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Guitars and Glory

When your day builds up and your loving cup
Is as empty as they way you feel inside
No it won’t come back till you change your act
Do a turn around and get a handle on your life
If there ever were a thesis to Grant Boatwright’s late life, this stanza from his tune “You Can’t Have Your Hate and Jesus Too” would certainly summarize it. A professional composer and musician from Nashville, Grant lived all of his life playing music. His first bang into the business was with Red, White, & Blue (grass), a bluegrass group formed with his first wife, Ginger, and signed by Mercury Records in the 1970s. As Grant continued to gain popularity in the country music business, other large names noticed and invited his talent on their albums. Grant recorded with known artists like Roger Miller, Paul McCartney, Michael Martin Murphy, Vassar Clements, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Earl Scruggs, Carter Family, Johnny Cash, David Alan Coe, Crystal Gayle, Allman Brothers, Robert Lee, Tonya Jo Newsome, Dickey Betts, Charlie Daniels, and many others. His guitar can be heard on movies like Deliverance, the ABC hit Nashville, Dillinger, and Neil Young’s Prairie Wind. Throughout the years, Grant became an esteemed, respected musician in Country music. He seemed to have it all: success, talent, and a family.
When problems with his relationship began to spiral out of control, Grant couldn’t take fighting in front of his 6-year-old daughter and walked away and left everything. The pain from his separation led Grant to heavy drinking, and heavy drinking led him to Nashville Rescue Mission.
As a guest at the Mission from 2011-2012, Grant lived the last few years of his life homeless, but not hopeless. He developed friendships with staff and other guests who stayed at the Mission. Grant possessed community at Nashville Rescue Mission. His case manager, Ken, asked if Grant wanted help, and drove him to Elizabethtown, KY for a three week rehab. The week after he returned sober, Grant fell and broke his femur in an accident and he remained in the hospital until his death in January 2013.
Homelessness does not discriminate. It befalls a successful musician, it battles with the former CEO, and it strikes the good of heart, the influential schoolteacher, and the affluent salesman. Homelessness has no bias. It can happen to anyone.
That is why Nashville Rescue Mission continues to fight for those that many label invisible. We know stories like Grant Boatwright’s exist within each person we serve. We know there is pain, hurt, and suffering that each person may carry. But we also know there is healing and hope in the love of Christ. We believe in the power of sharing God’s love to His children. We believe He fills your loving cup until it overflows with abundance. Grant was given the opportunity to regain control of the hope in his life at Nashville Rescue Mission.
Thanks to donors like you, Grant was able to meet Heaven with reconciliation in his heart in the warmth of a hospital bed instead of the bitter January wind under a Nashville bridge. Will you continue to give others like Grant hope for today, tomorrow, and eternity?
So just pass a lot of love around
And a helping hand or two
It won’t be long until it turns
And comes right back to you
In memory of Grant Boatwright, April 19, 1946 – January 17, 2013

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