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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Weather

Based on how warm the weather has been, I had planned for today's Buzzyblog to be along the lines "Man this sure has been a nice February; sorry to see it go"
(For related Washington Post story click here.)  In fact, a couple times this month I was about to post something along those lines but held off because I knew that as soon as I did so we would get slammed with several inches of snow and freezing weather.  But today's forecast looks like we've made it.  (That's as close to a Barry Manilow reference as I'll ever get.)

So that was Plan A for today.  But in true keeping with the old saying Man plans, God laughs, I have more than weather on my mind right now.  You see my Mom fell in her house Sunday morning getting up from a chair and broke a bone in her left foot while breaking her left ankle in three places.  She was operated on Sunday night to repair the ankle and is recovering from the churn.  As patients go, let's just say that Mom is not in Billboard's Top Forty.  Plus, she's 85 years old and isn't learning any new coping skills at this point in her life.

Today the hospital folks are going to try and have her get out of bed to see if she is ambulatory enough to be discharged to a  nursing home where she will undergo additional physical therapy.  Of course, she just wants to go back to her house and not have anything at all to do with the nursing home business.

On the plus side though, despite being heavily medicated with pain killers, she still has her sense of humor.   For instance, at one point in her ruminations about her accident she commented "At least I did this before the Republicans take away all of my health care."  

When I rolled into her house Sunday morning and she was on her bedroom floor, one of the first things she said was "I've fallen and can't get up."  At least Madonna bounced back here.  Here's hoping that my Mom bounces back too.

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Bridge Too Long (To Get Done)

In mid January of this year, the road crew working on the Hermanville Bridge replacement were installing guard rails and sod on either side of the approaches to the bridge.  I recall thinking at the time "Oh good they're about to finish this."
I feel "connected" to the Hermanville Bridge construction project because of the following.
As the Ridge Rescue Squad folks loaded me into the ambulance following my fall and broken hip back in November, the driver Boyd Loflin informed me "I'll give you a little warning and take it easy when we go over the bridge."  Thinking he was talking about the Solomons Bridge I asked him if he was taking me to Prince Frederick Hospital.  Boyd said "No we were going to St. Mary's."  I asked him "What bridge are you talking about?"  (Bear in mind that I travel that route twice a day.)  Boyd said "The one at old Hermanville Road."  Today, whenever I pass over the bridge and its very mild bump, I am reminded of my ambulance ride to Leonardtown.

Why the project has taken so long is a good question.  This is from an article that ran in Southern Maryland News:
Note that it states the estimated completion was "spring 2016 weather permitting" (click here.)  Weather's been nice but for several weeks now nothing has been done on completing the bridge.  Bout time to finish this bad boy wouldn't you think?

Ever notice how most songs about bridges are downers e.g. Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Ode to Billie Joe, Under the Bridge (click here.)  (And please don't try and sell me on 59th Street Bridge (Feeling Groovy) da-da-da-da-da crap because I have that one in my songs-you'll-have-to-listen-to-in-hell-repeatedly category.)

Here however is an upbeat/good song with an opening line reference to the Bridge of Sighs:

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Thinking About Someone

Speaking of Alicia Keys (previous post) when Bob Dylan mentioned her in his Thunder on the Mountain song (above) he generated some churn among the Dylanologists who take his every word as Gospel.  (I'm a little guilty of that too but the Alicia reference didn't really bother me one way or the other.)  

However, several folks thought it odd that Dylan would mention Alicia (click here) and some even went so far as to say that it made him sound a little like a dirty old man.  Here's a Google sampling of the coverage about Bob referencing her:
But like so many things with Bob, one never knows just what the hell he was up to.  Turns out that he was simply paraphrasing an old blues song sung by Memphis Minnie:
Here is the video of that Memphis Minnie tune.  (Another song of hers' When the Levee Breaks would later be "appropriated" by Led Zeppelin (click here for story.)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Lady Singing on a Train

Here's a touristic music kind of story for you.   It happened earlier this month while I was in Panama touring the canal and the countryside.
After spending some time at the Mira Flores' locks, we boarded a train to travel back across Panama to rendezvous with the cruise ship in Colon.  About two thirds the way into our train ride however, we stopped.  Our tour guide said that it was to allow another train with cargo to journey thru.  We never saw this other train so who knows what the real explanation for the prolonged delay was.

However, while we idled away there somewhere in the middle of Panama, our tour guide asked the attractive, young lady working on the train to perform a song for us.  She did so by singing an Alicia Keys' song.
Wish I was a big time music exec so I could sign the young lady to a record deal and then forever be able to tell this story about how she was "discovered." 

