GUIZERIX: My run-in with Loretta Lynn’s… rear end
Published 4:00 am Wednesday, October 5, 2022
I’m shedding tears for the loss of one of the most prolific songwriters in country music, as Loretta Lynn died on Tuesday at the age of 90.
While it’s always a shock to lose such an icon — some small part of me thinks they’ll live forever — this one cut especially close to home.
I grew up listening to Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys courtesy of my father, and the three cassette tapes we wore out in his truck. But as I got older, what really grabbed ahold of me and wouldn’t let me go was Loretta Lynn’s haunting vocals and deceivingly simple lyrics.
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While I didn’t grow up near the Van Lear Coalmine, and, for longer than I’d like to admit, didn’t know what “Rated X” meant, I still felt a kinship with her thanks to her ability to draw listeners into her stories. She was one of the first — and only — female songwriters of her time to tackle such controversial topics as birth control, divorce, motherhood, and well, putting the whoop on somebody who’s looking at your man.
She was undeniably herself, bona fide authentic.
I had my own run-in of sorts with the Grand Dame, during my sophomore year of college.
Having tagged along with my father on a business trip to Nashville during spring break, we’d run around Music City looking at all the holy places in country music. We toured the Ryman Auditorium, flipped through albums at the now-shuttered Ernest Tubb’s Record Store on Broadway and drove down Music Row.
On our way out of town, I knew there was one more thing we needed to do, while the two of us had the chance: See Loretta Lynn’s house.
Now, there’s something you need to understand about my father, God rest his soul. Much like his father before him, he was a notorious homebody, not prone to give in to roadside attractions.
We’d “go by,” but rarely go in places. We went by Graceland. We went by Weeki Wachee Springs. We went by Daytona International Speedway. And this day in March 2015 went down in history as the day my Daddy and I went by Loretta Lynn’s ranch.
On the drive home, he quietly took an exit off the interstate and we traveled two hours out of the way for a glimpse at her white-columned mansion and its grounds.
Never one to put on airs, Loretta got it honest when she sang “You’re lookin’ at Country.”
Where I’d assumed there’d be an English garden of sorts, or at least a flowerbed in the front yard, was instead a pasture.
And munching on the grass by the walkway was none other than a plump miniature donkey.
Naturally, Daddy and I stopped for a selfie with the donkey in the background.
And though I’ve put it in cruder terms in less polite company, I’ll leave you with this — I might not have seen Loretta, but I sure got a good look at her… rear end.