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.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Bernie at Buzzy's?

 OK, I couldn't resist:

In case you haven't seen or heard about this (click here read the article and scroll down to watch the NBC video on it.)  Funny stuff.

Something else inaugural-related that caught my eye and I thought was kinda cool - this exchange between Steny and Joe:
And speaking of  No Joe check out this from Hank who was talking about Joe as in Stalin:

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Sunday Thoughts


I'm not really sure what to say about this cartoon sent to me courtesy of Larry Yeatman.  I got friends on both sides of that great divide.  Too, I find myself straddling that believer/non-believer line.   Billy Joel's "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with saints" line comes to mind. 

Sting was raised a Catholic but notes that "I would not consider myself a Christian any longer.  My beliefs are much wider than that" (click here.)  I am not as worldly wise in my religious beliefs as is the Stingster, but I can and do appreciate the point he is making.   Why is religion and faith such a quicksand kinda thing?  Good time to play this song:

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Show Off Your Stuff

Today over at St. Clement's Museum they are sponsoring an Appraiser Fair.  It's kind of like that Antique Roadshow where you can bring your heirlooms and collectibles to have them checked out and appraised.  For more info go to the Museum's FB page (click here.)  

It made me think of something that my friend Joan suggested awhile back about having an event at Buzzy's Country Store where folks display unique things that they have around their homes.  For example, Joan has a set of fender skirts from her Dad's old car.  (I'm betting some younger folks don't even know what fender skirts are (or were.))

I'll put this Show Off Your Stuff idea in the Buzzy Future Events Folder and maybe we'll do something along these lines when the weather warms up and we're all dealing in a Post-Covid environment.    Meanwhile, start thinking about what items you have sitting around that may be worth showing off (other than your car or your truck that is!)

Speaking of friends, a very good friend sent me this really good song about folks having a totally good time.  Absolutely good stuff!  This is the first that I have ever heard of Niko, but I'm sure it won't be the last as he seems to have hit that sweet spot of country, rock. and feel good music.  We sure can use some more of that can't we?

Friday, January 22, 2021

Never Fight With Numbers 1, 3, 5 , 7 and 9 - The Odds Will Be Against You

It was one month ago that I closed Buzzy's due to the Covid outbreak among 20 or so of my friends who frequent and even work in the Store.   I am happy to report that today all of them are recovered and doing ok following their exposure to the virus.  For that I am very grateful.  

Still, it was a pretty scary time for everyone and for me feeling guilty that Buzzy's was somehow involved in all this.  Believe me, being labelled a Covid Super Spreader was never something I had considered for the Buzzy business model.  Cold Beer Super Spreader is more like what I had in mind for Buzzy's.  

According to our Health Department's Covid tracking numbers (click here) confirmed cases in the Ridge (18) and Scotland (14) areas are staying comparatively low given that the County overall has seen more than a  doubling of cases from the 1st of December (2350) to yesterday's total of 4777.       

In talking to one of my Buzzy friends who tested positive for the virus but came out of it ok, he made the what-doesn't-kill-you-makes-you-stronger observation.  While I agreed and laughed along with him, what I didn't say to him is that I have never really bought in to that saying.  In fact, I have always thought that it was a little on the dumb side of quotes for the simple reason that stress alone can, will and does kill you.  Bottom line is that  nobody, and that means NO body, here gets out alive.  (OK,  Christ took 3 days before He made His great comeback but He still went outta here first physically didn't He?)    

Just because I was curious to see if anybody else had questioned the veracity of that makes-you-stronger rationale, I found at least one study that says it is horse manure and maybe even entirely false  (click here.)    What doesn't kill you now, may eventually get you anyway.   As an example, think how many times you have heard a cancer survivor say "Thank God they got it all" and 6 months later they are up there thanking God in person, or maybe more likely, asking God "What the hell happened?"    You just never know do you? 

