Meeting People and Hearing Stories at the NQC

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

What a week! We were at the National Quartet Convention every night and didn’t get home until the wee hours of the morning. I’m barely awake now, so hope what I’m writing is making sense. I didn’t hear much singing since we stayed out in the Exhibition Hall all week at the Patriot Quartet’s booth so we could meet and greet people. Thanks to all of you who came by to say hello and maybe take some music or reading material home with you. It was extra nice of those of you who bought my books to give to someone on your gift list. I love getting books for Christmas or for my birthday which just happens to be tomorrow. I’m getting older very soon. But one of the guys who came by the booth had some advice for me. He said a little old lady (no, I don’t think he was talking about me!!) came up to him and looked way up at him since he’s so tall. She poked him in the chest and told him age was mind over matter. That if you didn’t mind, it didn’t matter. So guess I’ll try to be in that camp.

Actually ever since I lost my sister-in-law in a traffic accident twenty-seven years ago, I’ve welcomed with celebration every birthday I have. Because I know Joy would have liked to have had a lot more birthdays. She was the mother of three girls and nine months pregnant with a little boy when the back gate flew off a cattle trailer, hit a pickup truck and killed that man whose wife was also expecting a baby and then that truck hit the truck Joy was riding in head on. Joy’s friend, who was driving her to the doctor, wasn’t hurt, but Joy and her baby died. This happened on September 12, three days before my birthday. All this time later, it still colors my birthday with sadness. We never forget those we love. We carry them forever in our heart and our memories. And ever since I’ve buckled my seatbelt every time I get in a car.

I hadn’t planned to write about Joy tonight, but as I said, I always remember her in a special way at this time of the year. She had so much fun. Loved to laugh and loved babies and was a heck of a softball player.

Back to the NQC, I’m going to be sharing some stories from the people who came by to talk to me last week. One guy had a remarkable story that I will probably tell you next Sunday or maybe on Wednesday. It will give you goosebumps and maybe make tears come to your eyes. But I need to think about it before I write it down so that I can tell it in the best way possible.

I really enjoy meeting people at the NQC because they come from all over to hear the singing. I talked to lots of people from Ohio and Illinois and quite a few Canadians. I talked to Gospel music fans from California, Tennesee, Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, Wisconsin, and even Maine. The Maine lady said she lived about as far to the northeast as you could get. A 17 hour drive. She was a minister and she and her husband were taking a trip to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. There were also people from North and South Carolina, Louisiana, a lot from Texas. They were worried about Ike flooding their homes. And of course, Kentucky. I’ve probably missed a few states. So if you talked to me and I left your state out, let me know. And some of you had already read or had bought my new book, The Outsider to read. That was really exciting for me. Then you were kind enough to come back and buy some more books. I hope all of you who did buy books enjoy the stories. And that the rest of you will think about getting my books later on to give them a try.

Last night when I got home at midnight, I had to do a little cooking for our family reunion today. How come everything always has to happen on the same weekend? We had a good turnout, but we missed my aunt Margaret who passed away last month. She always enjoyed being with us and sharing her memories at our reunions. She hosted it nearly every year when we first started having the reunion twenty some years ago. She always ordered up perfect weather when we were at her house. Every time I have it, it’s either 95 degrees in the shade or raining. Today my sister was the hostess. It didn’t rain, but Ike sent us such gusty winds, we had to hang onto our plates. That chicken from Kroger was trying to take wing again. But we had fun looking at old pictures and playing some corn hole games. I didn’t win.

Hope you have a loving family and that you enjoy getting together with them on a regular basis. I am blessed with a beautiful family and with all of you friends out there.

Talk to you Wednesday.