the country and you’ll find a Bill Anderson, a Billy Anderson, a William Anderson, or something close. I’ve often told people one of the things I like best about my nickname is that there’s only one they call “Whispering Bill Anderson.”
Having a common name has, over the years, led to some interesting and humorous things happening in my life, but none any funnier to me than a week or so ago when I received the following letter from a fan:
“I read in your blog where you are a nudist and married to a nudist and live in another country.” That would have been funny enough in itself, but her letter continued:
“I don’t know if I should believe it or not, as last I heard you were not married.”
OK, she believes the nudist part but not the married part? That’s funny too. But there’s more:
“People can post things that are not true on the internet.”
“If you are a nudist, I see nothing wrong with that if that is what makes you happy. I couldn’t do it, but the human body does not shock me as I went to school in the 80’s to become a nurses aide, so I have seen it all. I preferred to take care of men any day as they seem to be less demanding.”
So, what would you do if you got a letter like that? I read it several times before I realized she had said she read it on my blog. I wrote back and told her to copy my blog and send it to me. I knew I had never written any such thing. She apologized right away, saying that quote belonged to “another Bill Anderson.”
It took me back to the day years ago when we were booked to perform at a small county fair in Michigan. We arrived at the fairgrounds several hours before our scheduled performance, so some of the band members and I decided to go stroll the midway and see what was going on. I threw on a ball cap, some dark glasses, and off we went.
Just as we were walking along by the ferris wheel, I heard an announcement come over the public address system:
“Hey, folks, don’t forget Bill Anderson is appearing at our fair today. The great Bill Anderson…here in person!” I smiled until I heard, “Come by and see him perform daredevil, death-defying stunts on his motorcycle. He reaches speeds of over 100 miles per hour. You’ve never seen anything like it. He’s here in person…the great Bill Anderson!”
I immediately turned and ran back to the bus. I broke out a copy of my contract, and breathed a sigh of relief when I read that it only called for me to pick and sing for an hour in the grandstand that night. It said nothing about riding a motorcycle.
Obviously, it was another Bill Anderson.
There was once a prominent doctor in Nashville named Bill Anderson. Jimmy Dickens was a patient of his. Jimmy’s wife once called me by mistake and asked me a question about one of Jimmy’s prescriptions. I told her she’d be better off asking Bill Anderson, the doctor, and not Bill Anderson, the hillbilly singer!
You might remember a famous Navy admiral named William Anderson. There was football player at the University of Tenneseee and later with the Washington Redskins named Bill Anderson. Bloody Bill Anderson is a well-known figure from western folklore. And I’ve run across countless other Bill Anderson’s in my travels. Like I say, it’s a common name.
BUT…..in case you’re wondering if I am the nudist, married, and living in another country, let me assure you:
I am not married….I live in Tennessee which, last I checked, is not a foreign country….and I am fully clothed.
But where did I leave my motorcycle?
<a href=”http://billanderson.com/wired18/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/bill_autograph.png”><img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-1089″ src=”http://billanderson.com/wired18/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/bill_autograph.png” alt=”bill_autograph” width=”198″ height=”96″ /></a>