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, January 17, 2017

Sign Ordinance Update

Good article in last Friday's Enterprise by Jason Babcock on the new sign ordinance.  The on line version featured Brian Barnhill's great photo of Buzzy's Country Store as it's lead into the article:
So Buzzy's got some good publicity from the whole mess including these comments from  Delegate Matt Morgan and LUGM Director Phil Shire.
Jan 13, 2017 Enterprise Article
I sure hope that Mr. Shire, who is retiring, passes his thoughts along to his successor, because the sign ordinance is fairly straight forward when it states "No sign may be placed on a roof."

Since the current approach to governing seems to be to repeal, rescind, defund and overturn things, hopefully our County Commissioners will get onboard that train and repeal this sign ordinance too.  As for replacing it,  the bigger hope is that they don't replace it with something that lays on even more restrictions.  Sometimes the cure IS worse than the disease.

The other impact of the sign ordinance on Buzzy's is a little ironic because the ordinance mandates that the neon beer and liquor signs can no longer be displayed in windows.  This means that Buzzy's current Miller Beer Open sign has to go.
The irony is that I was in the process of replacing it anyway.  Buzzy always had a plain Bud sign in that window and I liked how that looked.  However, smewhere in the passage of the Store from him to me it walked.  (Got a feeling this is a "relative" problem.)  The Miller beer rep noticed that we no longer had a sign in the window and provided me the current one that also says Open on it.
Now, to be in compliance with the new sign ordinance, I will just replace the Miller sign with a plain Jane Open sign.  (I am pretty sure that an "Open" sign is still permissible, but who knows?)

Keith Urban mentions neon blue sign here which was about as close to a sign reference that I could find today:

Monday, January 16, 2017

Gladys and the Pips

Gladys Knight performs tonite in D.C. at a Kennedy Center celebration of Martin Luther King and his legacy.  I saw Gladys many years ago in Vegas and she put on a pretty good show. However, this was after she had gone solo and had left the Pips.   (The Pips were Gladys' relatives - Bubba Knight her brother and William Guest and Edward Patten, her cousins (click here for more info.)   Only Bubba is still around today.

Remember this Geico commercial featuring the Pips?  That's Bubba Knight on the right and William Guest on the left.  Dude in the middle was another backup singer Neil Taffee.

Did you know that Midnight Train to Georgia was originally written as Midnight Plane to Houston (click here?)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Never Miss a Super Bowl

Kind of appropriate that Kansas City and Green Bay will be competing today in the NFL Playoffs as the Pack play the Cowboys and the Chiefs play the Steelers.  Fifty years ago today they played each other in the very first Super Bowl (click here.)
I remember watching the game but that's about all I recall other than that the Packers won.

The Super Bowl launched a rather unique club of folks known as the Never Miss a Super Bowl dudes who have been to every Super Bowl sine 1967.  I think they are now down to three members.  Visa did this commercial on them a couple years back:

While Jim Rome is not my favorite radio personality, he did make me laugh and semi-agree with his take on the Never-Miss-a-Super-Bowl-boys:

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Happy Bonus Birthday Emma!

When talking to someone, I will often ask them how many kids or grandkids they have.  Most times, folks will come right out with the numbers.  However, other folks will putz around and do the qualifying thing as follows "Well, I have three of my own from a previous marriage and my second husband had two from his first marriage.  But then we had two more together, so what's that add up to - seven I guess." 

Same with some folks trying to state how many grandkids they have "Well, I have 6 that are my own but then I inherited 3 more through some remarriages.  So all total, I have..."   Sometimes as a way to shortcut all of this, I will just ask "How many biological grand kids and many bonus grand kids do you have?" 

All this came to mind yesterday which was the birthday of my Bonus Granddaughter Emma Peterson.  Happy belated birthday Emma!  (Emma's Mom Stephanie took the following great photo of all my Grandkids.)
Emma, Shawn and Lily
Bottom line, I think "Bonus" is the best way of referring to blended family members.  In fact, I could make a case for "Bonus" all the way around in lieu of Step Something-or-Other.  The only caution is that calling one's Step Mom your Bonus Mom may lead to the shortcut of calling her BM as in "I hope my BM takes me to the ball game."  May need to avoid the shortcut in this case.

