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, February 27, 2020

Throwback Thursday: My Mom From Obscenity to Taxes

Speaking of my Mom (previous post) below are a couple of the many letters she wrote to the Enterprise through the years.  The editor of the Enterprise, my friend Rick Boyd, once informed me that he always arranged the letters to the editor by placing what he considered to be the best one first.  While Rick was not the editor in 1959, the date of Mom's initial letter to the editor, both of her two letters here held the primo first slot in that week's Enterprise.  First, her 1959 letter:
A May 1992 letter to the editor from her reflects that her priorities had changed as she grew older.  Again, note the hers' was the first letter displayed and this time it was by Rick's selection:
Watched and enjoyed the PBS Miles Davis documentary the other night.  However, it made me feel kind of sorry (ok, kind of blue) for him because it didn't seem like he led a very happy life.  The documentary, which you can find on Youtube, doesn't dwell a lot on Miles' dark side but you get the idea as you hear from various folks who knew him and relate his life story.   (For a film that does show the more mercurial side of Miles watch Miles Ahead directed by and starring Don Cheadle.)  

In general, I don't like it when artists performing live noodle around killing time with a song before they decide to really kick into it.  However, the way Miles works his way into this one  makes the wait all the better and ultimately worth it.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Mardi Gras Buzzy's

Bruno Float
Great time at our Buzzy's Mardi Gras party last night!  Karen Garner took and posted some very nice photos on her FB page (click here and scroll thru.)

First off I would like to thank Nancy Barber for all of her and her husband Bruce's efforts in pulling this off.  It was Nancy's idea and suggestion to do a Mardi Gras party.  She then purchased all sorts of beads and masks and decorations along with preparing several dishes for the party.  To boot she provided a King Cake (shown here) complete with a Baby Jesus.
Kim Wiley Photo
Nancy is from New Orleans and actually has some knowledge and experience in all things Mardi Gras.  When I was parading around Buzzy's Country Store with the Bruno float, Nancy was tossing out beads and told me afterwards that the first couple she tossed hit the ceiling.  She explained  "I'm used to throwing them off the big floats and had to readjust for in here."  That's some real Mardi Gras experience talking there.

I would like to also thank everyone for supplying such great food to eat.  In particular, big thanks to Mike and Gail Case for their gumbo.  Like Nancy, Mike has actually spent some time in New Orleans where he perfected his gumbo recipe and very graciously agreed to make us some when I asked him and Gail to do so.  My thanks to both of them.  (Note Mike made so much gumbo that we will have some leftovers to serve again today at the Store.  Drop in for some if you missed last night.)  

Thanks also to Stacey Goddard for supplying the Wet "Buzzy" drinks that helped get the party going.  (The "Buzzy" name is not the actual name but can be found here.)  As for the real name of the drink, there were a lot of jokes made about wanting one, not having had one, please give the wife one etc. as  people consumed their shots of the drink.  The drink was such a hit that I am thinking about making it the official drink of Buzzy's Country Store.  Thank you Stacey.(Please note, whereas there was some of the gumbo leftover from last night, there were no Wet Pussies left.   (Sorry I couldn't resist that feeble attempt at some Mardi Gras humor.)   
In addition to being about eating and drinking, Mardi Gras of course is all about listening to some music.  We were right there again with Gary Rue and his Smoke Creek Rounders providing us some great sounds.  My thanks to all of them for trekking down to Buzzy's on a dreary Tuesday night and playing some music for us again.  I say again because Gary and these guys have very generously given of their time to come and perform at Buzzy's for several years now and I appreciate them doing so.
Billy Thompson, Troy Jones, Brian Deere and Gary Rue
And thank you to all of you who came down and help us celebrate Mardi Gras Buzzy style.  A highlight of the evening for me was having my sister Donna bring Mom in following their pancake dinner at St. Michael's.
Mardi Gras Mom
Clifton Chenier is known as the King of Zydeco, so it seems fitting to include his tune about his mom here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Le Bontemps Roule

Drop into Buzzy's Country Store later this evening for a little Mardi Gras fun and cheer.  Gary Rue and his Smoke Creek Rounders will be playing some music starting around 5:30.  We will have some good things to eat and of course your favorite liquid refreshments will be available also.   (There are rumors of a Voodoo Priestess making an appearance.  Like you are thinking right now,  I too am kinda wondering just what that is myself.)

