Because I couldn’t make my blog post until after last night happened, it’s late going up.

Let me explain. As most of you know, I work for a music magazine, Buddy, The Original Texas Music Magazine. Along with that comes a few perks now and then. Last night I had two free tickets to a Willie Nelson and Family show at The Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum, Dallas.

Myself and another Buddy staffer attended the event, at first thinking we were getting Press Passes, then finding out we only had general admission tickets. Considering the cost of those, it was still a good deal.

I had taken my book, “The Convict and the Rose” to gift to Willie. But, it became obvious, there was going to be no personal contact with him.

Why that book in particular? Because the artwork on the cover was done by Rick Sikes in the late seventies, commissioned by Willie for an album he wanted to release by the same title. But, as fate will sometimes do, around the time they were getting to release the project, IRS started looking at Willie and his attorneys advised him against having any contact with a convict. Therefore, the project was shelved.

In 2004, Rick and Willie reunited and Rick gave him all the original artwork.

Rick Sikes and Willie Nelson

Since Willie never used the artwork, when I wrote “The Convict and the Rose,” I decided to utilize it. And that is why I wanted to get the book into his hands last night.

After lots of dead ends, I reached out by text to Willie’s ex-wife, Connie. At her suggestion, I found Willie’s bus driver, known simply as Gates.

What a kind and sweet gentleman he turned out to be. When I told him Connie had told me to ask for him and he would get me what I needed he just grinned.

“So, what is it that you want to give Willie?”

I reached into my purse and pulled out the book. He took it and while I stood and watched, he went directly onto the bus and came back out empty-handed. He gave me a thumbs-up and a grin.

So, in a round-about way, a copy of “The Convict and the Rose” is now on Willie Nelson’s bus! Whether he’ll pick it up and read it is another story, but at least I accomplished what I set out to.

The show was sold-out. No surprise there. The Bomb Factory, which holds just under 5,000 people, had removed all tables and chairs and people were packed in elbow-to-elbow like sardines.

Willie played for 70 minutes. He did most of his classics and never faltered.

I am in amazement that at 84, soon to be 85, he is still going strong.

The lighting was terrible, so these pictures are very poor quality, but I was there and had a wonderful time!

Sister Bobbi, Mickey Rafael and Paul English

And the best part…Willie now has a copy of my book! It was worth the cold misting rain and aching feet to accomplish it.

32 thoughts on “Willie

  1. Thank you, Mae! It was a good feeling for sure! Thanks for dropping by! I’m on pins and needles waiting for Savvy Authors to put up the list of requests. They said it would be up today, so I am obsessively checking. πŸ™‚


  2. Jan, I am so excited for you! And you are so adorably cute. Just looking at your smile makes me smile πŸ™‚
    What a wonderful experience you had. And I am so glad that Willie has a copy of the book. It’s like things have come full circle πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so excited for you Jan that your book made it to Willie:) Yay! He amazes me to be performing at 84, it gives me hope of what is to come. Maybe you will get a review from him.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s so amazing that you have all these connections. I always enjoy reading these posts. I would have asked Ali Venable to appear in the next Hat story, so I’m not opposed to taking a chance.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hey, Craig. If you want Ally’s permission or want to connect with her personally, I can make that happen. She’ll be back in my area on March 29th. I can certainly give her your information and tell her that you want her to appear in one of your stories. Then she can contact you. Or, you could use it as an excuse for her to contact you. πŸ™‚ Ha Ha! She is amazing@!!


  4. What a great story! I bet Willie is thinking back over the years and now you’ve given him a wonderful reason to contact you. Amazing. Big hugs and thank you for sharing this beautiful evening with us. β™₯

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jan what a perfect gift for Willie and I know he will read it and treasure it.
    I saw Willie at Billy Bob’s Texas when I was in college and that is still the best concert I’ve ever seen in my life, he played for nearly 3 hours and it was spectacular I had a seat right next to the stage I could literally reach out and touch Willie if I wanted. Thanks for sharing this amazing blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a fantastic memory, Tonya!! I will always treasure the times Rick and I were backstage at a Willie show and how gracious he always was. He is getting very old and won’t be around forever. I love him! Thanks for your comment. Huge Sunday hugs!


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