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, August 14, 2018

Happy Birthday Badge Lady!

Today is her birthday.  Just as I have for the last 50 years or so I always think of her on this day.  Like the St. Pauli Girl beer slogan - you never forget your first girl.

The following song always reminds me of her too.  We used to listen to it on 8 track as we drove around in my car and …. well just listen to the song and you'll understand.

George Harrison wrote the lyrics.  In his book I, Me, Mine he had this say: 
In the above video at the 5:05 mark Clapton does sing "Where is my badge." 

Monday, August 13, 2018


In a four day span last week, the Washington Nationals played two doubleheaders and split both of them.  It reminded me of something I recently overheard about betting on doubleheaders.

Sirius-XM has a betting channel that I happened upon the other day and heard a conversation about betting doubleheaders in baseball.  The person being interviewed noted that betting on the team that lost the first game of a doubleheader to win the second game was one of baseball's safest and surest bets.  His contention was that the majority of double headers end up being split.

I did some research on this - I know I need a life - and found that it's not as simple as my radio dude was putting it.  Opinions and explanations seem to be all over the place on whether or not betting on the loser of the first game of a double header is the bet to make.  

For example, one  study (click here) found that out of 218 doubleheaders played from 2005 thru 2014, sweeps occurred roughly 52% of the time.  That certainly contradicts the radio dude's advice.

Other betting "experts" see the subject as being a little more nuanced (click here.)  Several factors impact the betting process such as whether or not it was the home team that won or lost the first game.  There is some evidence that home teams losing the first game are more likely to win the second game.  Road team sweeps of double headers are not as likely as are home team sweeps (click here.)  (Note that both of the Nationals recent double header splits were played at home.)  

So the betting logic would seem to go, if the home team loses the first game of a double header, load up on betting them to win the second game.  But then you have to factor in who are the two teams playing.  If the worst record Orioles are home playing a doubleheader against the best record Red Sox, you still may want to hedge on the betting the Orioles to win that second game after they have lost the first.  (In fact, you may want to hedge your bets on the woeful Orioles in any game that they play this season. (You don't know how painful that was for me to have written that.)

As I have said before, things baseball are often times not as simple as they seem.  Little like life wouldn't you say?  (Bowell's book Why Life Imitates the World Series comes to mind.)

Mike and the Moonpies have a great tune/video on the subject of gambling (hence this post's title:)

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Striking Out

I am off doing my annual baseball trip.  My son Brady and I are closing in our goal of visiting every MLB ball park.  The three ball parks we are hitting this weekend San Diego, Anaheim and LA will take us up to having visited 28 out of 30 MLB ball parks.  Seattle and Atlanta remain the only 2 that we have not visited.  Several years ago we did check out the old Turner Field ball park in Atlanta but it has recently been replaced.

Thus, with baseball on my mind let's talk a little balls and strikes as in the following amazing stat:  this season projects to be the first in MLB history where strike outs will outnumber hits (click here.)  

As with so many things baseball-wise, the pundits have given various explanations for this record number of strike outs ranging from  expanded strike zones to specialized relief pitchers.  Another explanation has to do with batters continually trying to crush the ball even with 2 strikes on them.  (Yeah, talking bout you Chris Davis.)  In the old days, once you got two strikes, you would choke up on the bat and just try to make contact with the pitch. Today's batters, even with two strikes on them, are still swinging for the fences.

I remember back when I played, striking out was always one of my biggest concerns.  I simply did not want to get to that second strike and risk even the possibility of striking out.  And whenever I did get 2 strikes on me, all I wanted to do with the next pitch was make some kind of contact and put the ball in play.  I simply dreaded the thought of striking out.  (Later in life I would have to learn to deal with the phenomena of striking out with women and equate it with my baseball experiences as I was trying to get to first and maybe even second base with them.)  

But as much as striking out back then was frowned upon, today's players don't seem to mind so much.  In a vicious circle and self fulfilling prophecy kind of way, the more players strike out now, the more acceptable it has become.  Today, striking out is not that big a deal.

But remember back when Casey struck out?  Written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer the poem made Casey a famously sympathetic character even if he was a little bit too over confident.  Wonder if today we would even notice or make comment about the irony of the Mighty Casey failing as such?

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Speaking of mysteries (previous post) here is one for you about the County's most famous unsolved murder.  