Tuba Skinny is a great New Orleans-based jazz band that plays traditional jazz and blues songs along with original tunes such as the one in this video.  The song/video has a little bit of everything including some outstanding musicians, a great lead singer, a washboard solo and even a Kim Wiley look-a-like dancing on the dance floor @ the 0:32 mark.  

Monday, February 24, 2020

Mardi Gras History (Including Breasts)

There will be music and food at Buzzy's Country Store tomorrow evening as we celebrate Mardi Gras.  But today you get to do your homework and learn about the history of  Mardi Gras.  

Of course we usually associate it with New Orleans:

However, there are some claims that the event's origins go back to the Romans' celebration of their springtime festival Saturnalia (click here.)  Later when the whole Lent/Ash Wednesday thing made its appearance, the event became known for having one last party and feast before Lent commenced the following day.  It appears that the religious organizers of Lent were smart enough to know that they couldn't outlaw the partying entirely so they compromised by saying "OK we will let you do your thing tonight, but tomorrow you got to repent and do so for the next 40 days."

Today Mardi Gras is celebrated all around the world.  And yes, most all of those events involve parades, costumes, partying etc. (click here.)  

But now for the Mardi Gras history that I know you have been waiting for - how did that tradition of women showing off their breasts for beads start?  

It has to do with the throwing of beads from the parade floats to the people who most represented the spirit of Mardi Gras (click here.)
As for how the breasts-for-beads thing got started and evolved, here is a good video discussion of it (click here.)  And no, it is not that women are giving up wearing bras for Lent.

In telling folks about Buzzy's Mardi Gras party the past couple weeks, nearly everyone has  asked me if we are passing out beads for the women to show off their breasts.  My response has been "Are you kidding?  I'm giving out beads for them to leave their shirts on!"

Anytime I hear anything about Mardi Gras, this Paul Simon song will run thru my mind:

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday Matters of Trust

One of my favorite Bible verses has to do with trusting someone in the little things.  The official verse goes as follows.
I recall Buzzy telling me something along those lines when I was a kid and had messed something up.  As he was trying to show me the error of my ways I smart mouthed him back with "So what's the big deal?"  That's when he gave me, and I first heard, his variation of Luke's above quote.  Little things matter.

Thus, through out my personal and business dealings with folks that I've met along life's highway, I have always kept this lesson in mind.  From my experiences, it is, for the most part, very true.  The people I respect most in life are the ones I trust the most both in the little things as well as with the bigger things.  Like Luke says above, if someone is good about the little things, you can trust them with regards to the bigger things.

Now juxtapose that sentiment with what went down last September during the National Weather Service's forecast of the path of Hurricane Dorian.  Recall how Dorian tore up the Bahamas and was then making its way towards Florida?  Somewhere along the line our leader noted that Alabama was also in the Dorian's path.  It was not.

However, when caught in this very minor lie, even say misstatement, about the path of the Hurricane over Alabama, our boy then used a Sharpie to doctor a weather map to try and prove that he was not lying. (Sharpie line is the black one shown here to include parts of Alabama.)

For the complete story and just in case you Trumpsters are thinking that I made this up (click here.)  Bottom line - he lied about lying.  I know, I know it's a little thing (nowhere near his bigger and better health care or Mexico will pay for the wall lies) but hopefully you get my point - Sharpie and all!  (Subsequent to the original story, there was this followup look at how the weather organizations were churning about trying to deal with his weather-related tweets and misinformation during that time (click here.))

