🎶I’ll gladly stand up!

My Grandma and Papa are both with the Lord Jesus now. But when I was a kid, if you walked into their house you could bet the farm that they’d be watching TNN (The Nashville Network). I mean ALL THE TIME. Well, in 1980 somethin’, I think it was the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade, my mom and the fam took Grandma and Papa to Nashville to witness firsthand all they’d watched 24/7 on TV for so long. The trip was an epic adventure to say the least. I remember visiting Graceland on the way there (I still love Elvis btw), eating breakfast at a bunch of Shoney’s restaurants, Grandma mispronouncing LaQuinta (LaKwinta), attending the Grand Ole Opry, going to Opryland amusement park and riding a roller coaster called “The Screaming Demon” with both Grandma and Papa…AND, I remember sitting outside at this big open area at Opryland with maybe a few hundred ppl. There was a cover band playing country music. They were good! I only remember one song that they performed though, “Proud To Be An American” and when they got to the part that says “I’ll gladly stand up…” EVERYONE stood up—all the adults, all the kids, and Grandma and Papa. We all stood up and sang together. I can’t tell you how big of an impression that made on me! Out of the hundreds of ppl there, I only knew my family, but we all sang loudly that we were “proud to be an American,” Y’all can think I’m a dork if you want, but I still remember that feeling, and the chills I got that day. It was one of my earliest understandings of what I now know to be patriotism. I still love my country, and Grandma and Papa. And still proud to be an American. Happy 4th of July, friends 🙂

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