It is hard for me to believe that my best friend and music partner Duane Allen, would have turned 79 years old today. Duane passed away in May of 2003. Those who had the privilege to know this gentle giant of a man will tell many stories of his days as a professional football player primarily with the Los Angeles Rams & Chicago Bears, his bouts as a professional wrestler, his acting career, his coaching career and his music career with me for over 25 years. But, they will also tell you about his sacrifice, love and care for everyone who came into his life.
Today’s Gospel passage from Luke 12 has Jesus telling us to do what is right. If we have problems with others, settle them before taking them before a magistrate who just may rule in your opponents favor. I bring this up because Duane was a powerful athletic man. He could have settled many things physically and I believe come away the winner. His demeanor though, “off the field”, was one of kindness, care and concern for the welfare of others. I may be wrong in saying this but I believe it to be true. In the music business, especially playing the nightclub circuits, there were times that club owners would not want to pay full value if crowds were sparse. Duane always handled the business end and I, and if anyone else was playing with us, always received full pay. I think Duane paid often out of his own pocket so that we would be compensated properly. That speaks volumes for the tremendous man he was.
Happy birthday Duane. I pray for you every day. My hope is that you are now with our Heavenly Father, Jesus and all the saints in Heaven. I hope that I will one day join you again and together we can sing praises to our God.