Tag Archives: Curly Putman

I Will Never Not Take The Time Again

2 Jan

Those who have been reading this blog for a while may remember the post about my conversation with Curly Putman, the legendary songwriter who penned “Green, Green Grass of Home” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” A few months ago, he passed away, and I reposted it. Instead of reposting, I should have written the following.

Curly Putman’s death hit me hard. I spent the night of his death mourning like he was a close member of my family, which should be strange because I only had one conversation with him. However, I knew why I was hurting.

At the end of our conversation, I told him that I wanted to come to his home and talk more. I wanted to ask questions about his career and about how he wrote great songs. He said that he would love that and to drop by anytime. I never did.

I could say that life got in the way. I could say that I was busy. I could say that there was a lot going on. In truth, I just never took the time to go.take-time

When Curly Putman died, it was like being punched in the gut because I knew that I had let him down. He expected me to visit with him, and it did not happen. He wondered when I was coming by, and it never happened.

I attended his funeral because, in my mind, I felt that it was a way to make it up to him. As I watched his friends and family, I knew that they were truly hurting. They lost someone who they loved and who loved them. My pain was insignificant, and I knew that it was time for me to get over it.

Tonight, we visited my parents, and my mom said that she had seen Mrs. Putman in town. They talked for a while, and Mrs. Putman said that her husband was looking forward to my visit. However, that visit never happened.

My heart sank because it solidified what I was feeling a few months ago. I let him down, and I can never make it up.

The only thing I can do is never let it happen again. Take time to visit. Do not let time go by without taking the effort to make someone’s day. Do not waste time. Get out there and do what needs to be done.

Never again let someone down and only realize it when it is too late to do something about it.

Conversation With a Legend

23 Mar

This past Saturday, I was visiting my parents when their neighbor pulled up in a golf cart. I went out to talk with him and noticed a couple of fishing poles in the back of the cart. He wanted to spend some time fishing in the pond behind the house.

We talked for a few minutes, and he talked about the beauty of the land around us. I thanked him and told him how much I liked the farm from which he had just moved. I told him that I remembered my parents taking me on Sunday drives when I was a kid and how we used to drive by his place.

He asked me if I remembered when Paul McCartney lived on his farm in the early 1970s. I was too young to remember that, but I told him that I have heard a bunch of stories about it. He was also glad to hear that the Country Music Hall of Fame has a panel about McCartney’s time on the farm in their latest exhibit.image-9

I was talking to Curly Putman, and his farm was immortalized by Paul McCartney in a song called “Junior’s Farm.” However, Mr. Putman is more than just a man who sold his farm and moved close to my parents. He is also one of the music’s most accomplished and successful songwriters.

Not long after we started talking, my parents came out to visit, and I drove to the pond to open the gate. On the way back, I stopped and talked some more with Mr. Putman. We talked about how many people consider his song “He Stopped Loving Her Today” to be the greatest Country song of all time. However, “Green, Green Grass of Home” has always been my favorite.

Mr. Putman said that it is also one of his favorites because it has been recorded by more than 700 artists. A song that was not a big hit when it first came out has stood the test of time.

I did not want to keep Mr. Putman from fishing. I pulled away as he rode toward the pond. However, I hope that I get to talk to him again and find out how he can sit down and write a song.

A Brief Look at the Historical Legacy of Lebanon, Tennessee

19 Aug

I just started a new book by Andrew Carroll called Here is Where, about a journey to find historic places that have been lost to, well, history. Although I am only a few pages in, it promises to be a good read about his journey to find these places and the people he met along the way.

It has also made me think about the history of my town. In class, we talk about the big events and people who took part in them, but history is local. There are a lot of amazing stories about people and events that we have never heard of. They are important to the towns in which they lived, but their notoriety doesn’t go past the city limits. My town is full of history.

Of course, some people don’t believe that. Several years ago, I was in a meeting, and a lady said that we had no history. That’s when I rattled off a list that included some of the following.

My workplace, Cumberland University was founded in 1842. Thousands of students have passed through its doors, but none are more important that Cordell Hull.Cordell Hull

Never heard of him? Well, he was Secretary of State under Franklin Roosevelt and known as the “Father of the United Nations”. He was also a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Of course, his time as Secretary of State was in and around World War II. During that time, Cumberland University also played an important role as the headquarters of the Tennessee Maneuvers, a series of war games to prepare for the invasion of Europe. Soldiers fought battles and captures town all of Middle Tennessee. General George Patton was in charge of the Maneuvers and spent some time in town. I have heard that his private plane was still at the local airport when he was killed.George Patton

Another military leader started his career in town. Sam Houston opened his first law office on the square.Sam Houston

He went on to become governor of Tennessee, an office from which he would resign under mysterious circumstances. It was then that he went to Texas and became one of the leaders of the fight for independence from Mexico. After victory, Houston became the president of the nation of Texas and the governor of the state of Texas.

I always thought it was fitting that the Houston Oilers became the Tennessee Titans. They were just coming back home.

Following the military theme, Castle Heights Military Academy opened in 1902 and was a top private school for decades. Kids were sent from all over the world for a regimental education. The local girls loved them. The local guys didn’t care for them all that much. Thousands of students marched the grounds of Castle Heights, and some of them became famous. Can you imagine Gregg and Duane Allman in a military school?Allman Brothers

Me neither. However, they spent time at Castle Heights.

Another famous rock star spent time here while he was doing some recording in Nashville. Paul McCartney showed up with Wings and stayed at a local farm.Paul McCartney

He even wrote a song about it.

The farm was owned, and is still owned by Curly Putman, who wrote “He Stopped Loving Her Today“, considered by most to be the best country song ever recorded.

Oh, there’s one more thing that is of some historic note. Cracker Barrel was founded here by Danny Evins, who started serving food to attract people to his gas station.Cracker Barrel

The next time you get Uncle Herschel’s breakfast you should remember that Uncle Herschel was from here, too.