Riding with Patsy by flyrod


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Canon 5D Mark 2 with 24-105mm 1:4 lens, Mac Pro with Photoshop CS5 and Waycom tablet.

Sometimes we don’t realize the significance of events in our lives until many years go by. That happened to me way back in July of 1961. I had been home for a couple of weeks after finishing a tour of duty in the service. I was hitchhiking along Route 66 just passed Vinita, Oklahoma when the most beautiful car I’d ever seen pulled to the side of the road. It was a 1958 Cadillac, and I never thought I’d be ridding in a car like that. The driver rolled down his window and asked me where I was going and when I said “Tulsa”, he said, “Get in”. He wasn’t much for words, but his wife sure was. Her name was Patsy and she said she was a country music singer, and she asked me if I had heard of her. I told her I had just got back from Germany where I was serving in the Army, and that over there we all listened mostly to Rock and Roll. I told her we liked Chuck Berry, Eddy Cochran, and Elvis and she interrupted and said “You like Elvis? Well I’ll have you know I met him once.”
She went on and on about the music business and she asked me if I’d ever heard of a song called “I Fall to Pieces”? I said, “sure, that’s a pretty good one, I’ve heard it a few times.” She said, “Well mister, your looking at the woman who sang it and that song bought me a house and the car you’re ridding in. She said she was performing at the Cimarron Ballroom that night and asked me if I wanted a couple of tickets. I said “sure, I’ll go” and I got a date with a girl named Jenny that I met at the diner a week earlier. Patsy was from West Virginia and she talked like some backwoods hick, so I figured this was going to be some kind of Hillbilly jamboree or something we’d get a kick out of.
The crowd was rowdy and noisy when Patsy took the stage, but then a hush fell over the audience when she started signing a song called “A Poor Man’s Roses”. I’d never heard anyone sign like that. She had a powerful and beautiful voice that would send chills up your spine. I could tell by the way Jenny held my hand that this music was having the same effect on her. We became fans for life. I know that now because we have been married now for over fifty years.
Today I’m 84 years old and I live in a Veterans Home in Mount Vernon, Missouri. I have a bed, a chair, and a little desk in my room, but there isn’t much space for anything else. When you’re this old material things don’t mean so much. It’s your family, friends, and life experiences that mean everything. I do have one thing here though that means a lot to me, and that’s this music gadget called an iPod that my grandson gave me. It has all the music that I liked from way back in the day. Needless to say, the songs I listen to most are from the woman I met in that blue and silver Cadillac way back in 1961. Cars and most material things loose there value over time, but music appreciates with age because it ties together all the experiences of our lives.
Most people like to plan their lives and are most comfortable when everything is under control. But, great things sometimes happen purely by chance. If you don’t believe me, let me tell you about the day I went riding with Patsy. “You see, back in 1961…………”

The name’s Flyrod. American car culture is my thing. If it rolls, roars, or rumbles I’m into it. Statistics and facts aren’t my gig. My mission is to track down and capture the infamous rides that make up pop culture, and to tell their stories.

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  • flyrod
    flyrodabout 3 years ago

    This car was a nice metallic red, but I shifted the color to blue to get a stronger contrast to the background yellow. I adjusted the white colors in the car to yellow to marry them better with the overall color scheme.

  • Gordon  Beck
    Gordon Beckabout 3 years ago

    Just amazing…I love your work, flyrod…such great stories, too, true or not!!!

  • Michele Filoscia
    Michele Filosciaabout 3 years ago

    Fantastic !

  • AuntDot
    AuntDotabout 3 years ago

    1961 is the year I graduated from high school. I had my first car, that 1953 two-toned green Mercury, stick shift. I loved that car. This sure is a wonderful piece of art and a wonderful story, too! And you are right about the music. Brings me back…..

  • Didn’t I see you at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance when George McFly (no relation) broke into that Chuck Berry riff and played Johnny B Good? We should all meet up at Big Boy some night for a burger and a Cherry Coke. Thanks my friend.

    – flyrod

  • Rebecca Cozart
    Rebecca Cozartabout 3 years ago

    stunning work…great story!

  • Much appreciated Rebecca.

    – flyrod

  • barkeypf
    barkeypfabout 3 years ago

    You consistently produce high quality post work and stories flyrod.

  • Thanks Paul, i’m still thinking about your Orange car. You’ll have to swing by Flyrod town one of these days and take me out cruising. Thanks buddy.

    – flyrod

  • JohnDSmith
    JohnDSmithabout 3 years ago

    Another master peace,……Love it !

  • Thanks John. Is the Cimmeron Ballroom still standing in Tulsa? Must have been a cool joint back in the day.

    – flyrod

  • Steven  Agius
    Steven Agiusabout 3 years ago

    Awesome work !

  • Thanks Steve.

    – flyrod

  • Tammera
    Tammeraabout 3 years ago


  • Very kind of you Tammera. Always appreciated.

    – flyrod

  • Carmen Holly
    Carmen Hollyabout 3 years ago

    Great WORK & Story FlyRod! It is those moments that really make this life special. My moment with Greta Garbo was the same. Story is with my Garbo portrait. Your work & story was a joy to view & read. Your work is just over the TOP good. Congratulations on over 50 yrs marriage..39 & counting here & still as fun as the first day.

  • Although the stories are a mix of fact and fiction, I!d like to think the moral is true.

    – flyrod

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