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.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Stuffed Ham

Trinity Church, St. Mary's City is sponsoring their annual stuffed ham luncheon tomorrow. 

To get you in the mood for some stuffed ham, check out these two recently published items featuring Andy Dent and Bob Bowes.  
First check out this NY Times article and then watch the following video.  Be forewarned however, it's gonna make you want a stuffed ham sandwich which you can get tomorrow at Trinity Church.

Eatin' the Chesapeake: Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham from Mike English on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Fats Domino

The above crossword clue in yesterday's Washington Post puzzle got me thinking about The Fat Man and his passing in October 2017.  (I had recently read and filed away a good article on him that summed up his life and accomplishments.  That article was also online if you care to check it out.)  

Little trivia question for you "Who had more hits records between 1953 and 1960 than Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Buddy Holly combined?"  Go to the head of the class if you said Fats.

Too, it reminded me of this great scene in the 2012 T-V show Treme.  Fats was 84 years old when this was filmed and very obviously still on his game.  I get a bit of a Buzzy vibe from Fats as he sits listening to the young man pitch the idea of a rock opera to him.  Fats just looks at the guy with a "You Gotta Be Shittin' Me" look before he breaks into singing Blueberry Hill.   Be sure to check out that pink Cadillac sofa with the FATS vanity tag!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Shady Valley Country Store Pt. 2

LP Mercure just returned from a road trip to the East Tennessee area.  He told me about the Shady Valley Country Store which sits nearby the famous biker ride known as the Snake.

 The following video gives you some idea of what the Snake is like along with a visit to the Shady Valley Country Store. (Go to the 10:00 and/or the 21:00 mark in the video for info on the store.)

LP noted that the Store was not open when he was there but a check of the Store's FB page shows that it will re-open on 4-21. Get it? Store is situated at Rt. 421.  
As LP was telling me about this Store and its relationship to the Snake I thought that it sounded familiar.  Turns out that I did a post on it back in 2011 (click here.)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Where Have You Gone Passion Sunday?

Somewhere way back in the bowels of my Catholic indoctrination, I recall that in the lead up to Easter Sunday there were 4 Sundays of Lent and then two subsequent Sundays one of which was Palm Sunday.  So, I wondered what was up with the other Sunday and what was it called? 

Well, I learned that what used to be known as Passion Sunday was wiped out and combined with Palm Sunday.  That left the 5th Sunday, today, to be known as simply the Fifth Sunday of Lent.  
So Passion Sunday was combined with Palm Sunday and is now officially dubbed Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday.)  (Good article here on the background and rationale for this change.) 

All of which made me wonder if that is not the reason why 60 Minutes plans on showing their Stormy Daniels' interview next Sunday and not this week.  "Passion Sunday" - get it?  And by way of a suggestion for them, the 60 Minutes folks could also incorporate the Palm Sunday aspect of the day by portraying Stormy riding Donkey Don into the interview.  That would be a good Lenten visual don't you think?   Happy 5th Sunday or whatever today may be.  
Rex Was Right!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

St. Paddys' Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Here is a bar room joke for you in honor of a day known for its excessive partying.

Lot going on in this video, it may need two viewings:

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Power of a Song

The Madonna quote the other day reminded me of something Huey Lewis said about one of his signature songs.  First, here's what Madonna said:

Mike Raley and I saw Huey at Wolfe Trap in 2016.  When it came time for him to play Power of Love, Huey introduced it by saying that when they first recorded it in 1985 they knew that they had a pretty good song.  However, he continued saying that what they didn't know in 1985 was that they were going to have to play it every f'ing night for the next 30 years.  

I found this 2014 video of him doing a similar intro (go to the 3:25 mark.)
Power of Love was nominated for an Academy Award for its inclusion in the movie Back to the Future.  It lost out to Lionel Ritchie's Say You, Say Me from White Nights.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mega Powerball Queen

I can always tell when the Lottery Jackpots are starting to get up there in potential winnings because I will hear it discussed a lot in Buzzy's Country Store.  Currently, both the Mega Millions and Powerball are attracting attention because their jackpots are growing significantly.  

