Gotta be honest, if you had told me when I moved back to Texas in 2008 that I would, one day, be spending a Saturday afternoon out at Willie Nelson’s ranch with his “family,” closest friends and fellow musicians, I’da said you’re out of your mind.
Well, funny how this amazing ride, we call life, works out. Thanks to Tiffany McMillan with the Children’s Music Foundation, opportunity knocked two weeks back. Along with Pops, aka Dad, aka Roger, we had the chance to attend Willie Nelson’s 1st Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament out at “his place” in, what he calls, “Luck, Texas.”
Located roughly 45 minutes northwest of Austin, “Willie’s Place,” is, more or less, a “compound,” upon which sits his golf course, the “Pedernales Cut-N-Putt,” a 9-hole track, that, on this particular weekend, he chose to open up to the public, with the intent on hosting an all-day affair chock full of live music, golf, great food, plenty of drinks, a silent auction and the occasional whiff of “herb,” after all this is Willie Nelson we’re talkin’ about.
However, this was not just a Saturday party, for the sake of “blowing it out” at Willie’s ranch on a random weekend in June. No, you see, Willie has a HUGE heart, especially for local causes here in Central Texas. The beneficiaries of the event spanned different causes, all of which Willie selected, himself: Pedernales Fire Department, Helping Hands Ministries of Spicewood, The Children’s Music Foundation of Austin and RunTex Carrozza Foundation.
Live music began at 10am and ran well into the early evening with performances from a cast of characters including Bob Livingston, the Paula Nelson Band, Doug Moreland, Folk Uke, Ray Benson from Asleep at the Wheel, Jamey Johnson and many more, all while two separate Scrambles were taking place out on Willie’s golf course. Ultimately, the evening wrapped up with an on-stage check presentation to each of the four charities ($32,000 total raised) and a finale concert featuring Willie, himself, Ray Benson, Lukas Nelson, Paul English and Willie’s sister, Bobbie, on piano, as always.
The day is honestly one that I won’t soon forget, considering in the midst of it all, I had the chance to meet, among others, Ray Benson, Jamey Johnson, UT Longhorn legend, Earl Campbell, and, most proudly, a moment to shake hands, speak to and grab a photo with the man, himself – my hero – Mr. Willie Nelson. An amazing Saturday, a stellar event, all for a great cause!
The Red Headed Stranger reigns supreme in Luck, Texas!