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.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Thought I Heard a Blackbird Sing

Jerry Garcia died on this day 25 years ago at the young age of 53.  Here is a good story discussing Jerry's last concert and his final days truckin' around here on Mother Earth click here.

This would be the Dead's last concert with Jerry on stage and was at Soldier Field in Chicago on 9 July 1995 exactly one month before he died.  He played the following tune and you can see him very tired and very worn down as he sang the mournful lyrics about moving on down the road.  It's almost like he knew something bad was coming.  Those blackbirds are never good omens.

Thought I heard a blackbird singing 
Up on Bluebird Hill 
Call me a whinin' boy if you will 
Born where the sun don't shine 
And I don't deny my name 
Got no place to go, ain't that a shame? 

Thought I heard that KC whistle 
Moaning sweet and low 
Thought I heard that KC when she blow 
Down where the sun don't shine 
Underneath the Kokomo 
Whinin' boy got no place to go 

So many roads, I tell you 
So many roads I know 
So many roads, so many roads 
Mountain high, river wide 
So many roads to ride 
So many roads, so many roads 

Thought I heard a jug band playin' 
If you don't who else will? 
From over on the far side of the hill 
All I know the sun don't shine 
And the rain refused to fall 
And you don't seem to hear me when I call 
Wind inside and the wind outside 
Tangled in the window blind
Tell me why you treat me so unkind
Down where the sun don't shine
Lonely and I call your name
No place left to go, ain't that a shame?

P.S. As I thought about doing this post it occurred to me that I had previously said something about Jerry passing on this day. Sure enough when I hit that trusty Search button, I landed on the following post that I did on this very day 10 years ago (click here.)  What can I say?  So many blog posts I tell you.  What's a whinin' boy to do?

Saturday, August 8, 2020

It's Not Market Science - Well, Maybe It Is!

Don't you love this time of year when all kinds of home grown produce and veggies are in such great supply? At Buzzy's Country Store folks will just bring in and leave for the taking all sorts of freshly picked items from their gardens. 

However, if you don't feel like driving down to Buzzy's (or to Trossbach's Produce stand just below it)  you've got several other choices throughout the County including 3 markets - Farmers, California and Hermanville.  All of them are open today.
Homegrown in Hermanville

And don't forget to pick up seafood as there are now plenty of crabs around for you. (The old timers say that lots of jelly fish mean lots of crabs. If that correlation is true, then I guess I finally found something good about jelly fish.) To get your crab fix, Paul Kellam at Kellam's Seafood in uptown Ridge can help you out:
Photo from Kellam's FB Page - Makes You Want Some Doesn't It?
Nursery rhyme on this subject for you.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Going Backwards (In More Ways Than One)

In preparing for Isaias earlier this week, my son Shea moved his jet ski off the lift at my pier and then motored around to the boat ramp just down the road from my house. My task was to drive his vehicle and trailer to the ramp where he would load the jet ski onto the trailer and take it to his house. 

However, once I was at the ramp and tried to back the trailer down the ramp, I could not do so. After a couple failed attempts on my part, Shea tied the jet ski to a pier post, took over for me at the wheel and effortlessly backed the trailer down the ramp. He then secured the jet ski on the trailer and we hopped in his SUV to head back home. 

On the way I asked him "What was I doing wrong? I had my hand on top of the wheel and tried turning it in the direction I wanted the trailer to go but it went the opposite way." Shea said "You put your hand on the bottom of the wheel, not the top.  Don't you remember? You taught me that when I was a kid and we had that lawnmower with the cart behind it." 
6 O'clock Not 12 O'clock 
I was pleased to hear him say that I had actually taught him something that he had retained and used thru the years.  (But the thought also crossed my mind that no, I obviously did not remember teaching him that and in fact had forgotten it myself.  In my defense however, I did vaguely remember that riding lawnmower and cart though.  Photo here of Shea driving his sister Reagan around on it.)
I simply wrote it off as another one of those full circle moments where the child now teaches the adult things once known and forgotten.

And speaking of remembering, here is a nice little childhood "remembering" video from Phil:

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Beer Questions and Answers

The following was sent to me:








Husband:    YES






Husband:    $5.00 WHICH INCLUDES A TIP



 Husband:    ABOUT 20 YEARS, I SUPPOSE.


Husband:    CORRECT!



Husband:     CORRECT!


Husband:    DO YOU DRINK BEER?

