ON THE TOLL ROAD AGAIN?

There's a brouhaha brewing in Texas about the Texas Senate wanting to name a road after one of their favorite sons, Willie Nelson. Problem is, it's a toll road, and although flattered that someone wanted to name a highway in his honor, Willie politely declined because of the toll status. The Austin American-Statesman said Willie "envisioned motorists invoking his name every time they paid for their drive." They also quoted Willie himself, who explained, "I don't really need that. If they want to give me a piece of it, that's a different deal. Toll roads are not that popular. I'd put my name on an electric chair, too, but I don't think that'd be too great a thing." So on April 13, Willie's attorney, Joel A. Katz, declined with this statement: "Willie simply does not feel that the naming of a toll road in his honor comports with his worldview, on either a personal or an artistic level." Two weeks later, two Republican state senators, Steve Odgen and Jeff Wentworth, made headlines by protesting the proposed renaming-which apparently Willie had already declined-citing his "fondness for drinking and smoking, and active campaigning for Democratic candidates," according to an Associated Press report. "As far as the Republican opposition, I don't blame them," responded Willie. "It all sounded political."

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