When George Jones came to town, they came out to see him. They knew better than I did that it would be the last time. They came with their walkers, sat in uncomfortable chairs, stayed out past their bedtime, just to hear him sing one more time. They didn’t come to hear a tired 81 year old voice that didn’t cooperate like it used to.
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George sang a line then turned the mic toward the audience they sang back in voices that sounded about as raspy.
They didn’t mind.
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They had come for the memories that his songs bring them back to. They came to remember moments from the past.
At the end I talked to one little old man sitting on one of those walkers that has the seat thing for resting when not walking. I told him I thought it was great that George was up on that stage at 81 doing what he loved.
He told me he was 83. Then he blinked the water from his eyes and looked off into the distance and said the music they make today just wasn’t like it used to be.
Then his daughter walked up and asked him if he was ready to go.
He asked her if she’d brought the horses ‘round. Then he laughed.