Good morning, Netizens…
Jerry Reed has passed away.
The old adage that the older one becomes the more familiar faces seem to pass on or simply fade away has come true yet again this morning. Actually, the death of actor and consummate guitar player Jerry Reed took place Monday, but that seems irrelevant at this point in time. One of my true heroes has left the building, and now he’ll be playing music with some of the other greats whose lives touched “The Guitar Man” in various ways.
Most people will always remember Reed for his priceless portrayal of the movie character Cletus Snow in Smokey and Bandit. You would think that I would remember the three movies for Burt Reynolds star value, but I have never had much of a thing for stars. My memories of Smokey and the Bandit was always personal, for me. I was in Tuscaloosa, Alabama waiting for a load at a truck stop and simply mouthed off to the wrong group of bikers and got my butt kicked but good. After all, they were taking a leak on the shiny new chrome wheels on my Peterbilt that I had just bought that afternoon. I should have kept my mouth shut, but I had just spent a lot of hard-earned cash to buy a brand-new set of those status symbols, shiny chrome wheels that any self-respecting trucker would love to own, and here were a bunch of greasy, filthy bikers-from-Hades peeing on my truck. It cost me a good sum of money getting parts of my body put back into its proper places at the hospital.
I never did forgot that beating, but the first time I saw Smokey and the Bandit I nearly screamed for joy for Jerry Reed (AKA Cletus Snow) climbed behind the wheel of his Kenilworth in “Smokey and the Bandit,” covered in blood after getting his butt kicked by a bunch of bikers. Then he turned the wheel of the rig and aimed for their motorcycles, and he paid my debt of honor to those bikers in full. If I hadn’t been so preoccupied with seeing through both black eyes that were swollen shut at the time, I’m sure I would have done the same thing.
It was a real jolt knowing that Jerry Reed is gone. People that are bigger than life aren’t supposed to leave life behind.
Rest in peace, Jerry. I hope there are some good guitar pickers over yonder.