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Austin City Limits - 1972 +/-


Last Saturday night we were watching Austin City Limits.' That doesn't happen very often, but the performers were Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel. That probably wouldn't have caught our attention either, but they were playing music that had been played in the 30's and 40's by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.

Wills is credited with inventing Western Swing. To his "fiddle band," he had added a trumpet and several other wind instruments. His music had a new sound. It was the kind of music that Helen and I heard when we were kids, and it was fun to listen to again.

But that's not the story that I want to tell. It's about a trip to the annual meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives that was held in Hollywood, Florida. We usually added a few days of vacation to this trip since it was held in all parts of the country. So, after this meeting we go rent a car, and headed north through Florida.

I remember we drove through a lot of the orange producing country. The trees were beautiful, well groomed, and all in a perfect row. We also came to Florida's biggest lake, Lake Okeechobee. It was probably here that an attraction had been developed with water skiing as the main attraction. It was called Cypress Gardens, and the grounds were beautifully kept.

We then drove to the Okefenokee Swamp. The place had always fascinated me, and J wanted to see it, and take a canoe trip in the cypress forest and see all the wild animals. We got there early in the morning so that we would have plenty of time. We went to the ticket window-where we learned that the water in the swamp was so low that we couldn't take the trip. Bummer!

So on to Savanah we went, got a hotel room, and started doing a little exploring. It is a beautiful old city, with a city square about every three blocks. We noticed a Lutheran Church only a couple of blocks from the hotel, and decided to go there the next morning, Sunday. Since the front of the church was right on the street, and we did not see any parking lot, we decided that we would walk.

When we arrived at the church just a few minutes before starting time, there was a neatly dressed old gentleman standing outside in front of the church. "Visitors?" he asked. We told him we were. "Where you from?" he said. "Austin, Texas," I said, to which he quickly replied, "Hell, I listen to Austin City Limits every Saturday night."

We thought this was a bit of an unusual remark from such a distinguished gentleman in front of the church. I guess all kinds of folks listen to Austin City Limits.

Vic Mathias - August 3, 2009