The movie Yours, Mine and Ours was the first "date movie" that Pam and I ever saw in a theater.  While the date was memorable, I hadn't thought about the movie again until just now.

The song playing in the background is a Luther Vandross tune:

Friday, January 13, 2017

Happy Paraskevidekatriaphobia!

It always amuses me the variety of phobias that are out there and just what some people are afraid of (click here.)   Many of the phobias I get, e.g. Venustraphobia - who isn't afraid of a beautiful woman?   If you are not, then you should be.  

But some of the phobias I don't get such as the one for today - fear of Friday the 13th or Paraskevidekatriaphobia.  (Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13 and Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th.)  

Some superstitious folks are so afraid of today that they won't even leave home.  This has led to a noted hit to businesses on Fridays when the 13th hits:
This evening at Buzzy's Country Store it shouldn't matter.  LP's birthday party and of course there will be lots of good old camaraderie so come on down.  Don't believe anyone has yet come up with a fear of fun phobia!

There are many versions of this Willie Dixon tune to choose from.  I prefer Howlin Wolf's but this first one isn't bad either.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Urine Trouble? We're All in Trouble!

One week and one day until T Day.  Something tells me that we are in for a wild 4 years.  Nothing for sure mind you, just a feeling.
I tried watching his press conference yesterday and got about 30 minutes in before cutting and running.  Not only does his whole I-me-my-act wear thin with me but also his press bashing, con game b.s. and Russia fixations tend to get on my nerves. Am I the only one who is sick of hearing all things Putin and Russia 24/7?  Can't we move on?

As for Trump's continued media bashing and feuding with them, I recall another Buzzyism "You will never get ahead of someone as long as you are kicking them in the ass." 

The only thing I'll give our President Elect is that it won't be a boring 4 years with him around.  Hope I can take it.

This song was ruined by you know who but still is a great tune.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January Birthdays Pt. 2

On the first day of every month, I post the birthdays of the Buzzy extended family coming up for that month.  Having done it for several years now I have it down to a cut-and-paste operation.

However, my first reference point was always Buzzy's scratched up calendars with various names and dates on them.  For some unknown reason he had two calendars both of which I still consult on occasion. 

Here is one from January.  The ones we still recognize and celebrate are on here.  However, I always try nd decipher the ones that Buzzy had crossed off the list either because they died or they stopped coming in. 

Here is a quick run down of crossed off Buzzy folks for the month of January.   January 5 features a crossed out Saunders and a John Dyer neither of whom I know as is the case with Robert on the 7th. I assume that 9 January's Howard F was Howard Fenhagen one of the Charter 4 O'clock Club members.  Shelly with Brad on the 13th I don't know either.  (LP is scratched off the 14th but that is because Buzzy finally got it correct that LPs birthday is on the 13th.)  Buzzy also had some questions about Chrissie Muchehe as to whether she was on the 15th or 16th or maybe even the 22nd.  Looks like Buzzy wasn't too sure.
My Aunt Sissie's birthday was on the 20th and Tommy Knott's was on the 21st.  Charla  I believe was Sid's wife or girlfriend.  The 22nd has a Ruth MC(?) crossed out along with Steve Heutt on the 23rd.  The 27th and 28th contained Dawn and Dick Wood respectively.

Regarding the folks who stopped coming into the Store, I am reminded of something Buzzy told me once when I asked him about someone who no longer came in; he was semi-philosophical as he said, "Someone else comes along to take their place." 

I'm not so cavalier about any of my Buzzy friends who fall by the wayside but I do see his point.  On the other hand, I prefer the Don and Glenn description of guests at Hotel Buzzy - "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."

Patricia Mae Andrzejewski's birthday is today.  I may just have to PM her to see if she wants to drop in Buzzy's later on and help us celebrate it for her.

New Sign Ordinance - Pt. 2

Now that, thanks to Brian Barnhill, Buzzy's Country Store is the profile photo of the St. Mary's County Facebook page, maybe the powers-that-be will cut me some slack on having to get rid of my sign on the front porch. 

This goes back to my previous discussion about the new Sign Ordinance that just went into effect where all rooftop signs such as the one on Buzzy's front porch are now prohibited (click here.)  

