My dad always said, “Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, act like you do. Act like you’ve been there before.”

He also practiced what he preached. One time several years ago he and my mom were at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, during the filming of an Easter Seals telethon that was to feature performances by several country music stars. Seeing a clipboard laying unattended, Dad snapped it up and got into the area where the stars were waiting to perform, pretending to be, well, a guy with a clipboard acting like he had been there before. Before anyone figured out who he was, he had secured the autographs of Conway Twitty, Lee Greenwood, all of the Oak Ridge Boys and a then-unknown Vince Gill.

That lesson came in handy recently at a show by Jim Messina at the Sellersville Theatre 1894. Messina has a pretty good … Read more