Just some thoughts::
“HE STOPPED LOVING HER TODAY”
I was leaving a music venue the other night when I saw Bobby Braddock. Braddock is one of the most successful songwriters ever in Nashville. I never see him but what I don’t think of one song in particular that he and Curly Putman wrote. Critics have called it the greatest country song ever. “He stopped loving her today.” A song about a love lost and a broken heart that remained with this fella the rest of his life. Every time I see Braddock I want to tell him, “Hey you know that song you wrote I know a story that goes with those lyrics. I once saw it happen.” But I bet that story has been repeated more times than what one might count.
It was very early one cold winter morning when he came into the store where as a young kid I worked mornings before going to school. He was good friends with the man who opened the store each morning. As I went about my store chores I heard him tell this story to his friend. He and his long time girlfriend had recently broken-up. He was a couple years old than her. She in her last year of high school, a cheerleader. On the rebound of their long time relationship she had taken up with the high school star and now found herself in a family way. He cried on this morning as he shared his story. It was evident he was crushed.
Little did he know that just a few nights prior at a high school basketball game I had witnessed the two of them. It was half-time of a ball game. I had gone out to the lobby area to get some popcorn. (Indiana basketball you had to have some popcorn.) That’s when I saw them in a hallway. I could hear their conversation and from their body language one could tell it was a serious exchange.
We all returned to the gym for the rest of the game. The two of them, he now sitting alone a few rows up in the bleachers and she on the floor with the other cheerleaders. At times they exchanged looks. A few times he even mouthed words to her. As the game neared the end I watched as he walked to the end of the gym, turned and waved to her. It was a sad wave. She waved back.
She would go on to marry the high school star. The old boyfriend, he never married. In one of my trips back home I asked someone about him. “You know he never married, if your remembered he and ———-went together all thru high school but he never married. He lives out on that horse farm.” Another source shared even more about him and his life.
Just a few years ago I was back home on business when I walked into this office where I had an appointment. Sitting at the receptionist desk was the lady in this story. The once pretty high school cheerleader. She did not know me. She had no reason to as we had never met. But I had always known who she was. A hundred questions ran thru my mind. But none were asked.
I often wondered about the happiness of the two of them, the once pretty cheerleader and the cowboy type guy.
“You’ll forget in time” But in the words of another country song (Vince Gill) “It’ll take dying to get it done.”
From what had once been shared with me about the fella, I wondered if that even happened.
September 1, 2019