No one can relate to this quote better than 63-year-old Ronnie Falgout.  Falgout is the bassist in the band “Amanda Shaw and the Cute Guys.”  He has been playing music since he was fifteen years of age, and according to him, it is his passion. 

“Of all the things I do, I love performing music the most.  If I had to choose one thing that I would rather do than anything else, it would be performing.”

Performing is the tip of an iceberg of pastimes that he enjoys, including hunting, fishing and playing golf and tennis.  He says he enjoys getting out and being active.  Sitting at home and doing nothing is certainly not part of his life.

However, his love for activity, and in this particular case for hunting, would indeed come back to haunt him.  Nearly five months ago, Falgout was in an accident on his four-wheeler while hunting that kept him from doing the things that he loved.   

“I was out in the middle of the day, looking to bag my second deer.  I got him and I slung him on the back of my bike.  As we headed up the hill, I figured I would throw it on the front, so that way it could balance it better.”  Falgout explained.

Written by  A. A. Shaw
“But when we got closer to the top, my brother-in-law jumped on the front of the bike.  I figured it would balance out the bike.  He weighed about 200 pounds, and the deer only weighed around 150 pounds.  However, we started to head towards a really steep incline.  I was going too slowly, and as we tried to go up, the bike stalled, went backwards, and flipped”

Falgout’s brother-in-law was flipped off the bike, but was miraculously unscathed.  The same cannot be said for Falgout himself, who had the entire vehicle flip directly on top of him.  Looking back on it, he says that his gun actually saved his life.

“Attached to my bike was a gun boot.  It is like a holster for my gun.  That was the first thing to hit the ground, and my gun broke in half.  I think that’s what saved my life.”  Falgout explained.

Though it saved his life, it could not prevent the severe damage that was done.  His injuries included a crushed right eye socket, crushed cheekbones, a cracked pallet, four broken ribs, a broken arm, a broken nose, a plate in his left jaw, and a completely replaced right jaw. 

From the sight of the accident, he was transported to a small hospital in Alabama, which was about 45 minutes away.  It was small and though he was able to obtain CAT scans and MRIs, they did not have the resources to properly treat him.  However, an emergency medical flight to New Orleans would cost $18,000, which his insurance would cover only if it were an absolute life or death emergency.  While some may say this would fall under that category, he opted instead to be driven via ambulance to New Orleans. 

After a four-and-a-half hour journey, Falgout was admitted to University Hospital, where he was treated by one of the best trauma units in the state.  After that, he began the unbearably long recovery process.

“It was tough.  I spent three months sitting in my house doing nothing.  The only time I got out of the house was to go back to the hospital.  It was very tough going from my very active life to just doing nothing.  I lost 25 pounds during that time. I was just tired mentally and physically.”

After those three long months, Falgout made his long anticipated return at Ponchatoula’s Strawberry Festival.  When asked about how he felt to be performing again, he responded with a chuckle.

“I felt like a million bucks.  Music is my passion.  I consider myself extremely lucky to be performing in a band like Amanda’s.  I mean look at Tim (Robertson, guitar) and Mike (Barras, drums).  They are both way younger than me.  I am just glad I have been able to stay in the band this long.  I will always be thankful for that.”

Life does not give too many second chances.  However, Ronnie Falgout is one of the lucky few to receive this gift.  He is now back performing regularly with Amanda Shaw and the Cute Guys, who just put out a new album Good Southern Girl.  In addition, they also opened up for Steve Martin and Elvis Costello during Jazz Fest.  With a renewed vision of life, Falgout said, “I hope this lasts forever.”

Ronnie Falgout
" Live Your Life, because it
can change in a second."