On the Lighter Side: ‘I’ve Lived a Lot in My Time’

Joe Guilbeau

“I’ve Lived a Lot in My Time” is a song title by country singer Jim Reeves.

-- Mostly by coincidence, I’ve visited the graves of many famous people, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Hank Williams, Tex Ritter, Elvis Presley, Huey Long and Jimmie Rodgers.

-- Presley, of course, is buried at Graceland, which has become a major international tourist attraction

Joe Guilbeau

-- Graceland is the second most visited house in the United States, only behind The White House. Many years ago, my company was invited to carpet Graceland.

-- Hank Williams is buried in a simple grave in an old cemetery in Montgomery, Ala. On his tomb is engraved “I Saw the Light,” one of his last songs.

-- My long life covered the span of 18 presidents, some of whom served more than one term.

-- I saw six U.S. Presidents.

-- I shook hands with one sitting President.

-- I attended a party at the White House.

-- I state at the table where the Declaration of Independence, authored by Thomas Jefferson, was written.

-- I shook hands with astronaut Dick Gordon.

-- I marched in a military parade in Fall River, Mass.

-- I was grand marshal of a Veterans parade.

-- I knew 17 Louisiana governors and had a speaking relationship with Jimmie Davis and Edwin Edwards.

-- I visited four foreign countries and lived in three states.

-- I visited all states east of the Mississippi River, except West Virginia.

-- I was elected “Citizen of the Year” of my adopted hometown.

-- I rode on a military troupe train on a trip that lasted five days.

-- I met Major League Baseball Legend Stan Musial, and I have his autograph.

-- I visited the room where the first Wright Brothers plane was built.

-- I have a background in aviation, and at one time I was a licensed private pilot.

-- I have a speaking relationship with country music singer Mickey Gilley. Penny Gilley called my wife a few weeks ago.

-- I once sang on the state of the Grand Ole Opry, the most famous stage in the world.

-- I had an opportunity to sit in and play with the Angola Prison Band.

-- I had the opportunity to speak with a Miss America.

-- I rode in what was the largest Ferris Wheel in the world at the time. The passenger cars could carry over 500 people.

-- I earned a college degree thanks to the G.I. Bill of Rights.

-- I wrote a sports column for my college newspaper.

-- I danced at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, Texas.

-- I was a contestant in a fashion show of men dressed as women.

-- In my lifetime, I probably planted 100 trees. I should’ve planted more.