Published on May 25, 2021

Chasing the Creator

Hank Williams Jr. and my new family tradition

By Shirley Prihoda
The Bulletin

Hank Williams, Jr. sang about his country music family being a real close family and disowning him because he changed directions. So did mine, but for reasons different than ole’ Hank.

My father was a hard-drinking man, and I cut my teeth on a barstool. I had a few “normal” years on my grandfather’s sharecropper farm, but from nine-years up, it was Hank Williams and Hank Snow, Kitty Wells, and Lefty Frizzell, with his rendition of “Hello Mellow Jax, little darling!”

It was from this scene that the Lord went and broke my family tradition, and my country music family disowned a few others, and me.

Country music speaks a language other genre don’t understand. It’s a down-home message, closely tied to the land and unique to the heartland of the North American continent.

Country music has the potential to change hearts, lives, and the very direction your life is headed.

I’ve often wondered what good can come from a song that talks about the mess you’ve gotten yourself into but doesn’t offer an escape route.

A mess would have aptly described where I was when the Lord broke into my family tradition. Out of that same redeeming love, I wanted my children to have more than I had growing up. Not more toys, clothes, or a house without holes in the walls and indoor plumbing, but something so much better. I never wanted them to know what it’s like to live in constant fear for today and dread of tomorrow.

I wanted them to lie their heads down in peaceful slumber knowing their Creator was singing lullabies over them as they slept.

We can accumulate wealth and property to leave our children, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. But how much better to leave them something far more valuable.

Both my children have thanked me over and over for breaking my old family tradition and giving them a chance at a different life. Now, we’re all proud and sing all night long because it’s our new Family Tradition.
Like Hank, my friends got down on me and wanted to know why I don’t drink or roll smoke, and why I live out the songs I haven’t written. They made their predictions that I’d done gone and got religion, but that it wouldn’t last long before it would be gone.

But I smiled and sang all night long and told them, “I’m carrying on my new family tradition!” Hank’s proud of his daddy’s name, and he should be. Hank Sr.’s music came from a deep understanding of the sorrows and joys of the average working man.

I’m also proud of my new Daddy’s name, but Hank and I differ here because my Daddy’s and my music are exactly the same. He’s my Daddy because he adopted me and said to call Him “Abba, Father” which literally means Daddy God. Isn’t that downright amazing! Romans 8:15: “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’”

This recipe was given to me by my cousin, Beth Miley, over 30 years ago. I’ve made it and shared the recipe more times than I can count. Our mothers were twin sisters and clearly of Irish descent with flaming red hair and faces covered in freckles. They didn’t look alike to us, but others couldn’t seem to tell them apart, which we always found so amusing! One thing was for certain, they were inseparable as two peas in a pod!

This pie brings all the best parts of being born in the South. It’s easy to make and ages well.

Buttermilk Pie

1 Unbaked Pie Crust
3 Eggs, beaten
2 Cups Sugar
½ Cup Butter, softened
2 Tablespoons Flour
½ Cup Buttermilk (Use Borden’s Bulgarian for a richer taste)

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing.

(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)