Let Freedom Ring

Let Freedom Ring

Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 21:49

17 Apr 2005, 19:22 #1

If you're into Southern Gospel Music, there's a song by the Gaither Vocal Band called "Let Freedom Ring". It was performed at Carnegie Hall right after 9-11, and one line of the song goes something like this: "Let Freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no keys".

Well, it's been three years since I was in prison, and I'm here to tell you that my prison did have a key. And that key was education. I've been around here so long that nearly all of you have heard my story and are likely sick of hearing it, but I quit on my 50th birthday, with no real intention of "making it". Then I found this forum and some Yankee named Spitzer (preaching cold turkey of all things) and some shyster lawyer from back east putting out the same message and the rest is history. I got my education and it took and I haven't had a puff since. To say that my life has changed is a huge understatement and to say thank you to John and Joel and Grumps and Joanne is just not enough.

I've been thinking lately about the various stages we all go through here at Freedom. The first few days/weeks are a tremendous challenge for most of us. It's a day-to-day struggle, sometimes even minute-to-minute. But as we "read and read and read some more" things begin to calm down a little. We absorb a lot of what we read and our education begins to kick in as we defeat trigger after trigger.

Then later, maybe at Bronze or so, we begin to give advice to those newbies behind us. This "teaching stage" is a critical part of the process for many of us, because we help others through those first few days and weeks, we reinforce our own quits and we really get as much out of helping others as they do.

The final stage that most of us go through would probably be considered maintenance. I've been in that stage for a long time now. There are very few days that I don't check in and read at Freedom, but I seldom post. I'm not sure why that is, but a lot of it is I want to let the newer "teachers" take care of dispensing advice, thereby helping both themselves and those they're advising.

At this point in my life, my quit is not on my mind very much. Nicotine, or the lack thereof, plays absolutely no part in the living of my life, either physically, logistically, financially, or emotionally. It's just not a deal any more. Quitting, however, is one of the high points in my life that I am most proud of. I tell you all this to give you hope, you who are at three days or three weeks, or even three months. There is life after quitting and it can be a good life.

Well, as most of you also know, today is also my wedding anniversary. I've been married to the same woman for 29 years. Later I think I'll take her out for a nice dinner again and we'll celebrate three milestones in our lives.

I figure taking her out once a year won't spoil her too much--after all, nothing's too good for the wife of a quitter.


Three years today.
Last edited by Hillbilly Gold on 09 Mar 2010, 12:20, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

17 Apr 2005, 20:28 #2

Dave is GOLD times THREE!
Dave, your posts are legend. My grandma and grandpa (being from the hills of southern Kentucky) would say thar's some mighty fine navel gazin'! Your posts really have given us all a gift that we can (and do) share with each other often. It must be all that hillbilly common sense! Of course, this 3 year anniversary post is no different. Thanks for the inspiration and congratulations on those other milestones, too!
Congratulations, again. That's a huge achievement.
Two months, two weeks, six days, 5 hours, 59 minutes and 27 seconds. 1743 cigarettes not smoked, saving $523.05. Life saved: 6 days, 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Last edited by TiffQuit on 09 Mar 2010, 12:27, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:56

17 Apr 2005, 20:54 #3

Congratulations Dave!
Wear this fine medallion out to dinner with your wife. She won't mind. You have been a great gift to Freedom. Thank you. Enjoy your freedom today and everyday you NTAP.
103 days!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

17 Apr 2005, 21:03 #4

Hi Dave!!!!

And congratulations on
glad we got all those new launch pads ready.....
Great to hear from you again..... and I see that quitting hasn't cured that problem you have with the funny accent....
And read carefully new guys, this Southern Gentleman speaks the one word of truth. The hard part is in the beginning. You can do this.
Of course, the fact that we are both in the "maintenance" stage is absolutely no excuse not to celebrate!!!!
(gets out Massachusettsian - to - Geowgia Dictionary, looks up "Rebel Yell".... )

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

17 Apr 2005, 21:20 #5

Way ta go Mr. Hillbilly Dave!
I love your post & really take what you say to heart. Life does go on after nicotine & your proof~
Congratulations & many more to come!!
Freedom for 161 days

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

17 Apr 2005, 22:32 #6

Hi Dave,

thank you so much for coming out of your semi-retirement today to let us celebrate with you. Your posts have already helped me and so many of us on this journey of ours and will continue to do so ... but you know that already if you are lurking!

