VA North Texas Health Care System
Musician brings Healing from his Heart
Although Jim Light is receiving radiation treatments for prostate cancer, he still has a song in his heart. He began playing the guitar in 1956 and performed various places on the weekends when he turned 16. Light and other relatives played together for 19 years in a band they named “Family Affair.” This music lover shared the stage with country artists in their early careers, including Porter Wagoner, Suzy Bogguss, and Alan Jackson, and is still at it.
Entertaining is his passion. While packing his belongings for his stay at the Community Living Center, one item Light couldn’t leave home without was his guitar. Light says, “I will play at the drop of a hat and can carry a pretty good tune.” He recalls times when he would be playing for his own enjoyment, and random residents would thank him for sharing his music.
Light struck up a conversation with one Veteran in particular, and as it turned out the saying, “it’s a small world,” was true. This particular Veteran was also a professional musician and was a band member of Country Legend Hank Thompson’s group known as the Brazos Valley Boys, famous for western swing in the 1950s and 60s. Light began visiting with him and was able to bring back the Veteran’s happy memories through music. As it turns out, Light recalled the story of a time when Hank Thompson was playing locally but his band did not travel with him. Light’s band was hired to play for Thompson.
Even with a heart for music, Light saves a special place to remember his grandson Jonathon Stroud who died in 2009 while serving as a Marine in Afghanistan. Stroud’s picture and memory travels with Light. He wears his picture daily on a dog-tag charm around his neck.
One staff and one veteran at a time, Light proves often that music is good for the soul, especially when it comes from the heart.