Wife:    NO.



Funny beer video here for you too!  No questions asked nor answered.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020


Most common comment I've heard in Buzzy's Country Store this past week was something along the lines "Who the hell is naming these hurricanes?  You can't even pronounce it!"

Well, I don't know if that pissed Isaias off or what, but yesterday he sure blew in, blew out and kicked our asses while he was around.  Touching down here in Piney Point and the Ridge areas in the form of a couple of tornado's, Isaias then bounced his way up the road wrecking more havoc throughout the County. 

Here is a still from Bryan Swann's video he filmed of my neighborhood after the storm had passed thru.  You can see the path that the tornado took as it rolled thru.  That's my neighbor's house with the blue tarp on it.

My neighbor up the street Loretta Cook posted these photos she took:
Following Isaias departure, my wife Pam took this photo looking out back:
After our windows were damaged by the flying shingles, I found myself out in the storm trying to put plywood over them.  This is just what I wanted to be doing DURING a hurricane.  (As for my finished product, I am now trying to convince Pam that it looks just fine and we don't need to do anything else.  You can imagine her response to that Ridge boy suggestion.)
A fallen tree at Andover Estates Road blocked all 249 traffic until mid-afternoon when I was finally able to get thru and begin to head down to the Store.  However, with Great Mills flooded and also shut down to traffic, I had to head up Leonardtown way and cut over St. Andrews Church Road only to encounter  another downed tree there blocking traffic.  I then detoured again and eventually made my way to 235 and on down to Ridge where several more tress had fallen just above Buzzy's.    

My thanks to Brian Barnhill for opening and running Buzzy's for me while I was detained.  When he called me earlier in the day about opening up, I never imagined it would take me all afternoon to get down to the Store.  Thank you Brian!

Now that we know Isaias' name, this song came to mind:

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Twofer Tuesday: Oh, Canada? Oh Linda!

Check out this video touting the beauty and wonders of Canada:
Why do I lay this on you?  Re-watch it and substitute St. Mary's County for Canada. To paraphrase a line from Chuck, anything you want, we got it right here in our own backyard. 

Here then is a great clip from the documentary Hail Hail Rock and Roll.  Chuck, Keith and Robert Cray play as the back up band for Linda to take it up to a whole nother level. "I'm so glad I'm livin' in the USA."  Why isn't this our National Anthem?  Bet nobody would be kneeling down when it was being played!

Monday, August 3, 2020

F.O. Bowles Store

Good 2016 Enterprise article here by Jason Babcock on F.O. Bowles' Store in Hollywood:
Also found these other Enterprise articles talking about Bowles Store:

Whenever I read about these old country stores that have disappeared from the scene it always makes me appreciate all the more my very small role in keeping Buzzy's Country Store choogling along.  Folks who pass thru the Store will often times remark to me how nice and how great Buzzy's is.  I always tell them "Enjoy it, because they aren't making anymore of us."

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Stone, Stella and Sol

In yesterday's listing of Buzzy family special days in August, I overlooked a couple of very important ones both of which will occur on 8 August.

My Grandson Stone will be celebrating his one year old birthday with his Mom Caitie, Dad Brady and big brother Blaise.  Happy Birthday to a happy boy!  

My In-laws and housemates Stella and Sol Aroesty will be celebrating their 67th wedding anniversary also on the 8th of August.  Congrats to them for such a long run together and best wishes for many more anniversaries to comePhoto below was part of a family photo taken at their wedding.  Sol is on the left as Stella is seated between her father Theodore and Mother Palomba.

And speaking of interesting names for folks, Pat Woodburn wrote a good article on the subject in the current edition of the Historical Society's Chronicles. In addition to discussing the many unique nicknames for folks here in the County, Pat mentions how last names were often used as middle names for folks. He wrote: "And almost a guarantee of local culture was the use of a surname for a middle name to commemorate a 
Thank you Pat for including Stone in there with such a great group.