Last night's Powerball did not have a winner, so its jackpot is now up to $455 million.  Powerball is drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Mega Millions' jackpot is up to $345 million and is drawn on Tuesdays and Fridays.   A ticket to play either of the lotteries is $2.

Lotteries are often called a voluntary tax on poor folks because most of the lottery players are those who have lower incomes (click here for story and stats.)   Studies have shown that lotteries have to hit a certain threshold before higher income earners will start to play.  For instance, the Powerball jackpot has to be around $800 million to go from being a regressive to a progressive tax (click here.)

If you prefer to keep your gambling at the local level, we have the Ridge American Legion sponsoring their Queen of Hearts fundraiser every Friday night for St. Michael's School. 

Since the Queen continues to go unselected, the jackpot has grown, and so too has attendance at the event.   The 50-50 Raffle conducted during the event is now up to several hundred dollars for the winner. If you want to play though, you need to go early to do so because it is standing room only.   

The following is not one of my favorite of songs but it seems appropriate and the video isn't bad so why not?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

World's Most Powerful Women

Back to March being Women's History month, here is a little pop quiz for you - list the Top Ten most powerful women currently on the world stage.

These sorts of lists can be all over the place depending on which category you select.  How about we stay with women and money?  "Sooner or later it all comes down to money," Bruce.

Forbes annually publishes their listing of the world's most powerful women (click here.)  See how many of the following Top Ten you recognize.
No Queens, as in Elizabeth nor Oprah on the list, but keep in mind that this is Forbes' business-based list.  Check out their article and you'll see different categories with different names. 

Speaking of women and money, supposedly Madonna regrets having ever recorded this song because it forever stamped her as a "Material Girl."   

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

No More Falling Back Nor Springing Forward

Now that we are back on Daylight Saving Time, I'd like to make a case for just leaving it as such and just do away with all this nonsense.  Florida recently passed a bill that would make them the third State (in addition to Hawaii and Arizona) to stay on one time.  The sentiment seems to be that folks are getting tired of messing with the clocks so maybe Florida is the start of some movement in that direction. 

However, the big catch is that Congress has to approve it before Florida or any other State for that matter is allowed to do away with DST.  With all the partisanship gridlock going on right now, we know full well ain't nothing going to happen.

Here is a blogger who has the official "Lock the Clocks" site (click here.)  

Also check out this short but good explanation of how DST came to be:

As to why we persist in doing this, here is a good article discussing why we will never get rid of DST (click here.)

John Oliver did a funny sketch on it in one of his How is This Still a Thing videos.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Corned Beef, Cabbage and Blue Grass

This Saturday night, St. Paddy's Day, Sunset Cove Restaurant will feature Gary Rue and the Smoke Creek Rounders.   Wear something green and make the scene.

March History

March is Women's History Month so thought I'd do a two-fer - mention that event and then include a poem which I haven't done in awhile. 

Emily has one of the more famous first lines of poetry here as she describes her "date" coming to take her out - literally:
I found this video that tells you a little about her:

Sunday, March 11, 2018


I mentioned Berta in a previous post and it spurred me to pay her a visit the other day in the Bayside Nursing Home.  I took her a copy of this article that I found in a 1985 edition of the Enterprise.

Also, I found this excellent article on the disappearing rural post office. Unfortunately, the Scotland Post Office is now in that category and seeing it become a rotting mess is a little disheartening. 

