As a writer, I sometimes procrastinate, knowing that I work well under pressure. The holidays can get hectic which is a bit of a contradiction; they should be a time of rest and joy. I failed to find a subject for “A Day in the Life” and had to do a last minute dance. The name Christy Lee Comrie was given to me and so, without much knowledge of my subject, I braved the icy roads and headed out to her mother’s apartment in Colbert, grumbling at the distance I had to travel and hoping that her story would capture my attention. Upon arrival, I saddled up to the kitchen counter, pulled out two newly sharpened pencils, and began the conversation.
Christy is 25. Is she too young to have a story? I didn’t think so. Her younger brother, Austin, sat at the kitchen table and her mother, Trish, held Christy’s baby boy, Greyson Steele Yates. It is a family affair; Austin snaps photos and Trish acts like a manager. They are very close and a tear almost escaped its duct at the joy of a truly supportive family. Instead, I scrawled in my notebook.
Christy grew up in Southern California where she played basketball in high school and considered being a marine biologist but, nah (something she expressed a few times and I dubbed her “nah” girl), something bigger was in the cards. After graduating from high school, the family moved to the Spokane area where Christy’s grandmother was living and where the school system was more accommodating and sensitive to Austin’s high-functioning autism. They moved here on August 8, 2008. Christy threw out dates so quickly, I asked her if she had a slight case of autism and she laughed. “I’ve been asked that before but no, important dates just stand out to me.”
One date is actually tattooed onto her forearm but I’ll get to that in a second. Upon arriving in Spokane, Christy enrolled at Spokane Community College where she studied for a year and then, nah. She then got her cosmetology license and worked in a salon for a while and then, nah. Still waiting for a purpose, “nah girl” took it one day at a time.
The date she has on her arm is in Roman numerals–November 18, 2011. That is the day she went to Big Al’s Country Club, got on stage at the urging of her father, and sang a song “Gun Powder and Lead” with the Coyote Rose Band and she hasn’t looked back. Her father passed away June 6, 2012 and on November 27, 2012, Christy set off for Nashville with her father’s dog, Abby. “Abby was able to recognize when my father was going into a diabetic coma. She’s my best friend and a connection to my father,” Christy says.
She stayed in Nashville for a year, recording and performing regularly in music venues and on Broadway.
Christy moved back to Spokane on September 4, 2013 after returning to headline at a local festival and her mother said that it was time for her to come home. “I was living off of Pabst Blue Ribbon and crackers,” Christy says. “I had gained some weight and I never mourned my father’s death. My mom was right; it was time to come home.”
Saying “nah” to Nashville, Christy dove into her passion with the support of her family, filling her days with rehearsals, performances, and song writing sessions with a team of others. She met country music artist Luke Yates when they both opened for Keith Anderson (they will be doing it again on January 31) and baby Greyson was born on August 18. “I was performing up until two days of his birth,” Christy says, “and I went to rehearsal two days after. He goes to gigs and rehearsals with me, sporting ear protection. He hums along too.” Music is not a hobby for Christy, it a career (filling the days in her life) and a family affair that began at the urging of her beloved father.
With my deadline looming, I forgot to ask her the advice that she would give others. I’ll take liberties here and guess that she would suggest that others not be afraid to say “nah” and to seek out a life of awe with determination. Still young, her story can only get better.