November 2016

by Marshall Chapman

I am not a big spender. Money has never motivated me. But if I won the Lottery—a BIG lottery … say, a billion dollars—I don’t think I’d freak out. In fact, I like to think I would handle it quite well.

There are only three reasons to have gobs of money. One, you can give it away and make a real difference in people’s lives. Secondly, you can use it to control your immediate environment. Don’t like your neighbors? Just buy the entire state of Montana like Ted Turner and you’ll never have to deal with them again. But seriously, let’s talk air travel. Can you imagine never having to fly commercial again? Never standing in a security line again? Flying anywhere you want at any time?

I admit I have fantasized about having a Gulfstream with two pilots on call at John Tune airport. This usually happens whenever someone I love has died back home in South Carolina. How easy it would be to zip over to Spartanburg, pay my respects, then zip on back to Nashville. I’ve often said there is no hardship too difficult to withstand as long as I know I’ll be sleeping in my own bed that night.

My father once said the only thing better than having your own private jet is having a friend who has one. And there’s a lot of truth to that.

I recently flew to Cody, Wyoming, on a Gulfstream g600. I could write a book about the experience, but trust me when I say, this was the smartest group of movers and shakers I’ve ever been around. At our last breakfast together, I shared the following text from my adopted godson, Andrew Maraniss: “How are you going to cope with being around us morons once you’re back in Nashville?” Then my responding text, “I can’t WAIT to get back to being a moron. I need a brain massage!”

But back to the Gulfstream. I think it’s safe to say that, of the six passengers on board, I was the only one taking photos of the food and the bathroom fixtures.

So how does one come down to earth after such an experience? Well, for me, it was easy and it didn’t take long. After we landed in Teterboro, NJ, a car took me to LaGuardia to board my Southwest flight back to Nashville. Once airborne, I realized I had to go to the bathroom. So I wedged myself into the cramped lavatory at the rear of the plane. When I stood up, I bumped my head hard on the mirrored medicine-cabinet door which had swung open. After uttering a few choice words, I tried to slam it shut. When it swung back open, I ducked to keep it from hitting my head again. Then, just as I was about to start breaking things, I noticed the Band-Aids. Someone—probably an airline attendant—had stuck five Band-Aids on the bottom edge of the mirror to try and keep it closed.

Welcome home, Marshall, you precious thing!

Marshall Chapman is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter, author, and actress. For more information, visit



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