One of the great parts of my job is getting to meet so many wonderful musicians that play in the Chattanooga area. I even get to make friends with some of them. That part is the icing on the cake. Earlier today, I wrote an article about the honor I feel by getting to know our musicians in the area.
The first time I met Roger Carlton was at the Acoustic Café in Ringgold. His band Bounty Hunter was playing there and I had heard a lot about them, so I wanted to check them out. They were a good band, and Roger was so very cool. One could tell immediately that he liked having fun with the crowd and truly enjoyed playing for them. He even had a bunch of percussion stuff for the crowd to join in with the band. They had a birthday cake for one of the band’s fans and helped her celebrate her new age.
In later months, I would stop by Roger’s work and chat. He was a great guy and always so kind to me. For bragging rights, I get to say that Roger even came to my birthday party! When Pat got her breast cancer, Roger called me many times to see if there was anything he or Kelly could do for us. I could tell it wasn’t just a blind offer, either. He meant it.
I had the honor of booking Roger’s band for a Riverbend show, which like most of their shows, was a huge success. One of the things I liked most about Roger was his attitude toward playing clubs in town. He just wasn’t going to allow his band to be brought down to a low level band by accepting goofy gigs that paid next to nothing. His band was good and he brought a good crowd and he expected to be paid for it.
A while back, Roger got sick with cancer. He fought the valiant fight, but God called him home Monday. He was ready, as he was a strong believer in the Lord and the salvation that had been promised him through his faith. He and Kelly have countless real friends. I have no doubt that these wonderful people will help get his family through a tough time. Nothing can replace his smile, but his friends will always remember Roger for his kindness and friendship. Mourn his loss, but remember that Roger was prepared to meet his God. I bet he didn’t have many regrets, as he led his life to the fullest, but always kept the Lord in his foremost thoughts.
If I can improve upon my life to a fraction of the way you led yours, I hope to meet you again some day. Goodbye, Roger.
Roger's memorial service will be at 204 North Main Street in Lafayette, Ga at Life Gate Church beginning at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday October 5th. Roger requested that you wear casual clothes such as jeans, boots, and t-shirts because "We aren't funeral people" and to come as if you were seeing Bounty Hunter.
Email Bob Payne at email@example.com or catch him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/davrik2000.