Growing up in the shadows of country music singers had many benefits. Not the least of which was being present when a good many songs were performed for the first time. Sometimes by the writer before they were completed. Don Williams was one of those writers.

Carrying his guitar from place to place and singing with a variety of folks before a show on stage, my first glimpse of this gentle giant was him standing beside the country bumpkin Cal Smith. I wanted a picture with them both, but Don was rushing onto the stage.

He sang Amanda that night on the Grand Ole Opry. I was smitten. I fell in love with the song, the song writer, and the man.

I still squirm when I hear him sing. It is with a sad heart that I bid him farewell, rest in peace, until we meet again.

I’m betting there’s some great song writing going on in heaven tonight. God bless…

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