Still Can’t Believe You’re Gone

PoodiePicks

It’s Willie Wednesday, a good day for a sneak preview of my  tribute to Poodie Locke, which will be in the  Austin City Limits Festival program this weekend. Thanks to ACL; love to all of Poodie’s family and friends.  turk

It’s Friday night at Poodie’s Hilltop, the Spicewood, Texas roadhouse founded by Texas music legend, Randall “Poodie” Locke. For over three decades, Poodie has been Willie Nelson’s stage manager, a great friend of up-and-coming Texas music acts, and the most popular party animal since Norm on Cheers.

But tonight you won’t find many people in a partying mood. The place is packed and there’s a great band on stage, but a hush sweeps across the room as Gloria Locke, mother of the long-ago “most beautiful baby in Waco”, slowly crosses the room to her customary seat in front of the stage. Mama Locke and a whole lot of friends have come to pay their last respects to a man who showed them how to make great music, hard work and good times into the meaning of life.

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Willie Wednesday – The Tao of Willie

TurkTao-WillieNobelityloresAfter lots of response to my Willie Nelson post last Wednesday, I thought I’d share a few thoughts on the man every Wednesday (as Willie generally does on his XM Radio channel, Willie Wednesday). Might as well start with a bit of the intro to our book The Tao of Willie. So here is a little of what I’ve learned about – and from – Willie.

Willie Nelson is an American icon. His voice as comforting as the American landscape, his songs as familiar as the color of the sky, his face as worn as the Rocky Mountains. Perhaps that’s why we ought to add his face to the cliffs of Mt. Rushmore and be done with it.

He’s called an outlaw, though from Farm Aid to the aftermath of September 11, from the resurrection of a burned-out courthouse in his own hometown to fanning the flame of the Olympics, it is Willie Nelson who brings us together.

“If America could sing with one voice,” said Emmylou Harris, “it would be Willie’s.”

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Shoeshine Man — Back By Popular Demand

I can only conclude that he is made of something we could all use a great deal more of — laughter and love. American hero and visionary political leader Willie Nelson gives us all a great laugh… because we need one.

Willie's new chordYou asked for it, and here it is, with a bonus video on the jump (read more)! — Editors

Ha Ha – the joke’s on us. When you look at a news cycle that’s dominated by music video award scandals, by health care discussions driven by big money manipulation of small-minded politics (gee, I thought it was supposed to be about healthcare); by the murder of a pretty college girl whose tragic death will receive ten thousand times the coverage of a child dying of malnutrition every 6 seconds throughout the day, week and year; by deep division over whether it’s proper for an American President to speak to American school kids: by the demonization of immigrants by a nation of immigrants…And by the total absence of any mention of billions wasted, terrorism stoked and American and Afghan casualties in a war that offers nothing to win

When you look at a day that is our every day, in a time when words mean less than pictures, when volume trumps knowledge, when holding someone’s attention for 30 seconds is considered a success… When you… I’m sorry, I had an important conclusion but was interrupted by an email from a former friend about the Speaker of the House being the spawn of aliens and goats…

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One Peace at a Time — The Right to an Education

Turk.Education.photo1In five years of talking global problems and solutions with Nobel laureates, one of their most common sentiments has been the need for improving schools and expanding education in every corner of world. What would you predict the results of a world that spends a hundred times as much on weapons and war as it does on education? Last year at the Clinton Global Initiative, I heard Queen Rania of Jordan sum it up nicely.

“It takes eleven billion dollars a year to educate every child,” Rania told us. “Eleven billion is about 10% of NATO’s military budget for last year (and about what Europe pays for ice cream every year). If we spend 11 billion dollars less on defense and military expenses and more on education, imagine the kind of peace, security, and not to mention prosperity that you can buy.”

Global military spending is now 1.5 trillion dollars, complete madness, particularly while essentially ignoring one of the most likely paths to a more peaceful planet, education.

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One Peace at a Time: The Right to Clean Water

Like many internet launches, the arrival of Dog Canyon carries the hope of spreading a little light on a dark world. But hope is a tricky concept, appearing in four-year election cycles with chances of actual hope akin to shooting craps in Vegas – long odds in alternating, even-number years to keep hope alive, and craps for every other roll.

Turk.1 peace

Like many internet launches, the arrival of Dog Canyon carries the hope of spreading a little light on a dark world. But hope is a tricky concept, appearing in four-year election cycles with chances of actual hope akin to shooting craps in Vegas – long odds in alternating, even-number years to keep hope alive, and craps for every other roll.

Rather than wait for the 2010 or 2012 elections, I’d like to use my space here on a hope that’s not about what we do collectively in a ballot booth, but about what we do individually in our lives. Who knows, at the end of this column, you may be motivated to take action that could turn hope into reality. If not, maybe my next piece will be the one that gets your heart and your mind racing in unison.

Each of these pieces stem from a twenty-country, five-continent journey shooting my new documentary, One Peace at a Time. The film focuses on the possibility of providing basic rights – water, nutrition, education, healthcare and more – to every child. The movie is just moving into release, but I’d like to jump the gun with some practical solutions that I’ve seen working in all corners of the globe. Continue reading “One Peace at a Time: The Right to Clean Water”