Debbie, Debo, Langdon and I spent Mother’s Day in Richmond, VA at the 1st Annual Jimmy Dean Festival. It was a fund-raiser benefiting children of Henrico County and also a day of honoring Jimmy. They unveiled a seven-foot statue of him that is being shipped this week to Plainview, TX, his hometown, where it will forever stand in memoriam to him.
Jimmy Dean was such a good friend. Our paths crossed many times through our careers and when he moved to Richmond in the ‘90s, we became close. We visited back and forth and talked on the phone all the time. When he passed away in June of 2010, his wife, Donna, asked me to speak at his funeral. She also told me just this weekend that I was the last person he talked to on the phone. The last person he called. My birthday was just a few days before his demise and he had called and sung Happy Birthday to me as he did each year. Such a treasured moment.
So in the spirit of our friendship, she asked me to be a part of his celebration yesterday. Being Mother’s Day, she wanted me to do one of Jimmy’s best pieces he had written and performed many, many times: “I.O.U”. This is a recitation he wrote for his mother and you still hear it all over the radio every Mother’s Day weekend. It’s a tear-jerker; one I had told Jimmy often that I always turned off whenever it came on the air because I couldn’t listen to it all the way through without tearing up.
Well, yesterday I had to hear it all the way through. As Langdon joined me on stage and played background music on the piano, I got through some of the most beautiful and heartfelt words ever written about mothers. JD was there in the power of his words and in the hearts of all who sat and listened and soaked up the sincerity that dripped from each syllable; from each soulful memory of a mother’s love and caring nature.
Then, on a more upbeat note, Bill Anderson, another good and old friend came out and did a 90-minute show. What a thrill to spend some time with him. Bill was on our first professional tour back in 1964, so he was one of the first friends we ever made in the music industry. (From the stage, Bill pointed out that “City Lights” was the only song of his that the Statler Brothers ever recorded. I almost stood up and refuted that fact, but then got to thinking about it and realized he was probably right. Don’t know why because we all think he is one of the best songwriters Nashville has ever produced.) And “Still” is maybe the best country song ever written.
Hope your Mother’s Day was as happy as mine. DSR 5/12/14
Yes, there is an electric power washer setting in the closet of our garage. It has been there for four or five years and has never been touched and by now I don’t even remember why or when I bought it. But yesterday I decided I wanted desperately to use it on the tile around the pool. Call it an impulse if you like for that is exactly what it was.
I hooked it all up and discovered that it just was not powerful enough to make a difference so I called my son, Debo, as I usually do when I get in trouble with such things.
He said, “Dad, I have a much bigger and more powerful gas washer, but let me come and do it because it can get away from you.” (Have I telegraphed my punchline already? Well, read on.)
“No,” I said. “I can do it. Just bring it over here and show me how to turn the thing on and I can do it.”
Like the good son he is, he brought it, gassed it up, turned it on and reluctantly turned it over to me and left.
I should insert here that I am practically helpless where any tool or machinery is involved. And no one knows this better than Debo. He got all of his building and handy-about- the-house skills from his maternal grandfather, who was a master builder and taught his grandson all those things that I never could. (On my 50th birthday, Debo gave me a toolbox with all the essentials – hammer, pliers, screwdriver, etc. It’s the kind of gift a father usually gives a son but our situation is totally backward. I have no talent with any of these tools and the only time they are used is when he comes to hang a picture or assemble some new gadget or toy I’ve gotten stuck on and he has to finish.)
But back to the very powerful power washer. Debo’s final warning as he pulled out the driveway was, “Be careful”. (The same thing I use to say to him as he pulled out of the driveway as a teenager.)
So here is what I learned. When you are in that washing mode and your right hand gets cramped from pressing down the lever and you have to shift it to your left for some momentary relief, DO NOT LET THE POWER SPRAY HIT YOUR BARE FOOT. It will slice it open like a hot cherry pie. Fun times!
As I type this I am barefooted and bandaged and feeling no pain. But when I try to put the ole shoe on, it’s a different story. I have never gone to church with a suit and tie and tennis shoes, but I’m pretty sure tomorrow morning with be a first.
Happy Power Washing to you all!