Speaking of churning about, if you are out for a Sunday drive today ride down to Buzzy's Country Store.  You can trust that the beer will be cold and other little things like that will all be as promised. 

As for New Yorkers and trust, Billy said it best.  Video here was filmed in New York city.  It captures various peoples' reactions to this live performance including the lady at the 1:40 and 4:44 marks yelling for them to shut up.  Some added video trivia for you - see if you can locate Paul and Ringo's very brief cameo appearances.  Hints - Ringo is bearded and Paul is leaning against a wall.  Wonder if Billy tried this again today if the cops would be as cool as they were here?!
Bonus good thought for the day - this time next week February is over! (Trust me on that.)

Saturday, February 22, 2020


Happy Birthday, George.

Here is the prayer (2:16 mark in video) that is read daily when his tomb is first opened:

Friday, February 21, 2020

Things to Do This Weekend - Set Out Running

Buzzy's of course is open Saturday and Sunday, but on your way to and from there you could hit some other happenings as follows:

Karaoke with Brad and Tiffany is at Sunset Cove on Saturday evening:
Earlier on Saturday there is this spirits tasting event at the Naval Air Museum:
Sunday you're back in Ridge for the Ridge Fire Department Auxiliary Purse Bingo event:
As noted above, Buzzy's Country Store is always an option for you, so drop in whenever you can.  (Maryland men's basketball game against Ohio State will be on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m.)

I was in Annapolis yesterday attending a liquor association lobby gig at the State House and Senate offices of our various representatives.  As I strolled the Naptown streets enroute to these meetings, a car at a traffic light was loudly playing the following tune.  It made me stop in my tracks and give the driver a big thumbs up.  It kind of put the whole politically-based event in perspective for me - a friend of the devil really is a friend of mine.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Throwback Thursday - Mockey Guy's (And More)

Some old photos that Frankie Tippett posted on Massey's You Know You're From St. Mary's:
Note Sign Saying Malcolm Guy and Son

These FB comments explain the ownership of the store thru the years starting with this 1940's ad:  

The Ridge Post Office was originally in a building on the left side of the store but then relocated to an addition on the right side.  Mike Kerr shows it here in this 1982 photo of his first Screen Printing Shop:
And then I found this 2017 Enterprise article by Jason Babcock where he features Mockey's son now our County Commissioner President Randy Guy talking about his 1968 homecoming Christmas:

I read a nice review of Paul's Maybe I'm Amazed (click here) and it led me to land on this great version of it.  Grohl does a nice job here but maybe I'm amazed at how much I really do like Norah Jones and everything she does.  (Check out the little eye brow raise (0.05 mark) she shoots Dave as they approach their mic's.)

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Candy Cigarettes

Something that caught my eye in Herbie's photo of the interior of Pritchett's Store reminded me that I need to get some of them re-stocked in Buzzy's Country Store - candy cigarettes.

When I first took over Buzzy's in 2007 I restocked the candy case with as many of the old time products that I could.  One of those items was candy cigarettes.  Thru, the years it has always been something of a conversation item when folks check out the candy case and see the candy cigarettes.  Comments usually go "Oh my gosh, I remember buying these when I was a kid."  "I can't believe they still make these." Or "I thought they banned these."
For a quick history of candy cigarettes (click here.)  Turns out that it was erroneously reported back then that the FDA had banned the product.  However, some states along with several countries around the world did in fact ban them (click here and scroll down.)
Remember this annoying little song?  Still, the Bo Diddley beat does make me smile:

Tuesday, February 18, 2020


Speaking of birds (my Orioles baseball post the other day) our mild winter weather has been good for bird watching.  As a member of the private FB page Notable Bird Sightings in Maryland, I have been following their discussions involving a first-ever sighting here in the County involving a Black Chinned Hummingbird (BCHU.)   Here is a sample of some of the discussions.  Note that I white lined out last names because I'm not sure the privacy deal re: these private FB pages:

 Following that post, a series of visits to the site were arranged as follows:
As for that last sentence about signing a legal waiver of liability just proves that even bird lovers/watchers got to be careful these days.   Reminds me of this bad lawyer/bird joke:
And because it is Twofer Tuesday here is a second bird-related item I stumbled upon in my internet travels:

Ok, since I'm on a roll let's go for the trifecta of bad bird jokes:  Why are owls smarter than chickens?  Have you ever heard of Kentucky-fried owl?