I'm also wondering if you could have some Yorkshire ancestors ... not spoiling the wife too much ...! Don't you know that you can't spoil your wife too much?

I am sure that this one will become another one to be added to the "Hillbilly's Classics"! Thank you for yet another inspirational post!
Huge triple congratulations on your three reasons to celebrate today and
thank you, thank you, thank you
for leaving us all a

Have a great nicotine free fourth year
and many, many more to come!!!

142 days and a bit

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

17 Apr 2005, 23:57 #7

Nicely Done !!!!

Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 21:48

18 Apr 2005, 00:18 #8

Congratulations on your third year of Freedom Dave!

Nice job on detailing the anatomy of a quit. Saw a post from Kay, last week sometime, about longest failed quits. It made me reflect that I'm way past my own personal best - not sure exactly when this quit became a "sure thing" - not complacent, mind you, but deep down certain that it would last and grow and be even more special as the years roll by, somewhere between that first year and now.

Thanks for being one of shining lights of wisdom here at Freedom,

Lorraine GoldX3

Give that quitter's wife a hug

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

18 Apr 2005, 00:27 #9

A Special Gift of wool gatherin' and yarn spinnin' frum 'the' Hillbilly - Let Freedom Ring
deserves a gift specially made fer a Hillbilly like you Dave. Congratulations on choosing to 'Let Freedom Ring' for 3 Golden Years (and happy birthday even though Freedom doesn't do birthdays and happy anniversary although I'm not sure if those are allowed either).
Thanks for the recommendation, I'd never heard or heard of this song you quote. I have now & all I can say is WOW. My favorite lines were - "Every song we love to sing have Freedom's Theme...Let Freedom Ring wherever minds know what it means for be in chains....You can be Free and you can sing Let Freedom Ring".

joe jFree singin "and I wanna do is, act naturally" for the last 97 days by SIMPLY NTAP!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

18 Apr 2005, 01:44 #10

Congrats to one of the goldest quitters I "know"--Hillbilly Dave!

Gold x 3...WOW. What an amazing achievement. I'm speechless, really! Your threads have served as such an inspiration in maintaining my own quit. Did you even know what a snowball effect your simple words would have on us?! "Quitting smoking is simple. I didn't say it was easy, I said it was simple." This quote has come out of my mouth/fingertips more often than I can count.

Here's to you and your beautiful, stunning, golden quit. You and your wife enjoy your special day.

104 days

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

18 Apr 2005, 03:51 #11

Congratulations, dear HBD!
Amazing how time is such a great equalizer.
When I began this journey, you were less than two months ahead of me.
But those weeks were unimaginable to me.
You seemed so assured and wise and confident and comfortable.
(Of course, m'dear you are all that and more!)
Never, ever thought I would feel as you did.
Sometimes it's fun to be wrong!
I found comfort and confidence in my freedom just as you did.
Thanks for being an inspiration....and a pal.

Hope the Sainted Mrs. Hillbilly enjoys her evening out!

Parker - 2 Years, 10 Months, 1 Week and 3 Days;. over 26,140 cigarettes not smoked

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

18 Apr 2005, 08:08 #12

Hillbilly is Gold X3
Congratulations Dave!!! 3 golden years is awesome. You are so much a part of this site. Thank you for all the hillbilly gold you have left behind in your words of wisdom. I have become smarter because of them. I hope you and Mrs. Hillbilly have a wonderful celebration. Hug that quit tight and never take another puff.
yqs & admirer , sue-Gold X 2

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

18 Apr 2005, 13:34 #13

Hillbilly Dave, congratulations

I also do not post very often anymore, for the same reasons as you (and I also lost my net passport to MSN for a while). Not smoking has become second nature, I rarely think of smoking, but I often remember the journey.

