Friday, November 18, 2011

Who's gonna feed them hogs?

My grandfather and his new BFF.

My grandfather has been a fan of Tom T. Hall my entire life. Some of you may know exactly who he is (Congratulations! You're old!). For the rest of you, he's a Grammy winning, country music hall of fame inductee singer/songwriter. Even if you aren't familiar with the songs he performed, chances are you at least know a song or two he's written (Harper Valley PTA, anyone?).

When my grandfather found out we were moving less than hour away from where Tom T. Hall lives, it became his mission to meet him.

Tom and his wife, award winning song writer Miss Dixie, live a pretty normal, down to earth life. So much so that they're listed in the white pages. Including their address.

So, the first time my grandfather came to visit us here, he insisted that we visit their house. We didn't just visit once. I believe over the course of the trip we hovered at the end of his driveway no less than 5 times. My grandfather had gone from avid fan to stalker.

A few weeks ago my grandfather found out that has very little time left. In addition to several chronic health issues he's already been dealing with, it was discovered that he has cancer that has metastasized to several parts of his body.

The one thing he wanted to do with the time he has left is to actually meet Tom T. Hall. Not just stare down his driveway.

My mother had somehow found Miss Dixie's personal e-mail address (again, they're very normal, un-celebrity like people) and wrote to her about my grandfather's situation and request.
She immediately invited them to their home for a visit, and also to attend a concert where Tom T. (as everyone seems to call him) would be playing.

So, this week was the week.

On Tuesday my grandfather and parents drove down and spent the afternoon hanging out with Tom T. Hall at his home recording studio. I wasn't there, but from what I understand Tom T. pretty much made my grandfather's life.

Wednesday night we all drove back to Nashville and attended the Music City Roots show which was going to be a tribute show to Tom T. Hall, with him performing a few songs at the end of the night. He'd said he was going to sing a song for my grandfather, but I don't think any of us expected him to give so much time on stage to talk about him. If my grandfather's life hadn't been made at the visit on Tuesday, it most certainly was that night.

(Tom T. talking about my grandfather)

After the concert he got to spend another few minutes with Tom. T and Miss Dixie. When other concert goers realized he was the Skeeter Plummer Tom T. had mentioned in the show, they wanted their picture taken with him too.

My grandfather the groupie.

It was a fun night, with good music (even for someone like me who isn't a big country fan).

Most of all, it reminded me that there are still celebrities out there for whom fame is secondary. Being a good, kind person who takes time for others when they are under no obligation (or when there will be no media coverage as they do it) comes first.

(If you're interested, you can watch the whole show HERE.)

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