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Marti McKown Letter to Travis

Among the many messages of support during the medical crisis which began at Christmas 2008 came one from MARTI McKOWN which we believe most of Travis' admirers (especially those who treasure copies of Bud & Travis in Concert that are far beyond playable anymore) will relate to completely, so we've asked for permission to reprint it here on

Dear Travis,
 I never had the opportunity to meet you personally, however, in 1963 at the age of 17 I was present at a concert you did at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, California.

I have never forgotten it, the music, the fun and the whole atmosphere of that time.

After the concert everyone, including both you and Bud went to the Pizza Parlor (the local college hang out). I can remember wishing I had the courage to go up and say "Hi" but being the shy young girl I was, this not  happening.  I just looked (gawked was more like it) as my girl friends and I giggled and sighed.

It was a memorable evening for me. One I have never forgotten, and in fact, have recalled often over the years. Shortly after, I bought your Bud and Travis in Concert album, played it continuously until I had the words memorized, and still couldn't figure out how you hit those high notes with such clarity.

The reference to "Pismo Beach" cracked me up then and now ... Not sure if you knew it then, but there used to be an underground tunnel across the highway to Matties Restaurant, connecting Pismo and the local "house of ill repute".  That little seaside town was famous for more than just clams!

Thing is about that album, 45 years, eight kids, 18 grand kids, five great-grand kids, two Chihuahuas and one husband later, I still have it.  It has moved numerous times (about 75), has a chip in it, I have no record player, but it is still with me, as are the memories it invokes.

My older children listened to it, and now that I have the cd in the car, the Hot Springs Assembly #77 of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls listen to it. They don't know how you hit the high notes either. They also love the music.

Oh, and by the way, I played the Malagueña for my neighbor from Mexico. He had tears in his eyes ... then said, "that's rare for an Anglo to be able to sing like that, those high notes are so pure." Since he speaks little English, and I don't speak much Spanish, thought you might appreciate the comment. The music was understood no matter what the language!

I think of you often Travis, the path your life has taken, the courage you have had to overcome obstacles, and know without a doubt that you are an inspiration to all of us. Life throws us some strange curves sometimes, but with faith and true spirit we overcome them.  Keep getting better, I continue to hold you and yours in my thoughts, Thank you so much for just being.

 Marti McKown
March 2009



Marti McKown
Marti McKown

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