Great to hear form you


2 years, 10 months

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

18 Apr 2005, 15:27 #14



Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

18 Apr 2005, 22:03 #15


Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

18 Apr 2005, 22:22 #16


That's an outstanding job Dave. Always good to
hear from you.

Tom, 16 months

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:35

18 Apr 2005, 22:47 #17

Thar's GOLD in them thar hills !!
Three times over, in fact ! It is amazing what a little horse sense will get you- thanks for the guidance.
gordon , over 10 months free

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

18 Apr 2005, 22:49 #18

"Dave don't smoke, and he don't chew, and he don't go with girls that do!" (I had to add your tag line for ya)

Aw, Hillbilly! My fellow West Coast Floridian and quit bro. I'm so very proud of you and I look forward to seeing some of your old posts kicked back up by newer members every so often. I figured this was another one, imagine my surprise.

Congrats on 3 years. I'm hot on your heels!


Free for: 2 Years 10 Months 2 Weeks 6 Days 13 Hours. Not smoked: 21111. Money saved: $3,694.43. Life Saved: 2 Months 1 Week 5 Days 7 Hours 15 Minutes.

Joined: 04 Apr 2005, 07:00

18 Apr 2005, 23:56 #19

It is great to here from someone whose posts have become a staple of the Freedom Forum food for education pyramid. Your insights and easy going approach towards your quit have certainly helped to keep me on track.

Congratulations to you.

187 days - One day at a time.

Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 21:46

19 Apr 2005, 04:40 #20

Congratulations on your 3 year anniversary Dave,

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

19 Apr 2005, 06:02 #21

Congratulations Hillbilly Dave!
Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to post your milestone(s)! I'm very much encouraged by all three of them! Here's hoping you and Mrs Hillbilly have a wonderful night out and many happy returns of the day!

6 mos and a bit

Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

19 Apr 2005, 08:54 #22

Congratulations, Hillbilly!
And many thanks for your contributions.

Two years, three months, six days

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

19 Apr 2005, 09:05 #23

Dear Hillbilly Dave...

Here I thought this was a new "old" thread that had flown under my raidar, then I was so happy to see this was a NEW Hillbillyism, and a celabration, too! WOOHOOOO!!!

There is something about you, your style, that goes deeper than the gift of a good writer which you sure are. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts and words of wisdom, and now I am proud to be able to celebrate a milestone with you!

Congratulations on 3 years, and thank you for giving us a view through your eyes of where we can be, what we can become. You've sure helped me to think of how I want to view this journey, and how best to walk it.

Enjoy the party, you deserve it!

Sue - Not a single puff for 7 months, 5 days, 22 hours, 35 minutes and 53 seconds (218 days). I chose not to smoke 6974 cigarettees, and saved $1,495.36.
I've saved 24 day(s), 5 hour(s) of my life.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

19 Apr 2005, 09:07 #24

Hillbilly Dave, Congratulations on TRIPLE GOLD!!!
And thanks for all your words of wisdom, I've been enjoying and learning
from your posts through the years. Thanks, you've made the road easier for those following along behind.
I have been quit for 3 Weeks, 1 Day, 22 hours and 7 minutes (22 days). I have saved $100.05 by not ingesting 412 nicotine delivery devices. I have saved 1 Day, 10 hours and 20 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 3/26/2005 11:00 PM

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:01

19 Apr 2005, 22:54 #25

Whhhhhhhhhoooooooooooooo Hoooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!

Way to go, Dave!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What an inspiration you are! Thank you for all those golden nuggets of wisdom. You've helped so many people. Thanks!

Hope you celebrate for a month!!!!!! Dance and sing and do a jig with your wife!!! Congratulations on three fabulous milestones!

Peace, Love and Fresh Air-
301 days yippppppppeeeeeeeeeee- thanks to the hillbilly over yonder......