Patricia Edwards and Willie Nelson


Occasionally I am quizzed about how and when I became a columnist and immediately I answer that a dear friend is responsible for this phenomenon and to her I will remain eternally grateful.  I learned a lot from my comrade Patricia Edwards, former editor at the Union Recorder; she encouraged my writing and in addition, became my mentor and forever friend.

She convinced me to write about a much talked about community contest, and the next week, she published the commentary in the newspaper.  I was mesmerized when I saw my words in print and knew immediately that it was something that I treasured and wanted to pursue.

A few days later she called and wanted to know when she could expect another story, and within a few months, I not only had secured my own regularly published column, she had assigned a coveted spot on the second front page of the Saturday edition with a color photo and a short biography.  Patricia knew that I wanted to document photographs and preserve family stories for future generations but the idea of writing it in story form was still a distant dream, but I am getting ahead of some other important information.

I want to explain that this entire scenario was set into motion because of a certain contest that was sponsored by my favorite radio station, Country 102FM here in Milledgeville, and the grand prize was two tickets to see Willie Nelson in concert in Columbus, and it included dinner, a chauffeur driven limousine to and from the hotel accommodations, and backstage passes to meet the star himself.
The afternoon of the drawing I was at work at Georgia Military College with the radio playing in the background and several college students in the office, a usual day except when they announced my name as the winner of the grand prize, there was quite a lot of noisy celebration in our building.

Otto and I had seen Willie before, but we viewed that show from the balcony area.  At the Columbus concert we were in the seventh row with excellent seating and afterwards we met Willie Nelson and several band members and he autographed memorabilia, posed for pictures and treated us like old friends.  I will never forget spending time with Willie Nelson and a picture of us and Willie was published with my article in the newspaper.  And, because of my generous friend Richard Whipkey, we have autographed vintage albums to cherish.  It is hard to believe that this happened nearly fifteen years ago but the features continue today.

Now days, my hometown newspaper, the Stewart Webster Journal also publishes my column every other week and I can share my thoughts and memories with additional friends and family.

I want to thank those faithful readers who encourage me to continue to write with their kind comments, thoughtful compliments and insightful questions that continue to inspire, for without readers, the writers have no reason to continue depositing words on paper. 


Brenda S. Brown 


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