On the way to see Gretchen Peters and Barry Walsh open for John Prine last night, my husband asked, "So how did y'all originally know each other?"
There was a time when I would have covered my mouth and mumbled "on my blog" or "on Twitter" because of the strange looks I got - but, now, I have made so many great friends over the years, I say it more like a badge of honor. (And, honestly, I find so many more new cool people online I don't know yet, I've decided that there's just no way to meet all of the cool people before I die and I'll just have to make peace with it and enjoy the ones I have the time to know.)
I don't know exactly when, but at some time in 2007, I received an email from Gretchen that said red was her favorite color, she loved chandeliers, she preferred the window seat to the aisle...and she also had completing Remembrance of Things Past on her Life List. When I started my Proust of the Day plodding through the book, she finally broke down and wrote to me. She told me she was a singer/songwriter/musician and travelled all the time, but she enjoyed my blog and always tried to keep up with my shenanigans.
Of course, I was beyond flattered. The woman who wrote many country hits for others and was writing herself many folk hits enjoyed MY blog. (I did write way more back then. Eight blog posts a day. Every day. Not quite on that schedule post-Facebook and -Google+ and writing for work blogs all week.)
Through Gretchen, I met Barry Walsh (her boyfriend at the time and now her husband). And shortly after we all began emailing back and forth, he was coming to Madison, MS, with The Boxtops to play for a concert. We became fast friends too, and I even got to visit with both of them (and their dog, Nigel!) en route to their honeymoon in New Orleans.
Over the years, through newlsetters and emails and Facebooking and tweeting, I've got to know both of them fairly well. I have read about their kids and their families, so it was especially meaningful to me that I brought my son last night for his first concert...to see Gretchen and Barry! (I told them they are now my son's Night Ranger. And the only reason my father let me go is that I won tickets from the local radio station.)
If you want to get to know Gretchen and Barry too, sign uf for Gretchen's e-newsletter, like her page on Facebook, and follow her and Barry on Twitter. I have collected all of their songs available on Spotify below in a special Gretchen & Barry Playlist!