I mentioned awhile back that Kennedy Abell and Al Gough visited Buzzy's Country Store one afternoon and were reminiscing about a number of topics.  One of the subjects they mentioned  included the 1959 unsolved murder of Leonardtown's Henrietta Ragan.  

Kennedy discussed how he was working at the bank where Henrietta had stopped earlier the night she was murdered.  Thru the years the Enterprise has featured several articles on the unsolved murder including this one from 1970 (click here.  Kennedy's interaction with Henrietta at the County Trust Bank before her death is mentioned about mid way thru the article.)  

Here too is the 1959 Enterprise article that appeared right after Henrietta's murder:
I guess it's only fitting then to play a song by a band named The Police in which they talk about getting away with murder:

Friday, August 10, 2018

Lost Art - Found!

A Washington Post story appeared earlier this week about a painting stolen years ago that was found as part of an estate left by a couple of former school teachers who recently died.

Here is the de Kooning painting being discussed:

This video also provides additional info on the story which remains quite a mystery: 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Good Advice - Pt. 2

The other day, I did a post about Advice.  Here is a follow up with some advice quotes that caught my attention:

Never take a sleeping pill and a laxative the same night.  Dave Barry

Trust in Allah but tie up your camel. Arabian proverb.

Always tell the truth.  It saves a lot of remembering.  Mark Twain

Go west young man.  Horace Greely (This one has been rummaging around in my head for the past couple days as I prepare to visit California this weekend for my annual baseball trip.)

And finally (literally) this one on death from Will Rogers:  When I die I want to die like my grandfather did - peacefully in his sleep.  Not screaming like all the passengers in his car. 

usic/lyric-wise, Mick will always be Number One for giving us this best advice "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might find you can get what you need."  

However, Jim Croce also had some good advice on what to and what not to do in the following:

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

This Ain't Nothing

In my search for "do nothing" videos earlier in the week, I found this one that made me pause, think and even shed a tear.  Yep, it's that powerful.  

There is a line in the song at the 3:15 mark that goes "This ain't nothing that money can't replace." It  reminded me of a quote I overheard somewhere - any problem that can be solved with money isn't a problem.  You could say I don't have a problem with that.

Watch the video, but keep the Kleenex close by.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

BA at Wolf Trap

BA In Concert Playing While Video Screen Behind Him Shows Audience With Cell Phones Aglow
Mike Raley and I attended Bryan Adams' concert at Wolf Trap this past Sunday evening and it was a first rate affair.  Adams played for over 2 hours and covered all of his greatest hits with a very entertaining, fun show complete with a video collage, a light show and lots of audience interplay.  (Maybe a little too much interplay which I will get to later.)

I was always a semi-fan of BA when early on in his career he rocked.  Songs like  Summer of 69, Run to You, Cuts Like a Knife are right up there with my favorite favorites.  However, as he shifted into the power ballad stuff like Please Forgive Me, Everything I Do, I'm In Heaven etc. I got to the point where I could take or leave him with a lean to the latter.   

However, in his live performances  he mixes it up nicely enough to keep the place rocking while covering all his musical bases.  It was a great and very entertaining show and I would definitely go see him again.

As for the audience interplay, Bryan encouraged a lot of sing along stuff to the point where he would stop and let the audience sing parts of the tune.  Whenever musicians do this at a concert, it always brings out the Buzzy in me as I want to shout "Hey Superstar, I paid good money to hear YOU sing these songs, not some boozed up babe standing behind me who can't sing and sounds like a cat in heat."  (That actually happened Sunday night when BA did Straight From the Heart and the audience stood up, waved their arms and sang the refrain.  Some gal camped out in the walkway behind me and caterwauled her way through the entire song.  Talk about cutting like a knife.  Fortunately, she moved on after the song was over and thereby saved me from making a Ridge-boy scene by slugging her.)

The other audience interplay that BA encouraged had to do with cell phone usage as I noticed dozens of folks filming and taking photos of him and the band throughout the show.  Bryan actually urged folks on and even instructed them at one point to hold their phones up and turn on the lights (photo above.)

Here too is a video from the show that someone filmed and has already posted on YouTube.

