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.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Better Take Care

As a follow up to Gordon Lightfoot, I must confess that his Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald is not in my list of favorite songs.  It is just too plodding, too long and too depressing to move me much.  Hence, I have it in my Don't Touch the Dial category of music.  That means that I don't touch the dial to turn the channel when it comes on because I don't dislike it enough to avoid it  but conversely, I don't touch the dial to turn the volume up on it neither.  It's just a so-so song.

On the other hand, Lightfoot's Sundown does get it done for me and I always raise the volume on it when it is played.  First off I like the whole "FU" nature of the song and how the narrator is about to kick some ass over his two-timing lover even if he knows it's not worth his effort to do so.  Then, the whole drug reference about "feeling better when I'm feeling no pain" just seals the deal for me. 

I didn't know until now that Lightfoot wrote Sundown about his then foot loose girl friend Cathy Smith.  Cathy was Levon Helm's/The Band's girlfriend before Gordon and ultimately  was the one who overdosed John Belushi causing him to punch out.  Cathy sure got around didn't she?  Gordon admits today that Sundown was about the one woman in his life who hurt him the most (click here.)  Now there is an exercise I may have to pass on - which woman in your life has hurt you the most?   Some people claim there's a woman to blame but I know.......

Friday, December 2, 2016

El Toro Deju Vu

The terrible boating tragedy Saturday a week ago brought to mind the sinking of the El Toro II on 5 December 1993.  From 10 December 93 here is the front page of the Enterprise article written by John Wharton: 

The El Toro was a fishing party boat that took on water off Pt. Lookout with 23 passengers aboard, three of whom subsequently died.  The boating accident last week involved a smaller, recreational boat, but three people also drowned following that accident.  The El Toro went down during the day whereas the latest incident occurred in the early evening.  In both accidents though the conditions were very similar with winds 20-30 mph and out of the north.  In both cases too advisory warnings had been issued earlier in the day.  Check out this account of the El Toro incident.  It is a review of the Coast Guard's official report on the accident.  Here is an excerpt from that article:

At 3:30 AM on the morning of the 5th, NOAA issued a small craft warning with predicted winds of 20-25 knots and six foot seas.... At that time seas were calm. But it was known that a frontal system was approaching that would soon change the current conditions.

Then check out The Baynet's account of last week's accident as follows:

“At that time of night the winds were North West at 27 knots with 46 miles per hour wind gusts.”

There was something else in the article about the El Toro accident that caught my eye:

At this point the report is very vague about what happened next, but the report does say that three persons were rescued from the water, outside of the raft. One of these was the 19 year old mate who later died of exposure. Yet the Captain and his brother managed to get safely in the raft. The implication here is that the 19 year old sacrificed his life that another passenger might have a place in the life raft while the Captain and his brother save themselves. Oddly, no mention of the mate's heroism is made. Why not? Perhaps because he doesn't hold a CG license? Would that have helped? Of course the report will make note of the heroic efforts of their own people and the exposure that they suffered.

Most famous song about a boat going down has to be the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.  (There is also a Catholic hymn "Gather Us In" that has the same melody.  Like a lot of things Catholic, there is a claim that this song was nicked from the pagan Celts.  Lightfoot wrote the tune in 1976 and acknowledges that he recalled an old Irish dirge that he had heard when he was 3 years old (click here.)

Also, Lightfoot has two versions of the song due to investigators having learned new details about the accident.  Initially it was thought that the sinking came about due to a crew member having left a hatch open that allowed water to pour in.  Lightfoot mentions this when he sings "At 7:00 pm the main hatchway gave in."  

However, investigators found that the hatch had been secured and that a rogue wave was probably responsible for flooding the ship (click here.)  After learning this, Lightfoot then changed the line to say "At 7:00 pm the light grew dim."  (In second video he discusses this.)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Most Wonderful Time of the Year? Not so Fast

At the risk of sounding more like the Scrooge that I really am becoming, December is probably my least favorite month.  I won't go as far as saying that I hate December (video below) but let's just say that if I had to rank all the months of the year, December would be the 12th on my list.

