I share the opinion of a lot of other folks that today’s media have lost sight of their purpose and their ethics, but you won’t find that to be the case in Grimes County. Our county is fortunate to have both a newspaper and a radio station that report the news and events for and about its citizens and both know how it should be delivered. I want to thank Kenny Graves and Andre Peraud for giving Willy 1550 and 98.7 its second wind and now let me tell you why I’m a “Friend of Willy.”
Make no mistake, I LOVE the music, but I’ll get to that later. First of all, I absolutely adore the humorous old geezer Earl Pitts segments. Surely, he has a relative somewhere here in Grimes County!
I also enjoy hearing our friends and neighbors’ commercials for their business – it’s so ‘hometown!’ As are the interviews and opportunity to ask questions of Grimes County business owners, city and county leaders and elected officials.
And how can anyone claim ignorance about what events are coming up in Grimes County given the fantastic coverage Willy’s Community Calendar provides?
I think the shoutout to the folks listening at ‘the office,’ and Willy’s ever-growing network of “friends” fosters a sense of community regardless of where you live or work in this county.
Now to the music. I’m sure this is not unique to me but listening to Willy is like watching a rerun of my life but set to music. For instance, I heard “Convoy” last week and suddenly it was Christmas 1974, returning to Denver late at night from our trip home to Texas. CB radios were BIG then. My husband, myself and the two older kids, 7 and 4 years old, all had ‘handles.’ As “Convoy” played on, I could picture my young 34-year old husband by the light of the dashboard talking to a trucker. You remember that double nickel, breaker, breaker, county mountie talk, don’t you?
Then there’s the “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” That song reminded me that parents used to care what words our kids were exposed to. After my father’s 1980 stroke, I ended up with his Suburban. The kids and I took advantage of the tape deck and played my “Urban Cowboy” 8-track tape over and over as I hauled them to practices and the grocery store. But when it came to the “son of a @$#” part, being the good Christian mom that I was, I would turn the volume down as fast as I could! My kids thought I was funny and insisted they’d heard the word before. Surely not the 5-year old, and definitely not from us!
Most any Garth Brooks song takes me back to November 1990 and the second row at The Summit. By then, my youngest daughter was the only one of my four who still enjoyed country music, Garth Brooks in particular. The tickets to the concert were her 17th birthday present and who among us knew that the young Trish Yearwood who opened for Garth that night would eventually be his wife.
I can’t hear George Strait sing any song from “Pure Country,” without thinking of my late friend Ann and Saturday afternoon at the West Oaks Mall Cinema where she bawled like a baby when George sang “I Cross My Heart.”
To this day, I get a lump in my throat when I hear John Michael Montgomery’s “I Swear.” Even though my daughter and her husband divorced 17 years ago, this mother’s heart remembers their beautiful wedding, two young people in love expecting nothing but happily ever after.
I admit some of Willy’s songs remind me of some not-so-good times, or of things I wish I hadn’t done or said, but on a daily basis Willy gives me the opportunity to remember the people, places and things on my journey through this life. So, Willy, thank you for being here, thank you for the memories and Connie’s Corner is a Friend of Willy!
Connie Clements is a freelance reporter and award-winning columnist. She writes feature news articles on a weekly basis and an opinion column as the mood strikes her.