A editor I ain’t.
Don’t got the eyes fer the details.
When the good Lord was handin’ out them there personalities I missed the line fer the one that looks at the little things. Ma says my head’s always bin in the clouds; live in my own special world. Has what she calls the ‘inner eye’.
I dunno ‘bout that. I just know that at school when we was doin’ writing lessons and spelling bees, I wore the dunce cap more than once.
Teacher kept saying, “Check yer Grammar.”
Well, she lived with us so after school I’d go to her room. It always smelled of lilacs and chewin’ tobaccy. She’d be sittin’ in her rocker and most likely be knittin’ or paintin’ or playin’ her banjo.
“How ya doin’, Grammar?” I’d ask kissing her on the cheek.
“Lands sakes, child!” She’d always say. Then she’d quit doin’ whatever it was she was doin’ and wrap me in her ample arms, pulling me onto her lap to rock me. After awhile she’d plunk me on the foot stool and pick up her old banjo. She’d play and I’d sing them old mountain songs we loved so well: Cripple Creek, Handsome Molly, and of course Old Time Religion. We always ended with that one.
Then Grammar would inquire ‘bout my day and I’d tell her my woes and worries and how I was no good at school and how I was set on quittin’ as soon as I could find me a job.
“God didn’t make me fer learnin’ readin’, writin’, and rithmetic’ Grammar! I don’t fit in there. I don’t fit in anywhere ‘cept in the woods and such where I can just be.”
“What is it that gives you life, child? When are you happiest?”
“I love singin’ with you, Grammar and learnin’ how to play the banjo and piano. I love walkin’ in the woods and talkin’ to God bout stuff. He tells me things and I write them down in my own way. But they aren’t the way Teacher wants them.”
“Child, you got to be free to be who you are. I know school is difficult and not everyone is made the same but you just hang in there and finish. God is the one who made you the way you are and He’s goin’ to be the one to shape you and correct you and help you become everything He designed you to be.”
She’d pull a chaw of tobaccy then look at me with her brown eyes twinklin’.
“Yer voice is a gift child. You don’t need to be able to write things down perfectly. God made people to help with that. You just be obedient to speak, write, and sing what He puts on yer heart.”
I sure do miss those times with Grammar, God rest her soul. She taught me important lessons: Be who you were created to be, not everyone is the same, God gifts us differently and helps us to find each other to develop our gifts.
I wouldn’t be here today, accepting this here Country Music Hall of Fame Award, as the first ever singer and author, if it weren’t fer my Grammar and her belief in me, my agent who helped to direct my passion and talents to the proper sources, or my editor, who took the ramblin’s of a backwoods girl and transformed them so that the everyone could enjoy them.
Thank you, one and all. But above all, thanks be to my God who made me just the way He wanted and brought the people into my life to develop me to my full potential.
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