Why that is, I'm not exactly sure.  All the Christmas churn is a small part of my dislike;  but as I get older I find that I like routines and order more than all the bells and whistles and bon homie b.s. that December brings with it.   

In December there are parties and commitments and traditions to tend to.   While all of that that can be fun, it can also be a real pain.  December reminds me of that wild and crazy friend of yours who is fun to be around for a bit but after awhile gets on your nerves to the point where you can't wait to get away from him or her.

Business-wise December means year end crap to contend with.  Weather-wise, it's cold and  it gets dark early.  Overall, it is just a very screwed up month.  To quote my Grandfather Harry "I'll be glad when it's over."

But it's not all bad in December, because the Buzzy birthday list includes the following party people:  Brother in-law Jerry Taylor is on the 7th; Greg Madjeski 10th; Jimmy Cullison 16th; Mike Fenhagen and Steve Bradburn 18th; Pat Birmingham 23rd;  B.J. Gray 27th;  Brian Barnhill 28th; and Bill Holmes the 29th.  

The Buzzy Christmas Party is set for 17 December and should be a good time.  Capt. Jimmy Cullison is bringing his fryer down and there will be all sorts of good things to eat.  We're starting at 5 pm this year so come early, stay long and join the fun.  I promise to be in a better mood than I am now.  Bah humbug!  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hip Redux

Yes, I was cleaning out the kitty litter box when I took my tumble that resulted in my broken hip.  Still don't know exactly what I tripped on because I have yet to revisit the scene of the accident.  I am thinking it was a walnut because I went down so quickly and effortlessly as my foot just kicked completely out from under me. 

Stretched out on the ground, all I could think about was that old lady in the commercial years ago who said "I've fallen and I can't get up."   That was me as I literally could not move and deep down knew that I had screwed something up pretty good (bad.)

Eventually I was able to call out to my buddy Brian who was in the apartment tending to the cat.  Of course my cell phone was not on me so lesson learned there - always keep your phone on you in case you do something dumb like fall down and can't get up.   Brian called 911 and that is how I came to take my first ride in an ambulance to Leonardtown.

The three Ridge Rescue Squad personnel Alex Ketner, Boyd Loflin and Kaylee Dunbar were top notch, very professional, very good and I appreciate all of their care and attention.  I was hurting big time but they helped considerably in my being able to tolerate it.  (No, other than a Tylenol they did not drug me up.)

At St. Mary's Hospital ER on a Saturday evening it was semi-chaotic.  However, the ER Staff was excellent in getting me  thru the X-rays and evaluations and ultimately up to a room later that night.  Dr.  Turner took it from there and she operated on me first thing Sunday morning. 
I fell and broke my hip around 1:30 Saturday afternoon and at 1000 the next morning I was in the process of getting a new hip.  I still find that to be pretty amazing. 

My thanks to all who have been so kind in helping Pam and me out these past couple of days.  It means a lot and I appreciate it very much.  Also, thanks to Jenny and all who have helped out keeping the Store humming along.   I plan to be back there soon even if I don't plan on emptying out any more kitty litter boxes any time in the future.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

About Time

The other day I had roughed out this Castro item on his passing.   Little did I know that I'd be thinking about the Stones' song that I had planned on referencing even more.  So here it is.  First in the rough draft state and then I will get to the song.

OK, tell the truth - "About time" were the first two words you said or thought after you heard that the old codger was finally dead.   (The more profane among you may have even said three words as in ("About f'ing time.")   Saw this headline from the Miami Herald:

 And of course that led me to the Stones and their most famous album Exile on Main Street.  Tough for me to pick a favorite tune off that double album because I pretty much like all the tunes on Exile.  One song though stands out for me because of certain lines that seem to stay stuck in my mind in given situations:  Shine a Light.    There is even a hospital reference "Saw you stretched out in Room 1009" when actually I have been confined to Room 2218 here at St. Mary's Hospital.  

