Wednesday, January 27, 2021

A song written for a crowd of three (including myself)

It isn't a very good song, but the story around it may be of interest.  Sometime around the year 2000, I was using AOL for my Internet.  AOL had chat rooms, most of them totally useless due to the spam that took over the actual conversations.  However, on a Christianity Today website on AOL, there were some Christian chat rooms.  They weren't bothered by spam, I think because you could only get to those chat rooms by going through the Christianity Today website.  One of the rooms was for senior citizens.  I wasn't 60 yet, but I was very comfortable with the group I found there, and over the years I've met many of those people face to face.  

We had several "chat room reunions" around the country; the first one I attended was in Dallas, Texas.  Cliff drove down there with me to make sure I didn't get killed.  He'd heard and read about bad things that happened to people who frequented chat rooms, especially women.  

He found the reunion pretty boring, like going to a stranger's family reunion, and after meeting that mild-mannered group, he worried no more.  I flew to most of the reunions I attended after that. However, one time a friend named Lona decided to drive to Charlotte, North Carolina, and invited me to ride with her.  I rode a bus down to Bella Vista, Arkansas, where she lived, and she picked me up at the bus stop.  In Nashville, we gained another hitchhiker, Virginia Farless.

Virgina Farless was the mother of Chonda Pierce, who is a Christian Comedian; maybe some of my readers have seen her on Youtube or heard of her.  Jen was very proud of her semi-famous daughter.   I really liked Jen.  She was one of the few people I actually enjoyed talking to on the phone.  She often called me "honey" in that way southern women say it.  Mostly, though, she just called me "Mosie".  Another long, boring story.  I never had nicknames until I found that chat room, then I had two or three of them.  

We had a good time at the get-together, met old friends and made new ones.  Too soon, it was time to go home.  I think Lona was around 70 at the time, and she was facing the long drive home to Arkansas.  As we neared Nashville, Virginia (I called her Jen; her chat room name was JenFar) began trying to get hold of her husband Sammy so he could pick her up somewhere not too far off the freeway.  Sammy didn't answer the phone, but Jen kept trying... and when we got to the exit where we would have left her with her husband, Lona kept driving.  I thought, "Now what is Jen going to do?  How is she going to get home?"  Still no answer from her husband.

Then Jen tried calling Chonda, who didn't answer her phone... this was about 18 years ago, so I don't recall a lot of details... but Lona kept driving and Jen kept trying to get someone to pick her up as we put more distance between Jen and her home.  Reluctantly, she called her son-in-law, David, as a last resort.  He answered the phone and agreed to to come pick Jen up.  I would have thought Lona would have offered to simply take Jen home, but I think she was not enjoying the long drive home:  It's all fun and games when you're heading to a party, but when the party's over, you just want to get home with no delays.  

So David, Jen's son-in-law, agreed to pick Jen up, but it was going to be awhile.  We went into a motel and waited in the lobby for David.  Jen said we weren't far from the prison where she had worked as a nurse for a while, and we small-talked, passing the time the best we could.  Jen had her luggage at her feet so she'd be ready if David ever showed up, and she also had with her a foot spa she somehow won at the chat reunion.  Yes, a foot spa.  I don't think she particularly wanted it, but what are you going to do with a gift you'd rather not have when you are 600 miles from home?  

Jen's book ("box of books" mentioned in the song)

So, things were a bit tense, we all wanted to be home, and we didn't know how long we'd be sitting in this motel lobby.  I could tell Jen was feeling about as low as a person could get, and Lona wasn't saying much, so I got a pen and paper and figured I'd write a silly song about our predicament... from Jen's point of view.  The tune isn't anything special, and the lyrics are silly.  It's an accident that I still have the words to it.  But for a brief moment it lightened the hearts of my two companions and eased some strained emotions.  It made us laugh.  Every time I come across these lyrics, I just smile at the memories held therein of two friends who have since traveled into the great beyond.  I miss them both a lot.

                                                       ON THE WEST SIDE OF NASHVILLE

On the west side of Nashville with my foot spa and my suitcase,

Abandoned by my friends and all alone,

My daughter’s awful busy and my son is somewhere preaching

And my husband isn’t answering his phone.

I reckon I could hitchhike, but that seems a little risky

For a woman who’s not frisky any more,

On the west side of Nashville, I sure do feel forsaken

Just sitting here and staring out the door.


     On the west side of Nashville at a motel,

     Trying to get my husband on the phone…

     Does David really, truly WANT to find me?

     I wonder how I ever will get home.

I’m just up the road at that old prison that i worked in

Till I retired just six years ago.

I wonder if they’d board me if I need a bed to sleep in,

Just in case my son-in-law don’t show.

I didn’t sleep last night, and oh, my hair is dreadful messy,

And I really am not feeling very well.

But if I’m needing money (though perhaps this may sound funny)

I’ve got a box of books that I can sell.

     On the west side of Nashville at a motel,

     Trying to get my husband on the phone…

     Does David really, truly WANT to find me?

     I don't think I ever will get home.

I'm not going to waste time singing it for you.  I've written many songs just for a particular person, or group of people.  Most of them were only sung on one occasion, then forgotten.  I wonder if all the people I wrote songs for remember them now, or if they even remember me.  


Me and Lona

Me and Jen


  1. What a nice story that certainly takes me back in time with talk of the AOL chatrooms and all. I've often wonder about some of the people I have met online over the years and what has become of them. Never thought to have a reunion.

  2. I have heard of Chonda Pierce, and know some of her story. I watch her and Mark on YouTube.

  3. AOL chat rooms! They were my first introduction to the internet. I didn't make any friendships on them, but they were entertaining.

  4. I saw Chonda Pierce in person at Women of Faith conference. She was wonderful. It is such a blessing to be able to laugh at a comedian who isn't all about four-letter words and vulgarity. Another Christian comedian I love watching on YouTube is Jeanne Robertson.

  5. Ooooooh Donna, I love-love-love that fringed leather jacket!!! I hope you still have it and wear it once in awhile. Gorgeous!! Do you have chaps to match?

    What a story (I loved it) about all those years ago, in the internet's "infancy". I miss those chat rooms and I also miss the YahooGroups. There was a group for just about every subject imaginable, remember? I used to run my own private email group "digest" called Titus 2 Women's Journal. I'd collect and compile the day's emails myself, into one email, and send it out to the group of ladies who wanted a copy. Then I organized a YahooGroup and that was fun too. We even had a cookbook printed, of the various recipes sent in by the subscribers. I swear that's the best cookbook I have! None of us ever met in-person and I think of those gals so often. Maybe we'll all meet in heaven one day. ~Andrea xoxo

    1. I liked that motorcycle jacket except for one thing: Some of those fringes whipped my face and stung like crazy once in awhile! I got the chaps at a different time and place, so they didn't have fringes. Actually, after we sold the last motorcycle, I gave the jacket to a co-worker of Cliff's who was just beginning to ride motorcycles. She was tickled to death with it.


I love comments!