Sunday, April 28, 2013

George Jones - Someday My Day Will Come

I'll be the one I want to be
Someday my day will come...
George Jones, Still The Same Ole Me, 1981

It was with great surprise that the Oracle of Ottawa heard of the passing of George Jones. What surprised the Oracle of Ottawa even more was that he died cared for, and in bed, and that he lived to be 81 years old. It is a hell of a long way from Saratoga, Texas to being a pillar of Western Popular Culture. Many readers are no doubt surprised that the Oracle even knows who George Jones was, but the Oracle must come clean and freely admit that between the most excellent rock concerts of my fondly misspent youth, the Oracle would always crank up the radio when a George Jones song came on in the car. And growing up in the Ottawa Valley we had one of the first FM Classic Country stations, CKCY. and everyone up the valley tuned in, and back in those days it was all Classic Country, and if you listened you were very familiar with George Jones.

George Jones strikes a wicked Hunter S. Thompson pose
and see's it all to the end.

The Oracle of Ottawa comes from a generation that can very easily remember the sound of the Grand Old Opry coming in through an AM radio on a Saturday night in the 1960's. And of course we all heard the stories of George as he became more and more famous and his life careened more and more out of control. And in recent years as more and more details availed themselves from George himself, the Oracle of Ottawa was forced to realize that Keith Richards was really just a ribald amateur compared to George Jones!

The excess was legendary. The Oracle can't help but comparing the similarities of the lives of Hunter S. Thompson and George Jones. Both were equally famous in their craft at very nearly the same time in American cultural history. One in the printed word and the other in song. One survived it all and one did not. There are some very important lessons here. The first is that is very hard to kill a Marine, and George Jones was a Marine. And the second lesson is that a man will survive most anything if he does not give up on his God(s). And the Oracle was always impressed with the Possum's deep underlying faith. So much for Fredrich Nietzsche...

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