Musically, since I quoted Mr. MoJo Risin', might as well play that one here for you.  (I never knew until just now that he lifted part of the lyrics to this tune from a hymnal/bedtime story (click here for explanation.)  Also, I think I did hear that this was the song he was singing on stage in Miami when he got busted for indecent exposure and trying to incite a riot.  That Jim, he really was ahead of his time (pun intended.))


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Thank You Vilma!

See If You Can Pick Out the Ridge Boy

Vilma (second from left above) and her family and friends have been in Buzzy's Country Store several times and I am always glad to see her.  (Of course I am always glad to see folks who think Buzzy's is a great place to bring their family and friends!)

I am also Facebook friends with Vilma and when I saw her post the other day saying that she needed prayers it immediately caught my attention because usually what follows those kind of lead off statements is not too good.  However, read what Vilma wrote after saying that she needed prayers.

I particularly like Vilma's take that the U.S. is the only country that makes all of your dreams come true.  That's pretty high praise coming from someone who has lived all over the world wouldn't you say?  

As for Vilma feeling sad about how polarized we all are, I share that sadness too.  Rodney King comes to my mind "Can't we all just get along?"  Life is way too short to spend what time we have left here fussing and fighting about silly things that simply do not matter.  

So thank you Vilma for your call to pray for our America.  However, my bottom line is that I think America is gonna do ok; but many of its people are in need a lot of praying for.      

But hey Vilma, I'm reopening in a couple weeks.  Drinks are on me, so stop in.

No music today.  Instead, I want to play for you probably the best summary of what America is, was and could be again if we all just worked together a little bit:

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Truth at Last

This sign, located on Rt 489, is one I agree with completely today.  Given that some pictures really are worth a thousand words, I'll just leave it at those 3.

Not Fake

Supposedly Gregg Rolie, Santana's original lead vocalist and keyboard player, wrote this song about a dude who dumped his girlfriend in favor of her mother.  The song's title, along with Rolie's final line "Your mother ain't so bad, what happened to you" sort of lends credence to that interpretation.

However, it is the beginning of the song that caught my ear today.  You see, this was starting to play just when I began writing this post.  Thought that it was more than a little appropriate to pass it along today.

"Got no time for fooling with you baby.
Your stupid game is about to end.
You played it out, thought you had it made
And it looks like someone passed you by again."

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Happy Birthday Steve!

Happy Birthday Steve Soroka aka Polock!   Wish Buzzy were here to reciprocate singing Happy Birthday to you!

Steve recently sent the Buzzy Gang a nice Christmas card with this note inside:

I miss him too.  

In going thru some old photos, I found this one of Dick, Polock and Buzzy on a couch somewhere.  I can't figure out where this was exactly but I can safely say that with those curtains, that lamp and the table decorations it definitely wasn't in Polock's nor Dick's campers!
Speaking of good friends, this gets my vote as the best friend song of them all.  Written by Randy Newman for the movie Toy Story, here is a version by a father and his 4 year old daughter.  (Yes, I have played this previously for you, but it's so good, it's worth a re-run:)

Monday, January 18, 2021

Swanendele Inn

Thank you to Larry Yeatman for sending me the following article/info on Swanendele Inn being cited as one of the most distinguished inns in North America by the Select Registry folks:

Note that several other inns were also listed and depicted in the Select Registry article, but Swanendele is the one I want to focus on.

It is located on Airdele Road on St. Jerome's Creek and is owned and operated by my Buzzy friends Gerry and Vickie.  The following is from their Swanendele website (click here.) 

The Swanendele website is very well done and worth checking out even if it neglects to mention that  Swanendele's main builder/craftsman was Duncan Lepper.  But hats off to Gerry and Vickie as I have had several Swanendele occupancy visitors drop into Buzzy's Country Store and appreciate your efforts in bringing folks down our way.   Too, congratulations on being selected as one of the most distinguished inns in North America.

Speaking of inns, check out this video.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Prayer at Valley Forge pt 2

Last Sunday I discussed the famous painting of Washington praying at Valley Forge (above) and focused on the painter who did it Arnold Friberg (click here.)

