Music, Books, Friends and Happy Birthday, Willie Nelson

I spent last weekend in Austin, Texas. Why? Two reasons…music and friends. And, friends who wanted books and friends of friends who purchased books. So, I guess that actually makes three reasons.

Jan_Kay_Bluebonnets
Jan and Kay in a Bluebonnet field in the Texas Hill Country.

It is always fun when I can share a road trip with my best friend, Kay. She is the most awesome traveling companion. Knowing we were going into the heart of the Texas Hill Country, we had hoped to find Bluebonnets still blooming. And we did. This field was located on the banks of what used to be Lake Travis. I say ‘used to be’ simply because the lake is dry. It is heartbreaking to see a dry riverbed where a huge lake used to sit. But, perhaps the pendulum will swing the other way and water will once again flow.

The first event of the weekend was held at Strange Brew, an eclectic coffee house/lounge on Manchaca Road in Austin. My friend, Van Wilks performed there Saturday night.

Van_Wilks
The incomparable Mr. Van Wilks.

Now, if you’ve never had the pleasure of listening to and watching Van Wilks play guitar, I can only tell you that you are missing out on a musical experience. The way he uses every string, every note to the fullest is beyond comparison. He is a first-class guitar player and my words are falling short in describing him. So, here’s a short video clip. Let the music speak for itself!

Sunday found us back at Strange Brew for another day of music that could not be more opposite from Van Wilks.

My long time friend, Richard Dobson performed in a songwriter swap with George Ensle and Greg Whitfield. I love these acoustic settings where you feel like you’re sitting in your living room with them. Richard (or Ricardo, as he is known by many) is a folk singer/songwriter. He’s had songs cut by Johnny Cash, David Allen Coe, Guy Clark, Lacy J. Dalton and well the list is too long but they are all listed on his website.

Richard currently resides in Switzerland, so when he makes trips to the U.S., I try to catch up. Not only is Richard a prolific songwriter, but is also an author himself, with three published titles and working on a fourth.

Jan_Ricardo_Kay
Jan Sikes, Richard Dobson, Kay Shields-Perot at Strange Brew.

For your listening pleasure, here is a short clip!

Then a highlight of Sunday afternoon was a visit from the most beautiful and gracious, Connie Nelson. Yes, she is Willie’s ex-wife and a sweet beautiful soul.

Jan_Connie_Nelson
The beautiful Miss Connie Nelson and Jan Sikes

Heading back to Dallas, my heart and head was filled with words, music and friends.

A huge thanks to our host and hostess for the weekend, George and Donna Garcie! Moments like these are what fills our lives and gives us rocking chair memories.

And today is Willie Nelson’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Willie and here’s to another twenty!!

Willie_Statue_Three
Kay, Jan and Sarah at the Willie Nelson statue in Austin, Texas.
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