Following the show, I asked one of the ushers if they now allowed cell phones to be used and he said that it all depends on the artist. He went onto say that when the artist doesn't want it, he becomes the cell phone police and has to monitor the crowd and then go down and reprimand them when they do try to use the cell phone. I said something to the effect that I bet he doesn't like that and he said "Naw, I kind of enjoy being a bad ass and telling them they can't do it." To each his own I guess.

Bryan did a 20 minute encore which included this great cover of a song made famous by Bobby Fuller.  (Fuller died under mysterious circumstances with explanations ranging from suicide to involvement with some Mafia woman (click here.)

Couldn't find a live version I Fought the Law from Wolf Trap but did locate this one from an earlier appearance of BA in New Zealand:

Monday, August 6, 2018

Buzzy's "Do Nothing"

My "Do Nothing" post yesterday reminded me of something related to Buzzy back when he was politicking. 

Following his stint as a County Commissioner from 1960 thru 1964, Buzzy continued to dabble in local politics by running for various offices.  During one campaign for office, he called and asked me to help him fill out a survey that he had received from some organization.  The survey was asking candidates for their positions on a number of subjects and what they planned to do about various problems and concerns. 

Buzzy instructed me "What I'd really like to put down as an answer to a lot of these questions is that I'm going to do nothing.  We already got enough laws and programs on the books to deal with these things so why create more?  See if you can come up with a way for me to say that without actually saying that I'm going to do nothing."

This of course was many years before Jerry Seinfeld made a T-V show about doing nothing:

Then again, Hippocrates had thought this out many moons ago when he noted:

Is this not the very best song about doing nothing?

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Doing Nothing

After my little diatribe yesterday, this from Thomas Merton seems appropriate for today's Sunday meditation:
And speaking of doing nothing, Bruno Mars has a funny take on it:

Saturday, August 4, 2018

I Didn't Lie - the Truth Changed

A man is only as good as his word.

Even by his low standards, it has been quite a week for our Liar in Chief (click here.)
While the following was not the biggest lie he told this week, it is the one that I have been having the most fun with at Buzzy's Country Store:

Thus, whenever someone approached the Buzzy counter with a bag of chips, a soda, or bait to purchase, I would ask to see their ID's. Most folks got the joke and laughed it off.  However, I did have a couple individuals start to look through their wallets or purses to find some form of identification. I then quickly told them that it was a President Trump joke. 

Most folks got it.  However, a couple of folks were completely clueless about the reference which proves again that a lot of what goes on news-wise is totally ignored by many people.

Still, it did manage to generate some attention elsewhere:
All of which leads me to wonder - where did the expression "Liar, liar pants on fire originate?"  There's some explanation having to do with a boy caught smoking by his old man (click here.)  And then there is an explanation that it comes from a William Blake poem "The Liar" which starts and concludes with the following verse:

Remember this tune from The Knickerbockers? (They took their name from a road near their hometown of Bergenfield, New Jersey and no, I am not lying about that!)

Friday, August 3, 2018

This Weekend

Lots of things going on this weekend and hopefully the weather gods will be kind (click here.)  (They have already caused the cancellation of the annual Governor's Cup Race.)

However, several other events of note are going on throughout the County ranging from Lawnmower Races to Leonardtown's First Friday soiree.

In South County, we have the Ridge Carnival taking place, the Legion's Queen of Hearts drawing tonite and  Sunset Cove Restaurant with an all girls band The Bootleggers set for Saturday evening.

As always Buzzy's Country Store will be open for you to "tune up" while enroute to these or whatever other events you have on your calendars.

And speaking of girl bands, check out this video featuring the Goddesses of Bagpipes.  If you are like me and don't particularly care for bagpipe music, fast forward to the 2:30 mark where they kick into Enter Sandman and see if that doesn't get your mojo going:

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Zimbabwe Election

Buzzy once told me, as he was looking at the World News section of a newspaper, that he enjoyed reading about current affairs of places he had visited in his travels.  "A place I otherwise wouldn't have known or given a damn about, now I can now read and appreciate what's going on there."

This came back to me the other day when I saw in the news that Zimbabwe, Africa was holding its first election since they got rid of their long time rip off of a leader 94 year old Robert Mugabe (click here.)   The election was held this past Monday but they are still counting the votes to see who won.  Mugabe was famous for holding crooked elections that he always won so naturally folks are watching this one very closely.


