Julie Leigh boarded the bus at two o'clock. She was on her way to Nashville. The only bus she had ever ridden was the school bus and now she was leaving home on a bus headed to the school of life. After finding a seat near a window, she laid her head back, closed her eyes for a minute, hoping the sick, burning feeling in the pit of her stomach would go away. For a second everyone she ever cared about flashed through her memory cells. The tugging in her heart to go or stay was about to pull her apart. Her stubbornness and determination to go won the battle and she relaxed a little as the rest of the passengers boarded the bus. The bus pulled out of the station onto Clinton Ave at 2:10 pm, made a left turn a block away onto Meridian Street and Highway 231 and headed north. As the bus slowly traveled north through the community of Hazel Green, Julie Leigh noticed the devastation that the tornado had caused in that community. She closed her eyes and prayed that her family would be all right and that the storms would pass them by. Just north of Hazel Green, Julie Leigh noticed a sign that read, "You're leaving Alabama, and y'all come back soon". About a hundred yards from the Alabama sign; she saw a sign that read, "Welcome to Tennessee". She did not know that Tennessee was that close to Huntsville. She had been on the bus only about 30 minutes, now she was in another state. For the first time she realized she was really leaving home. She had never been out of the state of Alabama; now she was going to a big city. The only thing that she knew about Nashville was that it is the home of the Grand Ole Opry. At this time, her dream was not the Grand Ole Opry. She just wanted a better life and no more hand-me-down clothes. Julie Leigh crossed the street and made her way over to West End Avenue. She found the motel on a side street just North of West End and 21st Avenue. An old sign with half of the light bulbs out hung over the entrance to the motel. Julie Leigh entered the small cluttered lobby and saw a sign on the desk that read, “Ring bell for service”. She rang the bell and a big, middle-age woman, with two front teeth missing, came out of a side room. She had on a full floral dress that hung to her ankles. In addition, she had a cheap ring on each finger and her fingernails were long and painted a deep red. Her make-up looked like she had put it on in the dark. Her hair was bleached until it looked like straw. It was in a beehive hairstyle, held up with a full can of Aqua-net hair spray. The spray had been on the hair so long that it was beginning to turn dirty white. The woman smiled and said, “Can I help you honey?” “Yes ma’am. I need a room for two nights.” “Ok, that will be fourteen-dollars in advance. And honey, we don’t allow any hookers hanging around here—know what I mean. If you have a friend coming over, it’s best that I don’t see him. You know what I mean. I’ll tell you how to get to your room. It’s on the second floor, room 220, all the way down on the end. You should like it there. Kinda out of the way—know what I mean. If you have to stay more than two days, then you let me know. My name is Rose Little and I’m the manager here. Here’s your room key—you call me if you need me honey---know what I mean.” Before Sam came to Nashville fifteen years ago; he had been a very aggressive insurance salesman in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Sam was so good at selling; he could sell a farmer a field full of stumps and make them believe that it was a fresh plowed field. Sam’s company was so impressed with his salesmanship they transferred him to the home office in Nashville. Tuscumbia, Sheffield and Muscle Shoals, Alabama is known as the Tri-Cities and is home of several noted musicians such as W. C. Hamby. As a teenager, Sam would hang out with the musicians from the Tri-Cities and they would jam for hours. Sam had a good ear for music and he was a fair musician. He knew that one-day he would be a producer and his transfer to Nashville was his ticket. As an insurance sales representative in Nashville, Sam made friends with some of the people in country music. He started a small, part-time, independent company that would produce a record for someone that was trying to make it into the music field. Sam would produce some gospel albums for part-time southern gospel groups and a few singles for some country singers too. Sam called it a cash and carry record. Most of his client’s dreams were so big that they were willing to sacrifice hard-earned money for their own independent record. After five years as a part-time, independent company, Sam quit the insurance company and rented an office near Music Row. Sam had saved most of the money he made working part-time and he decided to gamble on a couple of struggling country artist and bankrolled a record for each of them. The records did fair and Sam made just enough money to get a real taste of major record producing. Sam learned most every trick of the trade, and the best of all he, learned how to cook the books. Sam’s plan for Julie Leigh was falling in place.
In 1998, I experienced a major stroke and was homebound for an extended period. I had to retire from the State of Alabama Unified Judicial System working for the presiding judge of the Madison County Circuit Court, The Honorable Judge Jeri Blankenship (now deceased). During the long days and countless hours of my rehabilitation therapy, I wrote my book entitled "When the Germans Invaded Big Cove." In addition, I started the "Puppy Dogs and Country Girls Don't Belong on City streets" book from the song of the same title written by George Wells and I. After seven years of recovery time, I began working part time and enjoyed every minute of my newfound freedom. Then I broke my back from a traumatic fall off a ladder. This was the beginning of another extended period of rehabilitation. During this recovery time, I used my time to continue to formulate the words of the "Puppy Dog" song into this book.