GLAD I ATTENDED NEAL McCOY East Texas Angel concert...1st time..ever.. but for varied reasons
by JAMES A. MARPLES
Oct 08, 2017 | 578 views | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GLAD I ATTENDED NEAL McCOY East Texas Angel concert...1st time..ever.. but for varied reasons
 
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I am very glad that my cousin Carole D. Marples and I attended our FIRST EVER Neal McCoy "East Angel Network" concert at the Belcher Center in Longview, just a few days ago on September 30th.   I had really HOPED to see animal expert and  guru, Jack Hanna, but he had to cancel on short notice.  THIS, was probably the first time in my whole life: I purchased tickets to a concert..learned of a performer 'cancelling' ---got a 'refund' of my money...only to re-purchase my own tickets just two meager hours before showtime.  Anybody who knows me, realizes that I am not wishy-washy.
 
I was glad that singer Randy Travis was on-site, but only introduced from the sidelines --due to his ill-health and recovery from a  'stroke'.  I craned my neck. I think I saw the top of his head and couldn't tell if he was 'assisted' by 'handlers' or by a wheel-chair...or what ?  It was only a fleeting-moment.  I admire Randy Travis for his past singing-career. Yet, I,  (like many concert goers) had a few apprehensions since before his 'stroke', it was alleged he had DUI's, stripped himself bare naked when he was found intoxicated only a few years ago,  and he even allegedly threatened the lives of D.P.S. Officers. YET, I found it in my heart to forgive him.  Life is too short to be judgmental.  Yet, I am wise-enough to still have 'concerns'. I wish him the best.
He was more or less 'replaced' on the 'showcard' at the event in Longview by singer Wayne Newton.  I vividly recall my late cousin Jon G. Marples of Diana, Texas, saying ---if he heard a Wayne Newton song, he'd switch-off the car radio.  That wasn't meant to be a 'slam'.  Rather, it was meant to indicate that the song "Danke schoen" ("Thank you") had been played and re-played ---perhaps past its prime.   True to form Wayne Newton sang it, in Longview, so .I swallowed my pride --and listened.
 
The highlight for me was Irlene Mandrell, sister of the famous Barbara Mandrell and Louise Mandrell.  I remember them on TV from the 1970's and 1980's.  PLUS, I knew that their father Irby Matthew Mandrell, joined the Scottish Rite Masons in 1975...only a mere 7 years before I joined the Scottish Rite in 1982.  Irby Matthew Mandrell died in 2009. May Almighty God rest his soul.  He, like other country music performers such as Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Little Jimmy Dickens, Roy Acuff, the Wilburn Brothers, Grandpa Jones,Brad Paisley and Roy Clark ---all joined the honorable organization of the Masonic Lodge.   Although, Masonic membership was sort of a "family tradition" for me (being a 5th generation Mason)...I have to compliment the preceding members for adding to my confidence "to join'. Seeing Irlene Mandrell on-stage gave me a momentary pleasing moment...since I was applauding a deceased fellow Mason's daughter.
 
Even Neal McCoy has been honored by the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas (although to my knowledge, he is not yet a member) --but I could be mistaken.  At the conclusion of the charity-concert: Wayne Newton and Neal McCoy tried a "duet" of the late Frank Sinatra's famous song "I DID IT MY WAY".  To a certain extent...I almost consider that song, my own theme song. I can relate to "traveling each and every highway", etc, etc.    To be polite, I think McCoy largely "rescued" Wayne Newton in much of  that rendition.
 
It was a good charity concert.  I am glad my ticket -proceeds helped those in-need.  Yet, I am happier still, that my presence paid tribute to my fellow Masonic members --both living and deceased. As one of the final stanzas of the song goes: "And through it all, I took the blows....and stood TALL..and did it ---MY WAY".  Despite being in Longview nearly 14 years, it was my 1st time ever to see Mr. Neal McCoy in the flesh.  I was too far away to speak to him. However, I commend him on his charitable efforts.
 
 
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