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High Rollin' Queen Of Hearts
"PLAYED A GAME WITH THE QUEEN OF HEARTS,
SHE HAD A WAY OF HOLDIN' CARDS,
SHE WASN'T SHOWIN' WHEN THE GAME,
WASN'T GOIN' HER WAY." Gibson/Miller Band
The Ultimate Queen of Hearts song....
'If you see me comin' don't step aside, You'll know when you hold me, I'm love PERSONIFIED.'
It was a Contest
My entry was a 1967 Oldsmobile 98 Made to look like a Pace Car spouting Nashville 95 radio station logo.
'Hey, guys, I'm the Queen of Hearts.'
Both heads snapped toward me as these two guys got out of their respective vehicles at a Shoney's Restaurant parking lot, on Music Row, in downtown Nashville, preparing to board their waiting tour bus, at near midnight, on May 27, 1993.
I assured them I wasn't like the Queen of Hearts in their song who left '...holes in my pride, holes in my pocket, and a big ole hole in my heart where she broke it.'
'I'm the good Queen of Hearts.' I said.
Dave Gibson and Blue Miller (of the Gibson/Miller Band) weren't sure if they should snicker or not, but their smiles were a mile wide. I asked them if they would look at my car, sign my log book and pose for a picture next to the title of their song, 'High Rollin'' painted on my car.
As they looked over my car with active and appreciative interest, I explained that Nashville 95 WSM FM radio station was sponsoring a logo contest. 'First place is $15,000, and I want it!' I exclaimed, to which they responded, 'Oh, yeah?!', 'Amen!' 'Go for it!' or some such expoundings. At any rate, they were enthusiastic.
I pointed out my own song lyrics above the back window, 'If you see me comin' don't step aside, You'll know when you hold me, I'm love PERSONIFIED.'; telling them it will be the 'ultimate' Queen of Hearts song, and I was hoping for the prize money to further my career in persuing the Great 'Country Music' American Dream.
They were also interested in my Queen of Hearts logo (my own drawing) behind the side windows.
The rest of the car, made to look like a Race Car, or Pace Car, with 95's on each front door, the hood and the trunk, included 73 song titles and artist's names, which began with 'The Race Is On' across the back, with credit given to both George Jones and Sawyer Brown.
A common question Dave and Blue asked me, was asked by nearly everyone I talked to. 'Did you do this yourself?' Yeah, I did. I've since figured I've got close to 600 hours into the body work, paint job and lettering (for under $40!) At that time, I only knew I had 33 days into the labor, and that was 12 - 16 hours a day. (My neighbor took pity on me and was always bringing me snacks because she could tell I wasn't taking time out to cook.)
I registered as a contestant and began working on my car on April 14th. The contest would run until June 15th, so time was of essence. I needed all the time I could get to 'show' the finished product, as judging would be on creativity and the amount of exposure contestants could generate for the station logo. I started showing the car on May 18th. As already mentioned, I met the Gibson/Miller guys on May 27th.
The KID, Her Bodyguard & Her Car
On June 6th, as a fellow was signing my book and we were standing in front of my car, he told me, 'I'm Doug Supernaw's drummer.'
'Oh, yeah?' I said. 'I've got "Honkytonkin' Fool" across the back!'
His eyes lit up and he walked to the back and looked at "Honkytonkin' Fool" spread all the way across the trunk.
'Oh, wow! Doug's gotta see this!'
So we went looking for Doug. Doug was a brand new artist then, and 'Reno', his second song, had just been released. I didn't even know what he looked like, but I liked 'Honkytonkin' Fool', which told the story of a guy who owned a bar and wanted a juke-box for a head stone when he died. I thought this song was so cool, because I had owned a bar back in Minnesota, and living that honkytonk life for three years was what had finally pushed me over the edge – to come to Nashville in that proverbial '$100 car'. So here I was with my 1967 Oldsmobile 98, turned into a 95 Pace Car!
Doug Supernaw was thrilled to see his song on my car. I remember glancing at him as we snuggled up for this picture, taken by his drummer, Joe DeLeon, and seeing a cold sore on his lip. Now don't everybody run for a magnifying glass, but the fact is, I was sporting one myself. I guess that's the human side of it all, yeah?