Someone asked me why the new Sign Ordinance has not received any publicity in any of the local media and I couldn't say why.  There was a brief article in a recent edition of the County Times about Rayner Blair and his concerns with the new ordinance but other than that there has not been any discussion of the new ordinance that I have seen.   I guarantee you though, there will be some publicity about it and very soon.  For instance, all of the Fire Departments' electronic signs are supposedly prohibited by the new ordinance.  So let's see how that aspect does or does not get addressed.  (For some reason, the County Fairgrounds' electronic sign has been deemed to be ok and will not be prohibited.)

Another comment about the Sign Ordinance came from a Democrat friend of mine who noted "Isn't it ironic that these Republicans always talk about helping small businesses out by getting government regulations off their backs and  then they go and approve something like a sign ordinance that just makes it that much harder to do business!?"  Agreed.

To his credit, County Commissioner Mike Hewitt abstained from voting on the Sign Ordinance which indicates that he wasn't for it.  Someone else noted that Commissioner O'Connor wasn't there for the vote which means it passed 3-0 by the other CC's.  My Ridge-boy suggestion is that all 5 members sit down and take another look at this ordinance.  At a minimum I suggest a grandfather provision be included and at least allow a process for consideration of some relief from this ordinance.  As it is now, I foresee a lot of  time and
needless discussion spent on this.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Facebook Famous

My Daughter Reagan came into the Store yesterday and informed me "Well Dad, Buzzy's is Facebook Famous.  That picture that Brian took yesterday is all over the place."   Here is how that came to pass.

Brian took the photo early Saturday afternoon and posted it on his FB page.  Soon afterwards, several other folks including Matt Morgan reposted it.
Matt Morgan FB
Then, as Brian notes here, it became the St. Mary's County profile photo (below left:)

Looks Like Horse and Buggy are Also Heading to Buzzy's
Thanks to Brian and Pat Birmingham, Buzzy's was open throughout the day Saturday even with the several inches of snow falling.  Jimmy Cullison cleared the parking lot in the a.m. and Buzzy's was open and rocking. 

Later on Saturday night, even a dinosaur dropped into the Store.  Some folks think it may have been Steve Pratt in disguise but who knows for sure?
Photo by Pat

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Let 'Em

Very few days go by for me that some Buzzy-ism doesn't ricochet around in my mind when I'm out and about doing things. 

As an example, just the other day I stopped in the Post Office to buy a book of stamps.  I informed the young lady behind the counter of my request whereupon she presented the stamps and said "That will be $9.40."  As I was about to hand her a ten spot, the phone rang and she said "Excuse me, I have to get that."  I said "No you don't" but she ignored me as she continued away from the counter, picked up the phone and answered the call.  To her credit she did tell the caller, "I have a customer here, can you call back in 10 minutes?"

When she got back to me at the counter I said "My old man had a store that I grew up in and he used to say about dealing with customers - when they want to give you money, take it.  Don't make them wait.  Don't answer the phone. Don't talk to someone else. Don't do anything except take their money."

Surprisingly, the lady agreed with me and said "Good advice."  She took my money and gave me change for the stamps.  I think in her mind she probably felt that she had complied with Buzzy's advice.  However, her answering the phone when I was about to hand her money was a no-no in the Buzzy rule book of business transactions.

I have another example of this dynamic only on a larger scale.  I was working on Base when one of the contractors in our building was running some cabling for us and told me the following story. 

He was working  on a job subbed to him from a general contractor to run cables for a big construction site.  He was about half way done when the general contractor came to him one Friday and said "Let me cut you a check for what you've done so far."  The guy said that he hadn't filled out his billing sheets, so he told the general guy not to worry about it.

Well, not only did the general contractor not worry about, but also, he left the country that weekend and never came back.  A stop-work order was issued and everything came to halt on the job site.  Legal proceedings commenced and bottom line, the cable guy never got paid for the work he had done, nor for his material costs.  "Had I taken the guy up on his offer that Friday, I would not have had a total loss on the job.  But I learned a lesson the hard way - when someone wants to pay you, let 'em.  Obviously, the guy was planning on hauling ass and here he was trying to do right by me by paying me and I wouldn't take his money.  When they want to give you money, let 'em."