I prefer to keep this image of it in mind.
For Background on This Painting click here

Saturday, March 10, 2018

County Visitor Center - Air Museum

Each year about this time I drop by the County's Visitor Center to pick up materials to have on hand for tourists and visitors as they pass thru Buzzy's Country Store during the spring/summer months. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find  that this year I did not have to go to Charlotte Hall because the Visitor Center is now located in Lexington Park in the Naval Air Museum.
The Museum itself is worth a visit.  If you got the time, pay the admission and check things out.  You can witness the history of Naval Aviation and see first hand just how Pax River has played such a vital role in all of that.  The museum even has a couple of flight simulators where you can experience what it's like to pilot a Navy jet.
Then again, you can save that $10 and just watch the following Top Gun video:

Friday, March 9, 2018

Tariffs and Tornado's

The churn over steel tariffs (click here) took me back to April 2002 when Buzzy and I were in Shanghai.

At the hotel where we were staying, I met a nice lady one morning on the elevator as we rode down to the second floor, where breakfast was being served.  I noticed that she was too dressed up to be a tourist so I asked her if she was part of a WTO conference group that was also staying at our hotel.  She said "Yes.  I'm here representing U.S. Steel and we're meeting with the Chinese on tariffs."  I followed up by asking "What's the issue?"  She answered "We just smacked a 30% tariff on them and they're not too happy about it."  I asked "Aren't the tariffs supposed to make folks back home buy more of ours then?"  She laughed and said "That's the theory but I doubt it."  "Why?" I asked.  She said "Because their steel is made better and is cheaper than ours." (Click here for a related article on the 2002 imposition of steel tariffs and how they were eventually rescinded after proving to be ineffective.)

The lady and I were approaching the dining room and while I would liked to have chatted more with her, our tour group was doing one of those "Be-on-the-bus-by-8-o'clock-days" and I had to hurry.  We wished each other good luck and parted ways.

I joined my Dad and a couple of Brits from Leeds whom we had befriended.  (When I first met them, the Brit was wearing a Live at Leeds pullover and I joked with him that I once owned that famous Who album.  In turn, he had said "Well mate, I was at the concert when it was recorded but I don't recall much about it given the state that I was in.  I had to buy the album too just to see what I missed."  Naturally he and I became friends.)

As I sat down at the table and was getting ready to tell them about my elevator conversation with the "steel lady" the Brit asked us "Are you chaps anywhere near La Plata, Maryland?  I just saw on the news that a Cat 5 tornado went thru there and pretty much levelled the place."

Buzzy and I quickly finished breakfast and then stopped by the pay phones in the hotel lobby to try and call home to see if the tornado had done any damage in our areas.  After Buzzy tried his calling card several times and couldn't get thru, he gave up saying "To hell with it.  If something did happen I can't do anything about it over here.  Besides, Berta will take care of anything that needs to be done."

I guess you could say that La Plata was shaking all over during the tornado:

P.S. While I have mentioned the La Plata tornado a couple of times previously (click here) (click here) I had forgotten about my encounter with the steel lady until now.  Funny isn't it, how memory joggers can sometimes work their magic on us?

Thursday, March 8, 2018


After watching a movie, I like to find out more about it by consulting a website IMDb.  Just type in the name of the movie or T-V show that you are interested in and the website will give you more info than you ever needed or wanted to know.  

My favorite section on IMDb is their User Reviews where would-be critics discuss the movie.   As an example of how these reviews can vary, check out these two written about the movie I mentioned yesterday Plain Truth:  

What's the old saying about opinions?  Something to do with everybody having one?

Back to IMDb, they even have a section on Goofs that discusses mistakes made in the movie.  Many times these are nit picky things like the following from the movie I mentioned Plane Truth:
However, occasionally they will land on some of the bigger, more obvious things such as those described  here or as shown in the following video.  

P.S.  Did you catch the Goof/Mistake that I included somewhere in my write up above?  You should have, because it was fairly plain to see.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Not So Plain Truth

My travel friend Iris Willey gave me the book Plain Truth on our recent trip.  She had just finished reading it and noted that while she had enjoyed it, she did not care for how it ended. 

