• Jerry L. Burrell

@BigE

Hey Dad,


Today is your 83rd Birthday and I found myself thinking about how you would be dealing with the crazy world we now live in if you were still here.


I asked my Mom and the rest of the family how they figured you’d deal with being in quarantine.


Everybody mentioned you’d watch Western’s on TV in your chair with a beer.

Chris said he’s seen some of your buddies hanging out in the parking lot of the Horizon even though it’s closed. Him and Lo suggested you might hang out over there too, 6 feet apart…or not.

Steven said you’d figure out how to get a horse.

Robin thinks you wouldn’t quarantine and if you did you’d be on the porch fussing about that fool in the White House

Lo also mentioned you definitely wouldn’t wear a mask and my Mom believes the TV would be frozen on channel 5 with Gunsmoke, Wagon Trail and the rest.


It didn’t take much for you to enjoy life. As long as you had the basics, you were good. I admire that about you because I sometimes get caught up in the quest for more and your example reminds me to reel it back in. From brothers and sisters to children, grand children and more - you have family who loved you and still do. You had friends who also loved you, a place to lay your head, transportation to the few places you frequented, food, beer & TV sports, westerns and mysteries.


Everything from your wardrobe to the food you liked spoke about you being mindful of simply having what you needed. Your wardrobe consisted of some pairs of jeans and shirts that you rotated out. Not sure if you ever had more than 1 or 2 pair of shoes. Your haircut was pretty much the same always and you never really felt the need to show off much besides your deep knowledge of being right :)


Around your brothers you had this ease which I enjoyed witnessing. Every family reunion I attended, was a chance to see you answer to “Doodle” or “Doole” or the other various pronunciations of your childhood nick name. Seeing you hold court at the dominoes table and talk trash while reminiscing with your side of our family was something I looked forward to.


Today, I found myself imagining what you would do if you had to shelter in place like most of us are doing now. No Horizon, no trips to the store to get a beer or cigarettes, no going to see a man about a dog. Just home.


As I thought more about it, I found myself laughing as I created these images of you doing what so many others are doing these days. Zoom conferences, FaceTiming friends and family, binge watching Netflix and going back and forth to the kitchen to get another snack. I played around with the idea of you having a YouTube channel along with a TikTok, Instagram and Twitter account. I figured @BigE would be your username and you'd post stuff when the feeling moved you.


I found myself wondering how many followers you would have gotten had you become an influencer. Schooling people on everything from BB King to Louis L’Amour, going viral with your BigE Two Step on TikTok and sparring with Donald Trump on Twitter, I fantasized about this 2020 version of you fully engaged in the pursuits so many have invested in.


It didn’t take long for my trip down the @BigE rabbit hole to peter out because you probably never would have detoured into the social media neighborhood to get what you were looking for.


A good meal, your comfortable chair, family and friends who loved you with a beer and a Western on TV. That’s your idea of #goals. Not the best recipe for creating much content or capturing many followers but those of us who miss and love you would definitely tune in to your channel and visit your pages every day just to see you live your best life.


Happy Birthday Dad!


When you get a chance check out @BigE1937 on Instagram (sorry @BigE was already taken).

Before I climbed out of the rabbit hole I fell into earlier today, I shared a few posts that I thought you might share if you had the chance. I hope you don’t mind.


Love Jerry



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