The Christmas day bombing on 2nd Avenue in downtown Nashville took almost everything from local musician Buck McCoy.
Yet he barely missed work, returning to the stage at John Rich's Redneck Riviera on Jan. 1 thanks in part to the generosity of locals, from Gofundme donations via fans, family and friends to a brand new guitar provided by country music superstar Brad Paisley.
"I went to my Instagram and there was a message; and I was like, this must be some kind of prank," McCoy told local news station WKRN. "You know, one of my funny buddies saying let's cheer Buck up. No, it was actually [Paisley]; and he wanted to talk to me; and he said I want to hook you up with a guitar so you can get back to work and make a living."
Paisley signed the guitar as follows: "Buck, Twang on pal! Glad you're still here. Brad"
Beyond gifting McCoy with a new guitar, Paisley shared the Gofundme link with his 7 million-plus Facebook followers and offered McCoy unlimited groceries from Paisley and his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley's free store for people in need, The Store.
Paisley's good deeds on social media weren't the only recent, headline-worthy developments in McCoy's story.
McCoy's five-year-old cat Molly disappeared after the Dec. 25 explosion damaged his apartment. After almost a week without his best friend, McCoy got reunited with Molly on New Year's Eve. Another cat displaced on Christmas day, Martin, was also found and returned to his owner.
"Thanks to the FBI's Victim Specialists, Metro Nashville Police Department, and the Nashville Fire Department, Molly and Martin, two cats lost in the aftermath of the Nashville bombing, were reunited with their owners today," said FBI spokesperson Elizabeth Clement (as quoted by News Channel 9).
Some good news for two pet owners evacuated from their Nashville homes. @MNPDNashville @nashvilleFD USAR and @FBIMemphis Victim Services team members located Molly and Martin and reunited them with their family. pic.twitter.com/jmeon1N0jF
— JPackPIO (@JPackPIO) December 31, 2020
McCoy is now trying to stay busy as a singer, guitarist and band leader to counteract memories from a year marred for Nashville musicians by a tornado, COVID-19 (the coronavirus) and a Christmas morning tragedy.
"I can't just sit around and think about it over and over and the memory comes back," he shared. "It's just, I need to create new memories; I need to create fun experiences; and then water those experiences; and let those old weeds die in the back."