They said he was a no good, no account, two bit hustler who couldn’t sing his way out of a wet paper sack. He said they wouldn’t know a superstar if it bit ‘em on the ass. Took the money he saved slingin’ bags for the well heeled on the Western Zephyr and bought himself a Nudie Suit. It was the only thing he owned, other than that battered old guitar. Hitched his way from California to the Ozarks. When he put his boots down on South Ave he glowed brighter than the neon issuing forth from the countless honky tonks. Strode into the first gutbucket dive he saw and bellied up. ‘Beer. Dark and smooth, barkeep.’ Wet his parched whistle and said, ‘Ain’t got a dime to my name, but what I do got oughta be worth enough to cover my tab.’ And he strummed that battered old guitar and sang. The juicers at the bar swiveled their heads and caught flies. Repeated this act at every joint on the strip. Made a name for himself, though not much of one. But he was nothing if not stubborn. By the time he fought his way onto a stage, he blinded ‘em with rhinestones. Then he blinded ‘em with a megawatt smile. Then he sang for ‘em and really showed ‘em the light. And when he stepped off the stage they had his reward waiting for him. Beer. Dark and smooth as his baritone croon. Never made a dime but drank his worth in beer. The old auditorium’s long since closed and the spotlights dark for decades. But in the darkness, the stillness, you can hear the echo of that baritone and catch flashes of that Nudie Suit. Stars like that may burn out eventually but the light they made shines on for generations hence.