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Booze in Beauty Shops

Another issue discussed at our monthly Beverage Association meeting (previous post) involved legislation proposed for the current General Assembly session in Annapolis.  Delegate Deb Rey is sponsoring a bill to allow beauty shops and art galleries to serve alcohol to their customers.  This is an excerpt from a recent Enterprise article:
From Enterprise article 1/6/17
Beverage Association members in general felt that this is a bad precedent and accordingly the Association opposes it. The old Camel's-nose-in-the-tent argument goes that once beauty and art shops are allowed to serve their customers alcohol what about car dealers, furniture stores, realtors etc. who want to also do so?  Next thing you know, everyone will be allowed to serve alcohol.  (Now that you think about it, why shouldn't McDonalds be allowed to sell a beer with their burger?)

Personally, I don't see this as that big a deal because a) not that many art and beauty shops are going to pony up the $500 annual license fee to serve alcohol and b) even if they do obtain the license, it won't impact business at other liquor establishments.  In fact, for some of my Buzzy friends, a few pops at the beauty shop may be just what they need to motivate them to head down to Buzzy's and continue their drinking!

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Sign Ordinance

I attended a meeting of our Beverage Association the other day where representatives from the County's Land Use and Growth Management briefed us on the new sign ordinance (click here) that just took effect on 1 January of this year.  Liquor stores and bars will be directly impacted by the new ordinance.

The ordinance prohibits all sorts of signs that are currently in use including electronic signs, rooftop signs and signs that advertise a product or service.   Buzzy's Country Store is currently in violation on 2 of the prohibitions.  First, because the open sign in the front window also advertises Miller Beer,  I have until the 31st of January to remove it and have already ordered a replacement Open sign.  No problem.

However, the rooftop prohibition means that my Buzzy's Country Store sign on the front porch has to come down within 5 years.
Since there are no grandfather policies nor any appeal process mentioned in the ordinance, it's pretty much a done deal.  However, I still have a problem with the rooftop prohibition as it pertains to a country store.  The front porch with the sign above it is one of the defining things about a country store.  I don't agree with having to take it down at all. 

The irony is, I could move the sign back 6 feet, and attach it to the building and it would be ok iaw the new ordinance.  (The Coke advertisement would have to go.  But there again, Coke on a country store sign is a defining feature which should be allowed.)  However, were I to try and relocate the sign to the side of the building, I then run into some logistical problems with the 2 windows there and how to situate the sign accordingly.   Guess I could always do like Boyd's did here and put the sign over the window(s.)
Good news is, I got 5 years to turn my Buzzy engineers loose on this problem and come up with a solution.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Ring in the New Year

Found a nice men's wedding ring in Buzzy's Country the Store the other day. So if you or you know of anyone who recently  lost a wedding ring let me know and we can return it to them. 

Remember this lost-and-found incident at Yankee Stadium last year?

Here too is the song that the announcer mentioned - Lost and Found in a Border Town:

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Get Your Coat Dear, It Looks Like Rain

With 20 January approaching, the Elton tune Madman Across the Water has been on my mind a lot lately.  The lyrics, written by Bernie Taupin in 1971,  have widely been recognized as a tune with then President Richard Nixon in mind.   Several music critics and reviewers made the case for such an interpretation as follows:
From http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/3530822107858532303/
Songfacts also does a nice job of making the case for such an interpretation.  However, Bernie claims that it was not about Nixon (click here)  but about some character he once encountered in a mental institution when he made a visit there.

As to whether or not the song is relevant today to Number 45 about to take the helm in two weeks, keep your fingers crossed that it is not.   

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Buzzy's New Year's Eve

Kim and Barb
Catching up on Buzzy's It's Midnight Somewhere New Year's Eve Party, yes, we dropped the Bud on the hour starting at 5 p.m. when it was officially midnight in Athens, Greece.  At 6, we celebrated Rome welcoming their new year and at 7 we honored London's.  From there the midnight hour moves out over the Atlantic somewhere at 8 p.m. before Rio, South America celebrates it at 9.  Buzzy's honored each of these times on the hour as we killed the lights, counted down and dropped the Bud.  (If you are not sure how this works click here for a look at a world time zone map.) 

