Thursday, July 13, 2006

What a night!

Called up my old pal Larry Mathis the other day. Larry's one of the best banjo pickers 'round these parts.

"When are y'all playing next?" I asked.

"July 20," he said. "At a political rally. Come on down."

A few minutes later, the phone rang. It was Larry.

"The band's coming over to my house Thursday night to practice. Come on over. We'll have some pizza."

So here I went after work. I could hear the mandolin and the bass from the driveway.

The boys were getting wound up pretty good. I ate pizza while they went through one classic after another -- Bill Monroe, Don Reno, Flatt and Scruggs.

"What do you want to hear?" Larry asked.

"How about Little Georgia Rose..."

They did it. Mike Ramsey was dropping notes on the mandolin that were prettier than the falling rain. Larry asked me to sing one, so I managed to hang on through "Blue Ridge Mountain Home." Felt honored just to be there. But I ain't no Mike Ramsey, that's for sure.

After while, the gang had a request to do "Fox on the Run." I called my mom and held out the cell phone so she could hear. That's mom's favorite bluegrass song.

"She walks through the corn leading down to the river/Her hair shone like gold in the hot morning sun/She took all the love that a poor boy could give her/And left me to die like a fox on the run...

"Like a foooooooooooooooooooox...on the run ..."

I could have died a happy man right then and there. Mom went nuts.

"That's better than any group I've ever heard," she said.

They picked some more, we talked about Monroe and Scruggs and I drank a sweet tea and patted my foot. Larry let me borrow a Monroe tribute and some Monroe and Reno and Smiley CDs. Peggy, his wife, wrapped me up an apple fritter to go.

"Come on back anytime," Larry said. "You're always welcome."

The high lonesome sound was still ringing in my ears as I headed back up Texas Valley Road.

"Mabester," I thought to myself as I drove into Halls, "you've got one heck of a good life. The best friends, a loving family, good music, great job and good health."

I wouldn't have traded tonight for all the riches in the world.

God's been good.


Anonymous Jaci said...

You are right....those are the days that make you thankful for the cards life has dealt you. Remember that feeling next time you get a wild card and ponder the thought of life's being unfair. These are the days "Mabester," these are the days, indeed!

10:38 AM  

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