Last Man Standing

by Irwin Lengel

During my walk this morning I did something different yet enjoyable.

Usually when I walk, I merely view the surroundings such as watching the bunny rabbits hop out of my way as I pass where they are sitting munching the grass. Or I notice how a squirrel scampers from one tree to another in search of his morning breakfast.

As I get closer to the pond up front, I enjoy seeing the birds that frequent the pond probably in search of their morning breakfast as well. While I know we have a gator or two within the various ponds located within our community, I have yet to see one during my morning walk.

The other day I did spy what appeared to be a coyote and one day last week I seen a small lynx or bobcat meandering through the park.

While this is a 55+ community which means we have no children to beware of when we are driving throughout the park, that is not to say that we do not have other creatures we need to be aware of both while walking or driving. But I digress as I was beginning to say what it was that I did differently during my walk earlier this morning.

I decided to play Google Music while walking and being a country music fan the music I listened to had to be country music with the genre being Country Outlaw music. For those of you unfamiliar with Country Outlaw music, I am talking about some of our greats (those still with us and those that have gone on up yonder). Greats like Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristoffersen, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams and Hank Williams, Jr., Johnny Paycheck, and Willie Nelson.

Willie Nelson has been one of my best all-time favorites of country music stars mainly because he does what he does, when he wants to and where he wants to. To me he is the epitome of country singers today. Some of the lyrics to his songs just tell it like it is and thus is one of the many reasons I enjoy listening to him. Lyrics like “Heaven is closed/ and hell’s overcrowded." Or others like “Halitosis is a word I could never spell, but bad breath is better than no breath at all.”

Willie’s most recent album “Last Man Standing” refers to his status as the only living member of Country’s original crew of outlaws, seeing that literally speaking, the phrase “last man standing” refers to the sole survivor of a battle, when everyone has fallen.

The two lines that sort of choked me up while listening to this song were the ones that go like this:

I don't wanna be the last man standin'
Or wait a minute maybe I do.

Later in the song there are a couple more lines that sort of sums up where some of us might be in the scheme of things today and once again hit home, so to speak.

It's gettin' hard to watch my pals check out
Cuts like a wore out knife
One thing I learned about runnin' the road
Is forever don't apply to life.

The older we get and as more and more of our friends, as Willie puts it – check out – we need to think about the advice a sage such as Willie might provide us. And by the way, the difference between a philosopher and a sage is that a philosopher is a wise man distinguished for wisdom and sound judgement while a sage is a wise man distinguished for wisdom and from experience.

One of the tracks from the album {Last Man Standing} is entitled “Something You Get Through” and for those of us getting on in years, might be something we should think about every now and then.

According to the song:“Life goes on and on and when it’s gone it lives in someone new.”

Something to keep in mind is the fact that: “It’s not something you get over, it’s something you get through.”

Bottom line – my day started off as good as I could have ever expected. I walked two miles while listening to Willie Nelson satirizing the slow march of time with humorous musings set to music that only Willie Nelson could pull off.

Just another reason for us to enjoy each and every day to the fullest because none of us know what tomorrow might bring.

Until next time!

Comments for Last Man Standing

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Book Recommendation
by: Kathy/Massachusetts

Hi Irwin,

I’m currently reading:

It’s A Long Life: My Life, By: Willie Nelson,
With David Ritz


Got it out of the Library. Large Print.

by: Joannie@beachbum Newport, RI

What a positive message to read on this rainy day in a small New England Town. Willie played here at a folk festival about 20 years + I had the opportunity to attend. Again, great post + enjoyed!

Last Man Standing
by: Diane

I like Willie Nelson also. My favorite is John Prine. He has a new CD out "The Tree of Forgiveness".

Gotta Love Country Music
by: Patricia Murphy

Oh my gosh...Willie Nelson. One of my favorites and he has been every since he was young with short hair right on to being older with long hair. So many of his songs are on my Spotify playlist that it's amazing.

Seven Spanish Angels, Angels Flying Too Close To The Ground...ah...the list is long. Very long.

Lots of folks don't know he wrote some of the best CW songs out there...Hello Walls and Patsy Cline's Crazy for instance.

Anyway, happy to hear you're a music fan. How can peeps live without music?

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