I can never forget the one very special day of my entire life, The day I
met my Hero, Chet. I had just gotten out of the Army in Nov. Of 1955 , and my wife Alice
surprised me that year with a new Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120 Guitar for
Her family loved country music and was always going to Renfro Valley or the
Grand Ole Opry. Her dad wanted to go to Nashville to see the Opry and my
brother-in-law had just bought himself a new 1956 Chevy, so we took it on a
trip to the Opry.
I could hardly wait for the "Prince Albert" portion of the Opry to come on
so I could see MY Hero in person( I had only heard his records).
He graced the stage and began playing Main Street Breakdown, When he finished
I got up out of my seat and my wife asked: Where are you going? I replied I am
going around to the back of the Ryman and maybe, just maybe Chet will go out
for some fresh air.
Well, wouldn't you just know it, God was with me that night.
There stood Chet with his foot propped up on the bumper of a car talking to
two other people.
My heart dropped at my feet, At last I saw my Hero for the first time.
Chet turned and stuck his hand out and I shook his hand and I could feel the
magic of the man vibrate with the warmth and friendliness he has.
That was in the summer of 1956.