Eminem finally appeared on this year's Oscars 17 years after his Lose Yourself won for Best Song.  When asked what he was doing in 2003 when it was announced that he had won the Oscar in 2003 he noted that he was home sleeping because his daughter Hailie had to be at school early the next morning (click here.)  Hailie and her sister Alaina are shown here in this very personal, maybe too personal video.

Ironically enough, Lose Yourself beat out this father daughter song by Paul Simon nominated that year for the kids' movie The Wild Thornberrys.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Ridge to Daytona

In addition to some orange dude there making Nascar great again, yesterday's Daytona 500 had some Ridge folks on the scene.  Thanks to Bruce Henry, Greg and JW were also visiting Daytona.  Although yesterday's race was postponed to today, they sent me some photos from earlier in the week commemorating the occasion:
JW Photo He Texted Me With the Message "We On The Beach."
Greg, Scott Schmoele, Bruce and JW
Dennis Wilson also joined up with them and Bruce sent me this photo:

Good video here even if it doesn't have any pics of cars anywhere in it:

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Talking Baseball 2020 - Pt 1

What with my birthday going down and all the churn associated with that, I completely overlooked the other most significant event of last week.  It involved the recitation of the 5 most exciting words in all of sports: "pitchers and catchers report today."  

Both the Orioles and Nationals opened their 2020 spring training seasons this past Wednesday in Florida on my birthday no less.  (Quick aside here - thank you to all of you who were kind enough to drop me a nice note/text/FB comment wishing me a Happy B'day.  I appreciate you all thinking about me and taking the time to reach out.  Best card I got was from my sister Donna.  Nothing like a sister to keep you humble right?)

But back to baseball.  Maybe the best headline I saw concerning our home teams' start of spring training was this one about the Nationals sharing their spring training facilities with their rivals the Houston Astros.

For those of you not familiar with this Astros cheating story here is a good article detailing it for you (click here.)

The Nationals of course are the defending MLB champions after a great year and playoff run.  Conversely, the O's, well let's just say that things get can only get better.  This is exactly why spring training is the best time of year because everything begins anew and hope really does spring eternal, or something like that anyway.

Speaking of birds, have you checked out the Port Tobacco Park eagles' live cam showing Hope and Chandler hatching 3 eggs (click here.)   (Yeah, like I've got nothing better to do.)

Elvis does a great take on Chuck's Promised Land tune.  I don't know why but the line "cut your engines and cool your wings" (1:30 mark) will often run thru my mind and serve as a slowing mechanism for me whenever I'm hustling, bustling and overdoing it.  Obviously, sitting around watching Hope and Chandler on the live cam is not one of those times.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Drive Thrus

I found this FB entry from Jan Dabkowski on Massey's You Know You're From St. Mary's If page:
To tell the truth, I had forgotten that Monk's had even had a drive thru.  But then again, I do recall that just about liquor establishment had a drive thru back then.  I can vaguely remember my buddy Robbie and me in his 59 Studebaker buying a six pack at the Pink Elephant's drive thru.  Buzzy also was trying to install one at the store but he never could do so because he didn't have the space nor the driveway for it.

Drive thrus were eventually outlawed in the County in 1987 by the powers that be.  However, there was an exception that if the liquor license was transferred, then the drive thru privileges could be grandfathered in.