This Sunday, I would like to pass along some additional info I stumbled upon about the Washington praying scene.  

First off, there is some debate as to whether or not this scene ever actually took place at all (click here.)  Just like that Washington cutting down the cherry tree malarkey, this may be another made up legend.

Another debate click here involves how other paintings of the scene show a Quaker named Isaac Potts observing Washington praying.  Friberg did not include Isaac who supposedly witnessed and reported the scene.  (My guess is that because Friberg was so intent on showing off the horse, he didn't want any other distractions to take away attention from Mister Ed.  Horse looks a little like Ed doesn't he?)

The legend goes that Mr. Potts, despite being a loyalist to the King, was so impressed at how fervently Washington prayed that he changed his allegiance from the King to the revolutionists. This was even more telling because Washington and his troops at the time were badly mistreating the Quakers while they camped out in their Valley Forge lands (click here and scroll down about halfway thru the article.)  This in turn led to some frictions between Washington's men and their Quaker neighbors.  

Seems that in early colonial times the Quakers were not viewed too favorably.  Some of the colonies even passed laws banning Quakers (click here)   When the war began and the pacifist Quakers did not join in, this naturally led to some further churn and animosity towards them.  

Thus, the whole story of Mt. Potts seeing Washington praying and then endorsing him afterwards had more to do with resolving religious differences than it did with Washington being such a devout and religious leader.  Friberg's omission of Mr. Potts glosses over that part of the story. 

OK, music wise the Quakers were not to keen on that either (click here.)  So how about a nice little instrumental from Earl Klugh?  As you know, I am not much of a pet person but as I was looking for this song,  I landed on this video that's not that bad even if it does have Chinese subtitles.  (Make note of the end of the video where it looks like Rover is about to cock and unload.  Maybe he saw someone hiding in the bushes.)

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Party's Over DJ

Photo of the Oval Office courtesy Scott Straub (click here.)  (And no, that is not Melania behind the desk.  My only question is - how did he ever sweet talk her (the dummy) away from Mike and Winkie?) 

How about a song for the road?

Friday, January 15, 2021

Park Hall Airport

On Massey's FB page You Know You're From St. Mary's someone posted a photo of a guy with a small plane and asked if anyone knew of a place in the County that had flying back in the day (click here.)  Naturally the Park Hall Airport came up and thanks to Sandy Sweikar we got this explanation:

A search of Massey's You Know St. Mary's archives revealed these other posts and discussions about Park Hall Airport:

Then there was this from Tom MacDonald with several interesting comments including Sandy's above (click here)

And this from Candace Junkin (click here) who included the following link to a book titled Abandoned and Little Known Airfields by Paul Freeman.  A section of this book discusses Park Hall  (click here.)  Speaking of "little known facts," Mr. Freeman notes at the end of his discussion of the Park Hall Airport that the housing development there today commemorates its airport history by naming its streets Spitfire Court and Piper Court. 

How bout something from Howlin' talking airplane related things.  (Note this same riff was played by Howlins' guitar man Hubert Sumlin and they recycled it in a couple of other songs most notably Spoonful and Smokestack Lightening (click here.)  Many years later, Creedence would also use it for their Suzie Q.)

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Ravens - Raiders 2001 AFC Championship Game

On this day in sports history 2001 the Ravens and Raiders met for the AFC Championship game out in Oakland.  This is the game where Raiders' fans (talking bout you here Winkie) will still get upset because "If that fat f"er Siragusa hadn't landed on Rich Gannon like he did, the Raiders would have won that game."  It's one of those if-then bar room discussions that can never be resolved.  (I recall a particularly good comeback to one of these if-then comments "Yeah, well if my aunt had a penis, she'd be my uncle.)   

Bottom line - I don't think Gannon nor any other QB would have done much against that Ravens' defense that year as it is still regarded as one of the all time best defenses in NFL history (click here.)  The 2000 Ravens, with head coach Brian Billick were also led by some great assistant coaches such as Marvin Lewis, Jack Del Rio and Rex Ryan all of whom went on to become head coaches.  (Del Rio is currently the WFT's defensive coach.)   