Here is the original version of the song that our train lady sang for us.

Friday, February 24, 2017

"Let Me Take You to the Movie"

On this day in rock history 1975, Led Zeppelin released Physical Graffiti recognized by many rock critics as one of their best albums.  (Back when they were still called albums.  As I have discussed previously (click here), thanks to Pat Guy, my favorite Zeppelin album is and will always be their Led Zeppelin II.)

There are lots of great songs on the Physical Graffiti too but my favorite is the following.  That jangled up guitar riff and cow bell beat always makes me want to get up and dance.  (Well, in my advanced state, at least it makes me want to get up.)

The lyrics are typical Zep stuff featuring sexual innuendo's, drugs, Satan and his daughter, and well, you know, going to the movies.  Turn up the volume and enjoy.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Good Weather = Good business

On Thursdays I usually scan the weather forecast to see what kind of weekend we can expect.  Business-wise I can pretty much tell what the upcoming weekend will bring based on what kind of mood Mother Nature is in. 

Going into last weekend with a forecast of unseasonably nice weather for February, I felt fairly sure that it would be a good weekend and that several folks would be out and about.  Turns out that it was not only a good weekend at Buzzy's Country Store but a great one. 

It began early Friday afternoon with Katie Van Ryswk (center in front of YT) and her friends doing a get away weekend at one of Peggy's places.  When they rolled into Buzzy's early Friday afternoon they made it very clear that they were here for the party.  And party they did.
After the above photo was taken and got posted on Facebook, a few minutes later my son Shea called me from his workplace.  He told me that one of his coworkers had seen the pic and said "There's a photo of your Dad at Buzzy's with a bunch of good looking women.  Think I'll ride down there."

Of course a little later in the afternoon Charlie Simms, that horn dog that he is, couldn't let me share in all this by myself so he got into the photo act too.  (Note all of the ladies now wearing Buzzy hats.  I don't sell many Buzzy hats in February but I did Friday thanks to Katie and her crew.)
Then Saturday with the weather continuing to be very nice, several folks rolled into Buzzy's on their bikes and in their classic cars and trucks.  TJ Boothe led the way with his bright yellow Z as shown here.
Then Sunday another round of cars, trucks and bikes rolled into the parking lot.  Couple more weekends like that and I may even be able to afford one of those classic vehicles.
And since I mentioned it, here's the here for the party song:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tom Petty

Another good book I read recently was a Tom Petty biography by Warren Zanes.

As Zanes tells it, Petty grew up in Gainesville, Florida a southern boy with more than a little redneck in him.  Zanes describes Tom's boyhood and sometimes rocky relationship with his old man.  Also rocky was Tom's interest in anything to do with school and higher education of any sort other than getting high.  Rock and roll pretty much saved Tom who went onto to become one of the greatest of rock stars.   Zanes does a nice job documenting Tom's journey from redneck to rock star.

Check out this video which features Tom and the Heartbreakers discussing the making of their Southern Accents album.  Video has interviews with two members of the Heartbreakers who are no longer in the band:  Bass player Howie Epstein passed away due to heroin addiction and drummer Stan Lynch was replaced with Steve Ferrone.   (In his book, Zanes goes into detail on all these changes.)
Here is Zanes discussing how he came to write the bio.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Reagan, Lincoln and Trump

I did a little survey in Buzzy's Country Store yesterday by asking folks who was their favorite President. The most popular answer I got back was Reagan. (Remember the majority of my Buzzy friends and patrons are die hard conservatives.) One young lady asked me my choice and I told her "Abe of course."

Today I saw this article that seems to have a lot of merit even if the Trumpster will never adopt any of these recommendations:

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Presidents' Day!

Here is a quasi-Presidential post for you.

On my recent cruise I read the historical novel Dead Wake which described the Germans' sinking of the cruise ship The Lusitania in 1915.  Granted it was not exactly the topic you want to read about while on a cruise ship, but my sister Donna Jean had passed it along to me and told me that it was a much better read than it sounded.   I learned that she was right on as once I started reading it, I was hooked.

A sub plot in the book involved President Woodrow Wilson who had just lost his wife to Bright's disease a kidney-related illness.  After his wife's death, Wilson went into  prolonged period of grief as Germany began its World War I activities.  His grief however, ended when he met and fell madly in love with Edith Galt.