Doug asked me if I'd heard 'Reno' yet and I said indeed I had, and loved it. You all know Doug hit his first number one with 'I Don't Call Him Daddy'! Later I autographed one of these pictures and gave it to Doug at a free outdoor showcase at Tower Records, given in conjunction with Fan Fair.
I searched out Mark Collie when I heard he would be part of one of these showcases, on June 10th. I'd been an extra in two of Mark's music videos and had both of the songs, 'Born to Love You' and 'Shame Shame Shame Shame', on my car. I first run into Deborah Allen, who grabbed me and hugged me. During the filming of 'Shame', the director had all of us (adoring females) lined up in front of the stage when Deborah arrived. They dropped Deborah next to me and we ended up together on the screen in the video for an incredibly long time (for videos). Deborah raved about my car and I told her, 'I've got to get Mark to pose for pictures.' She said she'd tell him.
I worked my way around to the backstage area (where I'd already been kicked out of once) and caught Mark as he came off stage after his performance. He grabbed my forarms, probably to keep me from trying to hug him, as he was dripping wet with sweat.
'Mark, I'd like to get you to pose for pictures by my car.' I told him, and spotting Deborah right behind him, I implored her, 'Deborah, tell him about my car.'
Deborah responded, 'Yes, Mark, you've gotta see her car!'
He was already nodding as he listened to two breathless women spouting about this CAR. He said he'd be glad to pose after he was finished signing autographs. I said I'd wait.
I was sorry that Deborah had to leave before Mark, neigh onto midnight, started walking through the line for quick pictures and autographs, to hurry the process, yet not miss any of his fans; got to posing by my car. I would have loved to have had Deborah in the picture, too. I really appreciated that she treated me like an equal.
I've included a picture with Toby Keith, although this was taken after the contest was over. I went to a Tracy Lawrence video shoot, Aug. 17th, hoping to get pictures of Tracy with my car, because of one meaningful song, that I placed beneath my driver's window, 'Somebody Paints the Wall'.
Preparing my car for the contest, my car became my canvas and my heart spilled out all over it in song titles, as I let loose of the artist in me. I had already met Tracy once, before he became known, and tried so hard during the contest to arrange for him to pose next to his songs, but couldn't make connections. (I had also speculated and put an album cut I liked, 'If The Good Die Young', on the car.) [Became number one a year later.] When I asked him during the filming of 'My Second Home' video, Tracy said he didn't have time because they were leaving immediately for a concert in Wisconsin.
But, when I told Toby about my car, and that I had 'Should'a Been A Cowboy' on it, he wanted to see it and agreed to pose. Walking across the darkened parking lot with Toby and his manager, Fred (who's last name I didn't get), Fred suddenly asked 'You ain't got a gun in there, do you?' And then it hit me, Tracy Lawrence would be very leary of going out into a dark parking lot after having been accosted and shot. I truly appreciate Toby Keith and Fred for this picture!
In the end....
By now you want to know, did I win? No. Did I lose? No. I'm reminded of a silly quote. 'The world is full of winners and losers. I hope you are one of them.' I placed fourth for $500. For two months of my life, I lived and breathed for that $500. The decision of the judges is final. I felt like I lost. Yet, I was a winner. A poor girl in 'paradise', yet rich from the experiences I gained. I met 5000 people from all over the WORLD. They took pictures and videos of me and my car, asked me for my autograph and treated me like a celebrity.
I have since removed the 95's from my car and replaced them with Vista 15, which is my busines name, and still attract attention everywhere go. The ironic thing about this craziness is – I bought my car for $500, 5 years ago, won $500 and I've still got the car!
'...playin' with the Queen of Hearts –
The Joker ain't the only fool...'
Sept. 9, 1993
© Vista 15
THE SONGS – Each song has an explicit meaning, some are dual. Some sections 'read' like a story.
