Thursday, January 20, 2011

I recommend a change in locale from time to time. The last few weeks I felt like I was in a bit of a rut, but a little time on the road and my mind threw off the chains.  New ideas began to flow like an artesian well.
As I drove through Montgomery yesterday I thought of Rosa Parks. I saw a picture of her once that was taken a few years before she passed away and she looked angelic. It's the picture of her that I hold in my mind whenever I hear her name. She was the black lady who refused to give up her seat on an Montgomery bus to a white person in 1955. At the time, her actions were considered scandalous by "the establishment", but her actions changed the course of history in America. 
As I drove on my way to my job assignment I made a mental note to stop on the way back and shoot a photographs in front of her house.
Then for some reason, I thought about Steven Young, who wrote and recorded the song Seven Bridges Road. His version never got traction, but then The Eagles recorded it and made it a LOT more popular. It is a hauntingly beautiful song written about a road near Montgomery. I made a mental note to try and find seven bridges road on the way home.
Yesterday evening as I approached Montgomery on my way back home, I thought about Hank Williams.  
He was, in my opinion, the greatest country music singer/songwriter ever. He was born in Mount Olive, Alabama but he's buried in Montgomery. A friend once told me that he and his friends used to go out in the cemetery to his grave, drink beer, and play Hank songs late into the night. Some would think this disrespectful, but my friend is not the disrespectful type. They loved Hank, and on some level they understood him, and felt his pain. 
As I drove through Montgomery on my way home, all that was left of the setting sun was a few gold and amber streaks in the evening sky, and I realized I didn't have time to do the things I wanted to do.
It would have been easy to beat myself up for not hurrying through the day and making time for the things I wanted to do in Montgomery.  But instead I found myself smiling. I silently thanked Rosa, Steve, and Hank for lifting me out of my rut. I might not have paid my respects yesterday, but I hope they know they hold a special place in my heart. 


  1. Very nice post about some great people!

  2. What great tributes to some very inspirational people!!! I like that their talent, spirit and creativity and bravery still resonates today. Take care

  3. I think you paid the best of respects Rick.

  4. What a neat post, took time to smell the roses and pay tribute to some special folks! I love the story about the friends who honored Hank in their own way! And you honored them all in yours. Reading this is a great way to start my day...thankyou!

  5. Nice post Rick. You can always go back there again to see what you missed this time.

  6. Well, we have both had travel on our minds. You wrote of a sunset and I blogged today about a sunrise.

    Happy trails...Marsha

  7. I have a suggestion. Google the name Claudette Colvin and check her out. There is a young adult book about her that I read last summer and I think you would find interesting.

  8. A friend once told me that he and his friends used to go out in the cemetery to his grave, drink beer, and play Hank songs late into the night.

    Of course I wasn't born when Hank passed away but if our positions in this cosmic comedy called human existence could be altered with me in a similar position I would think it a total honor.

    Not to get morbid I in fact stop by the family cemetery when I get back to my hometown and speak with my departed kinfolk. And I have been known to drink a few adult beverages while filling them in on current events.

    Hey, great blog and will add you to my blogroll after I get back from a few wife induced errands.

  9. Sounds like a good plan... a road trip is in order.


  10. I love the Neville Brothers song, Sister Rosa.


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