• Choosing patience changed me


    Antsy McClain is the leader of the Trailer Park Troubadours.


    A woman sitting behind me on the airplane asked, “I saw your guitar. Are you guys musicians?” I’m ashamed to say my first impulse was to respond with mild sarcasm. She was with a loud group of women, and we were a bit annoyed when they sat in the row behind us. (We were very tired and just wanted to sleep.) But I answered a simple, “yes.”

    She then told me that she and 12 other women were returning from a “bucket list trip” to Florida with a friend who was dying of a brain tumor.

    She said they’d been getting pictures with famous people all weekend, and showed me one pic on her phone of her friend, shaved bald and smiling a tired but elated smile, standing next to Wynona Judd at the airport. I told her she wouldn’t know us from Adam, but that our music would make her smile.

    “Oh, that’s perfect!” she said, and we signed a couple CDs and handed them back to her.

    I don’t know if she’ll have the chance to listen, but that moment made me grateful for a number of things: my health, to be sure — but I was grateful to be able to see this group in a different light.

    Any one of us would be lucky to have 12 friends — or three, or two, or one! — gather for a loud and boisterous bucket list trip to anywhere, experiencing the last of a lifetime of sunsets together, to hug each other goodbye with the dizzying realization that life is so, so short.

    And I was glad to be able to hand them music I had made for the “soul purpose” of lifting the spirit and sharing a smile.

    I watched them at baggage claim, huddled together like lost sheep, arms locked and leaning on each other for support.

    And I was changed forever.


    (Singer, songwriter, humorist and small town philosopher Antsy McClain writes what he knows: The good life. 
    Staging his live shows from a small trailer park called Pine View Heights — patterned after his own childhood surroundings and experiences — McClain is free from an over-abundance of material things and appreciates time with family and friends. 

    Calling himself a “life enthusiast,” McClain is eager to see what’s around every corner, and watches the horizon intently for each new change that comes.

    “My life is my art,” explains McClain, “I am painting my life one day at a time, one brush stroke at a time. As I spend time with my wife and children, or as I go on the road toward new places to make new friends, as I write a new song, as I draw or paint something for people to look at and enjoy… This is my life, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share it with music, with words and with pictures.”

    Sharing his mantra of “Enjoy The Ride,” McClain has won friendship and collaboration with some of the most talented artists in the world. With mentors like Waylon Jennings, Tommy Smothers, guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel, and cowboy poet Baxter Black, McClain is certainly enjoying the ride.

    For more information about McClain and his band, the Trailer Park Troubadors, visit http://www.unhitched.com/

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