The Inn at Spanish Bay is a Pebble Beach resort as many of you know, Some years ago I hosted my Office Christmas Party there. We had an elegant meal and I cajoled a friend, then a Deputy Sheriff, to be our entertainment--he was and is known at the "Singing Sheriff" though he has retired from law enforcement. He brought along a pianist and a friend, introduced to us as Mickey Newbury. Pat, the Sheriff, sang, Mickey sat by not saying much. At the end of the evening Mickey was convinced to sing one song, and he chose America the Beautiful. Mickey, who died of lung disease in 2002, was trying to get the lyrics changed for the fifth verse (below) to be more, well, appropriate.
O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
We walked into the chilly December air nourished by good food and drink and touched by a musical genius whose time on Earth was too short.
It was a Christmas to remember.