But it's all good, I am supposed to be going home today.  It's about time.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hip Story

Saturday afternoon I fell and broke my hip. Less than 24 hours later in a chain of events I still can't believe I now have a new replacement hip.  Long story and as I lay here in this hospital bed with tubes and compression leggings, and a catheter stuck  to me, I will pass on telling it right now.  Suffice to say that it has to do with being an old fart and a determination that my hip of 65 years wasn't worth repairing. Another lesson in humility you might say.

Thanks to all my well wishers, friends and visitors.  You helped make a bad time a little better.  Hopefully I will be outta here soon and we can tip one to my new hip.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Piney Point Sunset

Watching the sunset on the river Thanksgiving evening (above) brought back some memories for me of the first time the ex and I ever visited the place I now call home.

It was in November 1978 when Realtor Larry O'Brien called me at work to tell me about a piece of property.  We had been looking for a place and wanted to be on the Potomac and on a lot on a dead end street.  Larry told me that this listing in Piney Point might be what we were looking for but he warned "The house is a fixer upper."

I got off work at 4 and we met Larry about 5 o'clock at the property.  At first glance, the house appeared to be just as Larry had described it.  The previous owner, an old lady, had moved over to Virginia to be with her daughter so the house had sat vacant for several months.
Because it was getting late, Larry suggested that we first walk down to the beach and check it out before the sun went down.  As we made our way down to the beach, the sun appeared over the River before us just as it appears in the above photo.  As Larry did his salesman thing, the ex leaned over to me and said "I want this."  I replied "We better check out the house before we get too excited."  However, looking at the sun, I too was sold. 

On the beach Larry pointed out the boundaries of the property and then said "Check out that sunset."  He really didn't have to because we had been checking it out all along.  

The house was as Larry described it - a fixer upper.  It was an old summer cottage kind of place with one bedroom, an unfinished upstairs and everything in bad shape.   The electric and plumbing had been turned off and everything appeared to be very old and broken down.  

As we made our way thru the house, I got depressed thinking about how much work would be required to fix up this fixer upper.  However, when we got to the back porch and again looked out at that sunset, I knew that this was where I wanted to be.  

We put in an offer that the old lady accepted and we moved to the Point the following March of 79.   The ex has since moved on as the sun really did set on that relationship, but I've been here ever since.

Funny thing about that sunset is that November - December is the only time of year that it ever appears this far west out over the river when it sets.  Had Larry shown us the house any other time of year, the sun would not have been that visible setting out over the river.  Timing is everything I guess.  Maybe Larry knew what he was doing when he showed us the house in November.

 These charts depict today's path of the sun versus what it's like in the June timeframe.  (The website that computes all of this is worth checking out if you want to plot the sun path for your own location.)
Only one song to include here right?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Forget Black Friday - Wait Til NiggaTuesday

Black Friday?  FBF.  Nuff said.
How did all this come to pass?  From an article on the subject there is this account:

"However, most agree that retailers ultimately have the Philadelphia police department to thank for Black Friday. The force nicknamed the day after the chaos that engulfed Philadelphia when shoppers flocked to the high street sales just as spectators travelled to the annual Army vs Navy American football match. They are thought to have started using the name in the 1950s and 1960s, judging by local newspaper reports, and the mantle slowly crept nationwide.

Shopping has always been key to the Thanksgiving season. The holiday used to be celebrated on the last day of November, but retailers lobbied President Roosevelt to move the day forward so there was more time for Christmas shopping. Eventually, in 1941, it was confirmed that Thanksgiving would always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, rather than the last."  From https://www.theguardian.com/business

Don and Walt were not talking about shopping here but about the stock market collapse: (click here for info.)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Talking Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!  
Yesterday's Presidential Pardon means that Tater and Tot won't be on someone's table today awaiting carving.    Click here for a good article on how and why this tradition has evolved as it has.  (Seems that Abe Lincoln wouldn't let a turkey be killed because his son Tad took a liking to it.)

