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From country to city, From farm to fireworks…Through marriage & children, Through employment & ownership, Life continues to be an amazing journey…

Tuesday, July 22

Toby Keith Biggest & Baddest Tour

How often is “work” the coolest thing that happened in your day? Sometimes, it IS a very cool day! Today, even as a business owner I am giddy, back in high school, and a “groupie”! Today; although ALL of our customers are super special…today…a very special trailer crossed its path across our yard and we were honored to have had the opportunity to serve :) YES, TOBY KEITH’S TRAILER WAS IN MY SHOP FOR REPAIR!

HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW? I think every woman has a “list”. No matter how much you might love your husband or your kids, each woman has “that little special list” of “those men” that are movie stars or superstar singing artists that spark their imaginations or fantasies. Now, for me at least…my list is varied and robust. My “list” usually involves looks, attitude, and performance…not always in that order, but all important. After all…it is THE LIST...that LIST of folks that touch you on so many levels that are yet so untouchable in the real world. Toby Keith has been on my list since the first day I laid ears on his music, then saw him in a photo, dissected his lyrics, researched his life a bit, and finally saw him in person on my wedding anniversary when my gracious husband bought me tickets (by surprise…and surprises are not my husband’s strong suit :). Let’s just say I’M A HUGE FAN!!!...even a PAID member of his fan club, and I NEVER joined a fan club in my life…not even Willie’s :)

As a person who had a strong career for 20 years in the casino industry prior to going into business with my husband, I’ve met thousands of VIP’s. Throughout those years, my “list criteria” has become more rigid as most celebrities are not what they seem in person. I have not met Toby Keith in person, which is probably a good thing as the disappointments in those meetings after some years make you wish NOT to ever meet another one sometimes :) However, I believe in his music, I just love his style, and Lord only knows he does have that “eye candy” appeal, even to an older redneck like me. List people can get you in trouble if you think on them too long…just look, wink, and enjoy what they do.

I was so happy when Toby came upon the music scene and a musician was finally again allowed on my list. For many years, I had been relying on the same old list :)…when it came to musicians. Musicians have such a harder pair of shoes to fill in order to make a woman’s “list” because they much touch you on many levels whereas a movie star can make a list with looks alone or a talking voice alone sometimes…they “play” characters, so a character can make a list…Anthony Hopkins is a perfect example of that…who can’t admire the spooky unbelievable talent of Hannibal Lechter? Willie, as in Nelson is one of the few musicians that is on my list that has remained…year after year…tried and true and for life. Remember, I said looks wasn’t most important :)

My singer (band) list always included the outlaws…be it country or rock and roll, or the guys that could make my eye leak, or make me laugh, and touch me with LYRICS...usually BOTH in order to make my favorite list. Waylon, Willie, David Allen Coe, Jerry Jeff Walker, REO Speedwagon, Journey, Tom T Hall, Pink Floyd, Hoyt Axton, Styx, Bad Company, Ozzie (only because of Mama I’m Coming Home), Aerosmith, The Who, Stevie Nix & Fleetwood Mac, The Gatlin Brothers, The Oakridge Boys, The Statler Brothers, Heart, Melissa Ethridge, Carley Simon, Joni Mitchell (had to include some worthy women), etc. However, few remain at the top.

Newer singers are on my list of great…Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks sometimes, George Straight sometimes…but he’s so damn straight (pun intended), Kenny Chesney, but they are all just so-so and while the concerts are fun and all, they just can’t hang on the list ALWAYS AND EVERY DAY. Toby Keith is a “keeper”. He’ll remain on my list until he’s like talking about Willie, Waylon, or Hoyt. The reason I picked that analogy is that when I first began to hear him he was like a strange mixture of all three. I would think to myself that what I was hearing was one of them, and it was a song of theirs I’d never heard…but NO…IT WAS A NEW GUY! Toby had me at hello :)

I must tell my “Toby Stories” to explain my rabid fan status while going to the shop today to take the photos that are in this story. I’m a busy woman. Dealing to celebrities for years, and having met so many…I wouldn’t normally stop my duties as a business owner to be silly and take photos in front of a trailer that will in no way ever lead me to meet the “man”. If I did ever meet the man, I would love nothing more than to just invite him to our home for a steak & cocktails with his wife or band, and hopefully for some fun “jam time” so he could teach my husband to actually play some of the guitars he owns :) Toby is just another guy like us all and my beautiful home is just a little smaller than his beautiful home, and it would just be so cool to sit and treat a celebrity like anybody else and I think they wish for that too.

