I have followed the work arriving from Hatch Show Print (HSP) since I discovered a residency that one of my favorite Houston artists, Carlos Hernandez had at the location. Since 1897, the Hatch Show Print shop has created a wide variety of products including Posters, Advertisements, Clothing and Home Decor.
HSP stands out as instrumental to the development of Nashville, as the typesetting studio has had a role in many activities (Concert/Event Posters), Products (Bread and Butter), and Political Campaigns.
When I arrived in Nashville at the end of December 2019, I got lost trying to find HSP, and finally landed at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Many Christmas decorations were still in place, including hand cut garland. I glanced at the shops wall of custom posters alongside their main entrance detailing a rich history of activity in the area. It was in this way that John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery”. There is a specific print of a Bronco Buster, as the horse is mid jump to attempt bucking the rider.
The song’s chorus is:
“Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery/
Make me a poster of an old Rodeo.
Just give me one thing that I can hold onto/
To believe in this living is a just a hard way to go.”
I was fortunate to see John Prine play live in Nashville on my trip. It was one of the few things that I felt comfortable spending a bit of money on after so much saving and trying to make monthly numbers line up. I remember my father playing Prime’s music as I was a kid. Prine is widely lauded for his approachable lyrics, which I agree with, but in my case, Prine spoke in ways that I could connect with my father who I struggle to openly communicate with regularly. Prine was an avenue of discussion which opens the door for other opportunities.
I didn’t attend the show with my father, but was glad to provide details as I returned. I don’t know that I will ever see more than the broken relationship that we share, but it is one that is unique and is the card we are dealt. John was playing songs from his record “Tree of Forgiveness” as well as plenty of other classics from his storied history. I laughed at the stories between songs, I got misty on a couple of interludes, and I embraced some of the broken parts of my life and relationships in that moment.
When I bought the ticket, I didn’t realize that it might be one of Prine’s last performances. 2020 took Prine through complications resulting from Covid.
I have a relative battling Cancer right now. We aren’t extremely close, but it has definitely got me pondering how I am ordering my life. Obviously, I am rooting for the developments in medicine to work and that maybe this time next year, I can report healing for someone who always seemed to make the holiday family get togethers more bearable with a great joke or two. But, right now, I am stuck in a place where I just believe in this living, even as a hard way to go.