Willie Nelson was born and raised in Abbott, Texas, a town roughly five miles north of West, which was recently devastated by a fertilizer plant explosion. I caught up with Willie on his bus in Nashville, Thursday night, before he recorded an eightieth birthday special for CMT.
Just as in spring the thoughts of young men turn to baseball, in the summer—specifically with the approach of Independence Day—the thoughts of good Texans turn to Willie Nelson and his Fourth of July Picnic. But this year Abbott’s favorite son has thrown fans a curveball, announcing in early May that the fabled Texas shindig will be held in … Washington State.
Evan Smith: Could there have been a Willie Nelson without an Abbott?
Willie Nelson: I doubt it. I’ve always felt like Abbott was a special place. It was the perfect place for me to grow up because it was a small town and because everybody knew everybody. Everybody there was friends or family or worked together or went to school together. There was something real positive about that.
A jab or pain above my right hipbone meant morning had come for me, no matter that I could see stars in the plum summer sky through the window. I rolled over on my pallet on the floor of the upstairs room, trying to settle into a position for a few more minutes’ sleep.