The book then details how Wilson pursued Edith who at first rebuffed him.  Eventually though he persuaded her to marry him.  (Edith would ultimately play a huge role in Wilson's later years as President as seen here:)

If you are interested in learning more about Dead Wake here is a short summary:

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Colorful Curacao

One of my favorite cruise port stops is Curacao located just 37 miles north of Venezuela, South America.  Note how all of their buildings are painted very colorfully.   One explanation had it that a Governor of the island mandated that all the buildings be painted  a color because their original  white reflected the sun too much and gave him migraines.  (However, a tour guide also told us that this individual owned stock in a paint store there so he may have had a Trumpian self-interest motive too.) 

It is no coincidence that the liqueur Curacao is made here.  We toured their distillery and got to sample some of their products which have a fairy strong alcohol content.  Leads me to think that maybe that Governor was throwing 'em down too much when he was getting all those migraines.

Go to 2:14 mark to hear more about Blue Curacao:

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Cuba Someday - Maybe

Here is snap shot of where our cruise took us these past couple weeks:  Fort Lauderdale to Aruba, Curacao, Panama, Costa Rico and back to Ft. Lauderdle.
We were just off the coast of Havana when I took this photo but we did not stop in Cuba.

It reminded me of Buzzy years ago discussing going to Cuba in the mid-90's after President Clinton loosened up travel restrictions on Cuba visits.

I remember asking Buzzy, "Why would you want to go to Cuba?" He replied "Never been there so why not?" I couldn't argue with that logic. However, when he looked into  Smithsonian-sponsored trip,  Buzzy called me at work and said "Damn it's going to run us $4500 each and all you see is Havana.  We can take two or three trips for that kind of money."  I agreed with him and secretly was relieved that he no longer wanted to go because I wasn't wild bout going even if it was a good deal to do so..

 Even now it's an expensive proposition:

I'll wait until it becomes  a port stop for one of the cruise ships.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Bank on It

Laid back on the cruise ship of life, I did manage to find some time to catch up on some reading.  Thanks to my wife Pam several books were Kindle-ready for me.  

I won't bore you with book reports a la how I spent my vacation, but a few stories caught my eye and I want to pass them along.

First up, I enjoyed Marc Myer's Anatomy of 45 Iconic Songs.  He covers 45 of what he considered to be significant recordings and has a number of surprising entries such as Don't Rock the Boat and Different Drum.

In discussing the Righteous Brothers' You've Lost That Loving Feeling, Marc interviewed the songs' writers Cynthia Mann and Bob Weil.  They told how the song came to be recorded:


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Updated Poe

From the Buzzyblog two years ago:

Who else but Christopher Walken could do The Raven justice (click here?)  That said, this video is a little better because it includes the written verses:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Flowers for Me

Valentine's Day and of course flowers are the order of the day.  Reminds me of something that occurred while I was in the hospital with my hip injury.  I received flowers from three ladies!  That's never happened to me before.

First, Linda Lepper and her sister Joan sent me a very nice arrangement of flowers that looked a whole lot better than this so-so photo I took of it.  (I'll blame the Percocet for my not taking a better photo of the arrangement that also includes my pink bed pan next to it.) 

And later in the day Janet Whitt dropped in to visit and present me with a very nice poinsettia which became part of our Christmas d├ęcor once I got back home.  My thanks to Linda, Joan and Janet for their thoughtfulness.  (Depresses me to think that the next time I get flowers, I probably won't be around to thank the donors.)

Remember the movie Charly where Cliff Robertson won an Academy Award?  It was based on the novel Flowers for Algernon which explains my title above.  (Just in case you were wondering why I cited a movie about a moron who became very smart only to regress at the end of the flick!)

Monday, February 13, 2017


I lost any semblance of Rock n Roll cred many years ago when I started listening to and liking Johnny Mathis.  What can I say.  You like what you like.

I know that Celine is Titantically annoying with all those over-the-top ballads she does.  However, this tune, and in fact this entire album, is pretty good.  See what you think.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


Abe's birthday today, so here is something I posted a couple years back about him on the Presidents' Holiday in 2013:

One of Bob's most famous songs has a Lincoln connection at the 2:50 mark below (click here.)  It has to do with Abe's quote about fooling some of the people some of the time etc..  Sure seems very relevant to today's circumstances doesn't it?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Think Summer

How's about some sunny summer photos to remind us that we're only a couple months away from such times?
Ryan and Barb in Hawaii
Bobby, Marcia and Dickie

Pat and His Ride
Shannon, Paula, Kim and Heather

King Richard in Greg's Demon

Pratt Boy, Crispie, Charlie, David and Wade
Darline and Greg With 10 oz in Hand
Brian and Sharon

And two from last summer's Bart Party:
Gina and Joe Arriving

Friday, February 10, 2017

Social Security

Turning 66, I decided to go ahead and sign up for Social Security now versus waiting until I hit 70. (I was going to wait, but I figured I'd better get what I can while I can.)

