Each year around this time, I have taken a moment to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. I hope that it is a blessed day for all of you and that you have family and friends to share the day with. I also hope Santa brings each of you everything you have asked for.
I also want to take a moment to offer my personal thanks to all of those who have read or commented on the blog. I wish I could give each of you a personal present, but I guess in a way, doing this blog could be considered my gift to you. Many of you have offered comments, some have emailed and others communicate with me on Facebook. No matter how you do it, my thanks and appreciation. While we may disagree on a few things, I like to think that we are all friends who care about the Opry.
Each year around this time, I have also offered my own Christmas wishes to the Opry and it's members. Like last year, I am going to keep it pretty simple.
To those who have had health issues this past year, such as Jean Shepard, Jim Ed Brown and Randy Travis, my wish is good health and many more Opry appearances. To the veterans and legends, such as Ray Pillow, Stonewall Jackson, Jan Howard and Stu Phillips, my wish is more Opry appearances and that maybe when you do appear, you can sing two songs instead of just one.
For the newer members, please don't forget where the Opry House is. The Opry needs you and cannot survive without you. And for those members who haven't been to the Opry in a while, please come back. I guarantee that you are missed and you will have a good time. And to those members who did make a few more appearances this past year, thanks. And for those who make guest appearances on the Opry, my thanks. With many of the Opry's members not appearing, you are all vital to the show.
For Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Larry Gatlin, John Conlee, Lorrie Morgan, Mel Tillis and Carrie Underwood, thanks for understanding what Opry membership is about and thanks for supporting the show. Others talk about it, you do it.
I have a few special mentions for this year: For Jim Ed Brown, our thoughts and prayers for your recovery. And perhaps this will be the year you receive a call from the Hall of Fame, informing you that you are the newest member. You and your sisters have waited long enough. For Jimmy Dickens, 94 and still going strong. May you continue to set the example for those much younger. And to Jean Shepard, my hope that you continue to come out to the Opry as you prepare to celebrate your 60th anniversary as an Opry member.
For the Opry management, specifically Steve Buchanan and Pete Fisher, please don't mess with the show anymore. You have done enough and besides, most of us liked it the way it was. And I think we can all agree that the 89th birthday bash wasn't very good. You have a chance to redeem yourselves in 2015 for the 90th. And don't forget that 2015 is also the 50th Opry anniversary for Connie Smith. Finally, please do a better job at picking new Opry members. Let's face it, you have missed on the last couple.
And let's not forget the families of those we lost this past year, Jimmy C Newman, George Hamilton IV and Earl White. May their families be blessed this holiday season.
For those who attend the Opry, or listen to the show, my thanks. I know some weeks it has been tough. Some of the shows just haven't been up to par this past year, but just when you think you are ready to give up on the Opry, they come up with something great.
Finally, I do want to offer my own thanks to those who I have met in my travels to Nashville. Many of you have gone out of your way to say hi and for that I say thanks. And for those I have not met, don't give up. That day may come yet!!
As we prepare to enter 2015, I hope all of you will continue to enjoy the blog. If you like it, tell your friends. Maybe they will like it also. And, I am often asked if anyone from the Opry reads the blog. Well, I found out this past year that they do. And while they don't agree with everything that is written, they do appreciate everyone's opinion.
So Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. And not to get to political as I end tonight, but if I have one Christmas wish for everyone it would be good health to each of you and peace on Earth.
Blessings to you all: