Ready To Celebrate Christmas

The Christmas mood has settled in over our home.  Much like the fog outside it seems insulating and perfect.  A couple more gifts to wrap, and some more cookies to make are all that remain to be done.  Relaxing and enjoying the tree and the meaning of the season will be at the top of our agenda.    With another major winter storm aiming for Wisconsin we are glad to have all the shopping completed so we can stay off the roads during the bad weather slated for this weekend in Madison.

I hope that all of you have a Merry Christmas! I will be back to blogging on December 26.

Below you will find my Mom’s favorite Christmas song.  I thought this a good place to post it.

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Stonewall Jackson Keeps Up The Fight At The Grand Ole Opry

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There is good news to report tonight over the continuing fight to insure that the legends of the Grand Ole Opry can continue to perform on the nation’s longest running radio show.  Earlier this year I wrote about how growing old at the Grand Ole Opry can be a trying experience. The blog post went national with the help of a Nashville blogger, and the comments I got were amazing and heartfelt. 

I was thrilled tonight to learn that Stonewall Jackson’s lawsuit against the Opry is able to go forward. 

A federal judge has cleared the way for country music singer Stonewall Jackson to pursue claims of age discrimination against the Grand Ole Opry.

Jackson, who joined the Opry in 1956 and had a string of hits in the ’50s and ’60s, including the No. 1 single “Waterloo,” filed a $20 million lawsuit earlier this year against Gaylord Entertainment and Opry General Manager Peter Fisher.

The singer claimed breach of contract, retaliation and age discrimination.

Gaylord, which owns the Opry, denied the allegations and in court papers accused the 75-year-old singer of filing the lawsuit to boost his career.

Neither Jackson nor his manager could be reached for comment, but the singer’s attorney said Jackson was pleased with the recent decision by U.S. District Judge William Haynes Jr.

“He feels, and has always felt, that he was an employee of the Grand Ole Opry, and he feels that he’s entitled to the protection of the federal law,” stated Jackson’s attorney.

The reason this story might draw the attention of the average person in the nation is due to the issue of people growing older, while still wanting to contribute with the talents and skills one has been given.  For those of us who find the Grand Ole Opry a real slice of Americana this story is personal.

For the past 15 years I have videotaped from TV countless hours of the Grand Ole Opry, with the likes of Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, and other legends of the famed radio show performing to adoring audiences. This year James and I bought a machine to convert VHS to DVD, so I sat down with a tech-friend to learn how to edit tapes.  The project turned out to be a labor of love while watching the old singers, and listening to their folksy humor.  As a long time lover of the Opry, the homey old-fashioned way of performing was most comforting.  I recalled many of the singers from days at my grandparent’s place where we all watched “Hee Haw”.  Still others were memories from when as a boy I heard the Opry over WSM on the radio in my parent’s dining room.  Those old singers were still relevant even in their older years. 

To somehow pretend that these singers were not instrumental in the golden age of the Opry, and should not be honored, is shameful. To assume that they no longer have the right to stand on the famed round circle located center stage at the Opry based on their age is just plain wrong.  And if justice is served, it will be illegal.

I hope that Stonewall fights hard for his rights.  With each stand he takes he also fights for the others who wish to continue to hear the applause, and wish to continue their careers at the Opry.  With each day Stonewall fights he also makes those of us who know the Opry is more than a bottom line on a ledger book most proud.

Keep Up The Fight Stonewall!