Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The "Ghost" ...

I have often mentioned my beloved Tarheel Granddaddy, Billy Joe Austin on this blog. He was probably my best friend before he died in 1981. Rarely does a day pass that I don't think about him. I still miss him something awful.

Not so much in his early years, and not so much in his later years...but in his 40's, and early 50's, he bore a striking resemblance to Tennessee Ernie Ford.

Granddaddy owned an appliance and furniture sales business here in the Shreveport area...not a big "star" at all. But, occasionally he would be at the lunch counter at Murphy's, or just walking downtown, and would be accosted by people (usually young women), wanting his autograph...telling him how much they "loved" his records, etc.

Being the big old BS artist that he was, he was just likely to sign an autograph, or tell non-existent "stories" of his great triumphs in the music business. Actually, I heard him sing. Once. His "looks" were much more like Ford's than his "talent"...

He was a Navy vet of WWII, who signed up the day after Pearl Harbor. He survived the Big 'Un, and though ill-educated, he made a success of himself, and a good living for his family. (Probably something to do with the fact that he worked like a dog, and was full of BS up past his eyebrows)

(Man...that prelude really ran off the road, and cleaned out both of the ditches, huh?")

Once again my buddy, Paul the Fireguy, (Quack!) hit me with a computer letter with a video attached. It made me think about my Granddaddy, and how glad I am that he is not around to look at what his beloved US has become...nor how all of his sacrifice and work may have been for nothing!

I can see Granddaddy singing this...


  1. I was privileged to know both your Grandaddy (my uncle) and Mr. Ford. Your Grandad was better looking in person at least.

    It would have really been something to have gotten the two of them together around a dominoes table and just sit back and listen.

  2. The video would have been wonderful if it wasn't so damn true. I cried but not because I loved Ernie so much. We are a headin' for so much trouble. MUD

  3. Walt & MUD: Two true statements, my friends. True...


Don't cuss nobody out, okay?