Harare is the capitol of Zimbabwe and when we were there we spent some time roaming around its streets.
Buzzy in Downtown Harare - You Shouldn't Have a Problem Picking Him Out
The only reason to visit Zimbabwe is to take in Victoria Falls which truly is spectacular.  I say this even though we were there during the dry season when the falls were not at their full strength.  However, even "dry", the Falls were impressive:
We stayed at the Victoria Falls Hotel where our rooms had canopy beds complete with mosquito nets. 

At breakfast the first morning of our visit, one of our co-tourists, a lady who enjoyed tweaking Buzzy, asked him if he had ever slept in a canopy bed before. Without hesitating Buzzy said "What are talking about?  I grew up sleeping in a canopy bed." The lady asked "Really? I thought you were a country boy." Buzzy said "I am.  We had an outhouse and because I didn't want to go outside at night to use it, I kept a can under the bed when I had to go.  It was my can of pee bed."  The lady didn't know how to respond to that.

In the postcard above, check out the photo in the upper left corner showing the bridge from Zimbabwe to Zambia.  Following our tour of the falls on the Zimbabwe side, we then visited the Zambia side.  

While we were at the bridge we watched the bungee jumpers.  If you look very closely at my photo here you can see a jumper dangling there in the middle.  Too I found a video below that gives you some idea of what that experience is like.  Buzzy summed it up best as we watched folks jumping off the bridge "You got to be crazy to do that." 

As for the Monday's election, the results have not yet been announced but it appears that Mugabe's successor somehow managed to win it (click here.)  Wonder if the Russians played any role in that.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Buzzy August Birthdays

Officially, July remains our hottest month of the year.  However, August is not far behind.  And when August weather comes around, I generally think of the 3 H's as in hazy, hot and humid.  August features a lot of those sweltering kind of days when you just don't want to be out and about moving around anymore than you have to.   It's hot so stay hydrated.  Buzzy's Country Store can assist you in that effort. 

uzzy August birthdays  include Dickie Cullison on 1 August, Johnny "JW" Raley on the 3rd; Bobbi Jo Magee on 5 Aug;  Lori Raley on the 17th;  Cathy Wright the 20th.  On the 29th, Jimmy and Marylou Cullison celebrate their wedding anniversary.   My Mom celebrates her day on the 21st and son Brady on the 25th.  Brother-in-law Dan Hofmeister is on the 26th.     

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Goodbye L'town BoA

The Leonardtown Bank of America Branch closes today and I feel like I'm losing an old friend.  For years this has been my bank of choice even though it is a little out of my way.  I have opted to drive the extra distance to use that branch, versus the one in Lexington Park, because the overall banking experience was a little nicer in L'town.  

Ben, Cathy and Maribel
The following article was in a recent issue of the Enterprise:

Bottom line - I guess my Buzzy-related business was just not enough to keep them going.   Proves once again that the only thing permanent is change, and I'm not talking about the change I would get from the L'town BoA folks during my weekly visits there.

And speaking of changes, I still have this Moby Grape album stashed in the milk cartons in my attic.  I have an original copy with "the finger" showing on the washboard.  On later copies it was airbrushed out (click here.)

Monday, July 30, 2018

Roll With it, Bullwinkle

On This Day in Rock History 1988, Steve Winwood had the Number One song "Roll With It." As for providing some very good advice, I can't think of anything too much better than this:
Then again, this Moose card I spotted in an Alaskan gift shop sounded pretty good too: 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

From Larry to Don Jr.?

As soon as I read the above headline in the Washington Post story I said to myself - "That's got to be 35X" because I too hate that gate."  Sure enough it was 35X where they have you queue up to catch a bus that then takes you out to board the plane.  As airline travel goes, it's a royal pain in the butt. 

However, it was a couple of photo's accompanying the article that really caught my attention:

Don Jr. Standing in Line
I didn't think twice about the above photo and the dude standing behind Don Jr. until I saw this second photo that identified the guy as his Secret Service agent.

Seeing the agent sent me to my "Larry Hogan Visits Buzzy's File" to dig out this signed photo sent to me from Governor Hogan documenting the event:

Governor Hogan, His Wife Yumi and Daughter Jamie Along With Yours Truly.  