At over 400 pages, the book represented a challenge for me as I usually like my reading materials short and to the point.  However, once I started reading Plain Truth, I couldn't put it down.  And as I made my way thru it and thought that I had figured out the ending, Iris' reaction to it stayed in my mind.  I wanted to finish it even quicker just to see if my take corresponded to and with what Iris thought of it.  Here is a synopsis of the book written in 2001 and made into a movie in 2004:

Thanks to YouTube, you can even watch the entire movie by clicking here.  (If you want to skip to the controversial ending just go to the 1:25:00 mark.)

Here is a clip from the movie:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Paper Doll Ladies

They call themselves the Paper Doll Ladies.  They rent one of Peggy's places twice a year and when they roll into Buzzy's Country Store, well let's just say it's party time! 

Here are a some photos from their visits in bygone years.  (Someday I'll have to get all of their names straight.)

Charlie had no problem getting their names!
From http://buzzyscountrystore.blogspot.com/2017/02/good-weather-good-business.html

From last October's visit:
This photo was taken when they visited just a few weeks ago.
Like they say in the rooms "Keep coming back!"

This song seemed appropriate:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Better to Be Short

Back when he was running for political office, Buzzy would always cite his 3 B's for giving a speech or making a public appearance: Be seen, be brief and be gone. 

I thought about that while watching the Academy Awards last night.

Most exciting moment at last night's Academy Awards?  The award of a jet ski for the shortest acceptance speech to Mark Bridges (click here for story and video.)

Speaking of short, Randy Newman was featured on the T-V show Sunday Morning yesterday for his work on composing songs for movies. (click here.)  His most famous song Short People was also his most controversial.  The State of Maryland even played a "short" role in the controversy as one our delegates tried to officially ban the song.  (Wonder how tall that guy was?)

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Little of This and That

Some things I've had pinned to my Desktop awhile. 

From a 1951 edition of the St. Mary's Beacon here is the Bookmobile schedule.  The J.H. Raley's Store (Number 2 stop on Tuesday) is my Grandfather James Harry Raley who ran the Store from 1945 until 1954 when he sold it to my Dad Buzzy.  

This good advice from somewhere:

Capt. Jimmy Cullison wearing one of his Auto Service shirts from - well read for yourself:
Sometime back, Johnny Raley brought in an old photo (below) of him and his brother Michael along with me and my brother Steve and Tom McCoy.  Photo was taken behind Buzzy's Country Store in the early 60's.
Going from a photo of 5 ruffians years ago posing behind the Store, how about this recent shot of three very nice ladies relaxing inside Buzzy's Country Store:
Kayla, Barbara and Teri
Finally, this one of my Mom and me in foreground with John Carbone and Greg Madjeski in background no doubt telling each other fish stories.

Academy Awards are set for tonite and several of the so called experts are predicting that Mary J. will win for best song. She is also nominated for Best Supporting actress for her role in Mudbound:

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Playing the Blues (Harp)

Bob Spanburgh on the harmonica with Gary Rue last week at Buzzy's reminded me how much I enjoy hearing that instrument. 

My first encounters with the harmonica came thru the Beatles and the Stones who incorporated the harmonica in a lot of their early songs (Love Me Do for instance.)  Through the years you don't hear much harmonica anymore as music has gone from blues-based to more electronic, techy kind of stuff.  You know which genre I prefer old fart that I am.

Speaking of the Stones, at the recent Grammy awards they were recognized for best blues album (only the third Grammy that they have ever received (click here.

The album features the Stones covering a number of blues classics including this one by Little Walter (click to hear original tune.)

Little Walter is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is regarded as the originator of blues harp/harmonica playing.  (After watching See You Go, click on Ride 'Em on Down video to check out a hot babe in a hot car.  Classic!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Scotland Somewhere

Nice lady by the name of Sara was in Buzzy's Country Store the other day as part of her visit to Scotland, Maryland.  She said that she had given up on trying to see countries around the world so she was concentrating on U.S. places with the names of foreign countries.  Hence, she was checking the Scotland box with this visit.

