Reflections on Turning 83-Years-Old
1936 was not the most prestigious year in American history, although a few noteworthy things did happen.
It was a leap year, Franklin Roosevelt was President, the New York Yankees beat the then New York Giants in six games of the World Series and the Statue of Liberty celebrated 50 years of standing in the New York Harbor.
Among the rather mundane happenings of 1936, on October 28, Charles Edward Daniel was born at Cape Fear Memorial Hospital in Wilmington North Carolina.
You may notice I used the name Daniel, with no “S,” which is the proper family name, but, since my Daddy was to change jobs and locations numerous times during my early years, necessitating my also changing schools as much as three times in a school year, and Dad’s paymasters and my teacher’s intrepid insistence on adding an “S” to our names, we decided that if we couldn’t beat them, well you know the rest, and we became the Daniels family, the only ones in my father’s family to do so.
After all this happening in my early life, you can imagine my surprise, when we actually located a copy of my birth certificate, which was written out in long hand with a fountain pen, and discovered that whoever did the clerical honors that day over 8 decades ago had added an “S” to my name.
As I approach my 83rd birthday, upon reflection, I can’t imagine having been alive at a more interesting time in history.
I have seen the advent of FM radio, television, jet aircraft, wonder drugs facilitating the cure and stamping out of once deadly diseases. I was around for the manned first moon landing, digital technology and nuclear power and remember the dropping of the - Thank God - only atomic bombs.
I’ve lived through a world war, several regional ones, remember the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, D-Day, the construction and the demolition of the Berlin Wall, the building of the Interstate Highway System, the destruction of the World Trade Center, the impeachment of a president and the assassination of another one and I’ve seen music change directions more times than I can remember.
To say that God has blessed me would be a gross understatement, as I have spent the last sixty-one years making a living as a professional musician, the only thing I ever wanted to do since I learned three chords on Russell Palmer’s old beat up Stella guitar in my early teen years.
I have had things happen to me in my career that I didn’t even have the imagination to dream about in the early years.
I have been married to the same woman for fifty-five years and she is just as beautiful as she was when I met her in Tulsa all those years ago. I am still deliriously in love with her and our life together is exciting and adventurous and we never get tired of each other’s company.
We have a son and we are blessed to have him live just a few minutes away and he never fails to hug both of us every time we see him. He is the apple of our eyes.
We live at the exact location we want to be on in Tennessee, our house is on a hill where we can look across and watch the Hereford cattle graze in the pastures. The barn is just down the hill and I can be sitting astride a good horse in a short time.
There is a pond with some big and illusive largemouth bass and a small firing range on the back of the ranch.
I love the people I work with to the point that they are my extended family and they take incredible care of me.
Our office is just down the road and there is a recording studio out back, and if I ride a horse or grab a four-wheeler I can get there without even setting foot off our property.
I love my job, the travel, the camaraderie and especially walking on stage in front of a crowd of people and playing music we have created for them.
I have no plans to retire, we have close to fifty dates already on the books for 2020 and intend to accept at least 50 more.
God has blessed me with being a member of the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame, a couple of those things I didn’t even have the imagination to dream about in the early years.
He has healed me from cancer, stroke and some heart problems.
I love God, Jesus Christ, the church we attend, and this nation.
So, as I soon turn 83 years old I have no complaints, just a grateful heart and an unquenchable excitement about what’s over the next hill.
Bring it on!!
What do you think?
Pray for our troops our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
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