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Unexpected compliment makes my day

August 13, 2014 - Michael Palmer
While talking with Joe Zelek at the Jefferson County Fair, I received an unexpected compliment. He expressed his gratitude for the recent article in Ticket previewing his new single and his return to a more traditional brand of Country Freakin' Music.

The compliment was special because of the following statement, “It was not your typical album preview. Hoot would have been proud.”

He was speaking of his dear friend and our departed colleague Rich “Hoot” Gibson. Around the office Hoot was known as the “guru” when it came to music. His extensive knowledge and passion for music were legendary and the comparison to him as a writer, especially when it comes to the subject of music, is high praise indeed.

Especially coming from Joe Zelek, it was even more special. Joe may have been the last person to visit Hoot in the hospital before his death. Zelek had dropped everything when he heard that Hoot was not given long to live and rushed to his side. Although his friend was unconscious, Joe sat by his side and offered some comfort, not knowing if Hoot was even aware of his presence.

That is how much Zelek revered Hoot as both a writer and a friend, and thus the comparison was even more special. Not being a “trained” writer, coming from a background of photography and being thrust into journalism, I was quite pleased to receive the compliment.

So often in this business we hear the negative comments and not the positive. It was nice to get the positive feedback and especially to get the chance to reminisce about Hoot.

Thank you Mr. Zelek.


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