one more country anecdote

Charlie Daniels was the first man I ever met who wore a full beard. It was Frontier Days, I was four and he was drunk and stagger-eyed — the year was 1980 and this is how I remember him. He stumbled out of the Cheyenne Club, a gills-soaked watering hole known for its frequent fisticuffs and alcoholic imprudence. I was on the sidewalk with my mother, possibly returning from a parade–it was daytime and the sun burned. She asked for his autograph even though I didn’t want it, and he scribbled my name on a leaf of notebook paper while I hid behind her leg, terrified by his grizzly gait, black Stetson, acrid stench, booze face. Frontier Days is a synonym for drunk before noon and has been at least since my birth. I still can’t smell whiskey without recalling that moment. Still have the autograph, though.

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One Response to one more country anecdote

  1. shnnn says:

    one of my early teenage jobs was working a season as a telemarketer for a fire fighter’s union selling tickets to a Charlie Daniels Band reunion show. I frequently had to say “you know, the devil went down to Georgia?” and then sing it until they’d be like “aw shee-it, sure”. This was in Kansas City – it wasn’t hard.

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