The West Wing T-V show also addressed the subject as seen in this funny video:

Unlike President Bartlett's no-nonsense-approach to the issue of pardoning the turkeys, President Obama has always had a "Why am I doing this?" take on it.  Here he is last year when he pardoned Honest and Abe.  (Can't help but wonder how our President-elect will handle this tradition next year. )

This song seemed appropriate:
Buzzy's Country Store will open at 2 pm today.  Cowboys/Skins game will be on at 4:30.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Food - Pt. 3: Eatin Good in the Hood

College basketball season runs from October to March when their Road to the Final Four tournament commences as a part of March Madness. 

Keeping with my food theme of this week, here then is a little variation on that college basketball thing titled Road to the Final Fork featuring food competitions.  Fun little waste of time.  And similar to the day-after-Selection-Sunday-back-and-forth over who did or did not get into the tournament, this list also generates controversy as in - Where is all the seafood?
Looking over the entries you will note that whereas they have included food items such as breakfast cereal and pancakes, there are only a couple of seafood entries as in Clam Chowder and sushi.  I guess the rationale is that some people don't eat seafood.  But with only these two seafood entries in the entire competition, we know that this is a bogus exercise.  Sushi!?  Spare me.

In fact, here in the County we could have a Sweet 16 competition grouping of our local foods alone that would top anything I see on the above list.  (OK, perhaps the Mac and Cheese and maybe the Baby Back Ribs might pull an upset somewhere along the line and go deep in my Final Fork Tournament but that's about it.)

However, none of the entries on the Final Fork list could ever beat out any of our local powerhouses.  Just crabs alone would beat out any item listed - as in Steamed Crabs, Softshells, Crab Imperial, Crab Soup and of course Crab Cakes.  The crabs would have narrowly beaten out Smoked Blue Fish, Broiled Rock Fish, Fried/Steamed/Rockefeller Oysters, etc..  Then for good measure we include Stuffed and Old Ham in the competition also.  Tough Final Fork Tournament to predict wouldn't you say?  

Although deserts were not included on the list, Maryland has become famous for its Smith Island Seven Layer Cake.  The T-V show Sunday Morning just did a piece on it (click here.)

So fill out your Final Fork brackets but don't forget to include some seafood!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Food - Pt. 2: Eat a Moose

Sunday before last we had a Wild Game Day luncheon at Buzzy's Country Store.  Kevin Adkins brought in some Moose Chili.  Clyde Ridgell brought in some Squirrel Soup and Duck Stew.  (Squirrel and Moose, I told folks we had the Rocky and Bullwinkle Special of the Day.)  It was all very tasty and no - none of the entrees  tasted like chicken

Kevin shot 800 pound Bullwinkle (left) up in Maine last month when he was there visiting family.  This was a big deal as Maine holds an annual lottery to determine who will be permitted to hunt moose.  As Kevin noted, his cousin had been on the waiting list for several years just to get a chance to hunt moose. In 2016 only 2,140 moose permits were issued.  

Maine's Dept. of Wildlife even awards bonus points to folks who have waited the longest to obtain a permit.  (Their ranking system goes up to 36 years which leads me to ask - if you are an applicant and you have not won a permit after applying for it for 25-30 years, what's it going to take for you to realize that you just ain't destined to get one?!)   Here is their chart:
Kevin took several Buzzy hats with him to Maine and put them to good use when he grabbed the following photo of Bullwinkle.

Neither Dick's Sporting Goods nor the Bass Pro Shop has any kind of advertising like that!

Back to my food theme though, I could not really discern too much difference in how the moose tasted with it being in the chili but it was very good.  The duck was also very good but I passed on the squirrel.  Sorry Rocky, but you look and act too much like a rat for me to want digest you.   

Monday, November 21, 2016

Food - Pt. 1

Thanksgiving week is the one where all thoughts and conversation seem to involve food.  Thus for the next couple days the Buzzyblog will take a stroll down the food aisle of life.  