This video by Kim from last year's party now has over 300 views on FB.

My thanks to everyone who attended and brought such good food to share.  In particular, thank you to Kim Willey and Barb Demko for all of their help throughout the evening and to BJ for handling things behind the counter.  Also, thank you to Joan for supplying the Mardi Gras masks, which as you can see were a big hit.
Kathy Wright and Tonto
Linda, Charlie and Moi

Mariah wasn't at Buzzy's New Year's Eve but I think performed somewhere else.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Anniversary Day

Today Pam and I mark 10 years of marriage.  My cousin Joe White married us in his home in Fredericksburg, Va. on this day in 2007.  His wife Pat was our photographer and witness.

Been a quick 10 years in my mind but we all know how time flies.

Getting married at the beginning of 2007 set in motion for me quite a year of change.  Pam and I married in January and later in the year I would buy Buzzy's.  Then at the end of the year I retired from my Government job.  Getting married, buying the Store and retiring were three life-changing events that were not on my horizon in January of 2006.   

In fact, if someone had predicted or suggested in 2006 either of those events happening to me,  I would have said "no way, no how, not gonna happen."  In 2006 I was a semi-confirmed bachelor with a cushy, good paying job on Base and Buzzy's Country Store was a place I visited periodically and hung out at just like everybody else.  The idea of me marrying, retiring and owning and running Buzzy's never crossed my mind.  But like that commercial that states life comes at you fast, you never know what's around your corner do you?
As for Pam and me hooking up, I recall the phrase "it happens when you aren't looking."  And neither of us were.  In 2006 Pam was in the process of retiring and moving back to Rochester. We started going out and next thing you know Rochester lost out to Piney Point.  (Whenever we see weather reports of how bad the snow is in Rochester, I remind her that I rescued her from all that.  Of course, she has rescue-from-things to remind me about too!)

Following our wedding ceremony that  morning in 07, Joe and Pat took us out to a nice French restaurant there in Fredericksburg.  We then drove back to Calvert County where we picked up a couch from Carol and Gary Kurtz.  I borrowed my brother-in-law-Jerry Taylor's truck to haul the couch home and later met him at Cheeseburgers in Paradise to return it and have dinner there.   

So our wedding day in 2007 was full of fun, travel and activity.  It's been that way in the 10 years ever since.  Happy Anniversary to us!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

January Birthdays

Happy New year!  Buzzy birthday celebrants in January include:  Teresa Newbold 6 January; Carol and Sue Norris also on 6 January; LP Mercure the 13th; Barbara Demko on the 16th; Polock on the 19th; Richard Lepper on the 27th and Paula Decker on the 29th.  My Mother-in-law Stella Aroesty celebrates her birthday on the 28th.  My Gift Granddaughter Emma Pedersen celebrates on 13 January.

Of course THE event of the month will go down on the 20th when the Trumpster is inaugurated as our 45th President.  May have a little party at Buzzy's Country Store in reconition of that occasion.  Drinking, and lots of it, may be a mandatory coping skill for the days to come.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016

Do you agree with me that as years come and go, 2016 was a somewhat chaotic one?  Here's hoping that 2017 will be a more peaceful one.  However, I doubt it.
A Narrow Bridge to Nowhere (St. Mary's Lake Park Actually)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Stinky Situation

Speaking of chairs and old farts, this joke seems timely:

A family admitted their elderly mom into a nursing home hoping that she would be well cared for.

First morning of mom's stay, the nursing home staff got her up, fed her and then placed her in a chair by the window.  She appeared to be doing ok, but after a while, she slowly started to lean over sideways in her chair.  The staff immediately rushed up to catch her and straighten her up.

However, after a while she started to tilt to the other side of the chair.  The staff once more brought her back to an upright position.  However, this went on all morning.  Whenever Mom would tilt, the staff would straighten her back up. 

Later in the day the family arrived to see how Mom was adjusting to her new home. "So Ma, how is it here? Are they treating you all right?" they ask.

"It's pretty nice," she replies. "Except they won't let you fart."