However, I am a big fan…and my first Toby story is this: Dealing in a casino one day, I was dealing to some average cool guys that were funny enough, tipped once in a while, and were just average pleasant guys on my table. Music is piped in, and as you sit at a gaming table, there is always either a live band available, or piped in music to enhance the experience. As we mulled along playing cards, I’m dealing…listening to these guys talk amongst themselves. A dealer knows that at the moment your players are talking to each other, you’ve lost the money making ability… I heard one of them say something about somebody having somebody else’s ass. He said it loudly, common enough as it was like a conversation about boss/employee, or husband/wife type comment, but his volume in voice caused them to look up at me dealing. One of Toby’s songs was playing on the “wire” and I made the comment, something to the effect that I didn’t know who they were talking about but Toby could have my ass anytime :), of course I immediately followed that up with “not really, I’m married…but a fan nonetheless”.

The guys laughed incessantly…it was weird. I thought to myself that it wasn’t “that funny” what I said, but then one of the guys spoke up and said…”We’re gonna tell him what you said”. I thought, yea right! They said they were from Oklahoma and lived rightdown the road from Toby’s farm and they were gonna tell him that some crazed blackjack dealer in Reno was all giddy and crazy over him. Don’t know if they ever did…but that was strange to make a simple “typical chick” comment about a star on a woman’s “list” and then have “average Joe’s” actually KNOW HIM.

My second story leads to my concert experience. I have been fortunate with my husband that we love music and love attending concerts. We’ve seen many great ones in the Reno/Tahoe area. However, my husband KNEW that a TOBY concert would be huge for me. Driving up the mountain to Tahoe from Reno is arduous if you live here. You can’t go to a concert and not liquor up a little bit, so getting a room is mandatory for a fun time. He told me in advance that we were going, so I began to research Toby online. I found out that if you are a fan club member you can submit a story and have a chance to win a “meet & greet” with him. I tried, didn’t win, but it was super exciting all the same. I had fun trying to be “the fan” that scored enough points to win. I told my dealing story, I even offered him a free B-Service on his truck if he was ever in the area. Blah-Blah…didn’t score :)

My third Toby story is the concert itself. I wore an American flag shirt, dressed to the nines in my Rocky jeans and boots. For an old broad, I don’t look so bad still with long blonde hair and a Texas attitude to match :) One of my shop managers is a music freak too and writes music. His dream is to have any star, some star just look at a song and weather he took it or not…just to have a star play one of his songs once. I had a cap from our company, an American Truck & Trailer Repair hat that I wanted so badly to give to Toby Keith. I knew a T-Shirt would be out of the question…too bulky…but a hat I could give him. We taped discreetly inside the hat some music that my manager Westley Guin wrote, and my plan was to find a quiet corner of the stage at the concert and merely toss that hat to Toby. Toby is All American and I thought the least I could do would be to give him a hat.

I quietly marched down the most outer isle of the concert even though I had up front seats. I intended to toss my hat and WOAH!! I was stopped by a very large woman in security that happened to be of color, a black woman. I went back to my seat and waited. I then attempted to try every isle in the venue at varioustimes…with no success. On my last attempt, this very dedicated to her job large black woman shook her finger in my face like only the true wonderful women like that can. She wove her finger in my face and said, “Sister…if I have to tell you ONE MORE TIME…” and I knew. It is SO NOT LIKE me to raise a scene; I went back to my seat and

sulked. Security woman told me that if she let me toss a hat on stage, then someone else would toss a beer bottle, etc. She wouldn’t even just take my hat and lay it upon the edge of the stage and she had the credentials to do so.

I loved her. I love rebels within reason, and I especially love rebels with the right cause…but I had never tried to be one myself, tried to that night, but I appreciated the fact that at least on that night at Harvey’s in Tahoe…Toby was safe. This woman wouldn’t even let a middle aged 43 year old woman flip a soft ball cap onto the stage. I thought of myself as a business owner and knew that I wished all my employees were that dedicated to their duties.

NOW TWO YEARS LATER…Toby Keith’s band trailer ends up in my shop. He doesn’t even know about the sundry day to day goings on that keep him on the road, but I had a great time fanaticizing. It was a good day, and if I ever get to meet the man and/or his family it will be a good day :) Sing on Toby! His greatest hits are of course the fun ones…but don’t think that true fans wouldn’t like a private serenade of some others, Blue Bedroom is a cool song because of the musical transitions…other songs just fit me that didn’t necessarily make it to #1. Every song he sings is a top ten to me :)

Toby, although you had no part to play in it, it was an honor to have your trailer in our shop and many of us at American Truck & Trailer Repair, or our other pickup shop Dynamic Diesel, Inc. are huge fans. Even my little dog Scooter that comes to work with me came to say hi :) Thanks for some fun today and making a now 45 year old woman feel like a school girl again. And DAMN that bitch that didn’t appreciate you writing her phone number on the 50 yard line :) I hope her radio haunts her to this day :)