Edwards and Willie Nelson
Occasionally I am quizzed about how and when I became a columnist and
immediately I answer that a dear friend is responsible for this phenomenon and
to her I will remain eternally grateful. I learned a lot from my comrade
Patricia Edwards, former editor at the Union Recorder; she encouraged my writing
and in addition, became my mentor and forever friend.
She convinced me to write about a much talked about community contest, and the
next week, she published the commentary in the newspaper. I was mesmerized when
I saw my words in print and knew immediately that it was something that I
treasured and wanted to pursue.
A few days later she called and wanted to know when she could expect another
story, and within a few months, I not only had secured my own regularly
published column, she had assigned a coveted spot on the second front page of
the Saturday edition with a color
photo and a short biography. Patricia knew that I wanted to document
photographs and preserve family stories for future generations but the idea of
writing it in story form was still a distant dream, but I am getting ahead of
some other important information.
I want to explain that this entire scenario was set into motion because of a
certain contest that was sponsored by my favorite radio station, Country 102FM
here in Milledgeville, and the grand prize was two tickets to see Willie Nelson
in concert in Columbus, and it included dinner, a chauffeur driven limousine to
and from the hotel accommodations, and backstage passes to meet the star
The afternoon of the drawing I was at work at Georgia Military College with the
radio playing in the background and several college students in the office, a
usual day except when they announced my name as the winner of the grand prize,
there was quite a lot of noisy celebration in our building.
Otto and I had seen Willie before, but we viewed that show from the balcony
area. At the Columbus concert we were in the seventh row with excellent seating
and afterwards we met Willie Nelson and several band members and he autographed
memorabilia, posed for pictures and treated us like old friends. I will never
forget spending time with Willie Nelson and a picture of us and Willie was
published with my article in the newspaper. And, because of my generous friend
Richard Whipkey, we have autographed vintage albums to cherish. It is hard to
believe that this happened nearly fifteen years ago but the features continue
Now days, my hometown newspaper, the Stewart Webster Journal also publishes my
column every other week and I can share my thoughts and memories with additional
friends and family.
I want to thank those faithful readers who encourage me to continue to write
with their kind comments, thoughtful compliments and insightful questions that
continue to inspire, for without readers, the writers have no reason to continue
depositing words on paper.
Brenda S. Brown