But, check out that dude above Yumi and see if he isn't the same agent now assigned to Don Jr..  Sure does look like him wouldn't you say?  Same look, same outfit to include same lapel pin and same features all lead me to conclude that it is him.  My only question is - did he get promoted from Governor Hogan's detail or demoted to now having to watch over Don Jr.?

I know it was a so-so movie, but I still kind of liked Bodyguard even if it was on the cheesy side:

Saturday, July 28, 2018

To Buzzy's and Back - Round 2

Several of my Second District neighbors and friends will be visiting Buzzy's Country Store again today as part of their annual To Buzzy's and Back pub crawl (click here.)  They did it last year about this time and it went over so well that they have organized another trip south.

They will leave from Chief's Bar in Tall Timbers and have stops set for Betty Russell's, Buzzy's, the Green Door and the Brass Rail before landing back at Chief's.  They plan to be at Buzzy's sometime around noon or shortly afterwards.  If you are out and about, drop in and say hello.  Photo here is from last year:

Friday, July 27, 2018

Gone to the Dogs

I am not a big "Pet Person" but I do kind of like dogs.  Man's best friend and all that impresses me.  

So as we move into the dog days of summer, here are some dog-related items that have recently caught my eye.
The wife said "Here's $20 to get the dog a warm jacket.  If there is any money leftover, buy yourself some beer."
Myrtle 2010

President Bruno?
Joy and Tommy Bowes Entryway

From our recent Alaska trip, I shot this video of a dog training kennel.  We were aboard a tour boat that pulled up alongside this site and as you can hear, the trainers were miked up as they conducted a training session with the dogs:

This video isn't bad either:
And speaking of the dog days:
I will leave you with a Little Johnnie joke that may be the cleanest Little Johnnie joke ever told: 
Teacher: "Little Johnnie, your essay on My Dog reads exactly the same as your sister's essay." 
Little Johnnie: "That's because it's the same dog." 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

4 O'clock Club

While looking thru some old photo's I found this good one of the original Buzzy's Country Store 4 O'clock Club members.  Photo was taken in 2001 and as you can see from the clock on the wall, it's just after 4 o'clock.
Jim Gray, Capt. Jerry, Charlie and Howard Gatton
Prior to meeting at Buzzy's, they would congregate daily at Ann and Tony Cusimano's which today is Mike Ridgell's Baymart.  After Ann and Tony sold their business to Ben, the group then migrated south to Buzzy's where many a joke and much laughter ensued.
Alan and Jimmy were close when they recorded this hit.  I say close because we all know it should have been "It's 4 O'clock Somewhere."

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Bryant's Store

A bleary day forecasted, so I wlll do a bleary post.  

As you know, most of my Country Store Stories here on the Buzzyblog are fun and upbeat, or at least I try to keep them that way.  The time one spends in a country store is supposed to be fun time right?   

But as with all things good, there is always some bad to go along with that good.  Today's country store-related subject matter concerns an unfortunate incident that began in a country store but ended up in the infamous murder of a young black teenager Emmet Til.
The case is back in the news because the Justice Department has recently reopened it (click here.)

The country store where the incident occurred was Bryant's Grocery Store in Money, Mississippi. 
Today, what used to be Bryant's is now a decrepit mess:
Music-wise, Bryant's Store is located a little ways down the road from Robert Johnson's famed Crossroads where he made his pact with the devil.  Money, Mississippi is also the home of the Tallahatchie Bridge that Bobbie Jo Gentry made famous when she and Billy Joe McAllister were seen threw something off of it.  (Til's body was found in the Tallahatchie River.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Two-fer Tuesday Featuring Two Rainy Day Women

All this rain so naturally some rain-related tunes come to mind. 

First up is a song by Irma Thomas titled appropriately "It's Raining."  Somehow this song managed to land on a Spin list as the 4th greatest single of all time:

It's a nice tune no doubt, but the 4th greatest of all time?  I don't think so.  In fact, it wouldn't even rank in my Top 5 Best Rainy Day Songs.  I got November Rain, Rhythm of the Falling Rain, Have You Ever Seen the Rain and Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head as my 5 thu 2 favorites.    
My No. 1 favorite rainy day song is from the band Garbage featuring dynamic lead singer Shirley Manson.  In 1995 they released this great rainy day song  Only Happy When it Rains.  The way Shirley spits out the song's lyrics though, leaves me wondering if she's as really happy as she say she is.