In the Press Gazette, you will find a story of a well-known country-western singer from the old days. For the details of his life and career, read the story written by Jason. It is very interesting because this man, Hank Locklin, was from the McClellan Community of Santa Rosa County. He was internationally known and if you look at a list of his classic old country songs, I think many of you will suddenly know who he is - if you don't already.



That is what happened to me today when I opened the file of photos Jason shot Wednesday at this museum honoring Hank Locklin.



I saw the titles to some of his songs among the photos and I was shocked. My life came full circle when I realized who he was.



I grew up hearing his music.



My mother and my aunt used to sing many of his songs around the kitchen table when I was growing up. I spent my entire childhood, when we were playing indoors, hearing my mom and my Aunt Marlene singing and laughing at the table, strumming their guitars. The harmony was great and engrained in my brain - and my heart.



My aunt died a few years ago and a while later, my brother found an old cassette tape that my mom made of her sister and her singing. In the background, you can hear my loud voice along with my brothers and sisters; my cousins; even my dad and my uncle hollering at us to be quiet.



Those were great times - times I would like to reproduce for my kids and grandkids. We have singers and we have guitar pickers and my mom is coming for a visit soon. I want the kids to know that sense of family that came from the music she used to share with us.



When my dad passed away last year, I was surprised to see the number of family members who brought their guitars to the service. Everyone plays and sings really well, but we are all so scattered all over the United States I didn't know so many had talent.



Dad sang and picked too. He wrote some music, he told me himself years ago he wrote songs and recorded them on an old reel-to-reel that seems to have disappeared. I am hoping it will turn up in the future and we can share our dad's love of music in his absence.



I'm very sure he was pleased when he saw all of his family there celebrating together with music.



I didn't know it at the time, but turns out, even the spirit of Hank Locklin was there.