First up is something I saw on Deadspin - a ranking of the greatest of regional food items from each State across the U.S. 

Chicago pizza is Numero Uno (pun intended.)  South Carolina's shrimp and grits checks in at Number 2 and California's burrito is listed at Number 3.  

But guess what State's delicacy is in fourth place on the listing?  Ah yes, our crab cake.
Aside from the knock about Maryland drivers, pretty cool eh?

Whenever I hear how great Maryland crab meat is, I am reminded of my buddy Ronnie and his advice about eating crab anywhere but Maryland.  We were in a nice Hot Springs Arkansas restaurant overlooking Lake Hamilton and I ordered the trout stuffed with crab meat.  The trout wasn't bad but the crab meat more resembled and tasted like dog food.  When I pushed it to the side of my plate to avoid eating it, Ronnie noticed and said "J. Scott I started to warn you about ordering that because Maryland boys like you should never eat crabmeat anywhere but in Maryland.  You guys are spoiled because you always have the best."

Nice compliment.  Also, when  I look at other States' entries such as Montana's #25 on the Deadspin list, it sure makes me glad that I am from Maryland where crab is our best regional foodstuff: 

Did someone mention burritos?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Any Given Sunday - Buzzy Style

This time of year hardly a week of football conversation goes by without hearing it said "On any given Sunday...."  It always reminds me of the 2001 Enterprise article by that title that featured a photo of Buzzy and Linda Lepper on the front page.  The article discussed various Sunday activities that folks pursue in the County and Buzzy's Country Store was featured as follows.  (You can view the entire article by clicking here.)
The issue of the Enterprise was dated September 5, 2001. Who would ever have thought that 6 days later everything would change as it did?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It's Cold Outside

My Mom visited me at the Store yesterday and I like it when she drops in.  She doesn't stay long and I always walk her out to her car when she leaves. 

Yesterday as I did so she remarked "It's getting cold."  I replied "It's November."  She laughed and said "I guess you're right."

As I walked back into the Store, I smiled thinking of Jimmy Fallon's song parody of Marchbox 20's song 3 AM.  Here it is at the 1:00 mark:

Funny right?

Well, hold on because my next thoughts then were sad ones about the original 3 AM song.  Rob Thomas wrote it about his Mom having had cancer when he was a teenager (click here.)

I then called my Mom to make sure that she got home ok. 

I got to stop thinking in song lyrics.

Don't want to leave you on a down note so here is a Rob Thomas song that I guarantee will make you feel better:

Friday, November 18, 2016

Time for a Change

Ever wonder how we got the U.S. time zones that we now have?  It was on this day in history in 1883 that the railroad industry implemented a time code system in order to simplify their scheduling procedures (click here.)  Our Congress, being the fast responding, quick-on-the-uptake body that it is, would eventually officially adopt the railroad's time code system 35  years later in 1918.

Lots of great train songs out there.  Here is someone's compilation of their 23 best (click here.) It is not a bad list but does have that Chattanooga Choo Choo Boy  and Last Train to Clarksville crapola included.   These two being on the list would not be so offensive had Mr. Crossroads' Love in Vain classic also made it:

Another glaring omission on the 23 Best List above is Train Kept A-Rollin.  There are many versions to choose from but I kinda like Aerosmith's:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

One and Only's

Here's Looking at You Kid
Today my Grand daughter Lily turns ten.  Happy Birthday Lily!  How she got to be ten so quickly is another of life's mysteries to me. 

When it comes to names for ladies, I have not met nor known too many Lily's that I can think of.  Of course there is Lily Tomlin but other than her I don't know of any other famous Lily's either.  Thus, I guess that that makes my Lily a one and only.

Regarding names for ladies though, I have a couple of in-work theories such as "Heather's are  attractive."  "Emma's are nice."  "Tiffany's are lightweights."   (I have several others in development but will hold off revealing them for now because I don't want to offend anyone.  On the plus side of ledger though I always joke with folks that anyone whose name begins with J, I tend to get along well with them.  Therefore, ladies named Joan, Julie, Jennifer, and Judy I have always found to be nice people.  (Did have a less-than-pleasant experience once with a Janice so it's not 100% on this J thing.))