She also mentioned the following "countries" that she had either visited or planned on visiting
Africa, Ohio,
Ireland, West Virginia,
Italy, New York,
Denmark, South Carolina and
Switzerland, Connecticut.   

Later as I thought about it, I hit the ole Google machine to see what other U.S. towns or cities have the name(s) of a country.  Turns out that there are a lot of them.  Here is a sampling:

                                            Lebanon, Connecticut/Ohio/New Hampshire/Pennsylvania

From https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-US-cities-named-after-countries

Note that the above Google list did not contain any of the examples that Sara cited including Scotland, Maryland.  Makes me wonder how thorough that Google list really is.

Brian Barnhill also told Sara about his hometown of Palestine, Texas as another example of a town bearing the same name as a country.  Turns out that Texas is full of examples of places named after not only other countries (4 alone are on the Google list above) but also other cities (click here.)

I guess it is safe to assume that Nutbush, Tennessee wasn't named after any country.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

It's March

At one time March was up there in the running for my favorite month of the year.  NCAA March Madness, St. Paddy's Day, and the arrival of spring all made March a fun, rock and roll kind of month. 

Now however, with Maryland's Terps no longer in my rotation along with the rest of college basketball, March is just not as much funSt. Paddy's Day is still in there on the 17th and the weather will get nice towards the end of March, but overall, minus that basketball fix, March is no big deal for me anymore.

What IS a big deal in March however are all those birthdays in the Buzzy family.  Right from the start on 2 March my daughter Ryan celebrates hers.  Joining Ryan celebrating on the 2nd are Rich Brewer and Dick Edwards. Sheryl (Hall) McKinnon celebrates on the 4th, Tommy Salvo the 7th.  My nephew Michael Hofmeister on the 8th, and Bob Mann also on the 8th.  Kevin Adkins 14th, Terri Yates on the 16th, and my nephew-son-in-law Ian Allen on the 25th.  Stevie Pratt concludes the month by celebrating his b'day on the 31st.

March 25th marks Maryland Day in recognition of colonists first landing here in 1634.  Historic St. Mary's City Commission will celebrate the event on the March 24th.  Buzzy's Country Store will be celebrating it every day in March.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

No More Trump on Buzzyblog

A Trumpster gave me some negative feedback over my post the other day about Draft Dodging Donnie.  My complainer's main point was that he visits the Buzzyblog for entertainment and updates on things Buzzy-related and not for political-related stuff.  (Mind you I never got any complaints like this whenever I commented previously on something that Obama had done or said that I disagreed with (click here.))

Anyway, I conceded the point to my complainer that the Buzzyblog should be apolitical and that I would try to do better in the future.  

Thus, in the future  I will try not to post things like this:
And to keep from upsetting my complainer and other overly sensitive Trumpsters, I will try to only post things that are Buzzy-Country-Store-related.  Here is a good example of that in action because I am trying to contact Trump's lawyer to see about retaining his services for the Store:
(P.S.  When was the last time you ever heard of a lawyer paying a bill for you vs. sending you one?!  And a six figure bill to boot!)  

Furthermore, because I am thinking about sponsoring a Buzzy Golf Tournament this spring, I thought that this might be a good photo to include on the flyer to publicize it:
And, because I don't want to offend the Trumpsters too much, in the future I will refrain from telling any Trump jokes such as these two:

"Trump has a big ego.  When he bangs a super model, he closes his eyes and imagines that he is jerking off."

“This is what I've been waiting for my whole life. A President who's not afraid to tell the truth about being a lying asshole!”―Lewis Black

So there you go, now that I have purged the Buzzyblog of any anti-Donald rhetoric, I encourage all of my Trumpsteristas to relax, go back to watching your Fox Real News channels, keep on making America great again and spare me any future complaints that you may have.

For some reason, this tune came to mind.  (Maybe it was the "Let me show you my tattoo" line.)