Yes, indeed, folks, today is the day I share my birthday with my dad, Dr. L.G. Hicks, Jr. Or vice versa. He first saw the light of day in1925; I scooted out in 1952. I've always liked that reversal of numbers. Although I was raised (just like corn) in Clarkesville, Georgia, my dad's hometown, I was actually born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, birthplace of the great Don Reno. We were there because Daddy was doing his internship preparatory to moving back home to open his own practice.
He was surely one of the last of the old-fashioned General Practitioners, a real, honest-to-goodness country doctor who, in my lifetime, still made house calls and even treated patients who came to our home.
I've been in Clarkesville this whole weekend, spending time with Mama and Daddy, and we will be having our birthday supper tonight. I've already given Daddy my present, a song I wrote for him that starts off "Born on your birthday, in South Carolina / You were just 27, and a brand new M.D....".
I can't tell you how proud I've always been to share birthdays with my dad. It made me feel special. (And with four younger sisters, every little bit helped!) Mama always baked us two cakes. Daddy's was usually a pound cake and mine, something chocolate, often with M and M's on top!
Those of you who read liner notes closely may know that for most of my young life I had planned on being a doctor, just like Daddy. (When I was feeling especially pious--usually after a summer revival--I wanted to be a medical missionary!) But my plans were derailed by a higher power when, deep into my third year as a pre-med student at the University of Georgia in Athens (go Dogs!) I went to a show at a small club called The Last Resort and heard folk singer Gamble Rogers perform. Pretty much from that point on my medical aspirations went spiraling down the tubes as I spent most of my time playing my 12-string guitar, learning Gamble's songs, performing as a folk singer myself, hanging out at the Last Resort, driving long distances to hear Gamble play, and finally, attending my first bluegrass festival (at Gamble's suggestion) where he introduced me to a friend of his, Red Henry.
If my dad was disappointed that I chose music over medicine and picking the banjo over delivering babies, he never said a word.
So, if you'd like to wish us a happy birthday, you know that Casey, our super web manager, has made it really easy to post comments at the end of each blog. I would like nothing better than to hear from some of you and I'll be sure to share your comments with my dad!