Writing Non-Fiction posted November 5, 2017

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An unexpected houseguest

Meeting Cody - Part Two

by Brett Matthew West

In Part One, I detail a nonfictional accounting of a recent event occurring in my life. Now, I have to try to do something I have never attempted to do before, and that is switch horses, as well as genres, in the middle of a post. I'll allow you, the reader, to decipher which parts are nonfiction and which ones are fiction.

Departing my office, I drive eighteen miles northeast of Downtown Nashville to Hendersonville, where I reside. Along the way, I tune into Willie's Roadhouse on the radio and hear Leona Williams singing, "Yes Ma'am, He Found Me In A Honky-Tonk."

Sirius Channel 59 is the only music I listen to. It is all Traditional Country reminiscings, and where you can hear the Grand Ole Opry on Friday and Saturday nights. Additionally, other REAL Country music-related programs air on the channel.

The fourth largest city in the Nashville Metropolitan Area, Henderson is located on Old Hickory Lake. US Highway 31E, locally known as the Johnny Cash Parkway, takes me to the street I live on, Trinity Lane. Douglas Park is nearby.

My modest, three bedroom, red-brick rancher stands on the corner of an intersecting side road. Presently, the lot next to my house is vacant. I have considered purchasing the property simply to maintain a little space between me and any neighbors, as well as to give Danny and Blazer more outdoor play area.

I pull my blue Dodge Charger up into the circular driveway that runs in front of my house. Like me, the car is getting a little older. It presently has 124,983 miles on its odometer. I purchased the vehicle when it was new, so I have owned it for a while now. A sun roof is the one feature the car possesses that I would not do a second time.

Bringing the car to a halt, and shutting the ignition off, I grab my briefcase off the front passenger seat and exit the automobile, closing the driver door behind me. I did not collect the mail from the box in front of the house. That is one of Danny's chores to accomplish when he arrives home from school at 4:48. The bus will have dropped him off about twelve minutes before I arrive home.

Yes, I know. Leaving a rambunctious ten-year-old boy alone for even that short period of time is iffy. I make it a point to be home before Danny is so that I am there to greet him when he walks through the door. However, because of the meeting with the editor of the Tennessean newspaper in my office that afternoon, that was not possible on this particular day.

I insert the silver door key into the knob and enter the spacious living room. The room measures twelve feet wide and twenty feet long. A fireplace and hearth stand in one corner. On cold nights, the fireplace glows. In the opposite corner of the fireplace, I maintain a 42-inch HDTV. Halfway up the wall from the television set, I have two vases of hickory switches. No, they are not employed on a certain somebody. They are a decoration piece.

Coming on up the room is Danny's overstuffed chair and an end table. My recliner sits in the corner opposite of his. I keep another end table near my chair. Halfway down that wall there is a curio cabinet filled with Country music cassettes. Do you remember those tapes that were so popular before CDs were invented? I also have a few 8-tracks, and vinyl records safely tucked away in that cabinet. If that doesn't date me, what will?

Next to the curio stands a five-shelf bookcase full of pictures, records, and other memorabilia of the Tall Texan, and one of my closest friends, Billy Walker. He is the Country Singer who recorded the million-selling Hits known as "Cross The Brazos At Waco," "Charlie's Shoes," "A Million To One," and "Funny How Time Slips Away". Billy was also a long-time member of the Grand Ole Opry.

I could, and probably should, write a biography on Billy. I was the last person he spoke to in Foley, Alabama on the night that he, his dear wife Bettie, and their two Musicians Charles Lilly and Danny Patton perished in a horrendous car crash outside of Fort Deposit, Alabama while en route back to Nashville after a performance in Foley on May 21, 2006.

As Billy was well known to say, "My word!"

Billy's last song that night was "You Gave Me A Mountain," a Marty Robbins classic. Billy's death has been a very tough mountain for me to climb ever since.

The sole reason I have not written a biography on Billy, and probably never will, is because I value his longtime friendship much more than any monetary gain I would achieve writing the book. In life, you must keep your priorities straight.

To this day, I have his Playlist from that show in Foley. Of all the Country Music Stars I have had the pleasure of meeting and writing about over the years, it is the only Playlist I ever asked any of them for. I don't know what possessed me to ask him for his, but, I am so thankful I did. Billy was indeed a very strong person, and an even stronger Christian man.

Once I start talking about Billy it is very hard for me to stop. The bookcase I keep his memorabilia on has become my little museum to him. Maybe some day, I will open one up in the Nashville area?

I set my briefcase down on the floor beside my chair. It is about this time I expect to hear the pitter-patter of two little bare feet running full speed ahead across the carpeted floor, and the arms of my son grasp me tightly in a massive bear hug. Our nightly routine did not materialize. Perplexed by this situation, I call Danny's name to inform him that I have arrived.

"Danny's not home," I hear someone say, "he asked me to inform you he went over to the McGregor's house to get his Math book from Paul, who he let borrow it in school today."

Perhaps I should be alarmed, but I am not. I recognize the voice I hear well. I sure should. I created it, and the nappy-haired blond it comes from.

I look over at the sofa that stands in front of the living room window. It is an earth-toned floral piece of furniture. One that does not easily show the dirt a ten-year-old boy, and a ninety pound bowwow, track inside a house.

With his eyes fixated on the overhead ceiling fan as the blades turn round and round, and stretched out as comfortably as he can get on the divan, was none other than Cody Schroder. He is dressed from head to toe in blue denim, and adorns a pair of Tony Lama boots on his feet.

At first, I do not respond to the information he provides to yours truly concerning Danny's whereabouts. Cody flips over onto his stomach. His diamond-blue eyes follow my every movement.

"Are you even going to acknowledge I'm here?" he wonders.

"Que sera sera," I nonchalantly reply.

Acting like his feelings have been trampled under by a bull elephant, Cody sits up on the couch and ask, "After all I've done for you, all I get is que sera sera? Are you for real? There is so much I want to talk to you about."

This leaves me silently thinking, 'My all-time most favorite character has come to life. I don't know how, but this ought to be very interesting.'

(To Be Continued)

***Honest critiques are the only kind of reviews that help writers. These are what I seek.***

Story of the Month contest entry

This is Evan, by Lilibug6, selected to complement all my Cody Schroder books, stories, and postings.

So, thanks Lilibug6, for the use of your remarkable picture. It goes so nicely with all my Cody Schroder books, stories, and postings.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Lilibug6 at FanArtReview.com

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