The “Red Headed Stranger” is 75 today and it seems like it was only yesterday when I met him.
Willie Nelson gave a show in Roanoke Virginia 27 years ago on his 48th birthday that I attended with a skirt chasing buddy of mine from work.
Back then I lived in Lynchburg Va. (home of the Falwell’s) and, believe it or not, worked in a church furniture factory assembling…well, church furniture. We went to the show and it rocked and we met some girls’ cause that’s what we did and talked them into an after show carousing of the local bar scene. Of course they wanted to go out with us because we were the shit and they were of low moral standards. But to get them to agree to hang out with us we had to somehow get them on Willies bus. Seems we must have told them something about being able to pull that off and what did we have to lose if it didn’t go down. So the four of us made our way to the back of the coliseum where the bus and tractor trailer were parked and that’s when I had one of the greatest moments of “my bullshit.”
I had been driving TT’s for a couple years for the furniture factory, installing pews and delivering pulpit, chairs, tables and the like all over the country. As we approached the roped off parking area for Willies caravan I spotted the driver of the big rig Bob Tailing it into the parking area. That means he was in the Tractor with no Trailer, the trailer was parked and he was coming in from where ever he’d been hanging out while the show was going on. The roadies were loading out the set into the trailer and this guy was getting ready to back in to hook the tractor to the trailer. I noticed that there was no one to move the rope that was there to keep people, like us, from getting to close so I jumped into action and pulled it aside and guided the driver as he backed in to hook up the 5th wheel to the trailer peg and before he could get out of the rig I had his air lines hooked up and was rolling up the trailer jacks. He checked my work and asked who I was and I said, “I’m a driver and know how much road you have ahead of you so I thought I’d lend a hand and I’m fan of Willies and came back here to try and catch a glimpse. He took all four of us onto the bus and introduced us to Willie and his entourage.
After, we went bar hopping and soon the girls dumped us for some musicians but not until they bragged on how we got them into meet Willie.
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