Memories of Jimmy Day

Hi guys and gals,

I’m relating this story because of it’s Christmas goodwill to all significance. It has to do with human traits and personalities that tend to get slightly out of tune with each other or perhaps because nobody ever tried to tune them together.

Let me start off by saying that out of 34 years in Nashville, the first 25 were spent not necessarily not being very well in tune with the personality of one very famous steel guitarist named Jimmy Day. It seemed that everytime we saw each other and tried to talk about anything, somehow we got crossways and each of us walked off thinking the other one was an idiot. I admired his artistic abilities as I heard he did mine, but we weren’t able to find any other common ground.

One day I got a call from the Pedal Steel Guitar Association in New York to come up and do a show. They offered me a fee and an airline ticket which I accepted. The day came to leave and I went to the airport, checked in my steel guitar, got my boarding pass and boarded the airliner. Looking for my assigned seat. Much to my surprise, there he was, Mr. Jimmy Day. His seat assignment was right next to mine. I thought oh no, two hours of this. It seems as though he was also booked on the same show and our tickets were bought at the same time so we had side by side seat assignments. I sat down, made myself comfortable, finally looked into his face to see a big smile and a handshake come out. He said let’s make the best of this. I didn’t know you would be here either. We both broke out laughing and the laughter and stories didn’t stop until we got to New York and by that time we were the best of friends and had already made plans to do a recording project together in the future. Luckily for both of us, this did come to pass and was Jimmy’s last instrument project that he lived to do.

I learned an awful lot from this experience. I realized and learned that communication was the problem we had and it had prevented us from being very close friends for so many years and now that I look back, I’m seeing and feeling a great loss because I could have had such a wonderful friend for so much more of my life. Because of my immaturity and obstinance in communicating, my life is not quite as rich as it may have been. I’m sure you all have stories like this one where our lives would have been richer if we had gone the extra mile to be a little more understanding and appreciative of our fellow beings.

So the moral of this story is if you think someone out there could be a good friend that you haven’t given a chance to yet, you’d better get to it because we only have so much time on this earth and the richer your life can be, the better. I think of Jimmy very often and I miss him tremendously now.

I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Steel Guitar Year.

Your buddy,


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