My sister Wanda smoked a joint with country singer Willie Nelson. Two joints, in fact. She also drank a lot of alcohol during this time, and when the room started spinning, she staggered out. I know this because she told me. She is what you would call a “reliable source,” mainly because she’s my sister.
Certain things I find shocking. I had no idea that big stars, especially Willie Nelson, would resort to smoking drugs. The next thing you know, I’ll find out that Keith Richards smokes pot too, and probably drinks too much sometimes. I’m just hoping that that rumour about politicians telling big whopping fibs and not even feeling bad about it isn’t true.
I don’t get shocked much when it comes to Wanda. This is a girl who hitchhiked to Calgary from Ontario, who bombed around Calgary in a slick, maroon-coloured 1979 Harley Sportster when the weather was good, or reasonably decent. In the driving rain and wretched winter, her ride was a ’76 Chevy short box with a 454 under the hood. This is a lady who went back to Ontario for a wedding, and on her way back on the train, was kicked off in northern Ontario by the conductor when they didn’t see eye-to-eye.
Willie Nelson had no idea he was in the presence of greatness. He could have gathered Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash together for a night of partying, and Wanda would have drank and smoked them all under the table.
But Wanda’s not just another crazy partier. She’s also creative and smart. A radio station in Calgary held a contest to see which local company could think up the best beach-themed idea, even though it was the middle of winter, to win a 24-hour trip to Los Angeles for the whole staff. Her idea was for her and her co-workers at her office to wear bathing suits and bikinis and sit outside on lawn chairs and sunbathe and barbeque in below-zero temperatures. Naturally they won. How could they not have?
Meeting Willie Nelson was only a fluke. She and her girlfriend were in Reno a few years back and they somehow got talking to a guy who had been singing in a bar and was friends with Willie. The guy obviously took a shine to the girls and invited them to come along to meet this long-haired country gentleman who I think sometimes sings like he has a clamp on his groin.
After a brief visit, Wanda and her girlfriend got dizzy and said they had to go, and as a parting gift, Willie invited them to his show, with front row seats beside his wife, and gave them back-stage passes. When I asked her about this recently, her main recollection was that the man looked tired but was incredibly friendly and courteous, and oh yeah, his pot was primo.
I didn’t bother to ask if Willie kept a stash of Oreo cookies handy for the munchies. And I knew I didn’t have to ask if he had tried any funny stuff with my sister. Because even though she’s only 5’2″ and 120 pounds soaking wet, this feisty little fireball would have kicked the great man’s ass.