Nice song/video to play on an endless summer day like today:

Saturday, August 1, 2020

August Birthdays 2020

Our eighth month of 2020 features the following birthdays and one anniversary to be celebrated in the Buzzy family.  (Regarding the anniversary, I don't know exactly why Jimmy and Mary Lou Cullison's anniversary is the only one that Buzzy ever entered onto his calendar as being noteworthy.  Among the many couples who hung out at the Store with him through all those years, Mary Lou and Jimmy's anniversary is the only one he has recorded on his calendars.) 
Dickie Cullison gets us started off by hitting the big 7-0 today.  My cousin Johnny (JW) Raley celebrates on the 3rd along with Karen Quade, Rita Weaver and Ted Yeatman.  Bobbi Jo Magee on 5 Aug;  my Grandson Stone Ridgell's first birthday on the 8th; my in-laws Stella and Sol Aroesty's wedding anniversary also on the 8th;  Lori Raley on the 17th;  Cathy Wright the 20th; Gary Wood the 25th, my son Brady also on the 25th and  Brother-in-law Dan Hofmeister the 26th.  And as noted, on the 29th, Jimmy and Marylou Cullison celebrate their wedding anniversary.   

My Mom will celebrate her 89th birthday on the 21st.  She's been known to make a visit to the Store on her birthday and buy the traditional round in recognition of her special day.  Of course I will never accept her money when she tries to pay and no, I don't put it on her tab either!

In saying goodbye to one of the hottest July's on record, I am reminded of an old flame - literally.  Like the month of July, she too was very hot; and like July, maybe too much so.  While July has its fireworks and fun on the 4th and then several lively parties and events throughout the rest of the month, likewise my hot lady friend was also fun and exciting to be with.   We traveled, we partied, we rocked and rolled and I got to say I had a great time with her both outdoors and indoors if you know what I mean.   She was something!  And as I stated she was hot.

But ultimately, all of her hotness and energy, like the heat in July just plain wore me out.  (And this was back when I still had some mojo in me to be worn out.)  Like that law of thermodynamics where things that are hot always eventually turn cool, we drifted apart and ultimately went our separate ways.  

Throughout the year, a song will play and I'll think of her every now and then.  However, in July with all its hot days and party times, I think of her quite frequently.  I'm usually inside in an air conditioned environment when I do so however.  

The Stones are known primarily for their 3 pillars of sex, drugs and rock n roll.  Little known nor appreciated though is their sense of humor throughout their storied careers.  In life, as well as in their music, they have always been quick to laugh and keep things upbeat and fun.  God knows we need some of that attitude now these days when everything is such a full on battle.  I don't have to tell you whom I attribute that state of affairs to do I?  

But check out one of the Stones funnier videos featuring a very hot actress Anita Morris.   Mick, now 77, celebrated his birthday in July on the 26th.  Ain't that a hot coincidence!?

Friday, July 31, 2020

Doreen, Dana and Their Dogs

Photo by Doreen Anderson
They came into Buzzy's Country Store earlier this week and informed me that they have the Mary Lou Troutman Buzzy print on their kitchen wall (above.)  Nothing too unusual about that because folks will often make similar comments to me along those lines.  

But what made Doreen and Dana Anderson's version of owning the print special is that despite them having owned it for many years, they never really knew where Buzzy's was located until they drove past it on the way from their home in Cecil County to camp at Point Lookout.  Doreen explained it in the following email:    

Just wanted to thank you for your time earlier this week when my husband and I stopped by your store.  It was a pretty neat experience to just happen upon the store after owning one of the prints all these years. Such a special little place. Here are some of the photos I took of my dogs in front of Buzzy's, as well as a shot of the print I own.  I also made a post on your fb page with a few more photos. As silly as it may seem, it was a highlight of our little mini vacation.  It seemed appropriate too, since we are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary this weekend.  

I kept telling my husband I wished that I had an old red wagon with me to pose the pups in out in front of the store. That would make a neat photo! Maybe you can park one out front by your sign for folks to "borrow" for future photo ops! Lol. Just a thought 

It was a pleasure meeting you and I wish you well. 


Doreen Anderson 

To see Doreen's FB entry (click here.)  This is what she wrote there:

 Here are a couple of the photo's she included:

OK - No telling any jokes about Buzzy's going to the dogs!

P.S.  After Doreen had left the Store following her purchase of the Buzzy shirts, I told Lisa Mercure about the above story and she suggested I put it on the Buzzyblog.  Thanks to her suggestion I was able to hurry out to Doreen and Dana as they were pulling away and give them  my email address.  Thank you Lisa!  And of course thank you Doreen and Dana!  

Music wise, since we're talking dogs here, did you know that Elvis' Hound Dog was another one of those songs that featured the 3 chords E-A-D?