Work on your own Good-and-Not-So-Good name list and you will begin to see what I mean about name stereotypes (click here for other samples.)

Another addition to my list is Penelope.  As with Lily though, I don't recall that I have ever known anyone named Penelope.  But based upon the Cruz lady here, my first take is that "Penelope's are drop dead beautiful."  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Narrow Road

St. Mary's County Commissioner President Randy Guy visited Buzzy's Country Store last week on Election Night to say hello and check in with everyone.  Randy is one of the very few politicos who will visit Buzzy's more then once every 4 years when it is time for them to run for  re-election so it was good that he dropped in. 

Here is a photo of Randy introducing Gov. Hogan at last February's announcement of the Rt. 5 road widening project.
When I Googled "Rt. 5 road widening Scotland" the following photo's appeared.  You may recognize some of these folks with Gov. Hogan:
As for the latest status on the road widening at Pt. Lookout it looks like it's on schedule albeit a couple (5) years out.  I remember going to a meeting once where a State Highway Official advised "Just remember - we are like Ernest and Julio, we do nothing before its time." 

However, the Pt. Lookout road widening project is way past its time to be taken care of.  My son Shea probably had the best take on it when he said "For God's sake you're only talking about one or two miles of road.  Why's that so hard to get done?"  Good question.  (I know that this chart is tough to decipher but click on the link below and scroll down a little and you will see a better rendition of it.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Maybe They Will Be Called Hair Saloons

Several folks have mentioned seeing The Baynet article discussing the Alcohol Beverage Board's awards ceremony that recognized Buzzy's Country Store as one of 28 responsible retailers.

Proving that any publicity is good publicity, it was a nice gesture by the Alcohol Board and I appreciate it.  However, in the bigger scheme of things it just means that we didn't get popped when they did one of their stings to see if irresponsible retailers sold alcohol or cigarettes to underage folks.  Still I appreciate the recognition.

Of more interest though, if you read  on in the article you will see a discussion about allowing hair salons and art shops to sell alcohol to their clientele. 

At a recent meeting of the License Beverage Association we discussed the issue and the general consensus came down on being against it.  I personally don't care if this is permitted as long as the folks wanting to do it have to go thru the same licensing process laid on the rest of us. However, at the meeting the camel-in-the-tent sentiment was voiced that if you start letting these businesses sell liquor what about bookstores, hardware stores etc. who then want to do so?  So stayed tuned.  (Montgomery County has already approved similar legislation (click here.)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Havana Moon

All this talk of the Super Moon makes me wonder if the Stones timed the release of their Havana Moon DVD to coincide with that.  The DVD was released Friday and portrays their Good Friday concert in Cuba earlier this year (Click here for related story.)  Couple items in the article put things in their proper perspective.  For instance, it was reported that the Pope and the Vatican weighed in and suggested that the Stones should not be playing the gig on Good Friday.  Obviously that input received no sympathy from the boys.  A second item noted that President Obama visited Cuba a day or two before the concert and sparked the headlines "Obama opening act for Rolling Stones." 

Great video below from the DVD here featuring an extended version of Brown Sugar.  You know they have played it a billzion times but you can't tell it from seeing this extended version.  Also, seeing 70 year old dudes still rocking on stage and not in a chair is kinda cool. 

Case you never knew it, the Brown Sugar lyrics are not talking about sugar for your coffee or tea.  In a nod to political correctness though, Jagger changes the original lyric "Hear him whipping the women just around midnight" to "You should have seen him just around midnight"  (00:40 mark in video.)  Good Friday - who cares?  Whipping women? OK, let's change that.

Dollar bet that at the end of the song you can not not say "Woo."


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Home - Only One Place Left I Want to Go

Saw the following quote I don't know as I agree with but it did make me think:  Home is a secret world that closes its doors in your absence and never lets you find it again.  (From a novel by Stephanie Bishop.) 

