Friday, June 21, 2013

Slim Whitman

Another Country Music great from way back when passed away Wednesday. Slim was 90 years old and had been performing professionally since 1948, a good long career. He never reached the level of success in the U S that some others of the era did but 'ole Slim charted a bunch of hits. One of my favorites, while not a real "biggie" was Bandera Waltz. It holds a special place for me. At the age of two or three, about the time Bandera Waltz was most popular, the parents, grandparents and I were frequent visitors to Joleta Guest Ranch in Bandera, TX and for several years thereafter, too. Among other life experiences, that time in Bandera was perhaps most instrumental in my becoming a cowboy and a creature of Texas and the West. Though I don't remember it in particular, while there one time, one of the wranglers gave me my own set of "kid" spurs. Unless you're a cowboy the importance of the gift of one's first pair of spurs is hard to explain. I guess those in the gun culture would liken it to receiving your first rifle or shotgun. It was your entrance into the "Club". In other words: "It was a BIG DEAL! An acknowledgement that you'd do to ride with."

Until the last day or so, following Slim's death and listening to Bandera Waltz more than a few times, I've only begun to realize how formative those times at Joleta were. Life hardly ever moves us where our early expectations lead us to believe we will go, and while I've considered myself a cowboy my entire life, I've spent much too much time in the workplace, and precious little time with horses, saddles and in open country. Not that it's a bad thing, mind you; it's just not what I expected. But then, life plays all sorts of tricks on us as traverse it and in my case early expectations have been seldom met. I suppose one could feel a great deal of regret in what could have been, but I don't. Life has been much more generous to me in terms of family and situation than I deserve, and for that I give thanks.

So, Peace & Grace, y'all; and rest in peace Slim Whitman, you earned it man.


Post a Comment

<< Home