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Oak Ridge, TN 37830


Blog: Tom Job

A Note From Tom: June 1st, 2012

CCC Oak Ridge

Hey everyone!

Hope you've have an awesome week! Even tho' I know it's been tough with the passing of Doc…

What?! Doc Watson, of course!

What?! You don't know?! Doc Watson was one of our most amazing treasures of American music ever! Tho' he was blind by one year old, he was one of the greatest guitarists from sea to shining sea (if not the greatest!)… He invented using the guitar for country leads and without him we would have never heard of Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, or Vince Gill! They just do what Doc started!

Doc Watson traveled and played for years and years with his best friend and son, Merle. Merle died in  an accident in 1985 when a tractor rolled over on him on the farm. Doc almost quit from pain after Merle died. Without Merle, Doc didn't think he wanted to keep going. He told folks that this happened to him…"It was the night before his funeral," Watson said. "I dreamed that I was in a desertlike place so hot that I couldn't breathe. And it was like quicksand. I was up to my waist. And I couldn't move. And that big old strong hand come back and grab my hand. 'Come on Dad, you can make it.' And he got me out of whatever kind of thing I was in, out to where it was cool. It was sunshine, but it was cool. And I waked up and thanked the Lord that he sent him. Guess I better provide for my family."


We lost Earl Scruggs a few months ago. Flatt and Scruggs are together again.

Doc has joined them.

Doc Watson and Flatt and Scruggs played that ol' simple, beautiful, corny bluegrass stuff.

There’s a reason why bluegrass music is simple…er, corny. “Corny” was first used in 1932 to describe something that appeals to “country folk…to the corn-fed”. When folks lived in the country… grew their own vittles… made their own corn bread (or they didn’t have any bread at all)… life was simpler. Either God sent you rain or you didn’t eat. Either He blessed your garden and fields or you went hungry.

It was as simple as that.

Simple is good. No matter what happens, I know God loves me. I know He knows what He’s doing. It may sound corny, but “I know He has a wonderful plan for my life.” It may be simple, but it’s simply all I need to know.

Psalm 123 says, “My heart is not proud, LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother…”

I don’t understand much but those simple things I know are enough.

One day I was listening to an old album of bluegrass Gospel songs by Doc. There's an old waltz-time song on there, called “Gathering Buds” is about how when kids die before they’re grown, it’s like God is gather flower buds before they bloom so they can flower in Heaven.

Doc was singing this ¾ time ol’ timey hymn with Alan O’Brien of the Nashville Bluegrass Band doing a high, lonesome tenor harmony…

“Jesus has taken a beautiful bud
Out of the garden of love
Borne it away to the city of God
Home of the angels above.

Gathering buds, gathering buds
Wonderful care will be giv'n
Jesus is gathering, day after day
Buds for the palace of Heaven.

Fathers and mothers, weep not or be sad
Still on the Savior rely
You shall behold them again and be glad
Beautiful flowers on high.

Gathering buds, gathering buds
Wonderful care will be giv'n
Jesus is gathering, day after day
Buds for the palace of Heaven.

“Wow!” I thought. “That is corny! I guess back in the day, people had to deal with kids dying young more than today…all those little graves in the Cades Cove cemeteries…It’s so awesome to know that in all we don’t know, at least those parents could be sure that our Lord has taken their kids home with Him…but ‘gathering buds’ seems like a really corny way to say it…”

And then…as Doc was singing this last chorus…”Wonderful care will be giv’n…” it happened.

His voice cracked.  

And I cried.

No one would ever know why Merle was crushed by a tractor. The mysteries are deeper than our minds can reach. But to know that God had simply gathered him home. He wasn’t lost…just gathered. Now Doc and Merle are gathered together.

Corny…ah... simple…is good.