The familiar confines

I guess we’re all gonna be what we’re gonna be.
So what do you do with good ole boys like me?

Sleet pelted the windshield of my truck as we left Second Chance Ranch around 6:30pm yesterday, headed for Squeek’s Bar & Grill. We hadn’t gone two miles when it turned briefly to snow, then back to sleet. Then came small hail.

Suddenly, the sun came out. All that in a ten-minute drive.

Deb needed to make a quick stop at the vape shop. I waited in the truck, clicking the radio over to “Willie’s Roadhouse” on SiriusXM. First up was a collaboration I hadn’t heard before — “If I Needed You,” the Townes Van Zandt classic, performed by Emmylou Harris and Don Williams.

I smiled at the serendipity of hearing Don Williams on our way to see Ray Scott, who contends that Williams belongs on “The Mount Rushmore of Country Music.” He’s right about that.

After opener Derek Posey put in a satisfying set, Ray — joined by sideman Cody James McKinney, “The Human Amusement Park” — took the stage around 9:30pm. The next two hours reminded us (as if we needed it) that this is our all-time favorite bar, and that there’s no one whose performance we look forward to more than Ray Scott. Incomparable songwriting, an engaging persona and no-bullshit humor make his shows a treat, and this time our table was right next to the stage.

The intimate nature of Squeek’s means that we can say our thank-yous simply by walking up to the stage after the show. That we did, both to Ray and Cody, then returned to our table to wrap things up and head for home.

As often happens, hanging with friends kept us around a bit longer. Ray came over to the table and sat down next to Deb, and after a while it was just the three of us.

What followed was warm, relaxed conversation. Beaming like a proud papa he showed us photos of his puppies, Cowboy, and Zoey, and we talked a long time about everything under the sun. We shared a couple of drinks, enjoying genuine moments with Ray that made an already-great evening truly memorable.

We knew, of course, that we’d have a good time last night. The way it ended, however, was completely unexpected — call it a jewel, a gift, whatever. As we drove back to the Ranch, both Deb and I smiled out loud at our good fortune. Damned if we’re not still makin’ memories out here.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

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