As stated, not sure I necessarily agree with that, but then again Thomas Wolfe popularized that sentiment when he wrote You Can Never Go Home Again.  Conversely, I have also read somewhere that home is the most powerful and universal word in the world.  It resonates pretty much the same to everyone. 

When puttering round the apartments and areas above and behind the Store, I sometimes get little tingles and feelings that I really am home again.  A memory will rush in as I crawl about the nooks and crannies I prowled as a kid.  I smile when I recall hiding in such places.  In what used to be my old bedroom I see the sun still shining thru the east window and suddenly I feel like I am a kid again basking in it's warm glow.  It's a good feeling.

Outside in the back yard, I recall  playing cowboys and Indians with my brother Steve.  Moving about the fields and woods today around the Store, I think back to the two us playing ball, hide and seek and running around free and easy without any cares.  I smile when I see the old walnut tree that we use to climb and built a fort in.  (That tree is now dying and needs to come down but for sentimental reasons, I just can't pull the trigger to have it done.)   

The Store itself on the other hand brings up a whole different set of childhood memories for me.  Of course, it still feels like home but not as much as the back living areas where I slept and dined and played.  Key word here is played. 

I recall that for the most part, as kids Stevie and I stayed out of the Store as much as possible because being in there meant being put to work.  Buzzy was a long time proponent of the "if you can lean, you can clean" school of management long before McDonald's Ray Kroc adopted that for his employees.   Time in the Store, meant time that you were put to working.  The hanging out and shooting the breeze stuff would come later.

However, the bulk of my childhood memories of being in the Store are summed up in something I often repeat to folks:  "When I was a kid growing up in this Store, I had 3 jobs - sweep the floor, take out the trash and stock the shelves.  Here I am 65 years old and I am still doing those 3 things.  How far have I really come?" 

When at the Store these days and things begin to bring me down such as talk of politics or petty b.s.,  all I have to do is walk out back and take a look around.  The sights, the sounds the smell of home take me back to where I need to be - 7 years old and nary a care in the world.  Who says you can't go home?

Couple songs about this for you:

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Eat/Drink/Play Your Way Thru the Day

Busy day today,  Ever notice how it seems that some Saturdays have too many things to do while others are very slack?  Well today is one of the former with 3 things going on in the First and Second Districts - four if you include a trip to Buzzy's.  I'm aiming for the foursome.

Ray's Party

Trinity Church Dinner at St. Mary's City:

All three of the above events have one thing in common - they are on or near the water:

Friday, November 11, 2016

Still No Joe

From Wiki
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced their 19 nominees for this year's induction.  Only 5 of the 19 will be selected.

Alas, the Mad Dog Joe Cocker is overlooked again.  Life just ain't fair.  All the great music he made should have been sufficient enough to get him in you would think.  (That he has a connection with Buzzy's Country Store (click here) is all the more reason that he be enshrined in the HoF.)  Leads me to conclude that there is something drastically wrong with how the HoF does its selecting. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thursday's Child

Thursday, poetry day.  Not really, I just used that as an excuse to pursue the following:
I was a Monday child but definitely am not too fair of face.  To check your birth day of the week click here.

As for today and Thursday's child who has far to go - there is a dual explanation.  It can be propitious in that it means a long life is ahead or it can be negative in that life will be tough for the Thursday child (click here.)

Eartha sounds like she sided with the tough-row-to hoe-take for the Thursday child:

Monday's child is fair of face And Tuesday's child is full of grace Wednesday's child is full of woe But Thursday's child has far to go

Things look mighty black for Thursday's child Trouble docks the track of Thursday's child This world could be a wonderful place But not when you wear Thursday's face I never know which way I'm bound, I'm Thursday's child

Heartbreak hangs around for Thursday's child I'll always be blamed for what I was named But still I'm not ashamed, I am Thursday's child I never know which way I'm bound, I'm Thursday's child

Good luck to all you Thursday children.  You may need it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Party Night at Buzzy's

Like most business owners, I wish I knew just what draws people into my place on any given day or night.  As Bruce Price noted on his recent birthday party at Buzzy's the other night "I've been coming to Buzzy's for years now and I never know just what is going to be going on until I walk in the door.  And even then I'm not sure."
While I know fairly well that special events like birthday parties, the Car Show and Polock's Kareoke nights will always bring folks out, otherwise it is always a pleasant surprise for me when a crowd of folks hit the Store and a full fledged party breaks out.  Can't explain it and it just sort of happens.

