In 1972, Brady, Texas was the center of the universe for my father. I couldn't even begin to tell you how many times I was loaded up in a green Pontiac after school and driven to this mesquite covered rocky terrain.
There were two trailers set up side by side and one lean-to shack that had a cot in it with a Coleman stove placed on a top shelf. At four in the morning, I was rustled out of bed usually wearing the same clothes I had on the night before to indulge in some sort of breakfast before we ventured off to the deer blinds.
At night, we would gather around a fire where "Sleepy", our campfire cook, would be boiling up a pot of Mulligan stew while all the men would be popping bottle tops and carrying on.
One of the many memories injected into my brain from those trips is the sound of Patsy Cline ringing through an eight track player. Charlie Dickerson, my father's best friend, would say, "You hear that boy? That's heart music."
Fast forward thirty years and I'm in my office one day answering a phone call from one of my wife's friends in a total panic. Apparently the designer that was working on a project for her had flaked so she was now calling me for help. I told her it wouldn't be a problem and she immediately came over with files in hand. She explained that she was chair for a fund raiser in Dallas and would be putting on a concert at the Meyerson featuring k.d. Lang. My reply would naturally be, "k.d. who?"
If you know me, I don't listen to popular music. In fact, I would rather have a colonoscopy than have to listen to what they call music today. She told me that she was this incredible vocalist and showed me her picture. Still not much reaction from me which probably added to the fluster of her day but patiently she gave me my marching orders and I produced all the design work she needed. In an effort to thank me, she gave me tickets to the event as well as some incredible seats.
The night of the big shindig, my wife and I made our way to the Meyerson where I was still leery about this gal. Who is k.d. Lang? Why couldn't they have just hired Al Green?
We sat down and when the show began, my mouth may have fallen open. Her vocals were not only smooth but packed some huge power that literally made the ceiling shake.
But it would not be until her last number that I almost fell out of my chair as she blew out the greatest rendition of Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray I've ever heard. She might has well have reached into my chest, pulled out my heart, threw it on the floor and smashed it with her bare feet.
For a brief moment, I was five again sitting around that fire with my Daddy while they drank scotch and smoked cigars. I had to wipe the tears away before my wife could see them.
It is music like this that I miss so much. The music that for a brief moment, makes the hair on the back of your neck stick up and pulls at your heart.
You know, that heart music.
Peace out brothers and sisters. And if it ain't on the radio, it's probably really good music.