Just yesterday, September 20, Hazel and myself celebrated our 52nd wedding anniversary.
I remember that Sunday morning in 1964 when we, Hazel's parents, my other three band members and a couple of friends walked up a flight of steps to a Justice of the Peace's office in Tulsa, Oklahoma and tied the knot. We went to a local cafeteria for lunch, went by and visited her parents for a few minutes and went to what was to be our home for the next few months – a hotel room in a not too great part of town.
I only had Sunday off and had to be back to work at the Fondalite Club Monday night, and it would be quite a while before we would be able to take even a modest honeymoon.
I was in and out of town so much during those days, in for a few weeks and out for as much as sixteen weeks. Hazel would stay with her parents while I was gone.
People ask me how you manage to stay married for so long, and my stock answer is: marry somebody you want to wake up with the rest of your life, somebody you truly want to share your life with.
Sometimes when people look at our lifestyle as it is today, they tend to think that life has been nothing but a long smooth ride for us, that our marriage has not had storms to weather or difficulties to overcome.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The difference is that we always faced everything together, whether it was repossessed cars, mountainous debt, too many bills and not enough money or whatever else came at us.
She has stood behind me in every career decision, every move to another town, and we've shared every disappointment, every triumph, every defeat and every victory.
She has always been my tether to reality, my safe harbor in a storm, my rock and above all my best friend.
I have no illusions as to whether or not I would have accomplished what I have without her, it simply would not have happened.
She has been up for whatever I wanted to do from taking up golf, riding motorcycles and later on horses, to gallivanting around the world, snowmobiling or driving fifteen hundred miles to go on vacation after traveling a hundred thousand with me on the road.
Our son, Charlie, was born in 1965 and Hazel became a wonderful and devoted mother, with most of the parenting left up to her with my touring schedule in the early days.
When Charlie started college in 1983, I had a tour bus set up for the two of us and she traveled full time on the road with me.
Now we have two different life styles, a home life where we live a pretty normal way, able to attend church, have our meals at home and do family things. Then there's the road life, where we sleep moving down some highway, wake up in a different motel parking lot every morning. We try to maintain an exercise regimen, where everything is geared toward the night's concert. Things can get a little hectic from time to time.
At home or on the road, it makes no difference. We're together, and that's what counts.
Happy 52nd Hazel, love of my life!!
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.
Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published on Charlie Daniel’s website on 09/19/2016.