Hank Williams

Hank Williams

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About Hank Williams

By Frank Roberts

The age old old age question is, "how ya feelin'?" I go for the honest answer "lousy." Then I'll ask, "how much time do you have?" They will check their watch, stammer a little bit, then explain they're on the way to see their Aunt Bessie - 'cause her dog just had five kittens. Realizing their grasp of the wonders of nature, they correct themselves - and they're on the way. And, know what? When I was their age I probably did the same thing.

Fellow age-olders are the most patient, mainly because they can't wait to find an opening during your spiel about your variety of aches and pains. Invariably, they are in worst shape, they see more doctors, they have more prescriptions to fill.

Ills and pills are topics number one and two when one senior citizen meets another. It's a game of 'oneupmanship' - and you usually lose. That's why your pharmacist takes those annual cruises.

Recently, I took my regular trip to see my specialist in Greenville. On the way back there was the absolutely necessary trip to Wal-Mart. Often, I accompany the wife, riding around in one of those motorized carts. The stop was in Williamston and there was one handicap vehicle left. I got on, but an employee said, something like, "the stupid thing is broken. I don't know why they keep it there."

I had to settle for one of those ultra-hard benches they have in front. A gentleman who, I would say, was a spring chicken in his early 50s invited me to sit with him and talk. I sat - he talked and told me about his early-life wanderings before he took a job at a Virginia Beach country club. He smiled as he explained that he began as a lowly (his word, not mine) busboy, then worked his way up to cleaning the dishes and/or waiting table.

He told me that the boss really liked him and begged him to stay. But, there was a woman involved and - gad - she was so-o-o pretty - nice face, well constructed, good personality -- the works. However, he told me (and this is the God's honest truth)- the best thing about her is that she was bow-legged. He especially loved that so, what else could he do? - he followed her to Akron. I don't know if they were husband and wife, or if they opted for 'staying together'. I do know that, soon, the flame was extinguished, and back he came. Unlike Paul Harvey, I didn't get the 'rest of the story'. His nice looking wife was on the way out and asked - well - ordered him to follow, with a brisk, "c'mon, let's go."

Anyway, he kept me occupied until my wife traipsed by and ordered me to follow, with a brisk, "c'mon, let's go."

If you don't feel like sharing 'problems of the elderly' there is one solution. The first question strangers ask - and note the emphasis - is, "how old ARE you?" One wife, who believes in honesty above all else, knows how to handle this situation. She refuses to lie about her age, so she tells one and all that she is as old as her husband. Then - yep - she lies about HIS age.

I told my doctor that I was feeling worse than I did on my last visit - my old bones are giving me 'what for' from top to bottom. I try not to let it bother me - not easy to do when you're whipping about with a cane. My theory is that old age is 15 years from now.

Someone once noted that the best time for men to have babies is when they're 80. That's when they have to get up 10 times a night, anyway. I do know a woman who was named after Betsy Ross - but not long after.

That brings me to the old country song, "I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive." It was high on the charts in 1952. The song was a hit for Hank Williams who, prophetically, died while the song was reaching for 'hit-dom.' Truth in music.

Speaking of country music - and you may have heard this story - here is how 'The Grand Ole Opry" became "The Grand Ole Opry."' Radio station WSM, owned by the National Life and Accident Co., began broadcasting on Oct. 5, 1925. Its call letters were an acronym for the company's advertising slogan, "We shield millions." A couple months after going on the air it started a program called - what else? - "The WSM Barn Dance."

The young announcer, George D. Hay, started as a newspaper reporter. Gads - sounds like me. Well, as the story goes, that program followed a Saturday night show, "The Music Appreciation Hour" which offered, as you would suspect, symphonies, concertos and opera. One night Hay, who called himself, 'The Solemn Ole Judge' introduced the hillbilly show, by saying, "For the past hour we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera, but from now on we will present, "The Grand Ole Opry." So, the Opry was christened.

Incidentally - in 1968 he moved to Virginia Beach, and is buried there.

Finally, and this has nothing to do with anything above, I just have to congratulate the Food Lion advertising folk who dreamed up the current series of commercials featuring 'the lion.' The topper is the one currently being aired as the animal spends the day in the classroom of the little boy who 'owns' him. It's a classic and almost brought a tear or two to my eyes. I can't help but wonder how many little kids are asking, for a pet, a lion rather than a dog or cat.

Top commercials, consistently, are the extremely clever Geico spots. Progressive Insurance, obviously trying to duplicate that success, have also gone into the funny stuff, most of which are pretty blah.

Now, I leave you with this thought: "A pig bought on credit is forever grunting."

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