Here is the trailer from a good movie about a brother and sister dealing with placing their father in a nursing home.  Anyone who has ever had to do this unpleasant little chore will appreciate how the movie hits all the right chords on what that unenviable task is like.

And now a tear jerker of a song for you - get the Kleenex:

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Chairitable Tale

Funny how things go around and come around.  Several years ago Mom and Dad gave me this nice engraved chair as a present in recognition of my graduating from St. Mary's College in 1975.  Buzzy's words to me at the time were something along the lines "I've never paid that much for a chair before so if you want any matching ones you're on your own."
I stashed the chair in my upstairs office area at home but never really used it until my recent accident/hip replacement.  One of my Doctor' directions was to sit only in upright, hard backed chairs.  Thus, I began using the College chair as I puttered around on the laptop. 

Guess what?  It has worked out so well that I have now changed my whole routine from using my laid-back-bad-for-my-posture-chair to using the Buzzy-Jean college model full time.  Even when fully recovered I plan to continue using it.  Somewhere I hope Buzzy is smiling over the fact that I am finally getting some usage out of his and Mom's expensive present to me.
OK, now that I have all that Strait.....

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Grandfather Harry

Harry and Me
I always think of my Grandfather Harry Raley at this time of year mostly because his birthday fell on 31 December.  However, I also think of him during this timeframe because he did not particularly care for the holiday season nor anything to do with it.  "I'll be glad when it's over," was his standard reply to anything having to do with Christmas or the New Year.  "Just another day to me" was another of his oft said comments about the holiday(s.)

Harry was the kind of alcoholic who would stay sober for several months but then all of a sudden would fall off the wagon and stay drunk for a week or two.  Christmas thru New Year's just happened to coincide with one of those times when he would decide to tie one on.  Hence, neither the holidays nor his birthday were very happy occasions for him.

He would drink Seagram's 7 straight out of a pint bottle and did not pause to sip, enjoy or otherwise savor his time in the bottle.  He drank to get drunk.  Once drunk, he became very sad, morose and unhappy.  "You don't know the sorrows I know" was another of his frequent catch phrases.  

After several days of being on his extended drunk, Harry would get very ill.  Dr. Bean would then be called and he would make a house visit to give Harry a shot of something or other which would bring him around and end the drunken spree.  (I often wondered why Dr. Bean wasn't summoned earlier in the routine to work his magic but I guess there was a drunk protocol or something to be followed.) 

Because he helped Dad out in the Store, Harry was around us a lot as we grew up.  Next to my Mom and my Dad, he had the biggest influence on me and my upbringing.  He taught me a lot about life and I loved and respected him a lot.  I have many great and fun memories of my Grandfather Harry.  However, most of my good memories that I have of him did not occur at this time of year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Twofer Tuesday: Robert Frost and Out Out

Over the course of these past 4 weeks, Robert Frost has crossed my doorstep twice, once on a good occasion and once in a not-so-good way.

First the good.  A recent article in the Washington Post (click here) discussed the Trump inaugural committee's efforts to secure celebrities to perform at the event.   (Quick aside joke - rumor has it that George Michael's last words were "I'd rather die than perform at Trump's inauguration.")

The Post article mentioned various artists and celebrities who had appeared at inaugurations thru the years.  Robert Frost's appearance in 1961 at JFK's swearing in was mentioned.  I was 10 years old at the time but I remember something about Frost not being able to read the poem he had written for the occasion and then something about podium catching fire (click here.)  All in all it was a little bit of a cluster-you-know-what.

But then again my second "Robert Frost Moment" also involved some unforeseen complications.  After I fell, broke my hip last month and was sprawled out on the ground, I did what I usually do when confronted with a messy situation:  I thought "what is the worst that can come of this?" 

My worst-case-analysis brought me to "Go into shock and die here on the ground."  I next thought about a morbid little story that I had encountered in some American Lit class many, many years ago.  It was a Robert Frost poem titled "Out, Out" about a boy who had had an accident, went into shock and died.  Mind you, I had not thought anything about this poem nor about Robert Frost in close to 50 years and yet there I was laid out on the ground in front of my Dad's former apartment and thinking about it.  Talk about a sobering experience.  

