The Willie Nelson Anniversary, pub-2427795083793513, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

Life sure is full of its ups and downs.  While we try our best to make our plans and anticipate the changes we see coming our way, the truth is, we just don’t know where and when most of those ups and downs are going to happen.  This past week was one of those times.  Thankfully, it was one of the “ups”.

My wife’s family is from Hill County, Texas.  It’s rough, hard-scrabble central Texas country that isn’t known for much more that producing cotton and a few steers.  There is one other thing any proud Hill County resident can claim though, Willie Nelson was born and raised in Abbott, Texas, smack dab in the middle of Hill County.

Well, it turns out that my lovely wife and I were about to celebrate our 25th Anniversary and I was in dire need of the right gift when I heard that Willie was coming to play The Center, in Evansville.  So, I got us some decent seats.  I had been following Willie Nelson as a fanon Facebook after buying the tickets, all the while keeping them a secret from my wife when Iwas struck with one of my dumb ideas.  I wrote a short and sweet email to Willie’s fan site and asked if there was any way for this Hill County Girl to meet Willie on her 25th Anniversary.  I figured it was worth a shot, right?

Well, I didn’t hear anything back and really sort of forgot about it.  Then, a few hours before the show I got a call, one of those unanticipated “ups”, from one of Willie’s folks with a special surprise.  Willie honored his former Hill County neighbor with backstage passes to the show.

I doubt I need to go into how much she enjoyed seeing one of her lifelong Texas heroes play from just a few feet away.  We both sang and clapped our hands and had the time of our lives.  It was surely a once-in-a-lifetime night and I’m sure we’ll talk about it until we’re both old and gray.  What a wonderful, wonderful gift.  Thanks Willie.

Steve Champion

owner/publisher of