I applied for Social Security on line a couple months ago and shortly afterwards received a call from one of their reps.  Since my birthday is 12 February and the application asked what month I wanted the payments to begin, I had entered March.  The lady who called informed me that I was eligible the first of February and asked if it was ok if she amended my application to reflect that benefits begin the first of February.  Of course I agreed.  Regardless when your birthday falls in the month you can receive payments for that month.  I appreciate the lady calling and informing me of that even though it did cross my mind "Why do they even have to ask if it's ok?  Does anyone ever say no?"

So, as I await my first Social Security payment, I am reminded of this note that I found somewhere about Col. Sanders:

Good little song from Tracy covering the life span:

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Who Says History Doesn't Matter?

Here is something that occurred on this day in 1825.  John Quincy Adams, despite losing the popular vote to Andrew Jackson, was elected President by the House of Representatives thanks to Henry Clay.  Ironically, the 1824 election was the first one to count the popular vote even though, as is the case today, it did not mean anything.

For some reason, this song came to mind:

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

When Sonny Gets Blue

In general I consider myself a fairly positive person. Give me lemons, I'll make lemonade.  My mantra is - positive people carry their own sunshine and in life you get what you give.

But every once in awhile, I will get the blues and as I noted yesterday, February is bluesy kind of month.  A little bird of unhappiness will come and sit on my shoulder awhile until I shoo him away.  His message is always the same dreary sad one that life is a bummer and all hope is lost.  Should he catch me in a down frame of mind, I find myself agreeing with him on those cold gray days. 

Whenever I get in one of those funks, the following song always comes to mind.  While it doesn't necessarily make me feel any better, it does make me think about something more positive:

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

February Made Me Something

One song line pops up in my head a lot in February:  "February made me shiver with every paper I'd deliver ...."  (Answer below.)  I never had a paper route but I did freeze my butt off a lot out in the February cold and snow.

For someone who hates the cold then, I look back on some of my life choices and wonder how the hell did I end up at Frostburg State College following Ryken High School?  I had a partial scholarship to any school in Maryland and I always joke with folks that I looked at a Maryland map and picked the college farthest away from home.  Little did I know at the time, I also picked the coldest damn college in the State.

Frostburg's unofficial motto was 6 months of winter and 6 months of cold weather and I hated it.  The 6 months of winter also featured heavy snows.  I managed to survive it all somewhat but did get in trouble with the law in, you guessed it, February.  (Let's just say pot wasn't legal back then and due to my experimenting, I ended up with a PBJ which is not a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich.)

Later in the year I got popped on a DWI charge when I was not the driver of the vehicle.  (Long story that I will bore you with some other time.)  That  violated the PBJ and that's how I avoided going back to Frostburg but ended up in the care of Uncle Sam as one of his infantrymen.

Thus by some convoluted Ridge-boy logic, I always blame February for that little turn of events.  Doesn't make sense that I do so but February did make me shiver.

Here is the tune with the line that brings all this to mind:

There is another line in this tune that has been running thru my mind a lot lately too. It goes "And as I watched him on the stage my hands were clinched in fists of rage, no angel born in hell could break that Satan spell."  McLean was supposedly referring to Jagger but you know who I'm thinking about today. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Saltaire Grocery Store

I posted this and a link to the story a couple years ago today.  (Note I was unsuccessful in my current attempts to find out any updates on how this is or isn't playing out for Mr. Whitney.  I would imagine that it's all tied up in the court system somewhere but couldn't find anything definitive.  If you are more Google skilled than I am and can locate something recent on it please let me know.)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Two Guys

Yesterday I posted a photo of Bobby and Charlie and called them good guys.  Not to take anything away from them, but today I have the "real" good Guys.  Photo was taken in December of last year when George and Glenn dropped into the Store along with the Joe Stone Road crew:
What other generational beer song works as well as this one?!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

That Time of Day

Perfect song for the perfect photo featuring a couple of good guys:

Friday, February 3, 2017

People Send Me Stuff

Some things sent me from some folks.

First up is Steve Peterson's solution to Buzzy's complying with the new sign ordinance.
Larry Yeatman sent this:
And this from Joan titled "Reasons Why We Can Not Let Newspapers Die:"

Following my post about Buzzy's tenure as a County Commissioner back in the 60's, Tom McCoy sent me this very nice note: