Willie Nelson fans show off collections

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by Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on November 22, 2012 at 12:50 AM

HOUSTON -- At 79, Willie Nelson is not slowing down.  This week he has been everywhere from appearances on the network morning shows to the Late Show with David Letterman, pushing his new book and getting back on the road again.

Marilyn Ward doesn't need to be on the road again.

"That was my first I was hooked after that," she said of the faded picture of the 1984 Willie Nelson concert near Austin.

To get her Willie Nelson fix she just needs to take a look at her living room.

It is covered top to bottom with everything Willie.

“It even says 85 I told you it was 85," Ward said of the Ziploc bag filled with Willie pencils.

You can mark the passage of history here, 8-track to cassette,45 to LP, CD to digital, all with one running theme: Willie.

“Clothes I bought, if he sold it I bought it. If I had the money, it was cute when I could get in it," she said.

Ward has no problem explaining Nelson’s broad appeal.

“When he first comes on you know the first word that comes out of his mouth it is Willie," she said.

His voice is like a signature.

You can think of all this as “Hoarders” Willie Nelson style, more than 15 boxes of stuff, and if you think that there is any room off limits yes there is one.

"Willie couldn't come in my bedroom. That was the rule," she said.

You know what they say about rules.

 "I did sneak one little picture of him years ago. Just to show my husband I could do it," she said.

She's had plenty of pictures to choose from.

Chris Durst knows that feeling.

 "Over, probably 20,000," he said when asked how many pictures of Nelson he has taken over the years.

When Willie is on the road so is Durst as Nelson’s official photographer.

"He is definitely the father figure.  There is no doubt about that. Willie is filled with youth and really charming," Durst said.

To Durst, Nelson is the nation’s youngest 79 year old.

 “Music is what he loves. Touring is what he loves to do. What better way to experience your golden years than to be out on the road entertaining your fans,” he said.

Some things never change.

 "You still have these 18 to 21 year old girls jumping up on stage and trying to dance with Willie," he said.

Youth has nothing to do with it.

Nelson is playing two sold-out shows in Galveston next week.

 

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