This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Tombstone Pizza

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving by offering up a tasty bar room story for you.

Tombstone Pizza originated in Medford, Wisconsin as follows:
(Maybe when I broke my hip I should have been developing recipes for a Buzzy Pizza.)
The rest is pizza history.  Joe and his brother Ron began churning out frozen pizzas for their clientele and then for neighboring bars.  Next thing you know they went big time as in Nation-wide.  Their slogan used to be "What do you want on your Tombstone?"

The brothers ultimately sold the pizza business to Kraft in 1986 but the Tombstone Hq's and main production site is still housed in Medford.  Kraft sold it to Nestle in 2010.

The former bar (above) where it all started is no longer in business and currently sits as a vacant building.  Given its history, seems like the Medford folks would at least make a pizza joint of it!

Speaking of opening up, Pat Birmingham will have Buzzy's Country Store open today at 3 o'clock should you need a break from all that family, food and football. (Redskins don't play until 8:30 tonite.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Back Home

"Just flew in from Cleveland and boy my arms are tired."  That's a Henny Youngman joke I always think of when I fly back home from somewhere.  I know, I know it doesn't take much to amuse me.
Pam and I travelled with several family and close friends to Budapest, Hungary, where we jumped on a Viking boat and cruised down (up?) the Danube to Passau, Germany.  We then bussed over to Prague, Czech Republic for a couple days. 

On the boat along the way we also stopped in Vienna, Austria and Bratislava, Slovakia.  (Our tour guide claimed that these two cities are the closest of National Capitols in that they are only 34 miles apart.  Turns out she may have been a little off in that because I found this explanation that places them at only #3 on the closest list.  (The Vatican and Rome are the closest followed by the Congo and what used to be Zaire.) 
Famous Chain Bridge with Buda Castle in Background
Highlights of the trip for me were Budapest (above) and Cesky Krumlov (photo and video below.)

Budapest is actually two cities with Buda on one side of the river and Pest on the other.  Our boat was docked on the Pest side right next to the famous Chain Bridge.  One sunny morning I was able to walk over and make my way back across the Chain Bridge before the weather turned cold and cloudy.  I can now check off another famous Bridge that I have walked across along with the London Bridge, San Francisco Bridge and the Cornfield Harbor Bridge,  (Not too many world travelers can claim the Cornfield Harbor Bridge in their "Bridges Crossed" backgrounds.)

Unlike Budapest with all of its glitz and activity,  Cesky Krumlov is a nice  little town that, despite having been discovered by tourists, is still a cool place to visit.  (What'd Yogi say about it being so crowded that nobody goes there anymore?!)  Well, Cesky Krumlov is such a happening place that even with all the tourist crapola going down, it's still a very nice place.  Here's my man Rick telling us about it:

As always, my thanks to Jenn, Anna, Pam, Lisa, Terri, Pat and Kayla for taking care of things at the Store while I was away.   Always seems like things happen when I am away and this time was no different as the beer case acted up.  However, Jenn contacted Robbie McKay and got it taken care of.  I am very fortunate to have such a great group to help me out not only when I am away but also every day week in and week out. 

Like Buzzy always said after one of our trips away, "It's good to get away, but it's great to come home."

One of the nicer things folks greet me with in the Store when I return is "Welcome back."  I always smile and when I do so this song runs thru my head.  Who would ever have thought that Vinny Barbarino would go on from high school to become such a big movie star?


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sade and Janis

Years ago when I worked on Base, a co-worker Tony Manich came in one morning and informed me that he had been to a Sade concert the night before. 

I asked him how it went and if she rocked any more in concert than she does on record.  Tony laughed and replied that Smooth Operator was about as rocking as she got.  That's not a bad thing.  I like women who deal with things on a low keyed basis.
I have a couple of Sade's CD's in the rotation. That said however, I would like to see her just bust out Janis-style every once in awhile.
Janis talks about the difference between herself and other female singers in this classic Dick Cavett interview with her.  (Title is misleading as Janis simply discusses the differences between U.S. and European audiences.)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Bo Diddley

Five months before Elvis would shake things up with his appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, Bo Diddley appeared on this day in 1955 (click here.)

Bo was supposed to do Ernie Ford's 16 Tons but crossed everyone up by doing - what else? Bo Diddley!  The tune is one of rock's seminal rifs but has its roots in the Shave and a Haircut - Two Bits tune that Bo sped up.  To this day, I can not hear mention of Bo without mentality going duh, da, da, da, da - da da!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Gettysburg Address

From Wikipedia
Today in 1863 Lincoln delivered the very brief 2 minute speech that said more than many speeches of much greater length - his Gettysburg Address.  You know the "Four score" intro and the "of the people, by the people" conclusion, but check out the rest of it.  (Hey, it'll only take you a minute to do so.)

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Lincoln would be assassinated 5 months later prompting me to wonder - where was his bodyguard (photo above) that night?

And, just because Abe said "the last full measure of devotion" it reminded me that I always liked this Lovin' Spoonful song:

Saturday, November 18, 2017

College Football - Can't Let Go

I never was all that into college football.  Living here in Maryland, I had enough sports teams around to consume whatever bandwidth I had for sports watching and following.

In other parts of the country however, there aren't so many sports' choices and by default college football becomes THE sport.  For instance, Arkansas does not have any professional sports team.  Given that, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks are literally the only show in town.  
Years back my buddy Ronnie and I were in Hot Springs, Arkansas waiting in line to eat breakfast at some semi-famous waffle place.  To pass the time, we started talking to a couple behind us in line and learned that they were from Texas. 

As we chit chatted, the man told Ronnie, who was wearing his Arkansas Razorback jacket "I was at that '69 Game of the Century when Texas whipped you all."  Ronnie simply replied "So was I - unfortunately."

For the rest of that day and into the evening, Ronnie would occasionally shake his head and make some comment about the guy having brought up that game.  After hearing a couple or several of these repetitions, I finally said to him "Come on Ron, it was over 30 years ago.  Time to let it go."  He shook his head and said "J. Scott, there are some things you just can't ever let go of."
Turns out that Ronnie was right on about significance of that game.  This is from Wikipedia:

In the 100th year of college football, it truly was the "Game of the Century." In a game between unbeatens played at Arkansas' Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, the Longhorns were ranked Number 1 in the country, having won 18 straight games. The Arkansas Razorbacks were ranked Number 2, having won 15 straight since their last loss to Texas in Austin a year ago.

President Nixon and George H. Bush, who was then a Congressman from Texas, attended the game (click here for story and related video.)  They witnessed Texas coming back from a 14 point deficit to win the game in the fourth quarter.  Because there were no playoffs back then, only Bowl games, Texas was deemed the National Title winner.  (They would eventually win the Cotton Bowl over Notre Dame.)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Piney Point Litehouse Road

Info on Tolson's  Hotel can be found in the book Memories of Piney Point available at the Lexington Park library or for sale online (click here.)

Wonder if anything similar to the following song topic ever went down at the Piney Point Hotel. I'm betting that somewhere long the line it did!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Song With No Clue

Ever run into a song where you have absolutely no idea what the hell they are talking about.  A Horse With No Name comes to mind. 

However, Horse seems simple compared to this one from Wilco (lyrics and video follow:)

If you beat up, you butcher, and you bleed a man You bang up and badger and blood-let a man And then I come along On the feet of man And halfway laugh and cry About the meat of man

And I do what I can To bale string and tie Some ballad truths Up and cured out For the feed of man

Folks try to tell me That it's on God's orders That you bleed your man It's on God's good word that you Bleed your man On God's plan print That you dead a man Or spit and curse and whip your man

I say I'll help you squeeze and fix yourself up a A new kind of God of some kind One that tells you Fertilize and multiply One that tells you Outsow and outblow Outplant and outgrow Outdo, and outrun, and outclimb, and outspread Every other tree and bush And brushy fruits and flower petals Outfruit them all For the feed of man

Outstalk and outhunt and outthink For God's own sweet sake, outthink! Outthink! Outthink the fruits Outgrow these animal kinds and shapes of man It you miss and go down Your dust will turn up on that long hot job Once more again To help in the feeding and the seed of man And not in the bleeding and the end of man

My only reaction is - huh?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Outrigger

Buzzy named his apartment at the Store the Outrigger.  Inside, he then decorated the place with a nautical theme including a stained glass window.  All of which was pretty cool. 

When I redid the apartment however, I removed the stained glass window and replaced it with a bigger window.  

I had planned to re-use the stained glass window somewhere either at the Store or here at home but never got around to it.  After moving the window several times I temporarily installed it on the ledge of a window in the garage.  Having left it there, I now get to see it every time I pull into the garage.

Brought this tune to mind:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Two for Tuesday - Ain't No Shortcuts

Dylan won the Academy Award for Best Song from the 2003 movie Wonder Boys.

However, turns out he may have not been entirely original as discussed here.
Now check out Marty's "Crow" song and see what you think. I am not that musically smart to tell this, but one critic discussing the similarities noted that both songs are even in the same key. That may or may not be coincidental though.
[As I am writing this, I have my CD player set on Random Play and guess which song just came on? Yep, Dylan's Things Have Changed.  What makes that so crazy is that I have over 600 CD's which means on random play the odds of this particular song coming up are approximately one in 7,200 (figure 12 songs per CD.)  Coincidence?  Times are strange.]

Monday, November 13, 2017

Happy World Kindness Day

If ever we needed such a day as World Kindness Day, it is today and hopefully everyday here on out. 

Shouldn't we all take a deep breath, exhale slowly and be thankful for the loved ones, friends and freedom that we have?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

It's the Same Old Song

Heard George Harrison's My Sweet Lord the other day and aside from noting what a great song it is, I thought about the plagiarism suit over it being a rip off of He's So Fine by the Chiffons (click here for story.) 

I still can't see how George got nailed for "sub-conscious plagiarism."  Leads me to conclude that many of us would be in jail, divorced or sued if we were to be held responsible for things that our sub-conscious did or thought.

George came up with a clever way to resolve the issue however.  He bought the publishing company that owned the rights to He's So FineProblem solved.

Another case that involved some "unconscious plagiarism" involved the Stones.  Following completion of their Anybody Seen My Baby, it was pointed out to Keith by his daughter that the refrain was a knock off of KD Lang's Constant Craving tune (click here for story.)  

As a result, Lang and her co-writer Ben Mink were awarded a song writing credit for the tune along with Jagger and Richards.

The video for the Stones' song is a little weird but it does feature Angelina Jolie as the Stripper Baby wandering around NY City.  I'd follow her around.

And if you agreed with me that the Stones' video was a little weird, then check out Lang's and her tune:

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day

Today's Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day in recognition of Allied Powers signing a truce to conclude World War I on 11 November 1918 in France. 

One year later, President Wilson proclaimed 11 November as Armistice Day (click here.)  Then in 1954, Congress made it a holiday to recognize all Veterans.

Friday, November 10, 2017


My first encounter with the T-V show Sex and the City occurred when I was visiting my cousin Father John at his place in Williamsburg.  John was a subscriber to HBO and had several must-see shows that he watched.  When he flipped on SATC he asked if I had ever watched it.  After I told him no he said "I think you'll like it."

As the show spun out, John would give me brief descriptions of the women as they made their appearances.  When Samantha buzzed in to join the other 3 ladies for brunch, John laughed and said "This is the best one because she's such a tramp." 

Guess you can say "She had me at tramp" because John was exactly correct in that I immediately liked Samantha.  Kim Cattrall as Samantha stole every scene she was in and was the main reason I watched the show.  (I became an HBO subscriber after that first look at SATC and mostly it was because of Kim/Samantha.)

According to recent press stories, the SATC ladies are feuding as to whether or not they will make  another SATC movie.  You know that they will do so eventually, but all of this PR crap has to play out first. 

Meanwhile, I'd like to see Kim star in her own movie/show.  Call it Samantha and the City.

Proving once again, that I always did like smart women, check out this video: 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Growing Better Not Older

I once took Buzzy to the VA Hospital in D.C. for an evaluation by their Gerontology Department.  The female doctor doing the eval was about my age and had a nice way about her as she interviewed my Dad.  When she asked him what his hobbies were, he said he didn't have any.  She followed up with "Well, what do you do for fun?"  To which he said "Read the paper I guess."

She then challenged Buzzy by saying "Come on Mr. Ridgell, your generation is the first one to live this long.  Think of yourself as a pioneer going some place that no one has been to before.  You need to show your son and me how to get older and have fun doing it.  You can't sit around and do nothing because we already know how to do that." 

We all laughed and she had achieved her first priority in that she had connected with my Dad and made him at ease in talking with her.  The evaluation went pretty well after that.

Later on as we were driving down the road, Buzzy remarked "You know, that gal may have been onto something."  I teased him by saying "You're not going to take up Square Dancing are you?"  He just smiled and said "I doubt that."

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Town Without Pitney

Gene Pitney recorded Town Without Pity in 1961 for the movie of the same name.  It won a Golden Globe Award for Best Song and was also nominated  for an Academy Award but lost out to Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany's. 

I am not sure where I heard this but supposedly the producer of the record kept making Gene do take after take of it.  Very late in the evening he made Pitney do it one more time and Pitney was so tired that his voice actually cracks in spots as he sings the song.  The producer got exactly what he wanted  - a very tired song sung by a very tired singer.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Rock and Roll HoF Nominees

Election Day in some States.  Thank God we won't have to see any more of those stupid Gillespie-Northam ads.  I'm so sick of both of them that I wouldn't vote for either of them were I a Virginian.

However there is an important vote going on right now that really matters.  While you're skulking around the ole Internet,  click here and vote for your top 5 2018 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  My five would be the Moody Blues, J. Geils, Dire Straits, Link Wray and the Zombies. 

I know Bon Jovi and the Cars are worthy contenders too, but sentimentality took over with my Link Wray and Zombies selections.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Charlie and Jerry

Everyday when Charlie and Jerry come into Buzzy's Country Store, I always feel a little better knowing that they are both there.  Recently, they have been dealing with some medical issues that precludes one or both of them from making it to Buzzy's on any given day. 

It's taught me to appreciate it all the more when both of them do roll into Buzzy's right around 4 o'clock.  
Photo by Kim Wiley

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Gimme That Old Time Religion?

Sunday, so let's talk a little religion as in how our Founding Fathers viewed things.

When they kicked it off back in 1776, our Founders are often praised for their foresight and wisdom on a number of far reaching issues.  One of the bedrocks of their vision of a government by the people and for the people had to do with the separation of Church and State. 

Having seen how England under King Henry VIII and other historical ruling dynasties had botched the whole religion and governance gig, our founders wanted to ensure complete separation of the two.  They went to great lengths to ensure that our system of governance had built in protections against any group, whether religious, military, or political could ever replace democracy (click here.)  
It was Thomas Jefferson who coined the phrase "a wall of separation between church and state." 

And yet you hear today's Tea partyers and evangelicals talk about America as having been founded by Christians and based on Christian values.  Fact of the matter is -  the majority of our founders were Deists and did not practice any organized religion (click here.)

In those parts of the world today where theocracies are the dominant powers you see much discord and unrest.  Religious differences among these countries and factions aren't the only reasons for the discord but nonetheless they do play a major role.   Thank God, or whomever, that our Founding Fathers got it right when they set things up for us.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Heavens to Betsy!

Our friend Betsy Warren recently updated her FB Profile Picture.  It's a great picture of Betsy taken by her husband Floyd when we were in Bordeaux, France last year.  

As good a photo as it is of Betsy however, don't look too closely at the folks in the background.  There you can see reprobates such as Brian Barnhill and yours truly along with wife Pam having a bad hair day.  

Ignore those three folks behind Betsy and instead focus on the 3 sentiments Betsy expresses below - Thankful, Grateful and Blessed.  Who among us doesn't share in and relate to that?

Friday, November 3, 2017

November = Blog Month

Forget about all that Thanksgiving brouhaha and Black Friday b.s., November is also noted for being National Blog Posting Month (click here.)

Since you are reading the Buzzyblog, you know what a blog is all about, mostly someone talking about what interests them!  So if you have a specific interest, chances are pretty good that someone out there has a blog devoted to that subject.  

For example, say you are interested in a topic like "Country Stores." Google's blogger site is the place to start your search for a blog that is all about that topic.  Go to Blogger.com and type in Country Stores and you will come up with this:
Better yet, you can start your own blog with little effort and who knows where that may lead you.  Some blogsites such as Shit My Dad Says went onto become a best selling book and even a T-V show.

As for the Buzzyblog, I do not have any grandiose schemes for it other than it gives me something to do every day.  (A friend in the publishing industry has talked to me about possibly writing a book featuring Buzzyblog input.  However, I'm just not that disciplined nor motivated enough to pursue such an undertaking.  Who knows though, maybe in my dotage I will look into it.)

Reminds me of Elvis:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Heidi 2017

Ok, she can not be hot every year I guess, but Heidi's Halloween 2017 costume was not one of her best.  
Werewolf from Thriller
Over 450 million views.  Guess you could say that this is a rather popular video:

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November Birthdays

The Buzzy family has several birthdays to celebrate in November.

John Carbone on 2 November, John "Busser" Eaker on the 4th and Wes Demko on the 5th.  Darlene Madjeski and Jamie Cross on the 8th, John Porter the 9th, Sharon Barnhill the 12th, Harry Wheatley and Wade Norris 14th, Joe Stone 16 November, my Grand daughter Lily on the 17th, John Wayne Raley, Warren Burke and Tommy Courtney the 20th, Mary Lou Cullison and Mike Raley the 23rd,  my niece Katie (Taylor) Allen on the 25th.  Bobby Cook and Bubba Cullison celebrate on the 30th.  Also,  10 November is the Marine Corps birthday.  Semper Fidelis! 

All Saints Day

Continuing with the triduum of Allhallowtide, today marks All Saints Day.  As discussed in yesterday's post, it is a day set aside to remember and recognize all of those who have gone to heaven but do not have their own designated feast day.  Thus, it's sort of a catch all day.
Here is Mick talking about his religious (or lack of) beliefs.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Samhain!

Pagans observe today as their holiday Samhein (pronounced saa-ween) to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of winter or the darker part of their year.  It is an ancient Celtic holiday that begins at sunset tonight and runs through tomorrow. 

Here's a brief description on how Samhain became what we call Halloween (for more info click here.)
As to how pagans celebrate Samhain, click here for some suggestions.  Don't think that I will pursue too many of these, but I may just have to swing by the old graveyard today on my way down the road and say hello to Buzzy and Brother Steve.

I have shown you this video previously but with Tom's recent passing to the other side, it's worth a second look.  Video features Kim Bassinger and it won the Video of the Year Award back in 1994.   Be sure to watch it to the end and see if the final view doesn't give you a little goosebump chill. Happy Halloween, Samhain or whatever it is that you are into.