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Country Store Poems

Google Country Store Poems and read over them and you will find that most of the entries will involve an extended recitation of the many items found in those "old time places of yore."  A sample follows:

Whenever I scan over poems like this with their listing of items found in a country store, I can and do recall Buzzy actually having most of those items in our store back when he focused more on the non-alcohol side of the business. (OK, the aforementioned side saddle and false hair maybe were not our shelves, but you get my drift.)   

Thus, from the little bit of checking out of the Country-Store-Poetry-genre that I just did, it seemed like most of the poets fell back on the listing of goods found there (click here for another good example of this and note that I still don't know what the hell sorghum is.)

However, I did land on some of the Country Store poems that did not simply list items and goods found there and instead talked about a specific memory or association.  Two samples follow: 

Here too is a nice one by Dennis Bielanski that goes from being a poem about a country store to a love note to/for his partner:
Note #2 - I don't remember Buzzy ever selling any roses either.

Very few of the Country Store Poems I stumbled upon make any mention of what I think is the most defining quality of  a country store and that is the people in the store.   Guess maybe that is something I'll put in my "To Do" file:  write a Country Store Poem about the people in the store.  That way I won't have to worry about listing items found in the store and trying to find a rhyme for turpentine.  Wait a minute, I just did so! 

Leave it to Dave to come up with a funny poem about going into a store:

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Gloria and Pinky

This past Sunday Janaree Nagel hosted a get together at Buzzy's Country Store in memory of her parents Gloria and Pinky who were interred in Arlington last Friday.  This is from her FB page:
Charlie Simms and Pinky were best friends all thru and after their many years of service in the Navy.  Here is a photo I took of Charlie posing Sunday with Janaree and Bonnie Watson: 

It sent me to the files where I also found this 2011 photo I took of Charlie and Pinky at Buzzy's with their wives Dot and Gloria (click here.)

The occasion here was Charlie's 85th birthday celebration at Buzzy's.  Afterwards, the 4 of them went out to dinner.  (For another post I did on what a great guy and good neighbor Pinky was (click here.)

My thanks to Janaree and all who attended Sunday's tribute to Gloria and Pinky.  I was very honored to have hosted it at Buzzy's a place where friends still meet and enjoy each other's company.  Do it while you can.   

Music-wise there are not too many "Pinky" songs out there but I have dropped the tune Gloria on you several times previously.  Here then is a behind-the-scenes explanation discussing the three chords E, A and D that make Gloria and so many other songs so great (click here.)  

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Bonus Army Busted

Amidst as this talk of Federal forces attacking protesters, here is a similar incident that I never heard of in any American History class I ever sat through.

On this this day in history in 1932, United States military forces attacked WW1 Army veterans who were in Washington, DC protesting for their promised Bonus funds. The military forces were led by our "Scotland Beach Generals" MacArthur, Patton and Eisenhower.  (For those of you who don't get that Scotland Beach reference, check out the road names:)
Here is the backstory as to why the vets were in DC protesting on 28 July 1932.   Congress had a
pproved bonus funds for them in 1924 as a reward for their service in the war.  However, for some crazy reason (money what else?) disbursement of those funds was not scheduled for payment to the vets until 1948.  This led to thousands of them coming to D.C. and setting up an encampment to demand their money.   For the complete story on this (click here) or just watch this video.  
P.S. Note that President Hoover, who ordered that the veterans be evicted from their camp, was badly defeated a couple months later of that year in his bid for re-election.  Historical context mind you.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Tie Tacks and Cuff Links

One more post on some Buzzy keepsakes.  

Here are photos of tie tacks and cuff links that were stashed in a plastic container among Buzzy's other keepsakes. (OK, just to balance out the photo, I did slip one of my tie tacks in with his.  Free drink to you if you can pick out which one was mine and not his.) 

Appropriately enough here is a Cuff Links' song for you.  Little too bubble gummy for us rock n rollers but guilty pleasure confession,  I always kinda liked it anyway.   The lady posing here on the cover is a young Diana Rigg before she grew up and changed her name to Emma Peel i.e. starring in one of my favorite T-V shows The Avengers.


Sunday, July 26, 2020

Church Matters

In  looking through more of Buzzy's various keepsakes I came upon this postcard.  (Make note of the fountain in the foreground as I will be mentioning it again.)
 On the back side of the card he had written this:

Iglesia de la Merced  (Church of Mercy) is located in Antigua, Guatemala.  Buzzy made a trip there in 1990 as part of the Global Volunteers group an organization of folks who travel the world volunteering to help out others.  (For a related post I did on this in March 2010 (click here.)