I found this 19 minute recap of the game (click here) and it's worth watching if for no other reason than to see how that Ravens defense dominated the game.  As for penalties not being called,  Siragusa's hit (6:00 minutes mark) was so bad that, as pointed out by Phil Simms, it should have been called illegal.  So ok Winkie, at least you got Phil in your corner.

Music-wise I did this a little backwards today.  Usually I write what I want to comment on and then go look for a musical video to include with it.  However, today, I landed on the following from This Day in Rock History and then went to the NFL video.  Try as I may, I could not find Run-D.M.C,'s video of that 2001 half time performance.  It makes me wonder if maybe Sirigusa had something to do with that too!
Couldn't find Run's halftime AFC Championship gig, so check out that year's Super Bowl halftime show:

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

So Far - Not Too Cold

Stupid weather joke introduction: what is the opposite of a cold front?  A warm back!

January is supposed to be our coldest month of the year but it looks like, at least for the first half of it this month, we are doing ok.  Makes for some good February electric bills.  And it appears that the trend may continue as temperatures for the next week or so are forecasted to continue at or above average.  

Compare the above to this summary of yesterday's historical averages.

I know that I have CRS, but I sure don't recall last year when the temperature clocked in at 70 degrees.  My first thought was "Gee if that were so, I probably would have commented on it on the blog here."  

Well, guess what?  Sure enough, after I did a quick check of the Buzzyblog archives for January 2020 I found that on this very day last year I did churn out a similar post talking about  how nice the weather was because we had experienced a couple of back-to-back 70 degree days (click here.)   Who says I'm not a creature of habit?!  

But then somewhere in my mostly bankrupt memory bank, I seemed to recall Brian Barnhill's iconic Buzzy's snow day photo:
The thought crossed my mind "I think that was also in January of some year."  And it turns out I was correctamundo because that happened in January 2017 (for story on that photo and the snowy day circumstances that led to Brian taking it (click here.)

Bottom line, any day in January with no freezing temps nor snow is a good one.  

And since I am talking so much about the "temps" how about I play some for you.  This song centers on an about-to-be-ex who is having trouble accepting it.  Uh, sound familiar?  The line "A crying man is half a man with no sense of pride" says it all.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Twofer Tuesday - Mark and Scott Kelly

Former NASA astronauts, twin brothers Mark and Scott Kelly have each racked up a number of accolades and accomplishments during their distinguished careers and service to our country.  Mark recently was elected to the U.S. Senate.  Scott spent a year in space as part of a study on how space travel affects the body (click here for that story.)

To read more about Mark (click here.)  For Scott's bio (click here.)  That they both attended Pax River's TPS at the same time is kind of cool too.  The following is excerpted from Scott's bio:

Given all that the Kelly twins have accomplished, the following video/song is probably a little too silly for me to have included here as a musical selection.  However, I couldn't resist it because not only is it funny, but also it shows just how brothers carry on whether they are twins or not.  One question popped into my mind though, if they are twins how could the Mom ever say that one of them was an accident!

Monday, January 11, 2021

Reciprocity of Good Will

Good interview last night on 60 Minutes with Maine Senator Angus King.  He is a registered Independent  who is well rspected as someoine who is a "truth teller and a voice of reason."  And we sure need some more of that right now don't we?  I encourage you to listen to the entire 12 minute interview (click here.)   

Hearing Senator King talk about how he deals with his colleagues in the Senate was reassuring.  With folks like him representing not only Maine, but also all of us maybe there is some hope that perhaps our system of government isn't as hosed up as it currently seems to be.  

But the comment that King made in his interview that resonated the most with me occurred early on where he talks about how Maine is a big small town where people have  a sense of community and really care about one another.   Here is the explanation he gave as to why that is the case:

That resonated with me because right now what I miss the most about Buzzy's currently being closed is not seeing and interacting with all of my many Buzzy friends like I do when the Store is usually open.  I miss seeing my "everydayers" the several folks who stop in the Store just about everyday.  (Some do so at or around the same time everyday.)  Then too, I miss seeing my "every-other-dayers," the several folks who pop in 3 or 4 times a week.  Add to that the several more folks who go out of there way to visit Buzzy's either weekly or here and there, and it makes for a very pleasant experience of seeing and enjoying these folks and hearing what they have to say.  (And believe me, some of them have a LOT to say.)    I appreciated the point that Senator King was trying to make about how living in a small town and caring for one another is something to be valued. 

And with that in mind here's a tune about living in a place where folks....well listen for yourself:

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Say a Prayer

Sunday Pray Day.  I recall seeing the above painting of Washington Praying at Valley Forge somewhere in my travels and thought today would be a good day to show it here on the Buzzyblog. 

The painting was done by Arnold Friberg and is said to be worth $12 million (click here.)  The following video tells you how Friberg also did the story boards for DeMille's Ten Commandments movie.

As noted in the video, Friberg painted a lot of horses along with his main (no pun intended) subjects. None of the horses ever got any credit which leads me to this: P.S. How could he have spent all that time in the desert and not have given his horse a name?!

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Football Weekend (Five Guys)

In my recap of upcoming events yesterday, I did not mention this Sons of the American Legion take-out dinner in downtown Ridge this evening. 

There is also some football going down today and tomorrow as the NFL's Wild Card Playoff Weekend features 6 games.  This is the first year of the expanded playoffs where a 7th team was added to each conference.  Instead of giving the top 2 teams a bye, only one gets the bye and the other plays the 7th seeded team. 

Here's an interesting note (at least it is to an old fart like me) of the 12 quarterbacks playing this weekend, four of the five oldest ones in the NFL will be starting.  (Green Bay and Aaron Rogers have a bye this weekend.)  It's the B's and the R's as in Brady, Brees, Rivers, Rogers and Roethlisberger who are all 37 or older.  (WFT's Alec Smith is "only" 36.)   

Ten rings, 107 playoff starts, one stage - Which 'old guy' QB has best shot at Super Bowl? (espn.com)

Usually I would have these games on T-V at Buzzy's Country Store, but this year I'm still Covid closed.  (It's another thing that I miss about not being open.  In the regular season having 2 T-V's also makes it fun to catch both games.  Oh well.)  

For our local teams, I got my fingers crossed, but I am not too confident for either of them.  For some reason, the Titans just seem to have the Ravens' number and  the WFT, despite playing at home, have to play Tommy the GOAT.  Rookie that he is, Chase Young has said that he wants Tom Brady (click here.)  Hey Chase, haven't you ever heard that even if the bear is old and past his prime, you shouldn't try poking him because he can still tear you up.  Then again, Tommy doesn't do too well when he gets knocked around some so we'll see if Chase can get his wish and nail him a couple times.  Might be fun to watch.  

So here's your Saturday then, go to the Legion, get your pork chop dinner and then come home and settle in to watch the game.

As for my predictions for the 6 games this weekend, I'll take the 4 old guys (Ben, Brees, Brady and Rivers) above along with Seattle over the Rams.  In the 6th game, although I'll be rooting for the Ravens,  my fear is that Lamar and the boys will come up just a little short again.  There is usually an upset in the Wild Card round and this year I find myself hoping that it's WFT who pull off the upset, but fearing that, like last year, it will be the Ravens who get upset.  We'll just have to see.  Let the games begin.  

In honor the 5 old guys check this out:

Friday, January 8, 2021

As We Wind on Down the Road

Like Tom might say - I was talking with a friend of mine about how fast 2020 seemed to go by despite it being such a screwy year.  (OK, Tom didn't say all that, but you get my drift.)  My friend agreed with me and commented how surprising it was  because 2020 flew by even though none of us went anywhere nor did anything.  I thought of this quote:
Isn't that the truth?!  As proof, today being the 8th of January means that 2021 is already 1/52nd over.  (Alternative facts be damned, I think there are still 52 weeks in a year.) 

