The Real Deal
Start writing a post

The Real Deal

It's in the most unusual places you can find the best treasures.

The Real Deal

In Alachua County, Florida, just north of my hometown lies the small community of Cross Creek. Cross Creek was once home to author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings who wrote her most famous novels, “Cross Creek” and Pulitzer Prize winning “The Yearling,” during her years there.

Cross Creek, although not very big, has several attractions, Orange Lake and Lochloosa Lake. But the real attraction is The Yearling restaurant. From the outside, The Yearling doesn't look like much. But as soon as you step through that porch it's like a different era. Surrounded by antiques, guests have a menu full of options: from chicken to frog legs, gator tail or venison. If you're lucky, then on the weekend you may be able to catch the very talented live musicians, best of all Mr. Willie Green.

Willie Green is a regular at the Yearling playing usually on Saturdays when he feels up to it. He is sweet, funny and can play the blues better than anyone I've ever heard. (Not that I've heard that many, but my parents have the same opinion, so it can't be too wrong.) He can pick a guitar, play harmonica and sing all at once. And if you aren't looking at them, then you'd think it was a whole band.

According to his CD booklet, he was born in 1935 in Montgomery, Alabama. He was the son of a sharecropper. Nights were spent sneaking out hopping a freight train or hitchhiking to hear the blues at the juke joints. According to an article in, he was given a harmonica and learned to play that in his free time. Eventually, the harmonica lead to Willie learning to play the guitar. Willie practiced when he wasn’t working and played for tips at small restaurants. Willie’s friendly personality led to him making a friend who kickstarted his career. Willie went on to play in front of larger crowds in clubs. He was coined “The Real Deal” by John Hammond, famous blue singer and guitarist, when he played in Café Eleven. Willie’s fame grew. He was invited to play at many went on to open for many talents including Robert Cray and Eric Clapton. He traveled to many different festivals and gigs, including playing in Saint Augustine.

But even with all his success and talent, Mr. Willie Green is a kindhearted and humble man. He plays the blues because he loves it. He’s had hard times in life. Sometimes the Blues is all he’s had. I believe that's what makes them so great. In between songs, he stops to a tell story or two about when he was a kid or some interesting stories about how he got into some interesting situations. If you ever get the opportunity to visit The Yearling or to see Willie Green play, then do it. You won't regret it. Don't be afraid to talk to him or plot either. He lights up when he knows people are listening. That's when you can really see the real Willie Green.

Willie Green is truly a treasure. His music connects us to a time that not many of us were able to see. He isn't just playing music. He creates art that grabs your soul and lets you experience just a piece of Willie's life. You can feel the troubles and love, and the ups and downs of life without ever leaving your seat. I wasn't a true fan of real blues until I hear Willie play.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments