Cashing in the Lottery

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When junior Matthew Cash asked his ill grandmother if he happened to be related to an American icon, he got an unexpected answer.

Cash said, “I didn’t really think much of asking the question at the time. I knew Johnny Cash was from Kingsland, Arkansas, so I had always wondered if there could’ve been any connection between us, and I knew that she would have the answers.”

Cash said, “It was around 2011 and my grandmother wasn’t doing great, so I knew if there was anything I wanted to ask her I needed to do it then. I asked my dad afterwards to make sure she wasn’t getting anything confused, and he said it was true. He even told me that we were distant cousins and that we still had family members living in Kingsland. We ended up visiting Kingsland to see where Johnny Cash grew up and met up with some family members.”

Steven Cash, father of Matthew Cash, said, “I met Johnny Cash in Rison, Arkansas sometime in the 1970s. He was at a reunion of descendants of Rueben Cash, another relative of mine. I got his autograph, but it is lost now. My father met him on several occasions when Johnny was visiting relatives in Cleveland County. I was actually never a big fan of his music.”

Mr. Paul Spencer said, “It is cool that Matthew is related to the man in black.” Johnny Cash was born in 1932 to a family with seven children. Although Cash was forced to spend much of his time helping his family farm, he always looked for time to write music: a habit he started around the age of 12. Cash would eventually write music that combined aspects of country with those of rock and roll up until his death in 2003. In his lifetime, he had 13 number-one singles. He earned the nickname “the man in black” for wearing black at all his concerts. Fans are still uncertain of his reason for doing so.

One of the reasons so many Americans still enjoy Johnny Cash’s music is because he was able to blend multiple genres of music together to create a one of a kind sound. Cash said, “I like his music because I think it is soothing. His music is something I listen to because I can feel a connection between me and the music, and not just because I’m related to him. His music is unique and you can’t get a similar sound from anybody else.”

Junior Steven Weeks said, “Listening to his music makes me feel like I’m from the old west. His voice is just so crisp and enjoyable. My favorite song of his would have to be “Ring of Fire” because it is just so iconic and recognizable.”

Junior Matthew Findley said, “I’m really into Johnny Cash’s music on a technical level. The way he combines notes from the major and minor form a tonality completely unique amongst most country artists. My favorite song is also “Ring of Fire” because it reminds me of that scene in Lord of The Rings when Frodo throws the ring into the fire. I can vividly imagine in my mind the flames of Mordor rising as they engulf the ring of power.”

Cash said, “I am proud to be a family member of Johnny Cash. It is something unique to me that I find really cool. When I found out I was completely shocked and amazed. You never know what the answer might be when you ask your family members a question.”

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