Finally the big day has arrived…the unveiling of a new statue honoring Willie Nelson!
Tuesday evening Bill and I had watched as the statue arrived downtown and was installed at the ACL-Live/Moody Theater on the corner of Lavaca and Second. It has remained hidden under a big wooden crate since then.
The unveiling ceremony was scheduled for 4:00 PM this afternoon. The crowd started gathering about a hour before. At 3:58 PM, Willie’s bus rolled up Second Street, making quite an entrance.
Willie and his sister, Bobbie, stepped out of the bus and made their way to the stage. A short program featured speeches by the sculptor, Clete Shields, Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell and a few others. I stood on the curb across the street and had an unobstructed view of most speakers, including Kris Kristofferson.
But just as the statue was being unveiled, a bunch of very tall guys stood directly in front of me, filming with their cell phones raised high above their heads. So I heard, but could not really see, Willie as he sang his signature song, On the Road Again, and then also Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die. If you look closely, you can just make out Willie in the black hat on the right side of the photo below:
The new eight-foot statue is of a smiling, seated Willie holding his guitar…a great addition to our neighborhood and to Austin!