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Would you have recognized this photo as being Willie Nelson? I didn't. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Would you have recognized this photo as being Willie Nelson? I didn’t. — Photo by Pat Bean

“I believe in the strength found in being yourself, and don’t give an elephant’s ass about trying to fit in or be normal. There is no normal. There’s only you and me.” – Willie Nelsol
An Unrecognizable Photograph
When I was in Nashville this past fall, I took a backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry. At one point in the walk-through, the guide stopped at one of the 18 or so dressing rooms and asked if we knew the identity of one of the photos on the wall.

I’m ashamed to say I didn’t, even though it was the photo of one of my favorite musicians.

It was Willie Nelson, whom I spent reading all about yesterday in a little book called “The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in your Heart.” I had picked the book up at the Opry’s gift shop but just now got around to reading it.

The Familiar Willie on the cove of his book written with Turk Pipkin.

The familiar Willie on the cover of his book written with Turk Pipkin.

In the book, Willie talks about a time when he tried to fit in. I’m sure that’s the time when that dressing-room photo was taken because he hasn’t looked that way in years and years.  The book is full of Willie’s wisdom gained over a lifetime, and some funny jokes some of which had me rolling on the floor. Here are a few of my favorite Willie quotes:

“We’re all angels flying too close to the ground.”

 “Above all other things I believe in the universal truth of the Golden Rule.”

 “It’s true. My heroes have always been cowboys …the cowboy way believes that if you do things according to that sense of right, it’ll work out to everyone’s advantage.”

And then these words from Willie that I especially like:

“At the beginning of this book, I wrote that if you love me you are my friend … but there are also exceptions. If you throw trash along the highways or foul our rivers, I’m sorry to say you are not my friend …  If you think that people whose skin is a different color from yours are beneath you, you are particularly not my friend …  And if you mistreat those who are smaller or weaker than you, you are not my friend.”

Machu Picchu. -- Wikipedia photo

Machu Picchu. — Wikipedia photo

Bean’s Pat: Amazing Places to See http://tinyurl.com/an3w7yv Machu Picchu. My arm-chair traveling blog for the day. What an amazing place. Perhaps one day I’ll see it in person. If you have, tell me all about it

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“…On the road again

goin’ places that I’ve never been

Seein’ things that I may never see again

And I can’t wait to get on the road again …”

Purple mountain majesties -- Photo by Pat Bean

Me, Pepper and Willie Nelson

I’m a big Willie Nelson fan, and there’s nothing better than slipping his “On the Road Again’ tune into my CD player when I take off for someplace new. I’ll do just that later this morning when Pepper, my new canine traveling companion and I began to take leave of Texas.

I have 18 days to travel 1,300 miles to my destination. This means I can, as Frank Sinatra, sang: “Do It My Way.” And my way is slow and easy with lots of stops to take in this beautiful country.

 Just thinking about the sights I’ll see already has another tune whirling through my brain. This one is the song  I believe should be our national anthem, “America, The Beautiful:”

When i see flowers survivng harsh conditions to give us their beauty, I think of the tough times we Americans are facing these days, and gain confidence that we're tough enough to take it -- and survive. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of gain; for purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain! America! America. God shed his grace on thee, and crown they good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea…

These word easily bring tears to my eyes.  I’m so very blessed in that I have seen this country from sea to shining sea. I’ve seen its amber waves of grain and its majestic mountains.”

So now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pack up and Me. Pepper and Willie Nelson will get on the road again to see it some more.

Bean’s Pat: 10,000 Birds, http://tinyurl.com/87y7am3 Montana landscapes and the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge.

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