When I first took over Buzzy's back in 07, my going-in plan was to try and have some special event on a monthly basis.  However, after doing so for awhile I soon found that I worried too much about it both before and during the event.  Before the event, I worried about everything from the weather, to having enough food, to making sure I had enough stock on hand etc..  Then, during the event I worried about things like parking, people having a safe and a good time, and everything in general.  I soon found that at this point in my life, the stress wasn't worth it and accordingly scaled way back on the special events. 

So it always comes as a pleasant surprise to me when an unplanned rock n roll night goes down successfully at Buzzy's.  Still, I can't predict it but some reasons do come to mind.  For instance, the weather can have something to do with it because when it's nice outside, people want to be out and about.  However, that theory doesn't always hold up because a snowy day is still one of Buzzy's better days.  (During some snow storms, Buzzy's is the only place open so it's not too hard to figure out why folks come down.  Too, Ridge boys take it as a challenge to dig out and then congregate with friends to talk about it.)

Sometimes, external/national events make people want to be out with other people.  I remember after Bin Laden was killed, that Monday Buzzy's was full with folks in a celebratory mood. (I even did a post about it (click here.))  National tragedies like 9/11, shootings, hurricanes are all good for business in a morbid kind of way because people want to be around other people and talk about it.  However, I can never tell for sure just what issue will or won't cause an uptick in folks walking thru the front door. 

However, I do know of one commonality that is consistently true - people draw people.  This is why many bars and places of business will park cars in front of their place to make it appear that there are more people in their place and thus draw others in. 

But the other part of this dynamic is that certain kinds of people are just more fun to be around and hence they make others want to hang out with them and drink another beer or two.  Fortunately, I have several such folks who are in Buzzy's many times a week.  Other folks, such as the aforementioned Bruce, may only drop in occasionally but when they do, it's a full on party because people like catching up with them.. 

Regardless of the why's, I am just grateful for the support from all folks in keeping Buzzy's a great place to relax and party in a laid back, drama free environment.  Thank you all and as they say in the rooms -keep coming back!
Last Friday at Buzzy's - Photo by Rachel Miller
Mark's B'day Party a Couple Weeks Ago
Lots of bar party songs to choose from but I think of this one every time I hear someone in Buzzy's say "I love this place" (usually after I ring the bell for a round having been bought.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

CMA's/World Series

Last week's Country Music Awards were up against the Cubs-Indians 7th game of the World Series so it made for a remote control switching and flipping night.  There was some post-CMA churn over whether or not Beyonce should have been there (click here.)  I have no problem with Beyonce being there but my bigger question was - why were the Dixie Chicks there?!  Ugh!  

Also, Dolly receives the Willie Nelson Lifetime Award  and that's cool but where's Willie to present it to her?  Seems that Willie was busy appearing on the Jimmy Kimmel show pushing his book and Crown Royal.  Like he needs the money.

Also, with all of the Country Music biggies there, notably absent was the Covel boy as in Tobey Keith.  (His last name is Covel - Google it if you doubt me.)  Whereas I couldn't find anything on Willie's absence other than he was on Kimmel, evidently Toby has a long standing gripe with the CMA's and that is why he wasn't anywhere to be seen (click here.) 

I don't have too many Country Music folks in my record machine but Toby is in there a couple of times.   Here then is a nice little song of his that I can relate to by substituting John Nelson's Texaco Station for White Rose.  Listen and you will know why I like it like I do.