Most of her fans said she sang just like Dolly Parton but others thought she was another Loretta Lynn. She sang from the heart. Every song seemed to come from her own life experience. Songs like Don’t Come Home A ‘Drinking with Loving on Your Mind spoke of her own daddy who was an alcoholic, or Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors told of her own impoverished childhood. In other words, she had lived her life through the lyrics of her songs and her audience loved it and felt it came from her heart. In grammar school, she was always the star of the show at the annual talent explosion. She lived for the applause from the audience and the roar of approval that followed.
The blinding bright lights and the swish of the plush, velvet curtain at the end of her electrifying performance always brought happy tears to her eyes. At home, she never heard any words of acceptance or felt any approval from her parents like she did after a satisfied and appreciative audience gave her an extended curtain call with their applause.
She was not interested in having a boyfriend or getting married like her sisters had done. She wanted to be a star and nothing could stop her. Every time a young gentleman would show interest in her, she would brush him off and delve deeper into song writing and her career. She became well-known as a country singer. Many fans flocked to see her at The Bamboo Ranch on the traffic circle in Savannah. It was always a sold out show, and they kept coming back for more.
She never trusted anyone with the direction her career was going or the money she made along the way. She was never sure if anyone had ever loved her. So, it was very important that the applause would never end or be silenced because in that brief moment, she always felt loved.
The years rolled by and she ventured up and down the East Coast. Sometimes, she went as far as Chicago singing in small clubs in the dead of winter.
She had to be careful not to let her emotions get in the way of entertaining her audience. When the icy wind swept through the late night streets of Chicago, she longed to be in the warm confines of her own home, with Cuddles, her soft, fluffy cat, at her side.
“Get ahold of yourself,” she said as she pushed those thoughts from her mind. “You are a star who has everything money can buy – clothes, cars, jewelry and especially fame.”
At the end of the sold-out performance, she stepped out of the small club into the cold night air with the applause still ringing in her ears. Her hotel room would be warm and cozy when she got there. She would take a couple of sleeping pills to come down from her high; this was a routine ritual. Sometimes, she thought of her sisters who had families of their own with the proverbial white fence and all, but they were living from paycheck to paycheck while she seemed to have it all; but, they seemed to be very happy just the same.
She drifted off to sleep because she no longer heard the love and acceptance of the applause in her ears. After all, tomorrow is another day. The applause would come back again.