Billy Joe Royal's Aging Hometown Fan Club
Above is a picture of the audience at the Strand Theater in Marietta waiting on a concert by Billy Joe Royal. My friend Skip told me the date of that concert was November 28, 1958.
Notice the young fellow on the end of the second row up going up. His name was Jake Cogburn. He died almost 50 years later, October 14, 2008, of thyroid cancer.
The concert crowd to see Billy Joe on New Years Eve of 2008, was about the same crowd – the exact people, as attended the concert in 1958, minus a few, like Jake, of course.
Everybody loves to see a homeboy do good, and it even better when we knew him and he knew us. He makes us proud.
Most, if not all, of us in the audience that night qualify for retirement. I think they were all my age, give or take a year or so. When we get together at things like the Bell Reunion or the upcoming Varner’s Reunion we interact with each other about the same as we did when we were teenagers. In a sense we transform ourselves mentally into teenagers again. It is a state of mind.
I wonder, if Billy Joe gives a concert 15 years from the last concert, how many of us will be still alive to attend? Then, we will be well into our 80s…and if so, can we still transform ourselves mentally into teenagers if we have to use walkers and hear aids?