But hey, we got to ramble on.  What are our options when you think about it?  

Events-wise, there is not much going on in the County this weekend except for some music for you tomorrow at the Port of Leonardtown Winery. 

I found this excellent video of Josh doing a Zepp medley and yes Ramble On is his lead off tune.  Stay with him to the 6:00 mark where he does an equally excellent cover of Stairway to Heaven.  It makes me wonder though, just why would all the stores be closed when she got there?  Like Buzzy's, maybe they all got hit with a Covid outbreak and had to shut down!

One quick observation about Wednesday's Trumpalooza in D.C. - just how on earth did Edelen Morgan manage to come back from the dead and attend this clusterfuck?


Thursday, January 7, 2021

Blues Balls and Motorcycles

For obvious reasons. the Jeopardy cartoon I posted yesterday reminded me of something that I have been meaning to mention here on the Buzzyblog - the annual Blue Balls Ride to Buzzy's on the 31st of December and the 1st of January.

Since Buzzy's was closed on those days this and last year, I'm not sure how many folks made a pass thru the parking lot in recognition of the tradition.  However, I do know for a fact that Pam and Pat Birmingham made it on 1 January as seen here in these photos Pat sent me.

As for Pam joining Pat on a Blue Balls ride, it looks like The St. Mary's Abate Bike group in Hollywood figured how to include their female members by calling their event the Blue Balls and Boobs ride (click here.)  As you can see, they hold their annual event a little later in the month of January.

P.S. if you got some time to kill Google "Blue Balls" and to quote Dr. Seuss - oh the places you'll go

As Neil notes here at the beginning, this is not a sad song but rather a simple song to make you feel good when you're alone.  Think about it and see if he isn't correct.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Too Many Questions

Found This After Writing the Post Below and Couldn't Resist Passing It Along
 Answer:  Atlanta International Pop Festival; Not CCR.

In honor of Alec's last Jeopardy episode airing later this week, I have provided you the answer above.  Don't even try and figure it out though because you won't get it.  (Little hint - I blogged about it in 2014 (click here.))-

OK, hold that thought for a sec and I'll come back to it in a bit.  

Right now, I am going to change the subject  and pose a Catholic boy question - is it a sin to lie about your answer to one of  those stupid password recovery questions?  You know what I'm talking about, those questions that used to be fairly simple like "What is your mother's maiden name?"  Now however, the questions are all over the place.  (For a good article on the subject (click here.)   

I ask this because just the other day I ran into a security question that asked "What was the first concert you went to?  My answer should have been - the Atlanta International Pop Festival.   However, I did not feel like typing all that in there so I lied and went with the second concert I attended which was CCR.  Hence my lying.  Double hence, the answer to my Jeopardy answer.  (Or should that be - the question to my Jeopardy answer?)

I think I have previously played all of Creedence's stuff for you, so how about this one from John on his 1984 album Centerfield:

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Twofer Tuesday - My Mom and J. Frank

Going thru Mom's things we found this note from J. Frank Raley thanking her for remembering his 65th birthday.  (J. Frank and my Mom were first cousins but with Mom being an only child, for all intents and purposes J. Frank, his brother Bill and sister Peaches were more like the two brothers and sister that she never had.)

Here is J. Frank's thank you note to her:

The note from J. Frank brings up two points that came to my mind.  First, it touches upon Mom's habit of always remembering her family and friends' birthdays and special occasions.  Even in her later years she had a system set up whereby she would always remember folks' birthdays and send them a card. 

My Mom was from that school of social interaction where notes and cards were used to stay in touch with people close to you.  She sent quite a few of these and obviously J. Frank was on her rolodex.   We even found cases where Mom did a rough draft of what she wanted to say in her notes and cards just to show how much time and effort she put into these messages.    

J. Frank Posing With Old Campaign Sign (Note Buzzy in Lower Right Corner)

The second thing that J. Frank's note brought to my mind, involves his confiding that he was not as connected family-wise as was my Mom.  That it took him turning 65 to realize this is a good thing.  That it took my Mom sending him a birthday card to make him think about it was also a good thing. 

You see for my Mom, her family was the most important thing to her followed closely by her friends who were also a priority to and for her.  J. Frank on the other hand, chose to spend the bulk of his time being busy doing great things for the County and interacting with like minded folks. 

 Consequently then, thru the years, J. Frank was always a little, shall we say, cavalier about family and our special occasions and get togethers.  (I know, I hear some of you wise asses saying who could blame J. Frank for not wanting to hang out with a family like ours?)  But that's kind of my point here - my Mom loved it and I mean absolutely loved and enjoyed it to no end when all of her family would get together (even when some of us were feuding with one another at the time.)  

I remember once swinging by J. Frank's home in St. Mary's City on my way down the road to a family function and invited him to ride along with me.  (I knew that Mom had also invited him and that it would have meant a lot to her had he attended.)  

However, J. Frank begged off going with me citing that he had to work on a speech that he had been asked to make at some affair in Annapolis the following day.  Not wanting to let him off the hook so easily I teased him "Come on J. Frank, you're a politician, just get up there and bs your way thru it.  You don't need to work on any speech. Get in the car."  He laughed and said something along the lines that he wasn't that politically skilled when it came to giving speeches and remarks at events and that he really did have to think about and write down what it was that he wanted to say before hand.  While I let him slide that day, in retrospect I wish that I'd busted him some more and guilted him into going with me.  

In 2012 I was a pallbearer at J. Frank's funeral at St. Michael's Church where Congressman Steny Hoyer gave the eulogy.  As Steny reviewed J. Frank's political career and all the things that he accomplished, I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for J. Frank.  While he was busy doing all those things, he missed out on so many other things which to me at least, were so much more important.  I guess though, I am my Mom's son and am glad that she helped shape my perspective that in life, it really is family and friends who are important.  Everything else is secondary. 

Speaking of turning 65, check this video out.  Take special note of the drummer on the couch.  He is the 93 year old father of the singer/pianist and as noted in the comments "still rockin'."

Monday, January 4, 2021

Thank You Piggly Wiggly

Know how you can tell if you are in a genuine, old time country store?  Answer: the counter will be in the back of the store where the clerk would take and fill your order for you. (Today's version of this is a drug store where the pharmacy is in the back and you tell the pharmacist what you want or need for him/her to retrieve it for you.)    

So just when and how did all of that customer service change?  Glad you asked because I recently learned that we have none other than the Piggly Wiggly folks to thank for making grocery and supplies' shopping easier and quicker.  This is from the Piggly webpage: 

About Us | Piggly Wiggly

Now that we got all of that clarified, how about the real question everybody wants to know - "Hey Clarence, how'd you come up with a name like Piggly Wiggly?"  Again, this from their website:

About Us | Piggly Wiggly
Clarence sounds like he was quite a character as this article called him "a bit of an iconoclast" and discussed some of his early marketing ploys to start and expand his business (click here.)  He built up the Piggly Wiggly empire to include over 2,600 stores at its peak but he then lost it all due to some stock marketing moves that backfired on him.  His was a classic example of that old saying that a pig gets fat but a hog gets butchered. (That this saying pertains doubly so for a dude who named his business Piggly Wiggly seems like some kind of karma came a callin' wouldn't you say?  Clarence became involved in some stock scheme that resulted in him losing everything and him having to sell his stores along with a mansion in Memphis that he was building at the time (click here.)

There are no Piggly Wiggly's in Maryland.  For a listing of state locations (click here.)  Maybe I should contact them and see if they want to convert another genuine old time country store into a Piggly Wiggly in recognition of their founder Mr. Saunders.  After all, Buzzy's first name was also Clarence.

And musically speaking of Clarence, he was mostly noted for his saxophone work with the Boss.  However, check out their funny duet here.  Wonder if either of them ever wandered into a Piggly Wiggly.