Here then is the Frost poem I was thinking about.

Out, Out
The buzz-saw snarled and rattled in the yard
And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,
Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.
And from there those that lifted eyes could count
Five mountain ranges one behind the other
Under the sunset far into Vermont.
And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,
As it ran light, or had to bear a load.
And nothing happened: day was all but done.
Call it a day, I wish they might have said
To please the boy by giving him the half hour
That a boy counts so much when saved from work.
His sister stood beside them in her apron
To tell them “Supper.” At the word, the saw,
As if to prove saws knew what supper meant,
Leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap—
He must have given the hand. However it was,
Neither refused the meeting. But the hand!
The boy's first outcry was a rueful laugh,
As he swung toward them holding up the hand
Half in appeal, but half as if to keep
The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all—
Since he was old enough to know, big boy
Doing a man’s work, though a child at heart—
He saw all spoiled. “Don’t let him cut my hand off—
The doctor, when he comes. Don’t let him, sister!”
So. But the hand was gone already.
The doctor put him in the dark of ether.
He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.
And then—the watcher at his pulse took fright.
No one believed. They listened at his heart.
Little—less—nothing!—and that ended it.
No more to build on there. And they, since they
Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

Fortunately for me, Brian Barnhill was nearby to contact the Ridge Rescue Squad and help divert my worst case thoughts.  I sure am glad he was there.

Monday, December 26, 2016

New Years Eve Buzzy Style

The Chinese have a saying "He is not a true world traveler until he has visited the Great Wall."  Well, a variation of that may be "You have not truly celebrated New Year's Eve until you have witnessed the Dropping of the 10 Ounce Bud at Buzzy's." 

My about-to-be daughter-in-law Stephanie has her Dad Ed visiting here again for the holidays from the Keys.  Having attended last New Year's Eve Buzzy Party, one of the first things he asked me was "Are you dropping the Bud again on New Year's Eve?"  I assured him that we will be doing so. 

We'll start dropping at 5 p.m. to observe the welcoming of the New Year somewhere.  I think Athens, Greece is 7 hours ahead of us so they will be our first "somewhere."  Each hour afterwards we will work our way east as we pop some champagne, knock back some hors d'ouevers and listen to some music.

This year we are going to do a Mardi Gras theme so bring your masks and beads.  Also, if you would like to dress up and style a bit, please do so.   Hey it's New Year's Eve so why not?!  (Pat and Linda Stover initiated this trend a few years back and while you need not go black tie formal, if you want to slip on some Sunday-go-to-Church clothes feel free to do so.) 


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Stoke the Raven

Merry Christmas!  But don't you agree that they could have done a better job scheduling this Christmas business on the same day that the Ravens and Steelers face off for the AFC North title?  Then later on the Broncos play the Chiefs in a big AFC West game.  Come on boys you got events and then you got big time events so lets try not to cross schedule them.  (Actually, the NFL, whose overall T-V ratings have been way down this year, did move all but these 2 games from this Sunday to Saturday. Today's two games are only the 18th and 19th that have ever been played on Christmas Sunday in the NFL's 100 year history (click here.)  

Just for luck, thought I would re-show this photo of Dave and his brother Bob Thompson and friends when they visited Buzzy's Country Store in their Ravens bus awhile back.  Let's hope that the Ravens' bus is on a roll today. Back to the NFL versus Sunday, there was a good line in the movie Concussion talking about how the NFL basically took Sundays away from the Church.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Tomato Cannery in Ridge

Christmas Eve and initially I was going to do something about how the pagans were responsible for starting it:
But how's about something maybe not as Christmasy but just maybe more interesting - Pat Woodburn's excellent article on the tomato cannery in Ridge.  Here are some excerpts from his article that appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of the St. Mary's Historical Society Chronicles.

Pat then goes on to discuss Carolyn's recollections of working at the cannery and how it was once a very thriving business. 

Here is another excerpt from later in Pat's article:
(Note - you may be able to find the entire article at this link but you may need to become a  member of the Historical Society in order to access the info.  The Historical Society's membership year runs from Jan thru Dec so now is a good time to join for $50.  As part of your membership, you receive a copy of the Chronicles with interesting articles and info such as this one by Pat.)