I flew back home today after visiting the west coast doing a string of dates and will fly back with only New Orleans left on the 20th to finish up the touring year. It's gone by in a hurry and, as always, I have thoroughly enjoyed being on the road with my guys and thank God that I can make a living doing something I love so very much.
I also want to thank all you folks who came to our shows this year and for the last 40 plus years that the CDB has been going down the road. We have traveled millions of miles, entertained millions of people, and God willing, we'll be right back out here starting the first of March, ready to travel millions more miles and entertain millions more people.
There is something a little sad, well maybe not exactly sad but extremely introspective and nostalgic, knowing that another year of our lives have gone by and that you've played for a lot of people you'll never see again and seen sights you'll never see again.
But, next year will have its own share of special sights and, even though some are gone, there will still be lots of old friends and some new ones at the shows.
I think about Taz DiGregorio, my keyboard player, who was by my side for 40 years and lost his life in a tragic car accident a couple of years ago and Tommy Crain who spent 14 years playing guitar in the band, who passed away a while back.
I think about Sid and Buddy Yochim and Jackie Williams who spent so many years as part of the CDB family and have gone on and so many good friends we made over the last 41 years who are no longer with us.
No matter where I am, when the decorations start coming out and the Carols start being played, my thoughts always turn toward home and the ones who mean so much to me.
My wife Hazel travels with me the rest of the year but she has so much to do this time of the year she stays home the month of December and I really miss her and it seems that the trappings of the holiday season Intensifies the longing for home and hearth.
When I was getting my career started, I stayed away for a lot longer periods. Hazel didn't travel with me in those days and the Christmas season really made me homesick. I remember when my son, Charlie, was a toddler, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman on the television in some faraway motel room could literally reduce me to tears.
I think about the men and women in the military who will spend Christmas in some cold barren, unfriendly corner of the world in totally foreign territory surrounded by enemies with nothing but pictures and hopefully a call home to the loved ones they'll be missing so much to celebrate this blessed season.
Some people seem to think that those in the military have an extra gene or some other mechanism that protects them from missing their families, and we expect them to go into hostile parts of the world, stay there as long as they're needed, come home and get ready to do it again.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. The men and women in uniform love and miss their families just as much as anybody on earth and on top of the grinding loneliness can't even be sure that they'll even get back home alive.
And after all this sacrifice, the people of America continue term after term to elect political hacks and empty suits who are constantly cutting the pay and benefits of the ones who have and who are protecting this nation and this is a national disgrace.
If you run into a veteran, you might just say a simple, "Thank you for serving." I do it all the time and they appreciate it
If you have, or know, someone who is serving in the military in some foreign outpost, remember them this Christmas, place yourself in their position - thousands of miles away from home at a time of year when everybody's heart is tender and longs for the comfort of home and family.
Take it from one who knows.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America