I find myself preoccupied, lately, with objects that hold memories that trigger some special nostalgic feeling of connection to another time and place. I never thought of objects like that before, I’ve always been one to stick something back and save it, but still they were just objects….just things to use. Now, I find myself, pausing to reflect, over the sharpness of an old pocket knife….a particular fishing lure or rod….an old saddle that belonged to my dad….my mothers old King James Bible….an old favorite book of Louis L’Amour that I have reread several times and still find it brand new…the way my old J-45 Gibson sounds with the drop-D tuning that Jerry Reed showed me in the early 60’s and Mickey Newbury taught me how it could be used
to write melodies….my old Tony Lama’s that carried me across so many stages for so many years…the beautiful rocking chair that my friend from long ago at the Boys Ranch made for me…pictures of me and my friends in music from long ago, Bob Luman, Ferlin Husky, Hank Thompson, Jimmy Dean, Sammi Smith, Tom T. Hall, Ray Pillow and so many more, all looking young, full of life, full of music and believing it was never gonna end.
The pocket knife-my dad carried it, or one like it, all the years of his life. The day he died, at 92, I went to his drawer and found three identical pocket knives…I gave one to my brother Dan, one to my brother Sam and one went into my pocket to rest with me as long as I live. That is my daily remembrance of dad.
The fishing lure-It’s a big silver spoon with a red stripe that caught my 22 pound Lake Trout in June of 1995 in Kasba Lake, NorthWest Territory with my Father In Law Duane Thornburg. It is one of my most prized memories of time spent with this great man.
The Old King James Bible-the object that most holds the memory of my mother, and the one that she left a special note pinned inside, addressed to me, just before she died.
My J-45-that allowed me to make music since I was twelve years old, and whose D-tuning gave me the sound I love. There have been many guitars since the first, but the J-45 just has a special sound.
The Rocking Chair-made for me by Russ Filbeck, Master Chair Craftsman who now lives in California, but was a boy when I met him at the Boys Ranch in 1959-60 in the Ozarks. I love him and his family and what he has accomplished.
The two pair of Lee Jeans, given to me by Ferlin Husky, starched and pressed, as he liked them. I wear them on occasion, just to key a memory. Ferlin was my friend for many years, and I miss him.
Pictures of my friends in music-I have been so blessed in my life of music and the people that have shared it with me. I am extra blessed, because I not only have photographs but a record of our times together on television and radio going back to 1959. When I watch Heart to Heart, it is like playing home movies and reliving the good times of music together with people I love and whose music touched so many hearts.
Thank you Lord, for giving us music, since King David played and composed his Psalms, and for giving me the hunger to make and share music for all these many years.
God bless and keep us safe and healthy this summer.