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, October 17, 2019

Try My Goo Ghee Googie?

In recognition of October being Diversity Month here are a couple of diverse items for you.

Leave it to Michael Scott to demonstrate how not to conduct diversity training:

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Fall Decorations

 Another reason this is my favorite time of year has to do with the yard decorations that appear as we cruise through October and approach Halloween.  Christmas may get all the notoriety for most decorations but for my liking the fall/Halloween ones are much nicer.

Christmas decorations are over the top (literally on the roof) and involve lots of bright lights and colorful scenes reminiscent of a whorehouse.  The reason for the season seems to be how tacky and tasteless can we all decorate our houses and front yards so that we can feel like we've done something special.  Clark Griswold in National Lampoon comes to mind.

On the other end of the decoration spectrum however, the fall/Halloween season features mostly orange and black colors, no lights, and an overall more "earthy" vibe with pumpkins and bales of hay.  Here are some photos I took of decorated front yards that caught my eye as I travelled the roads.

Hendersons - Ridge
Leahy Dr. - Piney Point

Mary Lillian Hewitt - Callaway
And Linda's pink flamingos wondering "Where'd those pumpkins come from?"
Linda Raley - Ridge

 I remember when I first played Donovan's Sunshine Superman album, I immediately liked the following song.  Never knew what the hell he was singing about (e,g, "beatniks out to make it rich") but still a great song.  (Likewise, I'm not too sure about this video either other than it will keep your attention.)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Buzzy Photos

Natalie Grace Photography
Speaking of photos (yesterday's post) today I will pass along some more Buzzy photos and some info on the person who took them.

Recall the Beverage Journal article on me and my ownership of Buzzy's?  (It was two months ago and I discussed it in a previous post (click here.)

The article only included a couple of photos, but the Beverage Journal photographer Natalie Grace took several more some of which I've included above and below.  To view all of the photos that Natalie took during her time in and outside the Store  (click here.)
Natalie's photos showed just how colorful and photographic Buzzy's Country Store really is.  (All those wine and liquor bottles being so colorful helped.)  Viewing the gallery of photos that Natalie took, I made a note to self - take more photos of the Store and its contents.    

In addition to enjoying looking at Natalie's Buzzy photos, it made me want to check out and see more of her photo work.  I found her excellent website (click here) which is very well done and contains some great photos.

Thank you, Natalie for your photos of Buzzy's! 

(To all of you here in the County, should you ever need a photographer, Natalie lives in Leonardtown and can be contacted thru her website (click here.))

Nice little photo song here from Nickelback talking about being younger, partying with friends,  getting into trouble, listening to music, kissing a girl named Kim, growing up, moving on and ultimately looking back at it all.  (Some of those I can relate to!  Funny, how photos will do that to you.)

Monday, October 14, 2019

Buzzy Car Show Photos

Some photos from yesterday's Buzzy Car Show.  The rain held off and with all the people and classic cars on hand it was a great day at Buzzy's Country Store.

My thanks to all who attended and special thanks to all the car owners who brought their vehicles down to the Store. 

And Happy Columbus Day - even if the old boy was a little sketchy (click here for the rest of the story.)

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Car Show Sunday - Let Us Pray

Buzzy Car Show today. 
Believe it or not there is a Catholic-sanctioned Prayer for Automobiles (click here and listen to the following:)

Neil Young stated that this song was about his first car and last girlfriend. The fact that his first car was a 1948 Pontiac hearse (click here) may have had something to do with the girlfriend moving on: 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Enterprise Article

Here is the Enterprise article written by Dan Belson.  He visited the Store last Tuesday when we were celebrating Charlie Simms' 93rd birthday and wanted to interview me for the article.  I asked him if I could catch up with him some other time because with a Store full of folks I couldn't really talk to him at that time.  I called him Wednesday morning and this was his summary of our conversation. Dan did a good job and in particular I like his reference to the Buzzy birthday celebrations as being a "backward tradition." Guess we could say that about Buzzy's Country Store in general.  

Friday, October 11, 2019


A father has an honor 
that a mother never had
To hear his son say
"When I grow up 
I want to be just like Dad."
Buzzy Behind Counter at 50th Anniversary Party
Buzzy would have been 95 today.  Taking his place behind the counter in the Store has been one of the better things to have ever happened to and for me.   

When behind the counter, my favorite compliment is whenever someone tells me "You sound just like your old man."  I call it the "acorn compliment." 

Here is Brad doing a nice tune about the father-son relationship:

P.S. Check out article in today's Enterprise (click here.)  

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Center Lovell Market

It crossed my mind recently that it has been awhile since I have featured a country store here on the Buzzyblog.  