Today there are only a handful of drive thrus left in the County.  This is from a 2007 Enterprise article discussing how Big Dog's Paradise Bar in Mechanicsville lost their drive thru privileges:
Today the term drive thru is more than likely to be referring to take out chicken dinners where you don't have to leave your car to secure your selections.  I'm not so sure that that is a sign of progress. 

As a folowup to Valentine's Day, do you remember this Steve Earle tune in Talladega Nights?  Neither did I (click here and go to 1:10 mark.)

Friday, February 14, 2020

Celebrating Something Awesome!

Happy.........Killing of Captain Hook Day!

And here you thought I was going to go schmaltzy Happy Valentine's Day on you!

OK, that too, but let's stay with the if-it-bleeds-it-leads headline. On this day in 1779 the Cookster, after many years of roaming and charting the globe, got his on the shores of Hawaii's Big Island.  The following is from (click here.)
I have played this Randy Newman song a couple times previously but got to lay it on you again just because it sums up the whole European-plunder-the-world thing so well.  It might even make you wonder if there aren't some present day parallels regarding us messing around over in the Mideast.  Then again, our boy Donald did promise to get us out of those wars remember?
OK, just to prove that I am a quasi-romantic here on this special day, a Valentines Day joke for you: What is the best part about Valentines Day? Chocolate sales the day after.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Buzzy's Road Crew

Found the above in a 1991 Enterprise.  Here are a couple other photos I found that Buzzy took during one of the cleanups.

Buzzy Took This Looking Through His Car Window
Buzzy was a longtime advocate of keeping our roadways clean. I found this editorial in a 1963 Enterprise  when he was serving as a county commissioner:
Even when he grunted his way thru a song Sam sounded great:

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Pritchett's Pt. 2

I did manage to talk to Chuck Hayward owner of Pritchett's Grocery Store over in Dorchester County (yesterday's post.)  Chuck is the grandson of Clarence Pritchett who started the store in 1946.

As we discussed what it's like to be among the last owners of a country store, Chuck mentioned that Pritchett's was one of several old country stores that used to be open in their area.  (Kind of like me recalling how our Ridge/Scotland area at one time had stores like Yost's, Guy's, Greenwell's, Raley's, Hewlitt's and Buzzy's all operating and serving the community.)

Chuck noted that while he is not making any money from the store he wants to try and keep it going as long as he can do so in honor of his family's legacy.  I told him that I could relate to those sentiments and asked why he did not sell alcohol.  He said it had to do with his grandfather being a good Methodist church goer who did not care for anything having to to do with drinking and gambling.   

I asked Chuck about  another old store that I came across in my internet travels - Thomas Jones' Market.  He told me that it was just up the road from him but had been closed for several years.  I found this description and photo of it: (click here.)
Good conversation and I concluded by telling Chuck what folks often tell me "If I'm ever down that way I'll stop in for a visit."  He laughed and said something along the lines "Look forward to seeing you."

Music-wise here is a nice video of Marc Cohen talking about how he wrote this song and the overall transformational power of music.   And as I celebrate another birthday today, I appreciate more than ever anything that involves transformational  power whether it be from music, alcohol or whatever it is that gets your motor running.  Maybe it's even a pretty little thing waiting for the king down in the jungle room (5:25 mark.) 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Pritchett's Grocery

Herbie McKay and Robbie Wood informed me of an old country store  Pritchett's Grocery that they happened upon during their travels over on the Eastern Shore.

Pritchett's is located in Bishop Head, Dorchester County which is directly across the Bay from Lexington Park.
The following photos were taken by Herbie.
Robbie On the Way Into Store 

Bobby Cooper and Robbie Checking Things Out

After some internet searching, I found this from the obit of the Store's founder Clarence Pritchett.

Pritchett's sells groceries to include lunch meat and sandwiches but they do not sell alcohol.  I have a phone number for them and am trying to contact the current owners to talk to them about their experiences running the store.  I'll keep you posted.

It was good to see Elton and Bernie win an Academy Award the other night for their Love Me Again tune.  Good song but still can't top their first big hit shown here.