We thought this was a great time of year to share from the heart of Possum. Autumn and winter are classically times to reflect on who we are and gather the ones we love closely. For some of us, it is a time of loneliness or dreams of loves that have been lost.
One of the most endearing parts of George Jones’ journey – is his honesty and reckoning that came later in life. It is something that many have thought of forgetting – or not wanting to bring to too much light. We feel differently. We feel it is this struggle (whether it be with stagnancy, boredom, drugs, women) that makes George the most likable and relateable.
The songs he wrote and performed were straight from his gut -straight from his heart. Poetry. As with any great artist – he will always live on in the ways that he communicated individually to each of us.
Here is the preface from George Jones book “I Lived to Tell it All” – if you enjoy the preface – keep this book in mind for someone as a great holiday gift (or at the very least share this with someone who might be able to find some light and safe passage in it to apply to their own life.) This is how we keep Possum alive! (That and his amazing catalog of music)
From his book “I Lived to Tell it All” Preface:
The shoppers stirred impatiently on the Florida grass, looking closely for bargains at the yardsale. I imagine they picked up and laid down used dishes, glasses, pictures, linens and other stuff, one man’s trash intended to become another’s treasure.
On guy lifted up two trophies that looked like they belonged on someone’s mantel.
“George Jones: Country Music Association’s Male Vocalist of the Year,” read one inscription.
“Is this really a trophy given to the Country Music Association to George Jones?”asked the buyer. “Is this an official Country Music Association award? How in the world did it get in a garage sale?”
No one seemed to know.
Had the seller or buyer been able to find me, and had they asked, I couldn’t have answered either.
I had likely been drunk and given prestigious awards to someone who gave them to someone else who somehow directed them to the discount table at someone’s suburban sale. Or maybe I just got high and left them some place after an award show. The priceless awards were bought for coins that day. The buyer returned them to me later in Nashville. They were the real thing and to this day it sits inside a trophy case in my house.
The awards had left me during the troubled journey that was my life, a journey across a sea of whiskey and a mountain of cocaine in a vehicle of self-destruction. I was once dying of terminal restlessness. My secondary poisons were drugs and alcohol.
Friends, family, doctors, therapists and ministers had tried to save me. All of that concern from all of those people was to no avail. Finally the power of one love from one woman made a difference. It may sound corny – but it’s definitely true- I’m proof – living proof.
I don’t know why anyone would want to hear about my sordid past, but I’m told a lot of folks do. People have been telling me I should write my life story for decades.
“It was all I could do to live through the life,” I told them. “Why would I want to write about it?”
And so I never began the task, not until 1992, when someone satisfactorily answered my question.
“You hold a lot of influence over a lot of people,” he told me. “Your story could prevent people from sinking into drug or alcohol abuse.”
I decided to write. My story, to my way of thinking will be an overwhelming success if it prevents just one person from taking the crooked path I took. I took a lot of whiskey when I was young.
Then the whisky took me for 35 years.
Read More of “I Lived to Tell it All” by George Jones and purchase the book through Amazon HERE.