Therefore, it was kinda cool when Joe and Jeanette Lane popped into Buzzy's Country Store this past Sunday and told me about the Center Lovell Market in Lovell, Maine.  (Joe and Jeanette were here visiting their daughters at St. Mary's College as part of parents weekend.  Years ago Jeanette had camped at Pt. Lookout State Park with her parents, and wanted to ride down again to the Park for a re-visit.  When she and her husband Joe rode past Buzzy's on the way down the road, they decided to stop in as they headed back north.)

They told me that when they were in Maine recently visiting some relatives they had checked out the Center Lovell Market and that Buzzy's was very similar to it including the old wooden floors.  I took down their info on the Lovell Market and later did some research on it as follows: 
In addition to their FB page, the Lovell Market also has a blog:
As noted, Lovell is located on the western side of Maine near the Kezar Lake resort area:

Jeanette told me that Lovell's most famous resident is author Stephen King and that locals can often see him walking around the area.  I found this discussion on a blogsite from someone who visited Lovell and was a big Stephen King fan.  (No Misery-related jokes to be made about being the author's "biggest fan")

The reference to "summer people" and "goddamn tourists" was explained as follows:
But back to the Center Lovell Market, I tried a couple of times to contact its owner Sam Drucker but wasn't able to talk to him.  (My first question to him was going to involve asking him if that was his real name.  Those of us of a certain age know that  Sam Drucker was the name of the country store owner on Petticoat Junction and Green Acres.)  

No videos that I could find on the Market but I did manage to find this video discussing another business in Lovell - Ebenezer's Pub:

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Price May Not Be Right

The other day I ran into a buddy of mine I hadn't seen in awhile and told him to come down for the Buzzy Car Show on Sunday the 13th.  He laughed and said that he would like to but on that day he and his wife are taking her father up to the National Harbor to attend The Price is Right event.

I asked if he was serious and he replied "Hell yeah, her old man is ate up with watching the Price is Right.  So here I am not only spending good money on tickets to go there but also wasting a whole day taking the ole boy up to see it."  I laughed and simply said "Come on down!"

It wasn't that I did not believe my friend but just for the hell of it I hit that www machine and found the following:
And just what is the going price for the tickets?
Granted this is a last minute, Stub Hub purchase price.  But here's hoping that my friend  didn't drop $100 per ticket to catch this event when he could have been at the Buzzy Car Show for free!

Check out this video from February of this year.  Didn't know KISS was still around.  Then again I didn't even know that The Price is Right was still around!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Twofer Tuesday

One of my Buzzy friends John Hamill has been educating me about Baltimore-based bands.  (Back in the day, he played in a Baltimore group known as the RaVons.)  John informed me about a book and a website Baltimore Sounds that documents many of the groups who were performing back in the 50's, 60's and 70's.

He told me about one of the more popular of these groups the Lafayettes who had a Top 100 hit Life's Too Short.

The tune Life's Too Short made a bit of a comeback in 1988 following its inclusion in John Waters' original Hairspray movie.  I went looking for it on You Tube but couldn't find it.  However, I did stumble onto Michelle Pfieffer in this scene from the 2007 version of Hairspray:

And speaking of Baltimore-based musicians, jazz great Eubie Blake was from B'more.  I mention him because he was the originator of the quote he made just before he celebrated his 100th birthday "If I'd known I would live this long I would have taken better care of myself."   I mention that because Charlie Simms celebrates his 93rd birthday today and he will often make that Eubie comment.  (In yesterday's post I mistakenly had Charlie as celebrating being 94 when he is merely 93 today.  Sorry Charlie.  (Sounds like a commercial doesn't it?))

Monday, October 7, 2019

Big Events This Week at Buzzy's

Cars and trucks at Buzzy's this coming Sunday 13 October starting around noon.

But just as important and even more significant, Charlie Simms turns 93 this Tuesday 8 October.  Drop by, wish him "Happy B'day" and drink a beer with him.  How many 93 year olds have ever bought you a beer?
Kim and Charlie in 2017 When He Was Only 91
And speaking of partying and having fun, Brad Paisley has a good little video tune here.  (I still don't know how they got that squirrel to look up just when he passed under and between that lady's legs at the 2:22 mark!)

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Spiritual Sunday - Close to the Water

In the 50's, growing up at Buzzy's Country Store my brother Stevie and I broke the code when we very young that if we hung around the Store then Buzzy was going to put us to work.  To escape, we would hike the short distance through McCoys' woods and fields to make our way down to the Potomac River where we would play and swim our days away. 

In the 60's, we all moved to Curley Road and a new house built on Calvert Creek.  The Potomac was visibly nearby and connected to the creek by a narrow inlet.

