The time at home has been nothing short of glorious! Rose Lane and I had good quality family time with her mom Rosaline, brother Alton and his family, Amy and Steve, Ashley and my sister Judy and her husband Ted. Not all at once, of course…but over the span of the holidays. We also saw lots of friends during the month, and enjoyed spending time with all of them. There were two baby showers for Amy…one in Atlanta given by her friends there and one in Macon at John and Adrian Wood’s home. Lots of folks attended both events, and they racked up in baby paraphernalia. Ashley had her new job with Invisalign dental products confirmed, so she’s all set for a new beginning for her career with the New Year. I had one event at the Idle Hour Country Club on Dec. 13th, which went very well. It was a dinner with me as the guest of honor. My friend Robert Stribling put it all together, just as he did the previous year. After dinner he introduced me and I just talked some about the tour, the new children’s book The Tree Farmer, some of our conservation efforts and my music projects. Then I played a handful of songs for them. We sold our merchandise and I autographed books and cds. We did very well with it…the event was sold out and there was a waiting list of about 100. I also did a bit of media in Atlanta and via telephone interviews during the holidays. We had several hunts at Charlane with our main clients like Damian Soffer, Jimmy Adkins, David Shearer, John Dupree and a few others. We did one special hunt with my friend John Morris, the founder of Bass Pro shops. They are opening a new store in Macon this year, and Roy Fickling had asked me to be involved with the announcement about a year ago, which I did. Then I ran into John and Co. at the Quail Unlimited Celebrity Shoot in Albany, Ga last year as well as at the National Wild Turkey Federation convention. So we’ve become friends, and I wanted him to come to Charlane for a hunt. He flew down with several of his friends…Roy joined us as well…and we had a wonderful time. I’ve managed to keep my workout routine going…but have definitely put on a few pounds due to the fantastic holiday feasts. I’ve also managed to get a good bit of work in on Charlane…some mowing, some pruning of trees, a prescribed burn on some young longleaf, cutting and splitting firewood and more. All great stuff. I got to ride our horses quite a lot as well, both during the hunts and just for fun. I headed up to Nashville for a recording session on the 3rd. It’s for a new artist on Sony named Cole Degges. My friend and producer extraordinaire Mark Wright called me in for it. He’s producing along with Rivers Rutherford, a well-known songwriter. Great group of musicians…Kenny Greenberg on guitar, Russ Pahl - steel guitar, John Willis - acoustic, Matt Chamberlain - drums, Eric Darken (who played on Southscape) on percussion, and Mark Hill (who I played with a few years ago on a Montgomery-Gentry record) on bass.
The sessions went for two days and we cut six tracks, all very strong. One that Rivers wrote called “Everybody’s Beautiful to Someone” sounds like a smash hit to me. Then I went back home for a short two days before heading up to Montreal on the 8th to meet up with the Boys and continue the tour.