Sunday, June 19, 2016

Nashville Connections

With today being Father's Day, I look forward to spending some times with my kids. But of course, I missing my own dad. 

When I think of dad I don't think of all the time and hard work he put in to help keep food on the table and clothes on are back (although I'm forever grateful for that). 

What I do think of are the things that he enjoyed and made him happy. Things like: The Muppets, Star Trek, songs from the 1950s and early 60s, and of course working on his model railroad. 

Another thing he liked to do, especially once he and mom became "empty nesters", was to spend Saturday nights at home watching TV with my mom. 

Recently, I discovered something that really brought back the memory of just how much he enjoyed those evenings; the RFD cable channel. 

This channel's programming is aimed at a mostly rural audience. You know, "farm folk" like we have here in Kentucky where I live. 

But it also plays to the old school country music fan. Showing the kind of programs that mom and dad used to watch on the Nashville Network back in the day. 

Some of their favorites were: The Statler Brothers' Show, Pop Goes The Country, The Grand Old Opry show, Nashville On The Road and Yesteryear. 

The two that I have taken to watching on RFD TV are the newly produced show, "Ray Stevens' Nashville" and reruns of "Hee Haw." 

While watching these shows I can't help but in my mind and heart find myself back our 67 Brainard Street living room with Ron & Gloria watching the likes of Jim Ed Brown, Bill Anderson, Rex Allen Jr. and a lot more. 

I probably am not conveying how much seeing these RFD shows makes me feel closer to my mom and dad while missing them more than ever at the same time. But those feelings are special enough to me that I find myself watching RFD whenever I get the chance. 

There are also more connections with Nashville that remind me of my dad and mom. 

When I was a teenager and would sleep in on weekend mornings my dad would come into my room to wake me up by pulling back my covers while saying, "The sun shines bright in your old Kentucky home." Little did he know that one day that would be true. 

As I've already shared with you, my parents were both big country music fans. Their dream was to go on a vacation to Nashville and visit the Grand Ole Opry at the Rymon Auditorium. 

When I was young, naive and ambitious, I used to promise my parents that when I grew up and got rich and famous I would buy a house in Nashville so they could come down and visit any time they wanted to. 

Little did I know that I really would own a house relatively close to Music City USA. I'm only an hour away. 

Sadly, neither of my parents got the chance to come and visit. My dad died just 5 months after I moved to Kentucky and mom was never healthy enough to travel this far. 

Let me end this Father's Day post by letting you in on this one thought that has a consistent presence in my life to this day.

Since meeting and marrying Paula, I have been blessed to do a lot of things I never ever thought I would do. For this I am forever grateful. 

At some point during every vacation or adventure I find myself pausing for just a second or two. I look around at where I am or what I am doing and I say to myself, "Dad would have loved this."     

Happy Father's Day to my dad and all the fathers who set the best example for their kids by loving their mother and most importantly loving them. 

That's all for now. Thanks for taking the time to read my memories surrounding this special day. I appreciate each and every one of you who take the time to come by and read what's on my mind. Be sure to check back again soon for my next RHFactors blog post.    

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