Jean Shepard died this week, about my age, she was a favorite whom I saw on stage with a group of Grand Ole Opry singers, including Webb Pierce, Ira and Charlie the Louvin Brothers and others at Alachua High School on University Avenue in Gainesville my junior or senior year at Florida. 1955 or 1956 I reckon, could have been 1957, but I think it was during the fall semester, and I went with a friend who loved country music as much as I did.
Introduced as “Little Jeannie Shepard,” she was feisty, small, a cute little blonde girl I could have had a crush on, had a wonderful clear voice for the traditional hillbilly music she sang. She was a first or early woman country music star, determined to succeed, as said in a quote, “Weren’t nothing going to stop me” and by golly nothin’ did’n stop her neither.
That was a big night in Gainesville, including I think also Hawkshaw Hawkins (whom Jeannie Shepard married), Little Jimmie Dickens, and Ernest Tubb singing in his resonating voice and saying, “Aw, Billy Bird now.” I used to love country music, and listened to it on my car radio for years until I realized the sad love songs were always bringing me down into a deep, blue funk!
First few years after Navy retirement, I was away from our Harrisburg home on my defense consulting business more than seventy-five percent of the time, loved and drove new Cadillac cars, and always had the radio on with either country music or a religious program. One evening, heading home pedal to the metal probably around Salt Lake City or Denver, munching a quarter-pounder with cheese and sipping black coffee, my radio was tuned to a New Testament scholar taking calls. In the chat the caller was upset about something that had been changed in a new Bible translation, and the scholar explained what the Greek word was. From deep in darkness, the caller cut in, “I don’t go by the Greek, I go by the Bible, the Saint James Bible,” leaving the scholar too taken aback to continue the conversation.
Blooming with its heavenly fragrance, Linda's gardenia plant seems to think it's late spring instead of early fall. From out here on 7H porch, it appears that we may have a lovely Tuesday coming up. I can’t get it clear yet, keep trying, shot of the tall tower over beyond Courtney Point, flashing red and reflection trailing toward me into the Bay.
Early today, that’s a shrimp boat to the left, to the right over 7H porch rail, my latest try for a clear picture of the tower. Right after we moved from Apalachicola home to 2308, I came out on Alfred’s Porch late one night, looked over at the bright lights toward Courtney Point, and for a moment thought what I was looking at was a large ship run aground.
Sunset time last evening, storm clouds passing by,
and beyond the flashing red buoy, lights coming on at the high Gulf-front condos on Thomas Drive:
DThos+ trusting +Time+ to go a bit longer!