writes on Facebook: " I used to run into Merle often enough at Holiday Market in Palo Cedro, doing his own grocery shopping, that I got a feel for which kind of wine he preferred with his dinner. I passed him frequently on Highway 44 heading to and from town as well, and once shared a flight from SF to Redding with a very drunk quartet of members of The Strangers (Hag's band).
"My wife and I just spent a week on a road trip in the SoCal desert, including a stop in Bakersfield where I had a pint of 'Streets of Bakersfield IPA' (named after the song) at Temblor Brewery on Merle Haggard Drive. We spent most of the week listening to the Outlaw Country station on satellite radio—it was a great reminder of how many fantastic songs he wrote that he recorded himself and have been covered by his many his admirers.
"I'm happy that Merle lived to see a cohort of young, talented, true country artists pick up his torch before he passed, supplanting the pack of bro-country phonies and their riff-rock/pop nonsense that dominated the modern country music scene until recently."