In the 70's, as a married man and a father I moved to Piney Point on the shores of the Potomac where I live today.  Thus, for a great majority of my 68+ years trucking along life's highways,  I have lived either on or close to the water.

Some very nice thoughts then here in this poem by Don Kimball from his book Driftwood: Prayers for Beached Travellers.

Close to the Water

Water has always been
  a symbol of fascination to us,
     a mirror reflecting our lives,
        our practiced expressions
        our occasional personality pimples,
            rising from our self-images
            like pink towers
            in our desert of fears.

  in approaching water,
     we come to rest
         at the center of ourselves.

We learn to relax,
  and borrow a cup of liquid calm,
     allowing our preoccupations and fears
         to descend from our focus
             like bill collectors
             a spiral bannister.

It's here that we not only find our own center,
   musty at first,
       like an attic heavy with old memories,
   but gradually fragrant,
       like the scents and sounds of stories 
           waiting to be told to non-believers.

Then like an old dog,
    listening with his nose in the dust,
       we find the presence of God. 

Maybe that's why Jesus was so close to the water,
  walking around and upon it,
   calling us out of our boat of safety
   to walk on it with Him.

As we walk and talk,
  we day-trip to the center of ourselves
      and enter the mission of God-Within
          to share a piece of wordless friendship.

If we're going to learn the secrets of this God
  who enjoys teaching almost as much as loving,
     we need to remain
        close to the water.

Jackson knew exactly what Kimball was trying to relate when he wrote this song.  Linda took it to the heavens with her version plus the cover photo and the others of her are worth a look.  

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Pt. Lookout Event

Pt. Lookout State Park is featuring the following event today and tomorrow:
Regarding the above image of Pt. Lookout Hospital/Fort/Prison Camp, for some time now I have been trying to find out how it came to be.  I'm guessing that it is a painting but nothing on it indicates who the artist was.  Internet searching for "Images of Pt. Lookout Prison" reveals the following:

Note that the image in the upper left corner of these samples contains the Hq's building and a legend detailing what each building was.
Additional internet searches revealed a lot of info on the Prison Camp itself but nothing that I could find about the origins of this aerial view of it.  (I did spend a little time looking thru this interesting book containing "sketches of Pt. Lookout" click here.)

If anyone has any info on the origins - not oranges! - of this image please let me know.

The following classic Civil War tune has earned the following disclaimer from the YouTube folks.  Guess they were worried about the "We'll all feel gay" line.  That or "we'll all drink stone wine."  Never knew this tune was so controversial.

Friday, October 4, 2019

CWS Friday Redux

I am now taking my Grandson Shawn to high school, so I can re-start my Buzzyblog feature CWS Friday.   (CWS = Conversations With Shawn.)

I did this a number of years ago when Shawn and his sister Lily lived close by and would come by my house each morning prior to catching the bus.  I would then relay various jokes and things that they said as they ate breakfast and chatted about life in general.  

Now, several years later I am pleased to once again be having such conversations with my grandkids and see the world through their perspective as they try to figure things out. 

Shawn and I were talking politics the other day and he noted that his Dad had discussed the differences between the two political parties.  Shawn relayed how his Dad had told him about a little girl who wanted to be President and her parents used a cutting-the-grass story to determine what political party she would be a member of.  Shawn laughed as he told me the story and noted that he thought the Republicans were right on.

Next day I called Shawn's Dad Shea and asked him about this exchange.  He said it was something that he had seen  on Facebook. I told him that it had impressed Shawn enough for him to have told me about it.

After my call to Shea, I hit the internet search button and found the item Shea mentioned from this website (click here.)
The website also contained the Democrats' version of the story.  
I can't wait to tell Shawn about this version of the story.

I guess because the above involved discussions about the haves and have nots, the George Benson opening line of this tune popped into my head:

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Phobia Phone

When someone in the Buzzy's Country Store first mentioned folks having negative reactions to the new iPhone because it has 3 lenses, I thought that it was either a joke or a case of someone misreading a news story.  (I have previously mentioned how The Onion will publish stories that often get passed around as fact when in fact they are satire. (Since we're talking phobias dealing with 3's, here is a funny sports news item that recently appeared in the Onion:)
But back to the new iPhone.  

Since the iPhone has now become everyone's preferred camera, the Apple folks decided to make some improvements by adding a zoom and a wide angle lens.  Well, it turns out that folks with the phobia known as trypophobia (fear of holes) are having problems with the new phone.  Check out this Washington Post story on it (click here.)  As a personal note here, I'm more afraid of the 3 holes in the $1,000 price tag of the new phone than I am of the 3 lens holes.)