- Driver's Side, Front Door:
- Somebody Paints the Wall – Tracy Lawrence
- Romeo – Dolly & Friends
- Hearts Are Gonna Roll – Hal Ketchum
- Rear Door:
- Ain't Nothin' Wrong With the Radio – Aaron Tippin
- Someday – Alan Jackson
- I Watched It All On the Radio – Lionel Cartwright
- Tell Me About It – Tanya Tucker & Delbert McClinton
- Come On Over To the Country – Hank, Jr.
- Lovin' Her Was Easier – Kris Kristofferson
- Rear Quarter Panel:
- Leave Me the Radio – Doug Stone
- If I Had A Cheatin' Heart – Ricky Lynn Gregg
- Love On the Loose – Heart On the Run – McBride & the Ride
- Gonna Live Forever If the Good Die Young – Tracy Lawrence
- Playin' With the Queen of Hearts – Juice Newton
- Ace In the Hole – George Strait
Fender Skirt: Shameless – Garth Brooks
- Front Quarter Panel:
- When You're Hot, You're Hot – Jerry Reed
- Oh, Me, Oh, My, Sweet Baby – Diamond Rio
- 15 Years Ago – Conway Twitty
- Wheels – Restless Heart
- Passionate Kisses – Mary Chapin Carpenter
- Rose Colored Glasses – John Conlee
- I'm A Member of the Country Club – Travis Tritt
- Some Girls Do – Sawyer Brown
- T–R–O–U–B–L–E – Travis Tritt
- Hood/Upper Fenders:
- Once Upon A Lifetime – Alabama
- Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
- Crazy Heart – Cactus Brothers
- Haunted Heart – Sammy Kershaw
- Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis
- From A Jack To A King – Ricky Van Shelton
- I Feel Lucky – Mary Chapin Carpenter
- High Rollin' – Gibson/Miller Band
- Watch Me – Lorrie Morgan
- Passenger Side:
- Front Door:
- What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am – Lee Roy Parnell
- Bop – Dan Seals
- Life's A Dance – John Michael Montgomery
- Front Quarter Panel:
- Boot Scootin' Boogie – Brooks & Dunn
- Good-Hearted Woman – Waylon & Willie
- Mother Country Music – Vern Gosdin
- Past the Point of Rescue – Hal Ketchum
- Should'a Been A Cowboy – Toby Keith
- Hard Way To Make An Easy Livin' – Bellamy Brothers
- That's Country – Marty Stuart
- Long and Lonesome Highway – Rodney Crowell
- River Road – Crystal Gayle
- Rear Door:
- Money In the Bank – John Anderson
- The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
- A Fire I Can't Put Out – George Strait
- I'm Gonna Be Somebody – Travis Tritt
- 16th Avenue – Lacy J. Dalton
- Long Time Comin' – Shenandoah
- Story of My Life – Marty Robbins
- Rear Quarter Panel:
- The Winner – Bobby Bare
- You Win Again – Hank Williams
- I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way – Aaron Tippin
- When My Ship Comes In – Clint Black
- Some Gave All – Billy Ray Cyrus
- God Bless the USA – Lee Greenwood
- Why Not Me – The Judds
- Friends In Low Places – Garth Brooks
- Fender Skirt: Shame Shame Shame Shame – Mark Collie
- Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose – Dwight Yoakam
- If It Weren't For Country Music, I'd Go Crazy – Clinton Gregory
- Honkytonk Attitude – Joe Diffie
- Honkytonk Walkin' – Kentucky Headhunters
- Born To Love You – Mark Collie
- Lovin' All Night – Rodney Crowell
- Queen of My Heart – Hank, Jr.
- Queen of Memphis – Confederate Railroad
- Honkytonkin' Fool – Doug Supernaw
- I'm In A Hurry and I Don't Know Why – Alabama
- The Race Is On – George Jones/Sawyer Brown
- Love Me – Collin Raye
Country Weekly caught up with me in '95, when Catharine Rambeau wanted to do a feature story on my car, but her editors shot it down. Finally, relegated to the Fan Page, she placed a photo of my car, a short summary, and the photo of me with Doug Supernaw, in the Feb. 6, 1996 issue.
I parked the car when I bought my pickup in Sept. '95, then sold it before I moved to Ohio in June '98. The guy who bought it intended to restore it, so it's still in Nashville, and may be driving around with a new paint job...