National Grandparents Day – Tribute To My Grandparents
Sunday, September 9, 2012 is National Grandparents Day. This day is very special to me, as I was lucky to spend lots of time with my Grandparents through the years. As a matter of fact, they were responsible for my introduction to Country Music, which led to an amazing career.
Growing up I was exposed to Country Music via my Grandparents who always had the kitchen radio on the local Country Station (WSCG in Corinth, NY-which was not too far from the house). When the radio went off, 'Hee Haw' and 'Nashville Now' came on, and for some reason I liked what I heard. Thanks to their encouragement and support, I was lucky to 'hang around' WSCG and get a spot on the radio at just 12 years old.
While mom was busy working, Grandma and Grandpa took me back and forth to the local radio station, local Country Music events, and eventually a longer commute to Glens Falls to work on WSTL, when WSCG went off the air. Thanks to our common passion of Country Music, I was able to spend an unusual amount of time with my Grandparents, and I am extremely grateful. They even brought the entire family to Nashville in their motor home, and somehow I ended up getting them access to watch the Grand Ole Opry on the stage.
Later in life I returned the favor by bringing them back to Nashville, taking them to meet their favorite legends, and participating in several major Country Music events and concerts. I was so fortunate to share so many memories with my Grandparents throughout my entire life, even when they lived in Florida I took several trips every year to visit.
Fortunately Grandma is still with me, and we are busy as ever, sharing trips to Branson, bus trips to see more legends in concert, and she even line dances a little bit. As a matter of fact, she made an appearance at Bud Light Country Night at Vapor just a few days before her 85th birthday.
I'd like to say a BIG thanks to Harris and Carrie Dunbar for opening the door to a career and life that has been so amazing. I never imagined I would actually get to do so many things as a kid, but I did! From introducing Kitty Wells and Kenny Rogers, to booking Bill Anderson and Mel Tillis to play concerts for me, to appearing on stage at Walt Disney World and The Wildhorse Saloon, to walking the red carpet into the Country Music Hall of Fame for my CMA award in 2006, to interviewing the biggest stars in music from Rascal Flatts to Carrie Underwood- and believe me, this is just a very small list of wonderful things that I have been able to do thanks to my love of Country Music! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa, I was a very lucky Grandchild!
According to AARP, President Jimmy Carter introduced Grandparent's Day in 1978, as the first Sunday after Labor Day. If you're still lucky to have them in your life, I hope you'll take a moment to call your Grandparents or take them out to dinner on this special day.