When I was five years old, I stepped barefoot on a water glass lying on the floor of my Grandparent's bathroom and put a deep, three inch slice in the side of my foot. As I laid on the living room sofa, all the adults talked at once about taking me to the hospital for stitches. I wanted no part of stitches, whatever those were. Amidst the chatter, I looked at my Grandpa and he looked at me. He stepped forward and said, "Chris decides." All the adults stopped talking and turned to me. To this day, I revere the scar.
'O, Laredo, town in my dream
Long desert valley, deep Rio seam.
Here, the only light is fluorescent.
There, I know I'll learn to belong.
For though, I'm poor in this city,
Laredo waits for me.'
Read an interview with Bob Dylan where he tells of recently visiting John Lennon's boyhood home in England. He was standing in front of the home when an old neighbor woman approached him. She told him she was a neighbor while Lennon was growing up with his Aunt Mimi, his guardian. The old woman took Dylan around to the back of the house and pointed to a large field. She told him it was Strawberry Field. She said every so often Aunt Mimi would call out to check on John's whereabouts. She'd call out, Johnny, what are you doing? He'd always answer the same: "Nothing to get hung about."
"O, Verona, with your happy face on
Reeling wonder, like a little girl gone
Up ahead to find life ain't all Christmas day.
And would you have it any other way?"
"He had highway before him and highway behindAnd nowhere to go beyond the next horizon.
So he cracked his neck and he stretched his back
As he smelled the coffee comin' from the roadside shack."
- So Easy
"Even though I was covered in darkness, I was happy. For in the arms of darkness I did dwell
In a fortress made of chairs and blankets
Where the only light is from yourself."
-Chairs And Blankets
"I'm so tired of this town, baby.
Gonna drive to the county road.
Take a final look in my rear view mirror,
'til it's clear of the last row of silos.
And if I ever find myself some freedom,
from the only life I knew,
that's when I'll probably think about you."
-"Think About You"-Chris Orrock 2012
There's a reason you play on a little stage under the moon in the middle of a small town Main street for the locals. It's to meet people like 71 year old Chet Hensley: overalls, John Deere cap, face and hands as weathered as an old saddle, and eyes that have seen things. You get to hear him tell you how he was Patsy Cline's favorite cousin and how his Grandpa ran the Grand Ol' Opry for 18 years and about the time he saw a drunk Hank Williams get turned away at the stage door because someone didn't recognize him. And you get to hear Chet tell you he likes your style and your songs and wants to buy your cd. So, you give him one free because, hell, it's Patsy Cline's favorite cousin.