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Thursday, 3 October 2019


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 
CV of published material available on request. & @JoeCushnan

Tammy Wynette

The story goes ......

...... that when Tammy Wynette told her first husband 
she was taking the three kids and leaving him,
to drive their beat-up station wagon to Nashville, 
Euple Byrd (his real and comedy name) asked 
why she was going there. 
"To become a star." 
The chronic, scathing Byrd spat: "Dream on."
With a CV of church singing and harmonising, 
and a teardrop-sob in her voice, she made records, 
hits of love, loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, divorce,
of being a woman, standing by her man, her men.
When I was a child, I wanted to be a bus driver, 
a priest, an actor, maybe a writer when I grew up, 
but I was never damned with any tight-lipped sneering 
“Dream on” dripping with sarcasm. 
My mother and several others, but especially my mother, 
encouraged my dreams as mothers do,
even though I never drove a bus, wore a collar, trod the boards, 
dreams of writer’s fame long gone.
Years after splitting, Euple Byrd asked
the famous Tammy Wynette for an autograph. 
She wrote: 

“Dream on!”

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