I supported Tom and Englebert, Willie and Kris, Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn. I was anxious to support Billy Ray Cyrus and Travis Tritt. There's always room in my world for more great music. However, Travis decided for me that having them both in my life was not a viable option.
I followed that battle closely. When I saw how one-sided it was, how hard Travis campaigned against Billy Ray, the decision was easy for me. I supported the nice guy. I didn't stop recognizing the other's talent, or change the radio station when his songs played, I just didn't buy his music or appreciate his personality.
A free concert ticket tested my principles. If I wanted to see Little Texas and Trisha Yearwood, I had to see Travis sandwiched between them. I went. Travis spent part of his time talking unnecessary trash about Billy Ray Cyrus.
The writer surfaced. I pulled out a pen and went to work. By the end of the concert, I had a chorus and four verses of my best satire, smacking the other guy back with his own song titles. I woke a singer, a studio owner, and a friend who had recently fished with Billy Ray, hoping he could pitch the song for me.
Instead, he pitched the truth back to me. The song was fun, but Billy Ray Cyrus would never stoop to the other guy's tactics. I kept those lyrics for years, to remind me why I had made that choice.