Another phobia-related offshoot that I have noticed in Buzzy's is that whenever the conversation about the iPhone phobia gets mentioned, someone will chime in with "Well, what about all those idiots who are afraid of clowns?"  

The first couple of times that someone made this reference, I tried to defend the folks with the phobia because I could see why some clowns scare people (above for example.)   However, like a lot of other discussions in Buzzy's, I was in the minority on that take.

Whereas Coulrophobia (fear of clowns) is recognized as a bona fide phobia, the trypo one has yet to reach that status (click here for related story how phobias get "certified.") 

However, being the conspiracist that I am, there is a part of me that wonders if the Apple folks didn't just gin up all this malarkey to get folks talking about their new phone?  I think I may have just come up with a new phobia having to do with fear of ad campaigns.  How about we dub it Sellyousomeshitphobia?  (Believe it or not there is already something similar to this - coprophobia!)

Insane Clown Posse have been around awhile and are still doing it.  Tough to say how much they have advanced the coulrophobia but they are kinda scary - both musically and figuratively:

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Jimmy and Tina

Yesterday, former President Jimmy Carter celebrated his 95th birthday.  The following is from an article discussing this:
I won't even bother to comment about then's and now's other than to say that Carter was and continues to be a very honorable and decent individual.  His quote about life not being fair comes to mind. 

When we were in London we caught the show Tina the Musical and it was great.   The Broadway opening is scheduled for next month.  
Kathy nd Joann Pre-show (Bald Spot Me With Pam in Background)
Check out this trailer from the London show and then click here to read a very good interview with Tina herself.        

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Buzzy October Birthdays, Car Show and Some Sports Talk

Buzzy family birthdays in October start off with Connie Lepper and my sister Lila Hofmeister celebrating theirs' on 1 October.  Connie is a member of my SOB (South of Buzzy) Club and another SOB member Dave Jarrell will also celebrate his big day on 1 October.   
Photo by Rich Brewer
Then on October 2nd, Kim Wiley celebrates her day; Charlie Simms (above) will be 94 on the 8th;  Mark Dominiak is also on the 8th; Doug Byrne celebrates on the 9th, Robby Norris 12th, Chief Larry and Janet Whitt 15th, Joey Porter 17th, Bev Hall 18th, Pam Koon 22nd, Poogie Pulliam 24th, Connie Lynch 25th, David Norris 28thWinky the 29th, Ned Pratt and Bruce Price on the 31st.

On 11 October Buzzy would have been 95.  

And as if October isn't already packed with some fun events, there are rumors that on 13 October we will have a couple of classic cars at Buzzy's. 

Sports-wise October is also one of the best months because not only is football in full swing but also baseball starts its playoffs.  However, with both the Ravens and the Redskins on losing streaks and the Nationals playing tonight in a one-game playoff match, things are looking sorta bleak for our home teams.  (Notice I didn't even mention the Orioles nor the Terps.)  Here's hoping that Scherzer can at least get the Nationals into the next round of playoffs.

In the following video
Kenney Chesney talks  football and fall.  Guess I should say that Kenney is singing about it and that's New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton talking about it at the beginning of the video.  Makes me wonder if he didn't give a similar pep talk to his guys prior to them upsetting the Cowboys Sunday night.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Fabulous Fall!

It is now official, fall has definitely become my favorite season and time of the year.  For the past couple of years, I've been going back and forth some deciding if it was spring or fall that I liked best but I now got to declare that fall is my favorite time of year.
October 2018
It may have something to do with me running the Store such that spring and summer bring the busy tourist season and all the churn that comes with that. I don't mind it and in fact kinda enjoy it, but come the end of the tourist season and the beginning of October it is nice to relax and slow down a bit.  Buzzy's Country Store is always a 7 day-a-week gig, but in fall things just get a lot more laid back for me.  

Too, there may be a personal component rolling around in my conclusion that fall is best.  As I muck my way thru the fall/winter portions of my lifespan, I find that a laid back m.o. works much better for me on a number of levels.  Mentally, it makes me want to do some fall cleaning as I prep for winter.  Physically, because the weather is nice, it makes me want to take some walks, do some outside things that I've put off doing because it was too hot out.  Socially, it makes me want to reconnect with friends and folks I haven't seen in awhile.  In many ways then, fall has become my New Year full of hopes and resolutions to do better.  

And on that note, tonight and tomorrow we celebrate the Jewish New Year - happy Rose Hashanah!  Maybe those wise men had it figured out years ago that this time of year is the best time of year for renewal, revitalization and fresh starts.  Everything old really is new again.

Nice video here with some great photos set to a great tune from Van.