Tuesday, April 24, 2007

'I can't say it' By Jim Turner-Editor

A year ago this week, a Russellville woman married her 'soulmate' and expected to live happily ever after. "Ever after" has turned out to be about three weeks.

She spent her anniversary weekend selling almost everything she owns, trying to get enough money to pay her debts and to continue her legal battle to bring her husband back home from a Nashville nursing home where she contends he is being kept against his will.

She believes she speaks for her husband as they fight for his rights to live a normal, happy life after he suffered a condition called aphasia, as a result of a stroke he suffered on May 8, 2006 while he was on their honeymoon.

This is their story, as told by her. Other people involved in the year-long ordeal undoubtedly would tell it differently.

Cathy Wilkins Drake met Willie Paul Ackerman at what was then Libby's near the Logan-Todd county line at Daysville. He was the drummer for the band which played weekends at the entertainment center/steakhouse.

She didn't know it then, but Willie Paul was well known in Nashville music circles. He had been a busy session musician for decades, playing on the recordings of some of Music City's brightest stars. He also spent over 22 years as the drummer for the ultra-successful television show, 'Hee Haw." He created the well-known segue to commercials with pretty country girls saying "We'll be right back" with good humor.