Rest in peace, Ginny. We can’t imagine a world without you.

It was with great sadness that Tracie and I learned last night of Ginny Kalmbach’s passing.

From the early 1980s through 2013, Ginny owned the legendary Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin, Texas.

It was Tracie’s favorite honky tonk when she was going to school at University of Texas in the late 1990s.

And when Tracie moved back from Italy in 2008, she rented an apartment not far from the club, in part so she wouldn’t have to travel far to get there (no joke, that’s how much she loved the place).

By the time Tracie and I met, Ginny was Tracie’s customer: Tracie was a rep for at the time and she asked for the club to be added to her “route,” as we say in the trade.

Ginny’s was one of the first places Tracie took me when I began visiting her in Austin. And it would become the backdrop for our courtship.

It’s hard to convey what a magical place Ginny’s was in those years. The club was a slice of a vanishing Americana where people of all stripes and from all walks of life gathered to hear genuine country music performed by devoted artists.

We saw SO many amazing shows there.

That’s Ginny, right, with her daughters in 2010 when we usually spent one or two evenings a week at the club.

“Ginny, we can’t imagine a world without you.”

I wrote those words back in 2010. Today, I can’t help but be reminded of the lines from Gram Parsons’ song “Brass Buttons”:

And the sun comes up without her
It just doesn’t know she’s gone

That’s Ginny, below, holding Georgia when she was about six months old.

Rest in peace, Ginny. The world won’t be the same without you.

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