While in Guatemala each member of the group took a turn writing a daily journal of their activities.  Here is what I found for that Sunday the 25th of March as a lady named Laura recorded the following:

      "On Sunday we all went off in different directions to make
Note Laura's mentioning the Church of San Francisco which is is located on the other side of Antigua from the church that Buzzy attended.  As you can see here,  Antigua has over a  dozen Catholic churches.  I've hilighted Buzzy's and Laura's:
There is an interesting connection between these two churches in that an earthquake in 1773 destroyed Church San Francisco leaving it in ruins.  (Also leaves one to wonder what IS it about things named San Francisco and earthquakes?!)  Subsequently, the fountain that was in Church San Francisco was relocated to the courtyard of the Church of Mercy where it resides today (shown above.)  

Another little bit of useless trivia for you: in 1935 a couple of Tarzan movies were filmed in Guatemala with several scenes shot in the the ruins of the San Francisco Church.  

Eventually the Church San Francisco was rebuilt in 1967 but many of the ruins that Laura referred to above still remain.   I found this movie trailer on Youtube where you can see some of the Church ruins. 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Buzzy's Wallet

Believe it or not but I am still sorting thru items that belonged to Buzzy.  For instance, this small billfold wallet was among a box of cuff links, postcards and other personal items that he had saved and stashed away thru the years.  I remember him using this wallet in our travels so he probably only broke it out whenever we took a trip.  He had another wallet which was much bulkier as it contained his driver's license, Medicare card, secondary insurance cards, credit cards etc..  This smaller wallet was his travel wallet and only contained a couple cards and photos as follows.  

It starts with his County Commissioner card dated 1966 and ends for some unexplained reason with his Confederate Air Force membership card.  In between are photos of his 4 children and first two grand kids Ryan and Todd:

Commissioner Card and First Granddaughter Ryan Ridgell

First Grandson Todd Taylor, Stevie and Some Dude With Lots of Hair

Lila and Donna (twice)

          Lila and Confederate Air Corps Card 
Here is a closer look at what the card says:
I'm thinking that Buzzy, being someone who never wanted to waste anything, put that last empty sleeve to good use by inserting his own version of a CAC card.

Nice little wallet tune here for you from Regina Spektor (no relation to Phil) (click here.) 

Friday, July 24, 2020


Visitation and funeral  today for Myrtle Faunce who passed away Saturday at the age of 96. 

Of all the folks who have spent some time in Buzzy's Country Store thru the years, Myrtle was one of the more memorable.  To read her obituary (click here.)  The obit does a great job of telling you about Myrtle and her amazing life story.    

Included in the obit is mention of Myrtle's 15 minutes of national fame when in March of 2006 she and Buzzy made the front page of the Washington Post as follows.
(For a better view of the above photo and an earlier post I did on this (click here.) To read the complete Post story (click here.))

I quoted Bob's namesake to my Mom the other day as she talked about not planning on going to go quietly when it's time for her to punch out.  I teased her "Why should you change your ways now?"  She just laughed.  

Here then is the original Dylan reciting his classic take on how to slip away or maybe that should read - on how NOT to slip away.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Opening Day Tonight

Rich Brewer Photo
Good photo here of Lindy McKay and Ernie Bell at Buzzy's Country Store reviewing Lindy's baseball scrapbook.  Lindy's wife Shirley put the collection together several years ago and it contains an unofficial history of baseball and softball in the County.  
I don't know for certain if Shirley included this Donkey Baseball 1976 hi light of Lindy's great ball career but I found it some time ago in the Enterprise's archives (click on link below photo.)
I mention this for two reasons: one to recognize Lindy as "Mr. Baseball" here in the County and two because MLB's season begins tonite.  Our World Series Champs the Nationals are playing the Yankees featuring a pitching duel between Max Scherzer vs. new Yankee Gerrit Cole.

For all you die hard fans, George Will has a very tough, 38 question baseball quiz for you to take (click here).  Other than Stable Genius 45 being able to ace it with no problems (or at least saying that he aced it,) I doubt that many other folks could!

I've played the original Talking Baseball several times before but check out the Simpson's talking Homer, Ozzie and the Straw.  See how many of their references you can recall: