I wouldn’t call myself a country music fan. I wouldn’t really say I’m a huge music fan in general. Growing up, my parents would more often than not just drive in silence or have conversation, rather than listen to the radio or CDs.
My grandfather, though, listened to music constantly in the car. When he would pick me up from school, which he did, more than anyone else, we would listen to country music all the way home.
I can still remember the red cloth seats and cup holders overrun with all sorts of nuts, bolts and screws. That black pickup truck drove me many a mile when I was young. I remember him singing along to any song that came on and me grimacing but secretly enjoying them myself.
Recently, a new radio station has debuted in Louisville, claiming to play only “true country.” I haven’t listened to country music since I was a kid, so I had no interest in it, but a friend of mine had it on in the car one day. It immediately took me back to those days of riding in my grandfather’s pickup truck and listening to the local country station.
I haven’t listened to anything else in two weeks.
The station plays primarily country music from the late 1980’s through the early 2000’s. It’s exactly what I’m used to. It’s the music of my childhood.
There’s something singularly special about going back to your roots. When I’m listening to that music, I’m 10 years old again. My grandfather is still driving and picking me up from school. Life hasn’t gotten so complicated.
If only for a moment, I’m not worried about bills or buying gas. And that’s a great feeling.