DJ:Lia
Station:97.3 KSON FM
Shift:7:00 p.m.-midnight, Monday-Saturday

A few years ago I was in Nashville for the annual Country Radio Seminar. At the last minute I was asked if I could go to the Hilton and do an interview with Willie. I said, "Yes!!"

So, around 10:30 in the morning I walked over to the Hilton (everything's within walking distance downtown). I went up to the penthouse suite and there were a bunch of haggard looking dudes hanging out, most of whom were Willie's people. Around 11 a.m. someone came out of the bedroom, looked at me and said, "Your turn." I hopped up and headed to the bedroom. I walk in and there is Willie, who might be about an inch taller than I am, 5'3". We sat down face to face and spent about 20 minutes just chatting. During the whole interview I kept looking over his shoulder at the bottle of Whiskey River booze sitting on his dressing table right behind him. The bottle was brand new and hadn't been opened. I mentioned that it was cool that he had his own whiskey, and he asked if I wanted to have a drink with him. Naturally, I said yes, even though it was 11a.m. He opened the bottle, poured us both a shot, and then gave me instructions on how to properly drink the whiskey. "Sip it...don't down it," he said. We toasted and tipped back our shot glasses.

He signed the bottle, gave me both shot glasses and a big hug. His hair smelled like weed. It was so awesome. My husband loves to take the bottle out of our booze cabinet and show it to everyone. The bottle is still about half full. I refuse to let anyone drink it because I like to think that I have some essence of Willie trapped in that bottle, and if too many folks drink from it his essence will get diluted. I got Willie in a bottle.

Seriously, I've interviewed every single country star, with the only exception being Johnny Cash. Willie was my favorite. It was just one of those experiences that you want to share with your grandkids one day. I mean, really, who gets to drink with Willie that early in the
morning?

I suspect some folks have done more than drink with Willie if they are on the road. Just listen to Bruce Robison's song "What Would Willie Do?" and Toby Keith's "I'll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again."

If I were going to be trapped on the proverbial desert island, I'd take my husband, my kids, and Willie. You just know he's resourceful. He'd figure out a way to weave hemp into a boat and eventually we'd get on it and leave. That is after we hung out for a few weeks with him.

You can see Willie Nelson Sunday, July 15, at Pala Casino.

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